AKG K702 Review – Breaking Down their Brilliance

Immerse yourself in the captivating realm of high-definition audio with our in-depth AKG K702 review — a comprehensive analysis of a top-tier headphone causing a stir in the audio industry.

Whether you’re an ardent gamer craving an unrivaled auditory experience or a meticulous music producer striving for precision in mixing — the AKG K702 pledges to deliver extraordinary sound quality.

Package

The AKG K702 headphones arrive in a sleek, sturdy box, well-protected by foam padding. Inside, you’ll discover the headphones themselves, a detachable cable, and a 1/4” to 1/8” stereo adapter.

Please note a carrying case or pouch is not included. Additionally, the box contains a user manual and warranty information for your convenience.

Comfort and Ergonomics

The AKG K702 headphones are a dream come true for audiophiles who spend hours lost in their music. These headphones are a snug fit, clamping just enough to stay put on your head, and even deemed as the best fitting headphones by certain users.

They’re often overlooked, but they excel in comfort, detail, airiness, soundstage, clarity, and imaging. Sure, the elastic band might slacken after a few years, but isn’t that a small price to pay for such comfort? And while they might not be everyone’s cup of tea, their lucidity and detail are undeniable.

The K702’s over-ear design ensures the ear cups fully encase your ears, distributing the weight evenly. This is way more comfortable than on-ear or in-ear headphones, trust me.

The ear cups are made from soft velour—gentle on the skin and super comfy. Plus, they help reduce heat and moisture build-up, which can be a real pain during long listening sessions.

The headband is self-adjusting, so it adapts to your head shape and size. No need for manual adjustments! Weighing in at only 235 grams, they’re lighter than many other headphones in their class. This lightweight design reduces pressure on your head and ears, making them perfect for extended wear.

The open-back design circulates air around your ears, reducing heat and pressure build-up. Plus, it provides a more natural and spacious soundstage.

Sound Quality

The AKG K702 headphones are the perfect choice for audiophiles looking for a truly exceptional listening experience. Their soundstage, imaging, and treble quality have earned them immense praise, allowing exceptional positional accuracy—making them an ideal choice for gamers. AKG K702’s neutral sound signature allows listeners to experience audio precisely and undistorted.

What’s more, for genres such as classical, jazz, and other forms of instrumental music they are truly superb. However, they might not be the optimal choice for genres like metal, rock, industrial, dark wave, goth, some trance, and most pop, as they can sound a bit harsh.

To fully appreciate the K702’s advantages, you should consider a range of traits such as open-back design, 53-mm drivers, patented Varimotion two-layer diaphragm, and flat-wire voice coil. All these elements make the AKG K702 headphones a real treat for audiophiles.

The K702 possesses a remarkably clear midrange, making it ideal for classical, jazz, and acoustic pieces. Additionally, its impressive separation between frequencies ensures no instrument or sound is drowned out—ideal for genres such as rock, pop, and electronica. Their wide and spacious soundstage maximizes immersion in gaming and movie experiences. Moreover, its high level of detail exposes even the slightest nuances in audio, making it great for classical and jazz pieces. Lastly, its accuracy and consistency—even across devices—make it a trusted option for audio professionals. However, they may not be the best choice for bass-heavy music genres.

Given everything I’ve outlined above, it’s safe to say that the male vocals are superbly reproduced through the AKG K702 headphones, giving you a real sense of presence and space. For enthusiasts looking for a neutral and high-quality sound, the AKG K702 is a fantastic choice.

As an esteemed headphone among studio engineers, the K702’s are known for their impressively wide soundstage—equivalent to the highly regarded Sennheiser HD800S and good sound reproduction in the mid-range, particularly in the upper register. The vocals are sublime, to say the least, which accentuates the nuances in female vocals with striking clarity.

Comparatively, I’ve heard a lot of love for the Sennheiser HD 6xx when it comes to bass, which I find to be warm and full-bodied, but the K702 still maintains high-quality treble.

Where the K702 falters though, is its slightly weaker bass performance. In this regard, the K702 doesn’t fit genres where low-end frequencies are more sought-after. Genres such as Hip-Hop, Electronic dance music (EDM), and Dubstep leave more to be desired in terms of bass for the K702.

