AKG Q701 Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.3.1
Reviewed Oct 31, 2018 at 11:35 am
AKG Q701 Picture
5.6
Mixed Usage
8.2
Neutral Sound
4.8
Commute/Travel
5.3
Sports/Fitness
5.4
Office
4.9
Wireless Gaming
6.7
Wired Gaming
1.7
Phone Call
Type Over-ear
Enclosure Open-Back
Wireless No
Noise Cancelling No
Mic No
Transducer Dynamic

The AKG Q701 are comfortable headphones that are well-suited for audiophiles. They're the Quincey Jones Signature line equivalent of the AKG K7-series, but with the detachable cable of the AKG K702 or the AKG K712 PRO. They have an open-back design, meaning they don’t block noise by design, but their soundstage is spacious. They're quite bulky but are relatively lightweight for their size. They were designed to appreciate high-quality audio in a quiet environment.

Our Verdict

5.6 Mixed Usage

The AKG Q701 are mediocre-at-best for mixed usage. These open-back headphones are impressive for neutral sound but are simply not designed for any other specific type of usage. Their open-back design won’t be good for commuting and the office, and their large ear cups aren't made for exercising.

Pros
  • Great audio reproduction.
  • Comfortable design.
Cons
  • Poor isolation, by design.
  • Big and bulky headphones.
8.2 Neutral Sound

The AKG Q701 are great neutral listening headphones. The sound quality is good and their open-back design offers a great soundstage. They reproduce tracks with great fidelity and are comfortable enough to wear during long listening sessions. Your ears also don’t get too hot thanks to airflow of the open-back designed cups. They're well-built headphones that should last you a few years.

4.8 Commute/Travel

The AKG Q701 are bad for commuting. They're open-back headphones, which means they don’t isolate much noise and they leak a lot. You won’t be able to appreciate your music and people around you will be bothered. They're also very bulky headphones that don’t come with a case, which isn’t ideal if you’re always on the move.

5.3 Sports/Fitness

The AKG Q701 are sub-par for sports. They aren't made for physical activity. They're bulky and not stable for sports. Also, if you work out in the gym, they don’t isolate any noise and leak a lot.

5.4 Office

The AKG Q701 are sub-par for office. Due to their open-back design, the isolation and leakage performance is bad. You won’t be able to isolate much noise and concentrate on your tasks, and your music may annoy people in the office.

4.9 Wireless Gaming

Since the AKG Q701 are wired headphones, they can't be used for wireless gaming.

6.7 Wired Gaming

The AKG Q701 are mediocre-at-best for gaming. They don’t have any latency thanks to their wired design, which is great for gaming. They're also comfortable enough to wear for hours without too much fatigue and the open-back design helps with ear breathability. Unfortunately, they don't have a microphone and will only provide audio when plugged into your PC or console.

1.7 Phone Call
  • 5.6 Mixed Usage
  • 8.2 Neutral Sound
  • 4.8 Commute/Travel
  • 5.3 Sports/Fitness
  • 5.4 Office
  • 4.9 Wireless Gaming
  • 6.7 Wired Gaming
  • 1.7 Phone Call
  1. Updated Nov 21, 2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.1.
  2. Updated Nov 21, 2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.

Test Results

Design
Design
Style

The AKG Q701 have practically the same style and build as the K7-series. Their style is retro-oriented, with large circular ear cups and a self-adjusting strap headband. Their cups are well-padded and covered with a suede-like fabric that gives them a premium appeal. You can also get them in a flashy green color, on top of black and white options. However, their bulky design isn't meant for every day outside use.

8.0
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.7 lbs
Clamping Force
1.1 lbs

They're very comfortable headphones thanks to their well-padded and deep ear cups. The strap headband self-adjusts itself on your head and doesn’t put too much pressure, so they can be comfortable enough for long hours of listening. Some may find them too bulky, and the added bumps on the headband aren't for everyone. They're also a bit tighter on the head.

0
Design
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 Cancelling Control N/A
Talk-Through
N/A
Additional Buttons N/A

Unfortunately, these headphones don’t have any type of controls on the cups or an in-line remote.

6.8
Design
Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference 4.6 C

They're decently breathable. They're over-ears, so the heat gets trapped inside the ear cup, but their open-back design helps with airflow.

5.2
Design
Portability
L 8.3 "
W 7.1 "
H 4.3 "
Volume 253 Cu. Inches
Transmitter Required N/A

Just like the similar AKG K701 or AKG K702, the AKG Q701 aren't portable. They're bulky and don't fold up, and the cups don't swivel to lay down flat. Since they don't come with a case, your best option is to put them in a backpack.

