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AKG Q701 review




  • Recommended by TR

1 of 6

  • Q701
  • Q701
  • Q701
  • Q701
  • Q701
  • K 701 Headphones with Ear Hook


Our Score:



  • Excellent built quality
  • Great sound
  • Comfortable fit


  • Fairly expensive
  • Many equally good rivals

Key Features

  • Flat-wire voice-coil technology
  • Leather headband
  • Manufacturer: AKG
  • Review Price: £270.54

We were starting to think that a musician's endorsement was something of a death knell for audio equipment, but the Q701's - the flagship product in AKG's Quincy Jones-sponsored line-up - proves that theory conclusively wrong. Where Jay-Z and Dr Dre's names on the packaging of the Skullcandy Aviators and Monster Beats respectively counts for no more than the assurance that you'll be paying over the odds for what lies within, even if they weren't available for a decent chunk under their £499 recommended price is the Q701s would be worthy of recommendation. At the sub-£360 they can be found for they are, if not a bargain, certainly a safe investment.


The design of the AKQ Q701 headphones is very similar to that of the less high-end K601 and K701, at least outwardly. That's no bad thing; the Q701s, like their predecessors, look very stylish, even if the lime green versions aren’t perhaps the most professional-looking - the white and black options look great. The plastic construction feels as solid and durable as a polycarbonate can. Interestingly AKG claims that the Q701's arches are unbreakable, a claim we didn't want to risk fully putting to the test, although the Q701's did survive being accidentally knocked off a desk a couple of times.

Definitely well-considered is the self-adjusting headband, from which the earcups are elastically suspended. The result is that as well as staying properly fitted in place no matter how you move the Q701s about on your head, with their weight evenly distributed. The band's padding isn't actually that soft, but it is leather-covered and distributed weight evenly. The earcups are large enough that they will completely encompass all but the mode Dumbo-like of ears, which we much prefer to the less-common alternative having the pads rest on the ear. In combination with the large earcups, the 'suspended' design makes the Q701s very comfortable; we had no problem wearing them for hours on end.


The AKG Q701s are definitely not headphones that you want to use in the presence of others. The open-back design means that they leak sound promiscuously, and offer next to no isolation from outside noise. Given the compromise to the openness of sound that a more isolating, closed design would have forced AKG to make, we don't consider this a problem, but simply a sensible decision; these are not headphones intended to be worn on the daily commute.


April 16, 2011, 9:40 am

At last, some AKG products reviews in this site.
AKG headphones usually have much detail at high frequencies where other companies, like Shure and Sennheiser for example, don't provide some information to the listener (well...Senhheiser much).
I don't know if there are equally good headphones in the market, differently good maybe. I don't think there are many headphones that "they sound equally good with just about every genre of music". This is the definition of any good audio product for me. If "better with rock, hip hop, classical, jazz, etc etc" then that's a bad product for me.


April 17, 2011, 1:24 am

Quote "10 Hz to 39.8 kHz - on a par with headphones costing north of £1,000 including the much-lauded Sennheiser HD800s and Grado GS1000s"

Really? I find it hard to believe that they can reproduce 10Hz not anyone hear them.

Are you sure the Q701's are not just repackaged K701's? Also, no mention of the need for an amplifier being a must with these phones? Anyone trying to drive them out of the an iPhone or mp3 player will be utterly disappointed.

K701's treble emphasis is pretty widely known and they are definitely not the kind of headphones that sound goood with every genre of music. IMO they are more suited to classical music due to their treble slant and their amazing soundstage.
Their sound stage is among the best. Only Sennheiser HD800's beat them on that front and they are £1300 (lets not even talk about Stax)


April 18, 2011, 7:08 am

Ha ha. AKG headphones reveal much information at higher frequencies where some other headphones simply cut it off, not reduce. Better suitable to classical music? Big mistake.
All music genres have high frequencies, so any music gains the same benefit.
To be honest, for me all headphones sound equally good or bad for any music genre. Never understood those who admit any given headphone is better for some music and worse for some other.


April 9, 2013, 2:22 am

I bought Q701s based on reviews as flattering at this, Unfortunately it wasn't long until i noticed a very annoying rattling sound coming from 1 earcup. Amazon was super quick and really cool about replacing them with a new pair, but again... unfortunately they had the exactly same problem only on the oposite ear. I'm now in the process of returning the headphones and am looking for something similar It's a real shame because if it wasn't for the rattling i could completely understand why they're so well received for comfort and sound. Perhaps in time to come ill risk trying a 3rd pair but for now i need to invest my money into something else.


August 5, 2014, 3:00 pm

Namloc i already bought the Q701 some years ago, but i never had such annpying rattling like your Quincy Jones Headphones. I really enjoy to work with this Headphone, because of its super quality.
It's worth to try them out

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