Reviewed on Dec 22, 2017

AKG K701 HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.2
5.7
Mixed Usage
7.6
Critical Listening
4.6
Commute/Travel
5.2
Sports/Fitness
5.2
Office
5.9
TV
5.8
Gaming
Type : Over-ear
Enclosure : Open-Back
Wireless : No
Noise-Cancelling : No
Mic : No
Transducer : Dynamic

The AKG K701 are comfortable and breathable critical listening headphones with a great sound quality. Unfortunately, they do not have a detachable or spare cable like the K702 or the K712 Pro. They're also not meant for outdoor use so they have poor isolation and no control options for mobile devices. On the upside, they're surprisingly lightweight for their size and they deliver in the sound department.

Test Results
Design 6.3
Sound 7.7
Isolation 2.6
Microphone 0
Active Features 0
Connectivity 4.8
Pros
  • Excellent audio reproduction.
  • Comfortable design.
Cons
  • Very sensitive to ambient noise, by design.
  • Open-back design, so they leak a lot.
  • Big and bulky headphones.
  1. Update 2/16/2018: Converted to Test Bench 1.2.
  2. Update 8/10/2017: Converted to Test Bench 1.1. Learn more about our new versioned test bench system here.

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6.3

Design

The AKG K701 are comfortable, but bulky headphones not meant for outdoor use. The large circular ear cups are well padded and soft, and headband strap auto adjusts to different head shapes and sizes. They're durable enough, to handle a few drops without breaking. However, the headband has many moving parts, which may wear and tear over time. They're also a bit too cumbersome and unstable to use casually and definitely not for sports. 

Style

The AKG K701 look almost identical to the K702 and K712 PRO. They have the same retro design with large circular ear cups and a headband with a self-adjusting strap. The open-back ear cups are well padded and covered in a suede-like fabric that gives the headphones a more premium appeal. However, like the other models in this series, they're bulky and little too big, to casually wear outside.

8.0 Comfort
Weight : 0.65 lbs
Clamping Force
:
0.96 lbs

The K701 are very comfortable headphones. They're surprisingly lightweight for their size and the well-padded ear cups fit well around most ears. They don't cause any fatigue during extended listening sessions.

0 Controls
Ease of use : N/A
Feedback : N/A
Call/Music Control : No
Volume Control : No
Microphone Control : N/A
Channel Mixing
:
N/A
Noise Canceling Control : N/A
Talk-Through
:
N/A
Additional Buttons : N/A
7.0 Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference : 4 C
5.2 Portability
L : 8.27 "
W : 7.09 "
H : 4.33 "
Volume : 253.7 Cu. Inches
Transmitter required : N/A

These headphones like the K702 and the K712 Pro are big, bulky not really portable. The retro headband makes them quite large and since they don't fold into a more compact format, they will be too cumbersome to carry around on your person if you do not have a bag. They also don't come with a case or pouch, which is slightly disappointing.

0 Case
Type : No case
L : N/A
W : N/A
H : N/A
Volume : N/A
7.0 Build Quality

The build quality of the AkG K701 is decent but has a lot of moving parts. They have dense ear cups, and the headband design is flexible enough to handle an above-average amount of physical stress. Unfortunately, the headband has a lot of moving parts for the adjustable padding. These are potential weak points where the headphones could get damaged by wear and tear.

5.5 Stability

These headphones are not designed for sports or intended for outdoor use. The ear cups will sway and slip off your ears during physical activity, and the non-detachable cable will yank the headphones off your head if it's hooked on something.

Cable
Detachable : No
Length : 9.77 ft
Connection : 1/4" TRS
Top
Headshots 1
Headshots 2
7.7

Sound

The AKG K701 is a very good sounding pair of open-back over-ear headphones. They have a decent and consistent bass, an excellent mid-range and an above-average treble. However, their bass lacks in thump and punch, their mid-range is a bit forward, and their treble is on the bright and sibilant side. Additionally, they do have an open soundstage and image well.

