AKG K7xx (Massdrop exclusive)

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AKG K7xx
Frequency range: 10 Hz – 39 kHz
Ohms: 62
Style: Open
Ear cups: Circumaural (over-the-ear)

I was going to try to get the AKG712 Pro headphones, but had real reservations about spending 4 bills on headphones. I don’t like wearing headphones and avoid them as much as possible. They are not comfortable to me and in warm weather, forget it. However, they do eventually become a necessary evil in my book. So investing that kind of money in a pair of headphones and at some risk, not being able to demo just did not make much sense.

I then heard about a place or site that had a pair of headphones from AKG made for them that are close to the K712 Pro (even closer to the 65th anniversary AKG cans) and half the price. I got them 11/04/15.

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Build: These are Open cans and made in China….again. They are all plastic except the headband, which is leather. The only real difference between the K7xx and the K712Pro is that the K712 is made in Slovakia and has orange accents. I also read that the drivers are slightly different, but I don’t have a way of verifying that.
I do notice slight creek with these headphones, but not enough to be concerned with at all. The ear pads are velour covered memory foam and the cable is detachable.

Comfort: These are rather comfortable, in fact, I can wear them the longest which is saying a lot since I’m good for about 15 minutes max normally. I feel like I can go at least 30 minutes with these strapped on my head. The ear cups are huge, but not real deep although my ears do not seem to touch anything inside. The ear pads as I mentioned are velour covered memory foam. I love velour ear pads, I can’t wear the leatherette stuff. The only downside in this case is that at present, there or no replacements available for the ear pads. There is also a soft cover over the driver housings in the ear cup.
Clamping force is just right and the design of the adjustment system is such that it is automatic, just set them on your head and your done, they self adjust.
These are not the lightest headphones to me, but not heavy either, they don’t sit down hard on top of your head.

Sound signature:These headphones use the same dynamic driver technology as the K702 65th Anniversary Edition and have been tweaked to deliver an extended frequency response and a wide, locationally specific soundstage. The highs were boosted by a flat-wire voice coil, the mids were brought up to better balance the range, and the lows were boosted up by 3 dB. These have a 10′ cable that is detachable and can be easily replaced if the need arises.

Lows: Bass is very accurate with no muddiness or looseness. Bass is not lean, but bass-heads may not find these cans to their liking. I do detect a very slight roll off in the sub bass, but can’t say for sure. They do reach plenty low enough for music in my opinion.

Mids: Mids are nicely detailed, vocals are clear and accurate for both male and female voices. Percussion is slightly less dynamic than with my Takstar Pro 80s, but that may be an extreme comparison because it could be that there is some kind of boost to the Takstar Pro 80, but I don’t know for sure since the Takstar is closed and these are open.

Highs: Highs are detailed and not harsh. Timing is not hyper fast, but decay time seems accurate and no errors in sibilance I could hear.

Overall: Despite the fact that they are Chinese and plastic, I have to give high marks to these cans. They have excellent presence, staging is what is to be expected with open cans in my opinion, but that’s very good. Instruments are detailed with good separation, and these headphones are revealing too, I could even hear the guitar pick plucking the strings, every syllable pronounced in vocals, and many other details, which in my book is a plus. In fact, with all that combined the sound of these cans may make you want to tear up in delight (depending on the recording of course).

In summary, my two favorite sets of headphones I have now are the AKG K7xx and the Takstar Pro 80s. My Sennheiser HD518s are now my spares.