0
Design
Case
Type No case
L N/A
W N/A
H N/A
Volume N/A

They don't come with a case or pouch.

7.5
Design
Build Quality

The AKG Q701 are well-built headphones, but they have a lot of moving parts. The ear cups are dense and the headband is very flexible. However, the headband has a self-adjusting strap design that could be a potential weak point where the headphones could get damaged through wear and tear. Like the AKG K702, they have a detachable and replaceable cable.

5.5
Design
Stability

These headphones weren't designed to be used for sports and will slip off if you are doing mild physical activity. They stay in place during stationary and casual listening sessions. The cable is detachable, but it's locked into the headphones, so the wire will pull the headphones off your head if it gets stuck or hooked on something.

Design
Headshots 1
Design
Headshots 2
Design
Top
Design
In The Box

  • AKG Q701 headphones
  • 2x detachable audio cable (10 and 20 feet)
  • Manuals
  • 1/4" adapter

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
-4.65 db
Treble Amount
0.55 db
8.1
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.38 dB

The frequency response consistency is very good. In the bass range, we measured about 6dB of deviation in delivery at 20Hz across our 5 human subjects, which is not great. The bass delivery becomes a lot more consistent above 60Hz. It seems that the bass is not very sensitive to the quality of the seal, but it may be a bit sensitive to the tightness of the headphones on the head. The treble delivery, however, is very consistent across multiple re-seats.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
7.9
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
2.64 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
71.27 Hz
Low-Bass
-4.88 dB
Mid-Bass
-1.95 dB
High-Bass
1.02 dB

The AKG Q701 have good bass. The LFE (low-frequency extension) is at 71Hz, which is below-average, but relatively common with open-back headphones. Also, low-bass and mid-bass are lacking by 5dB and 2dB respectively. This results in a bass that lacks a bit of thump, rumble, and punch, but this will be rather subtle. High-bass, responsible for warmth, is within 1dB of our neutral target. Overall, the bass is good, but may not be heavy enough for the fans of bass-heavy genres.

8.7
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
1.7 dB
Low-Mid
1.72 dB
Mid-Mid
-0.05 dB
High-Mid
1.2 dB

The mid-range is great. The response throughout the range is even and flat, which is important for clear and well-balanced reproduction of vocals and lead instruments. However, low-bass and high-bass are a little bit overemphasized, which makes the mid-range slightly prominent and forward.

8.0
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
3.44 dB
Low-Treble
2.46 dB
Mid-Treble
4.0 dB
High-Treble
-1.43 dB

The treble is very good. The response throughout the range is even but slightly overemphasized. Low-treble is over our target by more than 2dB, and mid-bass is overemphasized by 4dB. This makes the treble of the AKG Q701 a little bit bright and sibilant (emphasized on S and T sounds). This will be mostly noticeable on vocals and cymbals.

7.9
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
1.39 db
Dips
0.96 db
9.1
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.15
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
0.15
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
1.57
Weighted Phase Mismatch
2.84

The stereo imaging is great. Their weighted group delay is at 0.15, which is very good. The group delay graph also shows that the entire response is well below our audibility threshold. This ensures a tight bass and a transparent treble reproduction. Also, the L/R drivers of our test unit were very well-matched in frequency, amplitude, and phase response. This is important for the accurate placement and localization of objects (voices, instruments, video game effects) in the stereo image. However, these results are only valid for our test unit and your experience may vary.

8.1
Sound
Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
1.3 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
4.66 dB
PRTF Distance
10.47 dB
Openness
9.6
Acoustic Space Excitation
8.1

The soundstage is good. The PRTF graph shows a good amount of pinna activation with good accuracy, but there is a notch present at the 10KHz region. This suggests a relatively large and natural soundstage but may be experienced as located inside the head as opposed to in front. Additionally, due to their open-back design, their soundstage may be perceived as more open and spacious than that of closed-back headphones.

8.3
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.165
WHD @ 100
0.077
Isolation
1.7
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-4.14 dB
Bass
0.03 dB
Mid
-0.05 dB
Treble
-12.22 dB

The AKG Q701's noise isolation is poor. Just like the AKG K701, these headphones barely provide any isolation, which is expected and part of their open-back design. Therefore, they don't provide any isolation in the bass and mid-ranges and achieve only about 12dB of isolation in the treble range which is below-average.

