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Good: Style, Build, Comfort, Clarity Of Sound.
Bad: Treble can be a little brittle on certain tracks.
Comment: The first impression one gets of these headphones is of a well built product with great retro styling , they ooze class. When you put them on you immediately feel the comfort with no undue pressure and a nice soft velour ear cushion that holds them firmly in place.
Then you come to the sound and here I have got to say I was initially disappointed. Compared to my UltimatEar super fi 10's it seemed thin and uninspiring although there was great clarity. It was also more remote but not ever , as some reviewers have claimed , to be confused with speakers. That idea is laughable but I suppose if you earn money writing reviews you are tempted to dip into the realms of fiction.
The superb clarity can lead to problems, I noticed some sibilance on Katie Melua's album Piece by Piece which previously had gone blissfully unnoticed and Kate Bush's Running Up That Hill can sound brittle.
My initial disappointment with the AKG has been replaced by a growing bond after many listening hours and now the Ultimatears sound indistinct and have an unsatisfying lack of clarity in comparison.The precision of the AKG's is supreme.
I did a week long comparison of the AKG K702 against the Sennheiser 650, at home with my own music. At first I was seduced by the Senn's warmer tones but then I played Jack Johnson's Bushfire fairy tales and the Senns murdered it ! The music is largely light vocals accompanied by acoustic guitar. The Senns made it muddy and dull. It was so marked that I thought my source was to blame. However swapping to the AKG's restored Jack to his excellent best.
I t was obvious that the Senns have been tweaked to give extra bass but this can colour and ,in some cases, ruin the whole track or indeed album. If I hadn't heard it myself I would have found it difficult to comprehend such poor a rendering coming from a headphone I had previously liked
I have mentioned that I am liking the AkG more and more. Some would attribute that to burn/break in with use but I am not sure I go along with that concept. I think I have adapted more than the headphones, but whatever the reason, I now love my AKG's and would defiantly recommend them.
Would I change anything ? Well yes , if I could remove that brittleness and tendency to sibilance on some tracks I would but only if it could be done without affecting the crystal clarity and detail that are the hallmark of these great headphones. The Senns did reduce the offending fragility but the smear of mud was too high a price to pay.
If you are considering the AKG then go for it, allow time to adjust and then really enjoy your music in all it's detail. One note is that these take some driving so are probably best not used with a portable player without extra amplification. That's where my Ultimateears come in.
Good: Natural sound
Bad: White colour
Comment: I have got a pair of AKG Reference Headphones K701 and a pair of AKG K1000. The K701, similar to the K702 but with a white finish, has the most natural and atmospheric sound I haver ever listened, better than my Sennheiser 600 and 650. I use a Musical Fidelity amplifier (X-CAN v3) but with my Onkyo Compact Disc Player DX-7555 the sound is as good as with the X-CAN or even superior.
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