AKG Q 701 review: AKG Q 701

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Typical Price: £400.00

AKG Q 701

(Part #: CNETAKG Q 701)
4 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

5 stars 1 user review

The Good Superb sound quality; comfortable; detachable cable and a spare in the box.

The Bad Slightly underwhelming bass performance.

The Bottom Line The AKG Q 701 headphones deliver superb sound quality with a high-end clarity that's all too rare. But we were slightly underwhelmed by their bass response.

8.3 Overall

Nobody in full possession of their mental faculties would expect a pair of headphones with Justin Bieber 's face on the box to be any good. But Quincy Jones, the producer of Michael Jackson's Thriller album, is a different matter. As he's championing AKG's high-end Q 701 headphones, we expected these cans to sound pretty special. You can pick them up in a white, black or eyeball-melting lime version for around £400 online.

AK-Gee, these feel nice

The 701s look similar to their K 702 siblings, which we reviewed in 2009. The large earcups may not be quite as comfortable as those of the Audio Technica ATH-W1000s -- those earcups are as comfy as having two puppies sleeping on your face -- but they're still wearable for hours at a time. The metal and leather headband also fights for the cause of comfort, adjusting smoothly to accommodate even the largest and most balloon-like of heads.

The 701s are open-back headphones -- the outside of the earcups is made from a plastic mesh that allows the sound to come through. As such, you probably won't want to use these headphones when surrounded by co-workers, unless you enjoy being punched in the face. While the plastic mesh feels fairly sturdy, it also feels disappointingly cheap.

The earcups proudly proclaim the headphones' Austrian provenance.

The 701s come with a detachable cable. AKG also supplies a spare, which is a lovely touch, since cables can wear out far quicker than the headphones themselves.

Sounds like love

The 701s claim to be premium reference headphones, so we expected some serious audio delights to ripple through our brains. Thankfully, we weren't disappointed. Vanessa Carlton's beautiful Home was reproduced with such excellent clarity that we came over all romantic and proposed marriage to her via email. She hasn't replied yet.

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