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AKG K701 Open-back Studio Reference Headphones Reviews

4.5 stars based on 20 customer reviews
Questions about the AKG K701 Open-back Studio Reference Headphones?

Questions about the AKG K701 Open-back Studio Reference Headphones?

Or call us at (800) 222-4700

  • from November 30, 2016Music Background:
    Aspiring (and struggling) to become an intermediate player (i.e., master/attempt barre chords)

    Comfortable and Clear

    AKG provides a really different listening experience. I bought them to listen to my guitar through the amp so that I could turn it up loud ("turn everything up all the way" - Neil Young) without having the neighbours bang on the door to complain about the noise (which actually happened the night before I started using the earphones). I can turn everything up without hurting my ears (or those of the neighbours), and I can hear every painful mistake with perfect clarity. And they can stay on my head for a couple of hours every day without my ears suffering earphone fatigue.

  • from Chicago July 15, 2015Music Background:

    Great Headphones!!!

    These are awesome. Sound as good as just the monitors. In fact I'm using them more than my monitors because the clarity is so crystalline and it's more intimate.

  • from United States February 17, 2015

    Amazingly Comfortable Headphones

    The sound quality of these are very good, but my favorite part is the stamina I have with them. They are so soft and comfortable and have such a great tone that you really forgot you are wearing them after a long session, where others you have to take a break. Great purchase.

  • from United States June 10, 2014Music Background:
    Musician 15yrs, Engineer 4yrs, always a student to music


    Crisp Highs & Mids, Great low end (no clue why people were complaining about that) Coming from a fellow bass player, Engineer and audiophile these headphones deliver a great all around soundstage and actually give you the true sound of what ever it is you're listening to. i would highly recommend these.

  • from Salt Lake City, Utah March 1, 2013Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Hip-Hop, RnB.

    Great Headphones, Excellent service!

    First of all I have to say Sweetwaters service is the best i have come across in online music stores. I did the payment plan and it was simple and easy. The headphones I've been using for about a week now. Just be aware, these headphones are NOT going to flatter you. At first they sound dry, and almost dull. But once i started mixing on them, my mixes started coming out cleaner, and translating better then ever before. I stepped up from some $99 headphones, and so far I love these bad boys.

  • from Hebron, KY June 28, 2011Music Background:
    Pro Musician, Recording Engineer

    New Bar Has Been Set High

    These bad boys are super natural. No hype in the high's and low's, no muddiness in the low midrange. If you have to mix on headphones or need to do critical listening, this is the go to pair. The are very comfortable and easy on the ears after long hours of mixing. A great example of you get what you pay for.

  • from March 17, 2010


    When I first got a pair of AKG K271's I was blown away by how much I didn't hear in songs before compared to regular headphones (or like the K55/etc low end ones), but then I got the K701's and its like night and day. The 701's are just super clear. and a lot more comfortable than the 271's-not to say I dont still like my 271's-I use them for tracking/etc, but I'm just amazed at how great these headphones sound.

  • from CHICAGO December 19, 2008Music Background:

    HOLY S**T

    You will not be disappointed. I listend to these things for 5 hours the first time I plug them in. Everything from Smooth Jazz to Rap to Death Metal. It's like your listening to them again for the First time!! Very comfortable, light weight. BUY BUY BUY NOW!!

  • from Savannah, GA October 11, 2008Music Background:
    Amateur Composer/Engineer

    angels playing my eardrums

    The moment I laid eyes on them before they were even released I wanted them. One cannot escape their aesthetic power and beauty! Its mesmerizing. Last Christmas I open my present from my girl and to my surprise, there they were! I gently open the package, plug them in, and turn on Steve Reich.....I seriously think this is how God hears music. lol. But seriously they are incredibly comfortable and the sound is pristine. I live in my headphones now and they are worth every penny.

  • from Coral Gables, FL September 12, 2008Music Background:
    Musician: Vocalist, Keyboardist, Drummer...Live Sound, Project Studio, Student

    Are you kidding?