7.3 Bass
Std. Err.
:
3.09 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
:
78.85 Hz
Low-Bass
:
-5.66 dB
Mid-Bass
:
-2.8 dB
High-Bass
:
0.03 dB

Decent bass range performance. LFE is at 79Hz, which is below average. Low-bass, which is responsible for low-end thump and rumble, is lacking by more than 5dB. Mid-bass, which is responsible for kick and punch, is also lacking by more than 2dB, resulting in an overall bass that is lacking a little in thump and punch.

8.8 Mid
Std. Err.
:
1.55 dB
Low-Mid
:
0.78 dB
Mid-Mid
:
-0.77 dB
High-Mid
:
1.64 dB

Excellent mid-range performance. Low-mid and mid-mid are nearly flawless and within 1dB of our target. High-mid shows a bit of boost around 2KHz, making the overall sound of these headphones a bit forward.

7.4 Treble
Std. Err.
:
4.03 dB
Low-Treble
:
3.27 dB
Mid-Treble
:
4.75 dB
High-Treble
:
1.09 dB

Above-average treble range performance. Low-treble is overemphasized by about 3dB, adding a bit of excess brightness and detail to vocals/leads. They also show more than 4dB of overemphasis in mid-treble, increasing the presence and sibilance of vocals and lead instruments.

8.1 Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
:
0.38 dB

Great frequency response consistency. Like most other open-back headphones, the AKG K701 has very good consistency in delivering its bass. The maximum deviation we recorded was 3dB at 20Hz, on only one of our human subjects. The treble range consistency is also great with the K701, however, at higher frequencies they are prone to larger deviations because of their large ear cups.

8.8 Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
:
0.16
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
:
0.48
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
:
1.67
Weighted Phase Mismatch
:
4.66
6.8 Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
:
1.53 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
:
3.86 dB
PRTF Distance
:
6.75 dB
Openness
:
8.5
Acoustic Space Excitation
:
8.3
Correlated Crosstalk
:
-0.0 dB
7.2 Total Harmonic Distortion
Weighted THD @ 90
:
1.053
Weighted THD @ 100
:
12.978

Decent harmonic distortion performance. The amount of harmonic distortion in the bass and mid ranges are rather elevated but within good limits. The couple of peaks at 1KHz and 2KHz could make those regions slightly harsh sounding though.

2.6

Isolation

The AKG K701, like the K702 and K712 PRO, are not headphones to use outdoors or while commuting. They barely block ambient noise and won't fair well in loud environments. They also intentionally leak to provide a bigger soundstage, which will be distracting to anyone around you, even at low volumes. These headphones are best enjoyed in private and in a quiet room where ambient noise cannot seep into your audio.

2.8 Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
:
Overall Attenuation
:
-3.81 dB
Bass
:
-0.04 dB
Mid
:
0.31 dB
Treble
:
-11.46 dB
Self-Noise
:
0 dB

Poor isolation. Due to the open-back design, the AKG K701 doesn't isolate below 1KHz. Above that, they achieve about 12dB of isolation, which is sub-par.

2.1 Leakage
Leakage Audio
:
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
:
61.64 dB

Poor leakage performance. The significant portion of the leakage is spread from 200Hz to 20KHz which is quite a broad range. The overall level of the leakage is also quite loud, making the leakage of the K701 audible to those around you.

0

Microphone

Integrated
:
N/A
In-line
:
N/A
Boom
:
N/A
Detachable Boom
:
N/A

The AKG K701 doesn't have a microphone.

0 Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
:
N/A
LFE
:
N/A
FR Std. Dev.
:
N/A
HFE
:
N/A
Weighted THD
:
N/A
Gain
:
N/A
0 Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise : N/A
Speech + Subway Noise : N/A
SpNR
:
N/A
0

Active Features

No active features.

