AKG Q701 Review
AKG nets another fantastic set of headphones, endorsed by the Q-man himself.
Wow. The re-brand of the AKG K701s nets another fantastic set of headphones, endorsed by none other than Quincy Jones himself. If you’re prone to writing off cans that come with a household name attached, that’s a mistake: the Q701s are stone cold takers, they’re piggy bank shakers, and don’t waste their time reproducing trash.
Comfort Design & Features
The Q701s are comfortable: crafted with expertise, and designed intelligently.
Tried and true, the Q701’s band is unusual, but very comfortable as far as self-adjusting bands go. Definitely a draw for leather enthusiasts, as the entire contact surface between these cans and your head is made of the stuff. Additionally, for those who don’t like to have strings attached to their headphone relationships, the AKG Q701s have got you covered, as they offer very well-insulated removable cables in 10 and 20 feet. Capping off those rather long cables is a 1/8th inch plug, threaded for a 1/4th inch adapter.
Unlike their predecessors, the AKG Q701s are surprisingly durable for open-backed headphones, as the cord guards on the AKG Q701s aren’t too fragile—they can handle a little rough treatment from time to time. Worst-case scenario: the cable comes out, and you just slap it back in (or get a new one for a fraction of the cost). We still recommend keeping them indoors, as even a little errant moisture can slip into the driver and ruin their sensitive insides. Practice safe listening.
If you haven’t come to the conclusion by now, the point I’ve been so indelicately dancing around is that these headphones are sexy. Like a Soul Bossa Nova for the eyes, these cans exude a classic feel, with just the right amount of funk. If white headphones don’t tickle your fancy, these also come in jet black or lime green.
While the band is a bit unusual, the self-adjusting nature of it makes the AKG Q701 a very comfortable set of cans. Able to fit large and small heads alike, these headphones should be able to accommodate just about anyone. Over time, there isn’t much heat buildup, nor is there any sort of fatigue caused by the weight of the units.
Stellar audio quality; among the best we've seen so far.
Though it’s a little bit erratic, any ranges of underemphasis actually downplay some of the harsher noises (cymbal splash and some of the more piercing notes) while keeping everything within our ideal limits. Though there aren’t a ton of people out there who only want a flat response, these cans are just about begging to be equalized, as they can handle it very well. Damned impressive performance here.
In terms of channel preference between the left and right sides, the AKG Q701s stray a little away from where they should be, as they have some minor tracking errors. Due to their relatively minimal severity, you’re very unlikely to hear them, even if you know what you’re looking for. If you can, you are probably a robot. Same too for the distortion: it's almost not even there.
Ain't no cans out there like these.
If you’ve got the juice to power these headphones, you’ll lose yourself in easily one of the best headphones we’ve tested. While most celebrity-endorsed headphones typically get slaughtered in our ratings with poor audio performance and value, the AKG Q701s take a set of headphones that were already great and add durability and aesthetic features that put them over the top.
It may seem like our praise is a bit on the effusive side, but look at it this way: these are the first headphones that hit our theoretical maximum on frequency response, as well as having some solid durability features that prolong the lives of these already wonderful headphones. It’s no wonder why the Q-man was willing to put his name on them.
So if you’ve got money burning a hole in your pocket, and you’re looking to buy a set of fantastic over-ear headphones that are not only easy on the ears but also stunning looking, the AKG Q701s are the dude- er, cans. As it sits right now, they’re the cream of the crop.
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