    So a few months ago, I was college shopping for myself (UMiami-music engineering) and wanted a good set of headphones. I read the reviews about the clarity and detail of these and took the plunge (whats a few hundred compared to thousands for tuition?). It was the best plunge I took. I listened to them briefly when I got them and they were sweet and nice, but I was not totally blown away. I then did the 200 hr burn in time thing with an old desktop and a sound card and just started using them the other day. WOW is the only thing I can say. These aren't for complete isolation, but they are perfect for me. The only thing to watch out for is that these have to be driven a decent amount to get a good enough signal for mixing, which is where my Duet comes in. I have a "loft studio" with a keyboard and a mixer, where I can record a bunch of midi tracks in Logic with software instruments, and I record vocals in the practice rooms here. So when I need to mix, I close the curtain under my lofted bed and I am in heaven. These are so good, we have jam sessions in my room just so the performers can hear themselves with outstanding clarity. I'm sure there are decent headphones out there for less money, but my advice is you get what you pay for. AKG has never let me down with quality of sound, product, and value.

  • from SG June 21, 2008Music Background:
    Serious Hobbyist

    Expect and Discover Perfection.

    That is what you first see when you open up the packaging of the AKG K701 Premium Reference Class Headphones. And it's the real deal.

    I've heard of an EXCEEDINGLY long burn-in time for these; however once I got them out and tried them out of the box, they already sounded so AMAZING for headphones! I can safely say I will thoroughly enjoy them even througout the 300 hour burn in period after which I will use it for more critical listening.

    I had the tendency to compare these with my Studio Monitors; the highs aren't as crystal and bass aren't as well definied as my monitors, but you really can't pass judgement comparing 2 different things altogether. The K701s probably are much more accurate than my monitors. The bass response from these headphones is simply STUNNING. Refined and not over-bearing nor muddy. I didn't expect such excellent bass coming from headphones at all!

    You can hear every nuance of sounds and music from these. They really don't make sounds 'clash' like some monitors do. You'll want to re-visit all your favourite music and hear what you were supposed to hear!

    Last but not least, it looks as royal as it deserves to be. The self adjusting headband and soft earpads make these so comfortable you could wear them all day.

    An absolutely luscious pair of Headphones that I couldn't be happier investing in.

  • from Colorado March 28, 2008Music Background:
    Recording student

    Awesome headphones

    These are amazing straight out of the box.

    They are incredibly detailed. You will hear every single flaw on every recording. You will hear every inch of the noise floor.

    The difference between these and other headphones is the difference between black and white tv and high def color tv.

    They are an open design, but they are so clear that you don't need very high levels, and bleed is minimal.

  • from Kansas City, KS USA February 12, 2008Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Studio Manager, Musician

    Perfect Accuracy

    The clarity of these headphones is second to none. After the initial long 300 hour break-in time these cans sing. Crystal clear highs and smooth but not overbearing lows make these a pleasure to listen to. I can do a mix on location with these without having to bring my monitors, (Dynaudio AIR 25's) and trust that it's going to sound just as good when i get it back in my room. They really are the picture of accurate monitoring in headphones. You can't get much better

  • from Tacoma, Washington February 28, 2015Music Background:
    Professional Hobbyist

    Awesomely Neutral

    Solid phones. Not sure i agree with the break in period accusations from people. Mine sounded really great out of the box. Bottom is not overdone and really tight. Top end feels super accurate without feeling flat. Moved to these from MDR's and it's definitely a step up for critical listening. Super comfortable as well.

  • from Colchester, VT January 14, 2014Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Mixer, Post.

    Amazing sound..Poor comfort

    Pros: excellent sound, extremely detailed, flat response, very light, comfortable ear pieces, they look great, headphone stand is a plus.

    Cons: ouch, the top 3D foam starts hurting after an hour, seriously. the build quality is good, however cheap plastic makes me nervous dropping or moving these guys.

    Overall very worth the money. These headphones have truly set the new bar.

  • from Warren, mi. USA February 28, 2012Music Background:
    Songwriter. Musician

    Akg 701

    These cans are really quite good. I balked buying them at first. They are a bit pricey but are worth the money.
    They have are comfortable. They sound very clear and detailed.
    I bought these to replace a worn out, abused set of mk240's and couldn't be happier with them.

