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AKG Q701
HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.2
5.9
Mixed Usage
8.0
Critical Listening
4.7
Commute/Travel
5.2
Sports/Fitness
5.4
Office
6.0
TV
5.9
Gaming
Type : Over-ear
Enclosure : Open-Back
Wireless : No
Noise-Cancelling : No
Mic : No
Transducer : Dynamic

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

Test Results
Design 6.4
Sound 8.1
Isolation 2.8
Microphone 0
Active Features 0
Connectivity 4.8
Pros
  • Great audio reproduction.
  • Comfortable design.
Cons
  • Poor isolation by design.
  • Big and bulky headphones.

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6.4

Design

The AKG Q701 have a more retro style with large circular ear cups and are well-padded for great comfort. Even if they are quite bulky, they aren’t too heavy and the self-adjusting headband doesn’t put too much pressure on the head. They were not designed for physical activity and aren’t very stable. On the upside, they feel sturdy, flexible and should survive a few drops without too much damage. They also come with a detachable cable that the regular K701 did not have.

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 is not meant for everyday outside use.

8.0 Comfort
Weight : 0.7 lbs
Clamping Force
:
1.1 lbs

They are 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 are not for everyone. They're also a bit tighter on the head than the K7-series.

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

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

6.8 Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference : 4.6 C

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

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

Just like the similar K701 or K702, the Q 701 are not portable. They are bulky and do not fold up and cups do not swivel to lay down flat. Since they do not come with a case, your best option is to put them in a backpack.

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

They do not come with a case or pouch.

7.5 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 K702, these headphones have a detachable and replaceable cable.

5.5 Stability

These headphones were not 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 is locked into the headphones, so the wire will pull the headphones off your head if it gets stuck or hooked on something.

Cable
Detachable : Yes
Length : 9.75 ft
Connection : 1/4" TRS

The headphones come with 2 detachable 1/8” TRS audio cable with two different lengths: about 10 and 20 feet. There’s also an ¼” adapter.

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8.1

Sound

The AKG Q701 is a very good sounding pair of open-back over-ear headphones. They have a consistent and even bass, a well-balanced and neutral mid-range, and a good treble. They also have a relatively large and open soundstage. However, their bass lacks a bit of sub-bass, their mid-range is a little forward and prominent, and their treble is on the bright side. Overall, they have a relatively bass-light and bright sound profile, which would be good for vocal-centric music, but may not be ideal for bass heavy genres.

7.7 Bass
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 a 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 Mid
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 a 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 of the AKG slightly prominent and forward.

8.0 Treble
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 Q701 a little bit bright and sibilant (emphasized on S and T sounds). This will be mostly noticeable on vocals and cymbals.

8.1 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. But 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 tightness of the headphones on the head. The treble delivery, however, is very consistent across multiple re-seats.

9.1 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 games effects) in the stereo image.

7.5 Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
:
1.3 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
:
4.66 dB
PRTF Distance
:
10.47 dB
Openness
:
8.1
Acoustic Space Excitation
:
8.0
Correlated Crosstalk
:
0.0 dB

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.

7.9 Total Harmonic Distortion
Weighted THD @ 90
:
0.591
Weighted THD @ 100
:
2.703

The harmonic distortion performance of the Q701 is good. The overall amount of THD produced throughout the range is low and within good limits. Also, the increase in THD at 100dB SPL is not a lot, but the spikes at 1KHz and 2KHz could make the sound of those frequencies a bit harsh and impure.

2.8

Isolation

By design, the open-back AKG Q701 have poor isolation performance; they are not made for outdoor use or for daily commuting. They barely block ambient noise and will intentionally leak more for a better soundstage. This means people around you will be able to hear your music, even if you are listening at low volumes. A lot of noise seeps into your audio so you will get the best out of these headphones in a quiet room.