N/A Battery
Battery Type
:
N/A
Battery Life
:
N/A
Charge Time
:
N/A
Power Saving Feature
:
N/A
Audio while charging
:
N/A
Passive Playback
:
N/A
0 App Support
App Name : N/A
iOS : N/A
Android : N/A
Mac OS : N/A
Windows : N/A
Equalizer
:
N/A
ANC control
:
N/A
Mic Control : N/A
Room effects
:
N/A
Playback control
:
N/A
Button Mapping : N/A
Surround Sound : N/A

No compatible app.

4.8

Connectivity

0 Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
:
N/A
Multi-Device Pairing
:
N/A
NFC Pairing
:
N/A
7.2 Wired
OS Compatibility
:
Not OS specific
Analog Audio
:
Yes
USB Audio
:
No
PS4 Compatible
:
Audio Only
Xbox One Compatible
:
Audio Only
PC Compatible
:
Audio Only
0 Base/Dock
Type
:
N/A
Optical Input
:
N/A
Line In
:
N/A
Line Out
:
N/A
USB Input
:
N/A
RCA Input
:
N/A
PS4 Compatible
:
N/A
Xbox One Compatible
:
N/A
PC Compatible
:
N/A
Power Supply
:
N/A
Dock Charging
:
N/A
0 Wireless Range
Obstructed Range
:
N/A
Line of Sight Range
:
N/A
10 Latency
Default Latency
:
0 ms
aptX Latency
:
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
:
N/A

In the box

  • AKG 701 Headphones
  • 1/4" to 1/8" Adapter

Compared to other Headphones

See our recommendations for the best wired headphones, the best headphone brands, and the best audiophile headphones.

AKG K702
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The AKG K702 are slightly better headphones than the AKG K701, but overall are very similar. The K702 have a detachable cable that is easily replaceable if damaged, which makes them a bit more durable and better-built, but that’s about it. Most people won’t hear a difference between those two models.

AKG Q701
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The AKG Q701 are AKG’s collaboration with record producer Quincey Jones (of the AKG K701 model). This means they are practically identical, but with slight improvements like a detachable cable to make them more durable. Their frequency response are practically the same, so most people shouldn’t hear a difference between those two models. The Q701 have a lime green color scheme that is a bit flashier, but that’s about it.

5.7 Mixed Usage

Poor for mixed usage. The AKG K701 are best used for critical listening. They're a bit too big and bulky for casual use and their open designed means they won't be suitable for outdoors. This makes them poor for office, sports and commuting but they deliver a great and spacious sound quality that's suitable for critical listening.

7.6 Critical Listening

Great sound quality for critical listening. The K701 are super comfortable and have a great audio reproduction. Bass mids and treble are well balanced, and the large and open ear cups give these headphones a spacious and immersive soundstage. They're treble can be somewhat inconsistent a bit sharp but overall they have a good sound that will please most critical listeners.

4.6 Commute/Travel

Poor for commuting. The open-back design purposely doesn't block any ambient noise, so even at high volumes, you will still be able to hear the hustle and bustle of a busy commute.

5.2 Sports/Fitness

Not made for sports. They're bug bulky, and unstable. They will quickly fall off your ears if used for exercising or working out.

5.2 Office

Poor for office use. They're open headphones that purposely leak a lot which will be distracting to those around you, and they do not block any noise. You will be able to hear most of the noise in your office environment.

5.9 TV

Above-average for home theater. They're comfortable headphones with an excellent sound quality, which makes them suitable for listening to music and watching videos. They also have no latency since they're wired headphones. However, although long, the cable may not have enough range to comfortably watch movies from your couch.

5.8 Gaming

Mediocre-at-best for gaming. They do not have a microphone and have no active features or customization options that would make them more suitable for gaming. On the upside, they're comfortable, breathable and have a good sound. Also, since they're wired they have no latency which would make them a decent choice if you do not care about having a mic.

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