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AKG K702 Headphone User Review

by: werm

Views: 2510  

Just bear with me for a minute, I KNOW we don't mix with headphones, alright?  I got it.

Only problem is, I do mix with headphones, especially late at night.  I have a cheap pair of $30 Sony MDR-v150's (I think?), and they have served me well for YEARS.  Problem is, the bass.  They just boost the bottom end so much that I rarely get it right on the first attempt.  They also tend to have a shelf somewhere in the teens too.  So what do I do?  I decrease the bass so it almost sounds anemic in the Sony's and if the highs are really nice and clear (and sound great), trust me, they won't in the car (Ouch!)

So I get the bright idea to drop some pretty hefty cash on a nice set of open back cans.  The AKG K702s to be exact.  So what do I think?  Well, you know, anytime one spends a lot of cash on equipment, the tendency is to overrate their performance so one doesn't feel like a total boob for spending so much.  But, I will try to be perfectly honest in my appraisal. (Trust me?)

Well, they look great!  I mean really great!  They also have a replaceable cord with a gold-plated 1/4 jack, Sweet!  They are also, very easily the most comfortable thing I've ever had on my head!!! And even that is an understatement!  Unless, you plan on sleeping in these cans, you'll barely notice they're on your head! 

Now, the sound, what do they sound like?  Okay, let me begin by saying this.  These ain't no Beat's By Dres, they're equivalent (give or take a few bucks) in price, but as the Beat's are closed and these are open, the bass response is really world's different.  The bass is definately there, but they don't REALLY got it goin' on down there, they just don't.  They weren't intended to anyway.  Where these cans shine is in the mid-to upper frequencies.  Where a lot of the mix suffers most. 

Trust me, you will pick up stuff, on these, in songs you've listened to hundreds of times that you ain't never know was in the track!  No, seriously!  They got a soundstage that doesn't sound like you have headphones on.  Because they are so comfy anyway, the sound is more like you were at a live performance.  Reference quality stuff.  Trust.  But, also take note, these cans have an eternal burn-in time.  Like 300 hours!  Yeah, LIKE 300 HOURS!!!  So, you pretty much need to plug these puppies into a good radio and kick some mp3's into them for 3 weeks BEFORE you even start to mix with them!!!  And it makes a difference too.  The bottom end will loosen up (still not heavy or even MUCH), but it will improve greatly.  And like I said, this is reference quality stuff, you will "hear the mix" in everything you listen to.  No more muddiness or cloudiness at all.  But, it won't flatter your mix.  What you hear is what you get.  They still won't help accurate stereo separation and phasing issues unless you drop about 2 G's on the "Phonitor".  And yes, the phonitor is worth 2 G's, because you CAN mix on it with headphones AS WELL, if not BETTER than with amped Monitors! 

Also, let me mention, they will play on an ipod, but they will be just about as loud "inside" the phones as "outside".  After burn-in, this improves a bit.  But these can were really meant to be amplified, and they just won't "rock" with out it.  I didn't say they won't sound good, they will.  They just sound way better under the influence! lol 

Conclusion, decent buy.  Yes, they are far too expensive, but they sound miraculous, if you aren't a bass hound, that is. But they don't come with a carrying case and any cans over $350 should definitely come with a carrying case! (Sorry, that's how I feel about it)  Apart from that, time will only tell if they "fix my mix" probs.  We'll see! lol PEACE!

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