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AKG Q 701 Quincy Jones Signature Reference-Class Premium Headphones - Black
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- Evolutionary flat-wire voice-coil technology for extremely accura te sound and transient response
- Patented varimotion two layer diaphragm for sparkling highs and accurate bass response.
- Designed and Engineered in Austria by AKG but made in China.
- High-performance neodymium magnet system for minimum distortion,High-performance, 99.99% oxygen-free, single-sided cable
- Comfortable, specially shaped 3-d-form ear pads for perfect fit
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|Sold By||Available from these sellers||in-ear-com||waltz japan||Audio Watt Store||Amazon.com||Amazon.com|
|Item Dimensions||9.84 x 5.12 x 9.45 in||7.83 x 4.45 x 8.35 in||9.4 x 11.5 x 6.5 in||8.8 x 9.8 x 4.3 in||4.7 x 9.4 x 11.2 in||5 x 11 x 88 in|
|Item Weight||1.73 lbs||1.8 lbs||518.09 lbs||1.46 lbs||0.62 lb||0.58 lb|
|Additional Features||Noise-Isolation-Feature||lightweight||lightweight||lightweight||Adjustable Headband||lightweight|
Music producers depend on studio headphones for their success, and with an unprecedented 79 Grammy nominations, no music producer has achieved greater success than Quincy Jones. Here at the home of AKG audio technology, we are proud to honor Quincy’s long association with our brand by creating the Signature Edition Q 701 headphones, the most accurate and responsive headphones we’ve ever produced. Featuring the revolutionary flat-wire voice coils and patented two-layer diaphragms of their studio counterparts, the Q 701s deliver pinpoint imaging in an endless soundscape of unequaled realism. And they do it with all the style and élan of the man himself. “These are the only headphones I’ve heard that bring out the true sound we were striving for on records like ‘Billie Jean,' ‘Thriller,’ and ‘Give Me the Night.' It’s the best-quality sound I’ve heard, ever.” – Quincy Jones
From the Manufacturer
The flat-out perfection that you would expect from Quincy Jones.
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Music producers depend on studio headphones for their success, and with an unprecedented 79 GRAMMY® nominations, no music producer has achieved greater success than Quincy Jones. Here at the home of AKG® audio technology, we are proud to honor Quincy's long association with our brand by creating Signature Edition Q701 headphones, the most accurate and responsive headphones we've ever produced. Featuring the revolutionary flat-wire voice coils and patented two-layer diaphragms of their studio counterparts, Q701s deliver pinpoint imaging in an endless soundscape of unequaled realism. And they do it with all the style and élan of the man himself.
"These are the only headphones I've heard that bring out the true sound we were striving for on records like "Billie Jean," "Thriller" and "Give Me the Night." It's the best quality sound I've heard, ever."
AKG® Acoustics was founded in 1947 in Vienna, Austria. The company quickly established a reputation for superior microphones and other audio equipment in radio stations, theaters and jazz clubs around Europe.
More than 60 years and 1,500 patents later, the AKG® brand is one of the most famous in professional audio-producing microphones, headphones and wireless technology for recording studios, radio and TV stations and opera houses. AKG equipment has gone on tour with Frank Sinatra, Eric Clapton, Peter Gabriel, Stevie Wonder, Aerosmith, the Rolling Stones, Rod Stewart and Kanye West. In 2010, AKG engineers received a GRAMMY® award for their technological innovations and contributions to the music industry.
Revolutionary flat-wire voice-coil technology.
Once upon a time, the airy, immersive soundstages of true dramatic sound were the exclusive domain of high-end speakers and microphones - that is, until AKG® became the first to engineer flat-wire technology into the headset's voice coil. Flat, aluminum wire creates a stronger, more uniform magnetic field in the voice coil, enabling the Q701s' diaphragm to track audio signals with unprecedented accuracy. It also allows for a lighter, smaller coil that increases motor efficiency and significantly lowers impedance, resulting in a soundstage of unequaled realism you'll notice, especially in the lower frequencies.
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Patented AKG® Varimotion ultra precision two-layered diaphragm.
