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Showing 1-10 of 574 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 621 reviews
on June 4, 2016
Q701s are great open-back headphones for reference & high detail listening. The amount of detail these extract is on par with Sennheiser HD600. These have a bigger sub-bass extension than HD600, but both headphones are held back on bass/low frequencies in comparison to mids & highs. This helps you hear more detail in music, because bass tends to drown out mids & highs. Q701s also has a huge sound stage, which makes it great for gaming (especially if you have a way to boost or bring up the bass some), this makes explosions & gunfire sound more realistic. This also makes them great for watching movies - big sound stage makes movies like Star Trek & Star Wars sound a lot more realistic & immersive, just make sure your source is high definition (ie. Bluray's).
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.
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on April 25, 2016
Background:
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.

Comfort:
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.

Mids/upper mids:
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.

Treble:
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.

Soundstage:
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.

Imaging:
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.

Instrument separation:
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.

Isolation/leakage:
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

Amping/portability:
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.

Gaming:
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.

Conclusion:

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.
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on January 3, 2015
I normally don't write reviews for products but felt that in the case of the Q701's I needed to make an exception. There has been so much controversy with the sound quality of these headphones, namely the lack of bass, as well as comfort issues, I felt the need to provide my thoughts so I can help people considering the Q701 make a more informed choice. Let me first clarify that I am in no way an audiophile, though I've always aspired to be. I have plenty of headphone-listening experience and have owned many products over the years so I know the difference between really good sound and just ok sound. My listening rig right now consists of a Denon DVD-2200 dvd player (with SACD and DVD-Audio capabilities), the aforementioned Q701's, and a Little Dot I+ hybrid tube headphone amplifier. No fancy, $1000/meter interconnects- just plain, cheap-o RCA cables that came with the Denon. I listen to a wide variety of music: Joe Pass, Ike Quebec, Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, Kenny Chesney, The Beatles, Mazzy Star, Peter Gabriel-era Genesis, etc. As anyone reading this knows, sound quality is subjective and all ears are not created equal. The sound quality I perceive may be totally different for you. Now, my impressions...
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.
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on December 14, 2016
Quality of sound is excellent. Comfort is OK, cable on the left is annoying. After more than 1 year of moderate use right ear started to wheeze, until it stopped to work at all. Quick search in the Internet gave multiple results with same problem. There is bad soldering (one of the contacts had large drop of solder on it) and short thin wire was used, which has fallen off (see attached photo). It is good that I have soldering iron on my table due to specific of my work and could easily fix it. But average user doesn't have such tools near at hand. I have used different models of AKG headphones for almost 10 years and bought these ones without even considering other brands. Now I am disappointed. Just for the record, mine ones are made in China.
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on March 18, 2015
They're like speakers on your head, in the sense that everything is so clear I often confuse sounds from the headphones from sounds coming within my home. While a bit airy, these cans have the best sound stage I have heard and coming from the Sennheiser PC360s, these are a huge upgrade. Just what I wanted for gaming and movies.

The wire is very long, but I braided the cable which has contributed to its look and has an actual function. Overall build quality isn't as great as the Sennheisers, but it's not a negative considering Sennheiser build quality is fantastic. These will be used for a very long time, especially since I find it very hard to find suitable upgrades from these (for my purpose) in all my research.

Word of the wise-you'll need a decent amp to drive these. I use the Asus Xonar DGX, but it doesn't do them justice. Will most likely upgrade to a Schiit stack or FiiO here soon.
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on January 18, 2015
These were my first step into high quality headphones. I've been a gamer for the last 10-15 years and I have run through countless headsets from the el cheapo variety to the $250 and up models. Whilst researching the purchase of a new headset I stumbled on a thread reviewing "Audiophile PC Sound". The author recommended ditching the often over-hyped PC gaming headsets and making a solid investment in some higher end headphones paired with a quality desktop microphone. So, I started researching the costs and benefits to moving in this direction. I must have looked at hundreds of reviews over the course of a few weeks on not just headphones, but DACs, headphone amps, microphones and everything in between.

After several days my brain had reached overload and I decided I would scrap the whole process. It was at this point Amazon had this set of headphones on a lightning deal. I took it as a sign from a higher power and purchased them. I don't think I have looked back ever since. These things are AMAZING. Having not been previously exposed to higher end sound equipment I was instantly shocked at how clear and full they sounded. Mind you my reference point started pretty low, but WOW. It was like I was missing an entire spectrum from hearing. The sound stage is very full and the detail is awesome. I listen to music while gaming - everything from the electronic to rock to classical. These headphones have opened up a whole new world of hearing for me.

I've had these for a few months and after using them for several weeks I started thinking about buying a headphone amp to further refine the sound these generate. My motherboard has an onboard headphone amplifier that claims it will drive 600 ohm headphones, but I'm skeptical about the quality of a built in. So I ended up buying a headphone amp. And then a few weeks later an external DAC. I guess you could say I got bit by the audio bug.

I use these daily now. Even if I'm not sitting at my PC to game I find myself queuing up tracks just to relax. The listening experience seems so personal and the sound quality is just fantastic.

These headphones are also very comfortable. The band that sits over your head is self-adjusting and they are not overly heavy on your head. My only complaint is I now constantly have "headphone hair".
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on June 15, 2016
Simply the best headphones I've personally used. These headphones are rich and clear, clean, well balanced, and comfortable (once you get used to the bumps in the band) to boot. While at first the highs came off as shrill, a few days hung up playing a variety of music at a reasonably high volume helped to soften them a bit and balance them out with the rest of the spectrum. While at first, bass extension was mildly disappointing, a quick, 5 minute modification by removing the vent covers on the magnets improved bass extension noticeably to where now deep bass and subsonics are comfortably audible or in the case of subsonics, skull rattling.