Mixing

The AKG K702 also presents itself nicely as a mixing headphone. Its accuracy over all frequencies is its greatest strength—ranging from super low lows to piercing highs.

The neutrality ensures that all EQ levels are maintained at all stages when you’re tuning your mix. Additionally, the soundstage is exceptionally large for open-back headphones, which simplifies the adjustment of panning levels and harmonies.

Whether you’re professionally mixing or just casually dabbling in home studio recording, I could easily recommend the K702 without hesitation.

Gaming

For competitive gaming, the AKG K702 presents excellent directional accuracy, allowing you to pinpoint movements in both near and far distances.

Its spacious soundstage and clarity help to heighten the overall quality of the gaming experience, putting you right in the middle of the battlefield.

Games in which the K702 excels include first-person shooters, role-playing games, and horror games. To name a few, Overwatch, Witcher 3, and Silent Hill come to mind.

The AKG K702 offers such unique qualities for gamers that some even go the extra mile to mod a V-Moda microphone to them.

Two other professional studio headphones viable for gaming that can be compared to the AKG K702 are the Beyerdynamic DT990 and ATH R70X.

The ATH R70X is another mind-blowing open-back headphone for gaming and music. It was once recommended by Crinnicle as a gaming headphone for its excellent imaging and soundstage. Additionally, it’s a fantastic value headphone, frequently compared to similarly-priced headphones like the HiFiMAN Sundara and others.

The DT990 gaming experience is unequivocally unique. These headphones provide enhanced clarity in mid and high frequencies, favored by gamers for their balanced soundstage, fantastic imaging, and pinpointing accuracy.

Movies

For movies, deep bass tracks are generally lacking with the K702. It can make for a fun-watching experience given the precise positional accuracy, but for those who crave a rumble experience, there are other headphones that can offer that experience.

Besides that snag, cymbal clashes and other treble details come through the K702 with aplomb, really enhancing the viewing experience.

Whether it’s an action-packed fight scene or a subtle romance moment, the nuance and depth of the movie come through nicely.

Build Quality

The build quality of the AKG K702 is a mixed bag. The headphones have a plastic construction that makes them feel cheap and fragile. In reality, the plastic used is rather sturdy, whereas the thick leather band only loses its flexibility after 5 or more years of constant use.

Simply put, the K702’s overall build quality is above average. While they are sturdy, they are not designed to withstand rough handling or drops.

Headband

To weigh in on the top headphones in terms of both quality and build performance, and when it comes to the latter, what can I say? It’s as clear as day that the AKG K702 absolutely delivers.

Their headbands can’t be beaten – supremely comfortable, with lightweight design and reinforced metal and ABS plastic parts. All together, these features deliver maximum comfort (something rarely found when it comes to audio equipment) and dependable protection for the headphone drivers.

But what if your K702 headband takes a hit? Never fear – replacement parts are available! You can get a headband replacement for AKG K702. As a matter of fact, there are a few headband mods you can take advantage of.

When hanging your AKG K702 headphones on a hook or headphone stand, use the plastic frame, not the headband, to avoid loosening it.”

Enhancing the comfort and stability of AKG K702 headphones is totally possible. There are a few things you can do—replace the elastic bands that support the headphones’ weight, add some padding like memory foam or velour, or even cotton pads, or go all out and replace the headband entirely with a calfskin headband or aftermarket headband.

As a Reddit user suggested, you can attach a HD600 replacement headband to your K702, while some suggest using a DIY option if you wanna go that route. Lastly, the K702 design allows easy headband replacement, so it’s really up to you which modification you’d prefer.

If the idea of replacing the AKG K702 headband with DIY materials doesn’t appeal to you, there’s another option. You can purchase a hand-woven wool headband cushion that fits snugly over the K702’s headband. This soft cushioning significantly enhances comfort. Although it may initially resemble something your grandmother might make, you can easily personalize it to reflect your unique style. If the style doesn’t suit you, consider trying this headband pad with zipper installation.

Cable

The AKG K702 features a detachable 3-pin mini XLR cable, allowing users to interchange and upgrade for enhanced sound quality and fidelity. These cables’ specifications are as follows:

  • A 3.5mm or 1/4″ jack connectors
  • 9.8 feet (3 meters) length
  • Sturdy yet lightweight braided nylon material
These cables are compatible not only with the AKG K702 but also with other AKG models, such as the Q701, K712, K240, K141, and K271. Any headphones with a 3-pin mini XLR connector can utilize these cables.