The Q701s generate accurate sound and exceptional transient response by optimizing the diaphragm to prevent unwanted vibration modes. Its stiff 80-µm center acts as the tweeter, providing a pistonic, undistorted HF response while the more pliant 40-µm perimeter handles the increased excursion required to generate perfect vibration performance in the mid- and low-frequency ranges.
Bi-wiring, high-performance cable with a 1/4-inch jack plug.
We never compromise at AKG®, and to ensure you get the best possible audio signal from amplifier to eardrum, we have engineered the same level of quality and revolutionary technology in the Q701s' cable assembly as we have in the headset itself. It begins with true bi-wiring. Independent grounds for each motor assembly rather than a common ground result in a balanced design for maximum possible stereo separation. Then we utilize detachable, oxygen-free (99.99% OFC) copper cables, terminated with a 1/4-inch jack plug. Two cable lengths are included: 10 feet for hi-fi and 20 feet for TVs or large rooms. Also included is a stylish machined-metal 1/4-inch to 1/8-inch minijack converter.
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Comfortable, specially shaped 3-D-form ear pads.
The Q701s have been designed in collaboration with the award-winning Austrian design firm Kiska to embody AKG's signature styling aesthetic without compromising functionality or comfort. Foams of different densities combine to create the Q701s' huge, ear-enveloping, velvet 3-D-form ear pads, ergonomically shaped for a precise, repeatable fit. This shape combines with their open-back design, allowing the drivers to be aimed at the ears to produce the ideal acoustical transmission.
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Padded, leather headband with gimbal suspension system.
We've designed the Q701s to be comfortable and durable by wrapping the unbreakable metal arches of the Q701s'gimbal suspension system in a stylish, padded genuine leather sling. The result is a truly a luxurious fit that is never warm nor tight, allowing you to enjoy the pinpoint imaging and immersive soundscape of the Q701s for hours at a time.
What's in the Box
One pair of AKG Q 701 headphones, two single sided detachable cables, one jack adapter, one storage cradle
Which Quincy Headphones are Right for You?
When you want a headphone that delivers huge sound without you even realizing that its there, then the Q 350 headphones are perfect for you. The Q 350's feature the same great sound quality and many of the same features as the Q 460's, including the in-line microphone and remote for the iPhone.
Want headphones with exceptional sound quality, great style and that are the perfect travel partners than look no further than the Q 460 heaphones. They deliver the great sound quality that an artist like Quincy Jones demands while offering features like a unique 3D-Axis folding mechanism and a lightweight deisgn that make them perfect for being on the road.
Top customer reviews
Now, these headphones do need to be amped to get anything above intermediate volume levels. Cellphones might not have enough juice to take these to their full potential. From my experience, PC jacks should have plenty of power to get these to loud volumes, but a dedicated DAC/AMP is probably better for sound quality.
My pair was made in Austria, so I trust them to be better made then the ones made in China. Packaging is nice, but my headphones were crushed by UPS during shipping - headphones survived OK, but the transparent see-through window on the box got shattered, bringing down the resale value of the product, so maybe box durability could be improved. I would take the smashed packaging with made in Austria headphones, over made in China version with perfect packaging. All in all, I'm happy with the my Q701s.
Not many reviewers mention their hearing capabilities before starting a review, I can hear up to 21kHz frequencies so I feel as if my ears are fit enough to make this comparison with some sort of authenticity. If you want to test your hearing I recommend you give yourself a test at: (edit: amazon doesn't allow links)
I understand that music and headphones are a highly subjective topic, so I will state my sound signature preferences beforehand to give the reader an insight of where my words are coming from in this review. I prefer a neutral bass response, forward mid range, and slightly elevated treble. I am also not a particularly treble sensitive person.
For over a month, I have used both the q701 and k551 with an external amp and DAC using 320 kbps and FLAC files. The music genres I listen to compose of metal, rock, classical, jazz, classical guitar, acoustic, and a little bit of indie. As you can see, I do not listen to music with tons of bass, so those looking for elevated bass should be warned beforehand that none of these offer exaggerated bass for modern EDM/pop/rap music. I chose specifically to review the q701 against the k551, as the k551 is often considered to be the closed alternative of the q701. I have yet to come across a full review between the two, so I though I'd give it a shot.