2.9 Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
:
Overall Attenuation
:
-4.14 dB
Bass
:
0.03 dB
Mid
:
-0.05 dB
Treble
:
-12.22 dB
Self-Noise
:
0 dB

The isolation provided by the AKG Q701 is poor. Just like the 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 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 K701, the 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 too. With the music at 100dB SPL, their leakage at 1 foot away averages at 60dB SPL and peaks at 82dB SPL. These headphones are as loud and leaky as headphones come.

0

Microphone

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

The AKG Q701 do not 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 or the Apple EarPods.

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

They do not have a microphone so the recording quality has not been tested.

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

The AKG Q701 do not have a microphone so the noise handling has not been tested.

0

Active Features

They don't have any active features. They are wired headphones without a battery and do not have a compatible app. 

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

They are wired and don't have a battery.

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

They do not have a compatible app for customization options.

4.8

Connectivity

The Q701 are simple, wired headphones that don’t have any type of wireless connectivity. They come with two 1/8” TRS audio cables that have a different length (about 10 and 20 feet) and come with a ¼” adapter.

0 Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
:
N/A
Multi-Device Pairing
:
N/A
NFC Pairing
:
N/A

They do not have a Bluetooth connectivity.

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

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.

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

The AKG Q701 do not have a dock. If you want a headphone that's versatile and has a dock, try the SteelSeries Arctis 7.

0 Wireless Range
Obstructed Range
:
N/A
Line of Sight Range
:
N/A

They are not wireless headphones. You are limited by the range of the cable.

10 Latency
Default Latency
:
0 ms
aptX Latency
:
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
:
N/A

Being wired, the AKG Q 701 practically don’t have any latency which is perfect for watching videos or gaming.

In the box

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

Compared to other Headphones

The AKG Q701 are open-back over-ear headphones that are great for critical listening and mediocre at other everyday usages. They have great audio reproduction and they are comfortable, so you can listen to your favorite tracks for continuous hours without too much fatigue. Their build quality is good and the detachable is a nice addition to the normal K701 model. Performance wise, they are very similar to the K7-series. The Q701 are 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 those 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, with slightly better sound performance. However, the Q701 are more expensive for such a marginal difference. The Q701 has bumps on the headband and come with an extra 20-foot cable. Another small difference is that there is the Quincy Jones line logo on the earcups that closes the cups, but it doesn't seem to make any noticeable difference in our measurements.

Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO

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

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 has 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 no 20-foot cable like the Q701 have. 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 HD 650 have a disappointing soundstage for open-backs, and their treble range depends on the positioning of the headphones and ear shape. The Q701 also has an extra 20-foot cable. The HD 650 are also more expensive, making the Q701 a better pick.

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Conclusion

5.9 Mixed Usage
Mediocre-at-best for mixed usage. They are a great sounding pair of open back headphones, making them a great pair for critical listening, 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 while the large cups are not made for exercising.
8.0 Critical Listening
Great critical listening headphones. The sound quality of the AKG Q 701 is good and their open-back design offers a great soundstage. They reproduce tracks with great fidelity and are comfortable enough to wear them during long listening sessions. Your ears also don’t get too hot thanks to airflow of the open-back designed cups. They are well-built headphones that should last you a few years.
4.7 Commute/Travel
Bad for commuting. The AKG Q701 are open-backs 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 are also very bulky headphones that don’t come with a case, which isn’t ideal if you’re always on the move.
5.2 Sports/Fitness
Sub-par for sports. The headphones are not made for physical activity, and are 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
Sub-par for office. Being open-backs, the isolation and leakage performance of the Q701 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.
6.0 TV
Decent for watching TV. They have great sound quality, and practically don’t have any latency due to their wired connection. However, since they are wired, you are limited by the range of their cable length, which shouldn’t be too bad thanks to the 20 feet cable. You would also need to be alone in a quiet room to enjoy the best experience without being disturbed by ambient noise because of the open-back design.
5.9 Gaming
Mediocre-at-best for gaming. Being wired, they don’t have any latency which is great for gaming. They are also comfortable enough to wear for hours without too much fatigue and the open-back design helps with the ear breathability. Unfortunately, they do not have a microphone and will only provide audio when plugged into your PC or console.

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