The AKG K702 headphones are now nearly 5 years old. At the time, they were the new reference for open-back, dynamic headphones featuring a flat-wire voice coil technology. This reproduced an extremely accurate sound. In addition the headphones have a transient response professional plug-on cable patented varimotion diaphragm for sparkling highs and accurate bass response. The two-layer diaphragm allows for a wide dynamic range and superior clarity. This in turns relates to a frequency response of10hZ – 39.8kHz, Efficiency of 105dB SPL/V and an Impedance of 62 ohms. You also get a stereo adapter 1/4 to 1/8 (6.3/3.5mm). When these headphones first got released they cost over £400. Now you can buy them while stock lasts at Amazon for £149. AKG also sell the K701 which are identical but don’t have a removable cable. The K701 are available for £10 less, but it is far better to get the K702 as the cable is replaceable should you want to upgrade it or replace it.
I must admit, I have read so many reviews over the years on these headphones but never wanted to buy them as the reviews all commented that “these headphones need a powerful headphone amp to drive them properly” and that “neutral sounding studio quality”. Neutral sounding studio quality can sometimes mean lifeless and lacking bass. Since the K702’s are now reduced down to £149, I decided to give them a go. First note that these are not portable headphones, nor are they private as the sound flows out from them. Also they look huge on your head. No let me repeat that again. They look really huge on your head. But they are extremely comfortable with their wing design. Next, if you have a poorly recorded track, they will reproduce a poorly recorded track. These headphones need a reasonable source and definitely need oodles of amplification!
So what do they sound like? They have a tone like no other headphone I have ever owned. The sound stage through these headphones is massive. They can pick up the most delicate parts of a track with finesse. At first bass appears rather lightweight. That is because these headphones do not add anything to the music. If the bass is not there, you won’t hear any. But if the bass is present, it delivers it. As the K702’s deliver such a wide expansive sound stage, these really suit classical music big time. Listening to epic classical concerts was simply a revelation. But try a few other genres like jazz, blues and rock and the atmosphere of the song is mesmerising. If you like rap or dance music, these are superb but you might want to use an EQ and crank the bass levels up. The real strengths of these cans are its treble and mid range reproduction. If you do use these, I really recommend using them for an hour before judging them as your ears will need to adapt to its sound.
But as I said earlier, these headphones are not for everyone. They are not portable and they need power to drive them properly and a decent quality source. You also need a private listening area. If you have all these ingredients you have a smashing pair of headphones.