Quick notes before I get started:
-q701 is essentially a k701/702 with a slightly toned down treble and more bass
-k550/k551 are essentially the same besides minor changes in the treble
Design and build quilty:
q701- The plastic/leather headband is extremely flexible and feels very durable. The glossy plastic design however, does look and feel kind of cheap in my opinion.
k551- Unlike the q701, the k551 is made of metal and non-glossy plastics. It looks and feels very sleek and premium, the earcups can also swivel which can help with proper positioning.
q701- The velour earpads are deep, firm, and soft, but comes with strong clamping force that causes discomfort after using for a few hours. The top of the headband has bumps that are extremely uncomfortable and digs into your skull, I alleviated this problem by cutting away the bumps with a scalpel and covering it with some padding.
k551- The earpads are leather and incredibly soft but very shallow (your ears will touch the driver). The clamping force is much lighter which prevents discomfort around the ears after hours of listening, but this does come at a cost of creating a pressure point on top of the head due to the extremely thin padding on the very hard metal headband.
Bass/ mid bass:
q701- Unlike what many people say, the q701 does NOT lack bass, this was only a problem on previous generations such as the k701. The bass is neutral and more than plentiful unless you are a basshead. The bass is very tight and quick with a very good mid bass to give fullness to the music.
k551- The sub bass of the k551 is excellent, but there is not much else good to say after that; the rest of the bass spectrum falls short. Despite being closed back, the k551 is matched or surpassed by the q701 in every aspect of bass quality and quantity aside from sub bass, and sounds somewhat "tinny" in comparison to the q701 due to the lack of (in my opinion, recessed) mid bass. Deeper male vocals for example do not have much body and sound slightly sibilant. I understand the k551 needs a good seal for it's bass, but no matter how I wore them, bass levels remained the same. On an individual instrument note, bass guitar is much more audible on the q701 and drums sound a lot fuller and true to life on the q701.
q701- The q701 has a neutral midrange with very good detail and no mid bass bleed. Vocals have no sibilancy, but sound a bit distant due to the large soundstage. The upper mids do however have a sparkle which makes these great for female vocals and electric guitar
k551- The k551 has a more forward but slightly sibilant vocals combined with a smaller soundstage which sounds more intimate for vocal centered music. Electric guitar is also more forward, but are higher in pitch and do not sound as pleasant as on the q701. Piano on the other hand sounds extremely pleasant on both headphones and I would have to call it a tie in that regard.
q701- Despite being classified as an "analytical" headphone, the treble is not overly emphasized and it reveals all the micro details while still sounding smooth in classical or electric guitar music. I do not get any treble fatigue after listening for hours.
k551- The k551 is known for having "artificial/metallic" treble, and while I didn't notice it during first impressions, after comparing it with the q701 I would have to agree that the treble sounds somewhat metallic due to the artificially enhanced treble. The cymbals for example, are extremely prominent and harsh in rock and metal tracks and the tonality of electric guitar seems a bit off. Because of the elevated treble, I do get treble fatigue in listening sessions over an hour.
q701- The q701 arguably has one of the largest soundstages in any headphone besides the likes of the hd800. The soundstage does has more width than depth, and the large soundstage can make vocals seem a bit distant at times. The huge soundstage makes classical music sound absolutely incredible on these; as if you were in a live performance.
k551- The k551 sounds more like an open back headphone due to the rather impressively large soundstage which is partly why I proceeded to compare the two. It has less soundstage than the q701 which helps for vocals, but the soundstage does not sound as natural as the q701. This is probably a limitation of being a closed back headphone. Classical music on the k551, while sounding superb, did not have the same level of immersion and "wow" factor as on the q701.
q701- The q701 has very good imaging but is somewhat hindered by the fact that the soundstage has more width than depth. This makes the imaging not as precise and slightly "confused" sounding, this is only noticeable while nitpicking.
k551- The k551 has a similarly good imaging as the q701, but has an edge where it is easier to distinguish because of the smaller soundstage and more treble.
q701- The instrument separation on the q701 is simply amazing and combined with the large soundstage makes it one of the best headphones for classical music.
k551- Part of the reason why the treble is fatiguing on the k551 is because there is less layering and everything is just more forward. Although the k551 has a large soundstage, the instrument separation is not quite as good as the q701 and sounds slightly congested or less 3-dimensional in comparison. This is most noticeable in busy tracks with a lot of instruments such as metal, but the separation is still top tier for a closed back headphone.