For more advanced mods, these can be converted over to balanced operation, with a little soldering and replacing the jack and cable.

They're not very portable at all given their size, and they require a bit more power than your average portable device can put out without distorting quite badly, but at home where they belong, they perform quite admirably.
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on January 26, 2016
I'm not an audiophile, just an enthusiast. Had been eyeing these for a while and pulled the trigger during a Christmas deal-of-the-day.

The headphones are comfortable on my very large head (7 3/4" hat size). Ear cups are large and deep. Cable is detachable which will come in handy if it breaks. Long and short are included, both uncoiled. Overall build is very good, they are solid feeling yet light and exude quality.

To my middle-aged ears the tone is crisp and neutral.. Bass is present and adequate but not pronounced. I'm happy with the uncolored sound and use them for general listening of LP records, CDs, MP3s and computer audio. The headphones bring out the clarity of LPs and CDs!
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on December 12, 2013
Build Quality:
Mine were made in Austria and are light yet solid. No problems with build quality here - while the general lack of metals is slightly disappointing, the stress-bearing parts (arches) are made of metal and the plastics are very high quality.

Comfort & Design:
The suspended pad design of these headphones is brilliant. While their lightweight "perch" on your head may result in a feeling of insecurity when looking straight up or down, they've yet to fall off. The earpads are molded to the shape of most people's skulls. The green cables that come with the headphones are quite long and I've ended up buying AKG's coiled cable.

Unfortunately, these leak a LOT of sound. When I'm listening at normal (medium-high) volumes, people say that I might as well be listening through MacBook speakers.

For portable use, a comfortable listening volume was achieved at 90% volume on my iPhone 5 and Google Nexus 5. However, the sound leakage, bulk (not weight), and impedance (non-amped sources are quiet and offer recessed sound quality) prevent these from being a practical portable headset.

Sound Quality:
I'm about 100 hours into break-in, and I can say this about the K701's (they're getting better and better):

The easiest way to compare these is to the Sennheiser HD650. It's slightly less clear (like, very slightly less so) than the HD650's, but for a lot less money and a much more comfortable fit.

The bass is defined and punchy, but not overbearing. It does not muddy the mids or highs in any way. The mids are definitely forward and the treble "sparkles." The sound stage is incredibly open (as indicated by the incredible sound leakage) and there is no noticeable coloration of the sound.

I used a Fiio E17 DAC/amp, and they were more than sufficient to drive these cans.

Music Tested:
I listen to mostly everything except for pure country. Classical sounds beautiful through these headphones, but their quick response time is best noticed when playing fast-paced bands, such as Fall Out Boy, twenty one pilots, M.I.A., etc. Slower tracks made me truly appreciate the quality of the audio - Short Change Hero's vocals came across crystal clear and natural, backed up by powerful bass. The K701's do Jason Mraz and Nate Ruess' vocals justice, with a wonderfully natural and open presentation. These are sufficiently bassy for me to enjoy EDM - Hardwell, Nicky Romero, and Aviccii were incredibly enjoyable to listen to.

Conclusion:
Yes, these aren't the best headphones on the market (just look at their price!) But for their price, they're pretty close to the best in the $650-700 price range, especially considering Amazon's huge discount. For non-portable applications, these are wonderful headphones.
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on March 2, 2015
Background:
I am a bit of an audiophile, with expensive speakers, headphones, and a turntable that cost more than I'm willing to admit.... I'm also an avid musician living in confined space in NYC. I recently started to game more on PC and was looking for an excellent set for the soul purpose of gaming. I landed on these AKG, and they are now my everyday, use for everything headphone.

The Sound:
The Q701 have an incredibly large soundstage. You will be able to separate all of the instruments or sounds, and know exactly from which direction they are coming from. This is not only great for reference, but incredible for gaming.I have yet to hear a headphone that does this quite like the Q701 while maintaining a good bass presence. Strengths beyond soundstage come in the form of brilliant highs, and strong mids. Everything just shines on these cans, granted that you have them setup properly. Plugged directly into an iPhone or similar device, you may notice the sound softens a bit, but come alive with even a small amp like the Fiio e6. The best sound came from my sound card, which has a 600ohm amp. The bass tightens up nicely, and you get better volume across the soundstage.

Comfort:
What could have been a 10/10 easily turned into an 8/10 after 15 minutes of use. The cushions on this are fantastic, being slightly firm, but very comfortable. At first, the auto-adjusting strap was perfectly fine. I was quick to give these a 10/10. Unfortunately the bumps on the strap start to hurt your head... a lot after about 15 minutes or so. A lot of people have mentioned this in reviews, but I disregarded the problem thinking it was just people looking for some sort of criticism... i was wrong. They suck. 8/10 for comfort. **Side Note, I prefer this to the extreme clamping of my Grados**

Build Quality:
Although mostly plastic, they seem well made. Nothing is lose, or seems super flimsy. I also really enjoy the fact that the cable is user replaceable and comes with a 10ft and 20ft alternative . The cables also seem well made, sturdy, yet more nimble than say my Grado SR-225E cables. It's nice that it comes down on only one ear cup as opposed to 2 which I am used to with my Grados.

Overall I couldn't be happier. They sound wonderful for music, and nearly perfect for gaming... if they didn't have those headband bumps, this would have been a 5 star review.

Highly recommended.
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