AKG K7XX Audiophile Headphones
For Audiophiles On a Budget
Type: Over-ear | Style: Closed Back | Connectivity:3.5mm analog | Impedance: 60 ohm | Drivers: 40mm | Frequency Range: 10-39,800Hz
VERDICT:The AKG K7XX aren't really cheap headphones, but they are well worth more than their price tag. Good luck finding better audio at this price.
Headphones are always going to be the go-to audio devices for a lot of people. That’s because people prefer portability and like to keep their music to themselves. But there are so many headphones to pick from.
Even if we’re just talking about over-ear headphones, we still have a tonne of choices. But not every pair will satisfy the audiophile or that person looking for every single detail in their music. However, the AKG K7XX is one of several exceptions to this.
The K7XX aren’t exactly a new pair of headphones, well technically they aren’t. AKG is a company known for its amazing studio-grade audio, and their equipment has been used by legendary people in the music industry. The K702 is one of their most legendary pair of headphones. The K7XX is a partnership with Massdrop to produce a similar headset with a lower price.
So the K7XX definitely has a lot of reputation to live up to and they clearly have a lot of demand, but the question is if they are actually any good? Let’s find out.
Design and Build Quality
As we mentioned above, the AKG K7XX is based on the company’s delightful K702. So, it definitely takes a lot of design cues from that pair. Too many people, this is an iconic design and a classic look overall.
But truth be told, to others, it doesn’t really have that desirability you’d expect from headphones in this range. It’s not ugly by any means, it just looks a little bland. It doesn’t really offer a lot in terms of charisma or charm. Once you get past the red accents, (they’re also available in plain black) they’re not much of a looker.
The first thing you’ll notice pulling them out of the box is just how massive they actually are. Honestly, they look a little daunting at first sight, especially if you’re used to regular old in-ear headphones. The second thing you’ll notice is that they have an open-back design. Which means they will obviously have a wider soundstage, but others can also hear your music (more on that later).
Moving on, the build quality is excellent. Sure they are primarily built from large pieces of plastic, but they look like they are put together pretty well. The hinge mechanism, however, doesn’t really evoke a lot of confidence.
Overall, the AKG K7XX looks and feels pretty decent. It’s not winning any awards in the fashion department, but it does feel pretty durable. The thick cable is also pretty decent.
The AKG K7XX’s are absolutely massive, as we mentioned before. They don’t look like your average pair of headphones, more like something you’d expect to see in a studio. Well, we wouldn’t be surprised to see them in a studio considering the sound quality. However, let’s get back to how they actually feel on the head.
The K7XX’s feel pretty hefty in the hand. But the weight is distributed quite well all around. You won’t feel one part of the headphones pressuring your head. Once you actually put them on, you’ll forget all worries about them being big or hefty. These are one of the most comfortable pair of headphones we have ever tried. Quite rarely do we feel the need to take them off because of fatigue.
This is mostly thanks to the distribution of the weight and the elastic headband. Sure, the whole elastic headband situation doesn’t look elegant, but it does help with the comfort a lot more than you’d expect. They add a lot of support to the head.
The earpads also contribute to the comfort a lot. Just like the earpads, they are absolutely massive in terms of size. They combine velour padding along with memory foam for maximum comfort. They’re barely noticeable on the head. The clamping force is also pretty good. As we mentioned before, there are no major pressure points.
What Are They Like For Music?
It’s time to talk about the actual exciting stuff. This is the area where these headphones particularly excel. As you’d expect from a legendary brand such as AKG, the K7XX absolutely excel in audio quality. On the massdrop website, they are labeled as “reference” headphones. This usually means that the headphones will have a flat overall sound. Meaning music sounds extremely accurate and similar to how the actual production is. This is by no means a bad thing, the K7XX is absolutely a pleasure for music.
The K7XX has a very wide soundstage because of the open back design. Sure this means there really isn’t any outside noise isolation. They are subject to outside noise leaking in easily. And the sound is going to leak out just as easily because of the open-back design. People around you can easily hear your music.
We are going to talk about the highs first. The K7XX aren’t exactly as intense as you’d expect from other high-end headphones. The highs sound pretty sharp and crisp, but they aren’t exactly in your face like other headsets would be. Drums sound absolutely incredible on these headphones. The 40mm drivers deliver pretty well and no range of notes overpower others.
As we’ve mentioned before throughout this review, the K7XX feature a “reference sound”. This remains throughout the mids as well. They sound extremely smooth to the ears. However, they do take out a bit of volume from the vocals. This is definitely the case with female vocals, they sound sweet but lose a bit of power overall.
Bass is pretty tough to get right for headphones labeled as “audiophile-grade”. It’s not easy finding a perfect balance. Add too much bass and you won’t please everyone. Add too little and everyone will complain about that “kick”. However, the K7XX perform really well. The bass is definitely there and it’s quite punchy, but it never gets overdone. It seems to vary from track to track. For some tracks, it takes a smoother tone, while it kicks in like crazy on other tracks.
Are They Good For Gaming?
The AKG K7XX are a pair of reference headphones, as we’ve mentioned numerous times before. This means they have a flat response and are pretty good for listening to music. And most people looking for “reference” headphones don’t care about gaming with them. This is definitely a niche group of people. But hear us out before you read on.
The K7XX are actually a pretty surprisingly good pair of headphones for gaming. In fact, we’d even go as far as to say they are near perfection. Sure you’re not getting all the flashy features such as 7.1 virtual surround sound or even a microphone (it’s not really a headset now is it?). But it’s absolutely amazing for detecting sounds and where they are coming from. This is largely due to the wide and open soundstage. The stereo sound from these headphones actually works better than most virtual 7.1 solutions.
This is definitely a major plus for the AKG K7XX. This also means that you don’t need to buy a separate headset for gaming either. Sure you would need a separate mic, which is something to consider. But if you’re someone who cares a lot about music, and is a casual gamer on the side, these are honestly near perfect for you.
Should You Buy The AKG K7XX?
The AKG K7XX come in at a competitive price of $200. Considering the original K702 came with a $600 price tag, this is undoubtedly an amazing deal.
You’re getting amazing audio quality no matter what your preference is. Sure the design might not be flashy but the build quality is solid.
However, these aren’t the type of headphones that you can carry around with you all day. And not everyone will love the reference type of sound. They’re not exactly the best for listening to while on a commute as well. But all things considered, for $200 these headphones sound much better than the competition. They are well worth more than the actual price tag for sure.
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Prices taken/valid at the time of review.