q701- Because of the fully open design, the q701 does not isolate at all and leaks everything you listen to.
k551- The k551 does not leak sound due to the closed design, but the isolation is only decent at best compared to some of my iems, and because of the elevated treble it could cause fatigue when you turn up the volume in a loud environment
q701- Although the q701 does not require much voltage with only 62ohm, it does need a lot of current so an external amp is highly recommended.
k551- The k551 is only 32 ohm and can be driven by mobile devices easily. The cable is not removable, but it does have volume controls which makes it a good choice for portable usage.
q701- The huge soundstage combined with the hyper revealing treble makes the q701 excellent for gaming and gives you an advantage in shooter games. The mid bass adds a nice fullness without bloating the other frequencies, but the treble does cause some fatigue over a few hours of gaming when there is a lot of gun action going on.
k551- The k551's smaller soundstage with better imaging helps to pinpoint directions more precisely than the q701, but the elevated treble will cause fatigue much quicker than on the q701.
Despite the k551 being considered a closed version of the q701, in my experience the two sound different enough to be two entirely different headphones for different sound preferences. The q701 generally has an edge over the k551 in most categories, but if you like very bright headphones and desire more intimate mids, then the k551 could be the better option along with it's portability benefits. I generally prefer the q701 for classical, jazz, metal, and electric guitar music. While I end up preferring the k551 for vocal centric music after I EQ down the upper trebles by 2-3dB.
Long story short: these are fantastic headphones for the money! I also own the Audio Technica ATH-M50 headphones, which are another great set of headphones but there are significant differences between the two. This is not to say either set is bad but depending on what you're listening to you may prefer one over the other. The Q701's are very detailed and clear with excellent instrument separation. The sound stage is wide, but not overly so. The M50's have a more constricted sound stage but for closed-back phones they aren't too bad. The clarity on the Q701's always puts a smile on my face: there's just an open, "you-are-there"-type of feeling with an airiness in the presentation when compared with the M50's. The M50's sound great, but with a closer intimacy in the sound. The extended bass response in the M50's gives them a much more "fun" sound; which may account for the richer tone between the two. I love the M50's for that. The bass quality on those is, in my opinion, a bit congested, or bloated sounding. It is deep but seems to crowd out the detail of the bass. Now the Q701's are not as deep and rich-sounding as the M50's, but there is also way-better definition and tightness to it that I really like. You can really hear the notes better. For all those reviewers who say the Q701's are bass-deficient I say "no way". It's funny...sometimes the Q701's CAN seem a bit more boring than the M50's. I'll take them off and put on the M50's and think,"now that sounds more like it". Case in point: the Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong cd, "Ella and Louis". Louis' deep, gravelly voice sounds much deeper and authoritative on the M50's but when I put the Q701's back on, the extreme clarity and definition far outweighs the slightly less bass "oomph" they have. It's not that it is lacking or dry, it just doesn't extend as deeply as the M50's. I must say though, that as much as I prefer the deeper, although less-defined bass on the M50's, I always find myself listening to the Q701's more for the overall presentation and sound-signature that never fails to put a huge smile on my face.
The comfort is much better than my previous K702's. Those were manufactured in Austria and were very uncomfortable. Not at first but I found myself adjusting them quite often to reduce the bump fatigue. The Q701's are the newer version manufactured in China. The quality seems about the same but the comfort is MUCH better. The band and bumps feel a little flimsier but have not had any issues with comfort at all.
One last thing that I must address...these headphones are very amp-particular. Yes, you can drive these out of a headphone jack on a cd player or receiver, but you just aren't going to get the full benefit of them. I previously owned a Schiit Audio Asgard and Matrix M-Stage and both of them drove the Q701's fine, but only when pushed to around 2 o'clock on the volume knob. The Little Dot I+ I'm using now is on the highest gain setting and at noon is pushing them to pretty loud levels. Now I know loudness doesn't equal quality. All I'm saying is these need a ton of current to drive them properly. Again, these are just my non-audiophile observations. I'll be expecting a plethora of comments to this statement.
I can't recommend the AKG Q701's enough. Just buy them and see what I mean.