I’ve said this before, and I’m saying it again – I’m not a big fan of headphones that clog your ears, resulting in tons of sweating. I mean, how are you supposed to work when your ears are all pressed and uncomfortable? If you’re tired of dealing with all these circumstances, the AKG K701 is undoubtedly a good choice. These are one of the best open back headphones that I’ve gotten my hands on. The quality and the sound results aren’t bad either.

I personally think you get just the right value with these babies. Even the best sound producers can use these and not feel out of place. And best of all, these headphones are incredibly comfortable to use. The open-back style is awesome is and is far more comfortable to use in the summers. I believe its overall style and lightweight design is what sets it apart from other headphones in the market.

Name:AKG K701
Weight:0.51 pounds
Dimensions:11.5 x 9.4 x 6.5 inches
Special Feature:Flat-wire voice-coil technology
Open/Closed?:Open
Our Rating:4/5

Now, before I start to give away everything in the introduction, let’s begin with a detailed account of the design.

Ps. Check out this detailed guide I wrote for Sony MDR 7506 vs Sennheiser HD 280 Pro.

Design

Now, when you first set your eyes on the AKG K701, you’ll notice how it looks strikingly different from other open back models. I’m not sure how to put it in words (in my defense, I’m a musician, not a writer), this particular model has a retro vibe to it. The earcups are pretty large with a nice leather headband. It offers a nice metallic look despite being made of plastic. This can be a bit of a downside as the original price of the product is pricey, so you’d normally expect premium quality materials if you’re paying that kind of money.

Now let’s compare the design to the K702 and K712 PRO. If you’ve worked with either of these headphones before, you’d know that the design appears almost identical. All of these models feature a similar design. All of them feature big circular ear cups along with a thin headband. You’ll notice that the earcups are nice and padded with a self-adjusting strap. The only potential downside here is that the overall design appears too bulky, this doesn’t make the product a good choice for casual listening.

But to be honest, the material contributes to the lightweight of the product. And that can also be a plus point depending on what kind of headphones you’re looking for. If I’m being completely honest, I will not equate heavy-weight with good quality. It’s a rookie mistake and sometimes brands simply take advantage of this perspective and simply make their products unnecessarily heavy to fool their customers.

But here’s the thing, just because something weighs more, doesn’t mean it offers better value. Consider this as an added tip whenever you’re shopping for gear.

So anyway, if you’re OK with the plastic exterior, then the K701 is a pretty good choice. For starters, it only weighs 235 grams which is insanely lightweight as far as headphones are concerned. All in all, if you’re looking for comfort plus functionality, this isn’t a bad choice.

Sound Quality

Now, for the really important stuff – the sound quality. Studio headphones can be incredibly expensive while this product opts for a rather mid-route approach in terms of pricing. And that’s the reason why it’s quite surprising that the K701 doesn’t disappoint.

These hi-fi headphones are especially designed to offer a wide frequency range. I also found the bass to be quite decent so that is also a plus point. I also liked that the highs were crystal clear and smooth while the lows were also quite impressive. These properties make these headphones a great choice for classical and metal genres. I know that sounds limited but that’s just the way it works so you ought to get used it.  I wouldn’t recommend it as the best choice for heavy bass genres. So figure out what you’ll be needing the headphones for before making an investment. However, I should add that the clarity certainly is worth raving about. You’ll hear every note quite distinctively which will help you identify even the slightest recording error.

If you like being able to get the best possible close-up while recording, this is certainly a good choice. The reasonable price makes everything even more worthwhile.

Sound Isolation and Noise Cancelation

Truthfully, you can’t expect a lot of noise cancellation with open back headphones – it is pretty naive about it if you do. The overall design does not fair well outside so I wouldn’t use this model outdoors. This can be a bit of a downer if you’re looking for headphones that you can use on the subway or while commuting. In this case, I would sincerely recommend you opt for a closed back model instead. It’ll allow you to get the most out of your gear. This particular model is a much better choice if you plan on listening to music in a quiet room.

I’d also like to add that the sound isolation isn’t too great either. The headphones don’t isolate below 1Khz and that isn’t anything quite impressive. However, as I mentioned before, since these are open back headphones

Comfort

If comfort is what you’re really looking for, the K701 is certainly a prime choice. It’s lightweight and easy to carry around however, the overall design does appear to be quite bulky. Also, the headband features self-adjusting leather so you can expect minimum resistance.

The ear cups are also worth praising about thanks to its 3D foam and ergonomic design and fit. The foam is wrapped in velour which is also a nice touch. The earcups don’t exert a lot of pressure so that’s also quite commendable. I’ve used these headphones quite a few times but they have never slipped off my ears which is a nice improvement.

I’m also a great fan of how these headphones don’t get your ears all sweaty and uncomfortable. While I wouldn’t use this for outside use, it’s pretty great for gaming and general stuff. So if you’re looking for a nice pair of open-back headphones, this is good choice.

Price

I buy a lot of musical gear so I can say this with complete conviction, these headphones, certainly are overpriced. And when you think about it, that really is quite a shame because otherwise, they seem to be quite a decent pair. This particular model is pricey and while I’d normally say that you get what you pay for, it isn’t quite the case here. The good news is I found a cheaper version on Amazon.

What bugs me most is the plastic covering. Had the exterior been something real stuff, I wouldn’t mind the splurge but just imagine accidentally breaking a pair of your new headphones – nope, that just isn’t worth it.

However, if you’d like to invest in this model anyway, I’m sure you’ll be able to find a good deal around the holidays. You should also be able to save a couple of bucks thanks to deals and deals and discounts. Buying a preloved model isn’t a bad idea either, but remember, you won’t be getting a guarantee or warranty you can potentially waste all of your money.

Pros and Cons of the AKG K701

Now that we’re done talking about the product in detail, it’s time we quickly analyse its pros and cons. After all, that’s what you’re here for right now, aren’t you? Let’s start with the pros first:

Pros

Pros
  • Cool retro design
  • Large earcups that allow you to listen to each minute detail
  • Overall good quality construction
  • Adjustable headbands which is great if multiple people plan on using the gear
  • Lightweight headphones that don’t burden your ears
  • Comfortable to use
  • Can be used for several hours without causing excess sweat
  • Ergonomic design and fit
  • Wide frequency range
  • Great for gaming and general use
  • Decent studio headphones

Cons

Unfortunately, there’s always a flipside to everything. While the K701 isn’t necessarily a bad product, it’s far from being completely perfect either. Here are some cons that you ought to know about:

Cons
  • Bulky design, wouldn’t recommend you use this outdoors
  • Not exactly portable and travel friendly
  • A little over the budget compared to other open back headphones in the market
  • Does not do a great job at noise cancellation (although, that’s something you can expect from open back models anyway)
  • Can only be used in a quiet setting and not in the noisy outdoors

Verdict

Overall, in terms of quality, I wouldn’t say that the AKG701 is a bad choice. But yes, in terms of value, you’d be better off investing in another model. The only great thing I truly love about this model is that it lets you listen to every minute detail of your recording. This is good but then again, you’ll probably better use out of closed back headphones.

Read my detail guide about Open vs. Closed Headphones.

Is there something you’d like to add? Let me know in the comments section below.