Upgrade to Balanced Configuration

The AKG K702 headphones aren’t designed for balanced cable use out of the box. But don’t worry, with a little work, they can be brought up to snuff. So, if you’re looking to use your K702s in a balanced configuration, then keep on reading.

Upgrading the AKG K702 headphone cable can enhance not only the sound quality but also its durability and appearance, even if the sound improvement is minimal.

If you’re a DIY audio enthusiast with spare parts, you can modify the K702 headphones by adding a fourth channel for balanced operation (L+, L-, R+, R-), as they come with a 3-pin mini-XLR connector. Thankfully, though, compatible third-party cables can provide this fourth channel. Despite the additional work, these headphones maintain their expected audio clarity and depth.

Bottom line: To achieve a balanced setup, you must modify the headphones, using a balanced conversion kit for AKG K702 and replacing the stock detachable cable with a 4-pin mini-XLR cable.

Cable Replacement

If the cable needs replaced, consider cables specifically designed for AKG models, such as the K141 K171 K181 K240 K271 K702 Q701 HDJ 2000 Replacement Upgrade Headphone Cable or NewFantasia Replacement Audio Upgrade Cable.

The Geekria Apollo’s braided nylon aftermarket cable, featuring a 3.5mm/1/4” connector and mini XLR interface, is also a viable option. Constructed from superior copper and thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) with engineered stretching yarn, it guarantees excellent audio transmission and shields against electromagnetic and radio interference (EMI or RFI).

Craftsmanship Issues

In brief, the most common build quality and craftsmanship issues users have encountered with the AKG K702 are:

  • The loosening of the headband after several years (4-5 years)
  • One side not working (an extremely rare occurrence, if any at all)
  • The leather headband design, which is sometimes described as uncomfortable and stiff.
  • The earpads of the K702 require a lot of maintenance due to lint accumulation.

Headphone Amp

The AKG K702 headphones are well-suited for a range of applications and not hard to power, thanks to their 62 ohm impedance and low sensitivity. However, they do need an amplifier.

With an adequate headphone amplifier, you can reach the optimal sound quality for these headphones. Some of the best headphone amps for the AKG K702 include:

  • Schiit Audio Magni: A versatile amp with a power output of 2.4W RMS per channel into 32 Ohms.
  • Chord Mojo 2: A robust DAC/amp combo with a 600 mW into 32 Ohms power capacity.
  • Sony TA-ZH1ES: A vibrant amp with a 500 mW power output.
  • iFi Zen DAC V2: A premium amp offering 4.4mm Pentaconn (BAL): 330mW at 32 Ohm; 6.6V at 600 Ohm, and 6.3mm S-BAL (SE): 280mW at 32 Ohm.
  • JDS Labs Atom Amp: A high-performance amp with a power output of 1W.
  • AudioQuest DragonFly Red: A compact and portable DAC/amp combo.

These amps are certainly worth looking into if you’re looking to up your audio game. They’re known for their robust power output, crystal-clear sound reproduction, and low distortion levels.

Personally, I believe 100mW at 62 ohms is more than enough power for even the most discerning listener. But – more than sheer power quantity – what’s essential is having low noise and distortion levels, reinforcing its quality factor.

Selecting the best headphone amplifier for the AKG K702 requires careful consideration of factors such as output power, sound warmth, and budget.

The recommended settings for the AKG K702 on an amp are as follows:

  • Output: 100mW/channel (minimum)
  • Impedance: 16Ω-300Ω
  • Gain Setting: Medium gain setting
  • Frequency Response: 5 Hz – 40 kHz
  • Crosstalk: > -96 dB (at 1 kHz)

How to connect AKG K702 to an amp

Connecting the AKG K702 to an amp is a straightforward process. Plug the headphone’s 3.5mm jack into the amp’s headphone output. Some amps may require an adapter if they use a 1/4-inch output.

When it comes to recommended settings for the AKG K702 on an amp, a good starting point is to set the volume at a moderate level, adjust the bass and treble to neutral, and then tweak from there. Fine-tune to augment, not overwhelm, the headphone’s inherent sound.