  • from waterford ct June 18, 2012Music Background:
    home studio hobbyist

    lack of low end

    these headphones really dont blow me away unfortunately, for the price, id expect better sound quallity, and i dont like how the cable is non replaceable and cheap unlike other headphones in this price range. the low frequencies just dont come through barely at all, even with a powerful head amp, nothing, it does have very clean mid/ highs though i will admit, but with the lack of low end i just can not recommend these for reference, mixing, which is what they were made for. they look cool though.

  • from Doha, Qatar November 29, 2011Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Hobbyist

    Not as Expected

    I have the Sony MDR-SA5000 and wanted another Headphone for monitoring purposes. So I got the AKG K 701 and I was really disappointed especially when I compared it to the Sony MDR-SA5000.

    Although the headphone has a nice and soft bass headroom, however the Highs are really washed, soft and not sounding proper at all.

    The built of the phones are amazing though and very professional and also extremely comfortable. However, Audio Quality is not that great.

    I have really come to a conclusion that Sony does make a proper and a more professional sounding headphones and I'm really pleased by the amazing performance of the Sony MDR-SA5000.

    One thing I should mention here that I could be wrong in comparing both phones as they are different in specs and technology. However, one thing I know for sure is that the sound of these headphones might be excellent for home use and normal listening, but definitely not for professional monitoring purposes although the price difference between the AKG and the Sony is not that much.

  • from mom's November 7, 2011Music Background:
    Recording Engineer

    Where's the bass?

    Really good , but really flawed...

    I find it hard to recommend these.
    The hi end is spectacular with an incredible soundstage. But there is NO bass! I've had them well over a year and have even left them plugged in in my studio when I am not using them. So please don't tell me they need to burned in! There is NO bass! too bad because if they had it they'd the best on class. I'd rather have some K240 s. for $99. they don't have the enhanced hi end, but are VERY smooth, which may be better for a studio.

  • from Meridian, ID February 25, 2010Music Background:
    Live Sound, Worship Music, Speaker Design!

    Break These In Before You Toss Them In the Trash!

    Initially I was very disappointed and irritated with these. To me they sounded way to brittle and really artificial. I refused to use them as reference headphones as I had intended to. For months I only used them while running live sound. I even loaned them out for months. (I had high expectations and wanted them to be great, but that brittle artificial sound was irritating because of those expectations.) Since I've got them back from a friend, I'm starting to think that they sound pretty good. That annoying brittleness is gone and I can start to take what I'm hearing in them more serious. (It is a hard thing learning to trust after being so disappointed.)

    My biggest complaint now is that I can not wear these for very long. While doing long remote audio editing on a laptop they make my head hurt. The bumps on the headband are firm and start bruising the top of my head after an hour or two. I don't mind the weight since I can handle a hardhat all day long without any issues there. I want a different headband. I'm not sure if I can do anything with the head band without ruining the headphones. I wish they would have stuck to a design more like the my older AKG K270S's and their other lines. They came with thinner, softer, flatter, more flexible and definitely more comfortable headbands. The cloth earpads are comfortable and don't get sweaty like leather ones do. If I can ring out the stiffness in the headphone band and be able to actually wear them, they will be much more valuable to me.

    I also would prefer to have the main jack on them be 1/8" with the 1/4" adapter that screws on like so many of AKG's other headphones. Using a 1/4" female to 1/8" male adapters add a lot of stiff straight leverage and makes it much easier to break the small 1/8" output jacks on Laptops, iPods, portable CD players etc. when moving around.

    These could be much more user friendly with some easy design changes. I'll take practicality and usability in equipment over nice appearance any day. These in my opinion were designed more for looking good on their stand than for everyday use.

    Break them in good before you throw them in the trash because you don't like the way they sound at first. (Crank them up under a blanket. for hours upon hours.) Be sure you buy them from a place that will agree to allow you to return them if can't stand to wear them.

Questions about the AKG K701 Open-back Studio Reference Headphones?

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