Reviewed on Dec 22, 2017

AKG K701 HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.3.1
5.5
Mixed Usage
7.9
Neutral Sound
4.6
Commute/Travel
5.3
Sports/Fitness
5.2
Office
4.8
Wireless Gaming
6.6
Wired Gaming
1.7
Phone Call
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
Isolation 1.7
Microphone 0
Active Features 0
Connectivity 3.6
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 11/21/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.1.
  2. Update 11/6/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.
  3. Update 2/16/2018: Converted to Test Bench 1.2.
  4. Update 8/10/2017: Converted to Test Bench 1.1. Learn more about our new versioned test bench system here.

Check Price

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
OS Compatibility
:
Not OS specific
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.

Headshots 1
Headshots 2
Top

Sound

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.

Sound Profile
Bass Amount
:
-5.3 db
Treble Amount
:
1.94 db
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.

7.5 Bass Accuracy
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 Accuracy
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 Accuracy
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.

7.9 Peaks/Dips
Peaks
:
1.36 db
Dips
:
1.01 db
8.8 Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
:
0.16
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
:
0.48
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
:
1.67
Weighted Phase Mismatch
:
4.66
7.3 Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
:
1.53 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
:
3.86 dB
PRTF Distance
:
6.75 dB
Openness
:
9.4
Acoustic Space Excitation
:
8.3
8.5 Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
:
0.065
WHD @ 100
:
0.144
1.7

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.

1.6 Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
:
Overall Attenuation
:
-3.81 dB
Bass
:
-0.04 dB
Mid
:
0.31 dB
Treble
:
-11.46 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
Continuous Battery Life
:
N/A
Additional Charges
:
N/A
Total Battery Life
:
N/A
Charge Time
:
N/A
Power Saving Feature
:
N/A
Audio while charging
:
N/A
Passive Playback
:
N/A
Charging Port : 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.

3.6

Connectivity

0 Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
:
N/A
Multi-Device Pairing
:
N/A
NFC Pairing
:
N/A
Line of Sight Range
:
N/A
Default Latency
:
N/A
aptX Latency
:
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
:
N/A
0 Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line of Sight Range
:
N/A
Non-BT Latency
:
N/A
9.0 Wired
Analog Audio
:
Yes
USB Audio
:
No
Detachable : No
Length : 9.77 ft
Connection : 1/4" TRS
Wired Latency
:
0 ms
PC / PS4 Compatibility
PC / PS4 Analog
:
Audio Only
PC / PS4 Wired USB
:
No
PC / PS4 Non-BT Wireless
:
No
Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox Analog
:
Audio Only
Xbox Wired USB
:
No
Xbox Wireless
:
No
0 Base/Dock
Type
:
N/A
USB Input
:
N/A
Line In
:
N/A
Line Out
:
N/A
Optical Input
:
N/A
RCA Input
:
N/A
Dock Charging
:
N/A
Power Supply
:
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.

5.5 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.

7.9 Neutral Sound

Great sound quality for neutral 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 neutral 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.

5.3 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.

4.8 Wireless 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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