2.6
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
59.69 dB

The leakage performance is poor. This is expected of open-back headphones and part of their design. Just like the AKG K701, a significant portion of their leakage is spread between 300Hz and 20KHz, which is a very broad range. The overall level of their leakage is quite loud. With the music at 100dB SPL, their leakage at 1 foot away averages at 60dB SPL and peaks at 82dB SPL.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
N/A
In-line
N/A
Boom
N/A
Detachable Boom
N/A

The AKG Q701 don't come with a microphone. For a wired headphone with a good in-line microphone, check out the Bose SoundTrue Around-Ear II, the Bose QuietComfort 25/QC25, or the Apple EarPods.

0
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
N/A
LFE
N/A
FR Std. Dev.
N/A
HFE
N/A
Weighted THD
N/A
Gain
N/A

They don't have a microphone, so the recording quality hasn't been tested.

0
Microphone
Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise N/A
Speech + Subway Noise N/A
SpNR
N/A

The AKG Q701 don't have a microphone, so the noise handling hasn't been tested.

Active Features
N/A
Active Features
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

They're wired and don't have a battery.

0
Active Features
App Support
App Name N/A
iOS N/A
Android N/A
macOS 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

They don't have a compatible app for customization options.

Connectivity
0
Connectivity
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

They don't have Bluetooth connectivity. Being wired, the AKG Q701 practically don’t have any latency, which is perfect for watching videos or gaming.

0
Connectivity
Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line of Sight Range
N/A
Non-BT Latency
N/A
9.5
Connectivity
Wired
Analog Audio
Yes
USB Audio
No
Detachable Yes
Length 9.75 ft
Connection 1/4" TRS
Wired Latency
0 ms

They have a simple 1/8” TRS audio cable with no in-line remote or microphone, so they will only provide audio if connected to a phone, PS4, Xbox One or PC. They also come with a ¼” adapter.

Connectivity
PC / PS4 Compatibility
PC / PS4 Analog
Audio Only
PC / PS4 Wired USB
No
PC / PS4 Non-BT Wireless
No
Connectivity
Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
Audio Only
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Wireless
No
0
Connectivity
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

The AKG Q701 don't have a dock. If you want a headphone that's versatile and has a dock, try the SteelSeries Arctis 7 Wireless 2017.

Compared To Other Headphones

Comparison picture

The AKG Q701 are open-back, over-ear headphones that are great for neutral sound and mediocre at other everyday uses. They have great audio reproduction and they're comfortable, so you can listen to your favorite tracks for continuous hours without too much fatigue. Performance-wise, they're very similar to the K7-series, the Quincey Jones collaboration with AKG. However, by design, they don’t isolate any sound and leak a lot.

AKG K701

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 these two models. The Q701 have a lime green color scheme that is a bit flashier, but that’s about it.

AKG K702

The AKG Q701 are basically the same headphones as the AKG K702, but with slightly better sound performance. However, the Q701 are more expensive for such a marginal difference. The Q701 have bumps on the headband and come with an extra 20-foot cable. Another small difference is that Q701 comes with a Quincy Jones line logo on the earcups that close the cups, but that doesn't seem to make any noticeable difference in our measurements.

AKG K712 PRO

The AKG K712 PRO are slightly better headphones than the AKG Q701. Sound-wise, they perform better in the bass and treble range, while the Q701 have a more even mid-range. The K712 also have better frequency consistency, especially in the bass range. People wearing glasses shouldn’t hear any loss in bass. The K712 also come with a pouch and a coiled cable, but not a 20-foot cable like the Q701. They are still very similar headphones, but the higher price on the K712 might not be worth the investment for the little differences.

Sennheiser HD 650

The AKG Q701 are better critical listening headphones than the Sennheiser HD 650. The Sennheiser have a disappointing soundstage for open-backs, and their treble range depends on the positioning of the headphones and ear shape. The AKG also has an extra 20-foot cable. The Sennheiser are more expensive, making the AKG a better pick.

Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO

The Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO are slightly better headphones than the AKG Q701. The Beyerdynamic sound quality is excellent, and their bass is surprising for open-backs. They also have a better build than the AKG and feel sturdier. However, the Beyerdynamic are tight on the head, which also means they are more stable, but some may feel discomfort and fatigue after a while. The AKG have a better soundstage and come with an extra-long cable that is detachable, unlike the Beyerdynamic's coiled cable. Overall, the cheaper price of the Beyerdynamic makes them a better selection.

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