The debate over the best studio headphone has been going on for a while now and so is the case with these two headphones – the AKG K701 and the AKG K702.
Being the flag bearers of AKG, both the AKG K701 and the AKG K702 are outstanding headphones for critical listening and studio mixing.
So the question today is which one beats the other – the AKG K701 or the AKG K702? Let’s not keep you waiting.
Check out the specification of these headphones in the table below.
|Parameters||AKG K701||AKG K702|
|Audio frequency bandwidth||10Hz-39.8KHz||10Hz-39.8KHz|
|Sensitivity||105 dB SPL/V||105 dB SPL/V|
|Rated impedance||62 ohms||62 ohms|
|Maximum input power||200 mW||200 mW|
AKG K701 vs AKG K702 – Let’s Clear the Smoke!
Let's check what's in the box.
- 1/4 inch to 1/8 inch adapter
- 1/4 inch to 1/8 inch adapter
- Audio cable
- Carrying pouch
Design and build quality
To kick things off, let’s start by discussing about the visual aspects of both the headphones.
The AKG K701 is a bulky yet comfortable
The headband strap adjusts automatically according to different head sizes and shapes. It is quite durable but try not to drop it often.
Likewise, the AKG K702 showcases a retro style and has similar large circular ear cups that are well padded and exceptionally comfortable.
The self-adjusting headband doesn’t put too much pressure on your head. Also being very bulky, its not suitable for using it during any physical activity.
Both the AKG K701 and the AKG K702 have equal dimensions and weight. Lookwise, both the AKG K701 and the AKG K702 are almost identical and share an old-school look.
Both the AKG K701 and the AKG K702 get a premium look with their suede-like fabric on the ear cups. The visual difference is displayed by the AKG K702 that comes in a two-tone color scheme – navy blue and silver.
The AKG K702 has two other advantages over the AKG K701 which contribute massively towards its usability:
- Detachable cable
- Replaceable earpads
As for the build quality, it is decent for both the AKG K701 and the AKG K702. There are lot of moving parts in the headband for the adjustable padding in both the headphones and that is one of the main concerns as it is prone to get damaged by wear and tear.
Neither of the headphones come with an inline-mic or remote. It is fair given their specific usage for mixing.
Sound and performance
Moving on to the most vital aspect of any audio equipment, the sound quality.
Now, keep in mind that both the AKG K701 and the AKG K702 are specially designed for professional purposes like studio mixing and hi-fi critical listening. There is no added coloration or unnecessary boost.
Hence, being standard studio equipments, both the AKG K701 and the AKG K702 sound exceptionally good.
Individually, the AKG K701 has a consistent and decent bass, the mid range is excellent and treble is above average. And with the AKG K702, it has a good bass, excellent mid range as well and the treble is good.
When compared to each other, we can see the difference between the AKG K701 and the AKG K702. Let’s see which of the two impresses with its performance:
- The AKG K702 has a better low-bass than the AKG K701; low-bass being the one responsible for the rumble and thump in any sound.
- Even in the mid bass, the AKG K701 is lagging behind than the AKG K702, resulting in a weaker kick and punch.
So quite evidently, the AKG K701 has a better bass performance than the AKG K702.
- The low mid is better in the AKG K702 than in the AKG K701, which means instruments like acoustic guitars are more prominent in the AKG K702.
- The AKG K701 shows a boost in the high mid which makes its mid range a bit forward than the AKG K702.
The mid range is the key to any good sound as the perfect balance needs to be maintained between the bass and the high range.
As the AKG K702 enjoys a better low mid than the AKG K701, chances are its mid range won’t get mixed up with mid bass, thus retaining its clarity.
And as the AKG K701 has a more forward mid range than the AKG K702, there is a possibility it might meddle with the high range as well.
- The low treble in both the AKG K701 and the AKG K702 are overemphasized a little bit in order to make the sound more detailed and bright, especially for vocals and lead instruments.
- Also, the AKG K701 has an increased mid treble than the AKG K702 which increases the presence and sibilance
Hence, the treble in both the AKG K701 and the AKG K702 is fairly similar in terms of producing a clear and detailed sound.
Noise isolation and Leakage
Being open-back headphones, both the AKG K701 and the AKG K702 barely block the outside ambient noise and wont serve well in loud environments.
Furthermore, both of them have the tendency to intentionally leak so that you get to benefit from a bigger soundstage.
It is thus mandatorily recommended that you use both the AKG K701 and the AKG K702 in closed-settings with minimal noise.
Pros and Cons
- The leather headband provides comfortable grip
- Very productive for mixing down tracks
- Headphone stand is inclusive
- The bass lacks impact and sounds lean and light
- The grip is not overpowering and yet tight and controlled
- Classical music and operas sound great
- Mid range is transparent and highs are crisp
- The plastic quality feels a little cheap and is prone to breaking
So it is really difficult to choose a winner between the AKG K701 and the AKG K702 given the similarities in their performance.
But one does surpass the other. And it is the AKG K702.
Why? Well, let’s start with the basics – the practicality. The addition of a detachable cable and replaceable ear-pads amplifies its ease of use.
In comparison to each other, the AKG K702 enjoys a better bass than the AKG K701. It also has a more vibrant and transparent mid range which holds great significance when you’re mixing a track.
Thus AKG K702 is the winner.