In summary, the AKG K702 headphone amp setup can significantly enhance your audio experience. Choose a quality amp, connect correctly, and adjust settings to your liking for the best results.

AKG K702 VS AKG K712 Pro

At first sight, the AKG K702 and K712 Pro appear extremely similar, with their sleek design and professional aesthetic. However, the subtle differences in sound quality and comfort are tantamount to a significant distinction when choosing between the two models.

Let’s examine their technical specifications, mixing qualities, and the differences in their mixing capabilities to better determine which of the two you should choose.

Technical Specifications

ParameterAKG K702AKG K712 Pro
TypeOpen-back, over-earOpen-back, over-ear
Frequency Response10 Hz – 39.8 kHz10 Hz – 39.8 kHz
Sensitivity105 dB SPL/V105 dB SPL/V
Impedance62 Ohms62 Ohms
Maximum Input Power200 mW200 mW
Cable Length3 m3 m
Cable TypeDetachableDetachable
Plug Type3.5 mm (6.3 mm adapter)3.5 mm (6.3 mm adapter)
Driver Size45 mm45 mm
Driver TypeDynamicDynamic
Ear Cup MaterialVelourVelour
Weight (without cable)235 g235 g
Sound Pressure Level105 dB105 dB
Total Harmonic Distortion< 0.1%< 0.1%
Magnet TypeNeodymiumNeodymium
Voice CoilFlat wireFlat wire
Replaceable Ear PadsYesYes
FoldableNoNo
Accessories Included6.3 mm adapter, carrying bag6.3 mm adapter, premium carrying bag, coiled cable
Warranty2 years2 years
Comparison of technical specifications between AKG K702 and AKG K712 Pro headphones.

The K702 and K712 Pro reference open ear have similar specs, so it bears the question, is the $100 difference between the two worth it?

The AKG K712 Pro is known for its extended treble and emphasized mid-bass, but it has a less accentuated bass response compared to the K702. This makes it an ideal studio headphone for certain music genres or audio tasks.

Conversely, the AKG K702, celebrated for its neutral, precise sound and commendable bang for your buck, is perfect for critical listening, professional mixing, home recording, and even a fun evening of Hi-Res listening.

Both models, made in Austria, share similar build quality, driver technology, and frequency response ranges.

So, is the K712 Pro worth an extra $100? It might be, especially if you value neutral sound, superior treble, and a headphone design that’s more studio-oriented. But, if you favor a neutral but slightly warmer sound and don’t need a coiled cable or carrying bag, the K702 could be a more cost-effective option.

Mixing

The AKG K702 and AKG K712 Pro are two popular studio monitor headphones for professional recording and mixing.

The K702 is characterized by its exceptional airy and spacious soundstage, punchy and accurate bass reproduction, and pristine mid-range clarity. The K712 Pro features a slightly warmer sound signature than the K702; it offers a wider stereo image, improved low-end impact, and extended treble range. Despite these distinct sonic differences, both models share impeccable build quality and long-lasting comfort.

Though both headphones sound clear and transparent, the choice between them ultimately comes down to personal preference—the K702 is ideal for an open and airy soundstage, while the K712 Pro may suit those looking for a more balanced sound signature.

Conclusion

We’ve digging deep into these headphones. Thus far, I can certainly vouch for these AKG K702 headphones. Not only are they a delight to wear, but this pair of cans adds some serious soundstage spice and clarity, too. It’s going to be a hoot to listen to classical, jazz, and instrumental numbers on these.

The whole is solid, and it is amazingly light, perfect for extended sessions of entertainment. The open-back design is also ideal for making sure your ears don’t get too stuffy. It creates an environment that lets the sound breathe, ensuring a more natural feel and a grander soundscape.

The predicament does not stop here! A wide array of features like the three-dimensional soundstage, detailed sculpted highs, and weighty midbass will surely make for a transcendent listening experience. Plus, they possess an extended frequency response, so hearing everything from the crisp highs to the firm lows is pure pleasure.

All in all, let me say – the AKG K702s will knock your socks off! All types of music fiends – gamers, pros, amateurs – you name it – will definitely love these headphones.