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AKG Q701 - Sound Quality cont. and Verdict

By Hugo Jobling



  • Recommended by TR


Our Score:


The open-backed design does its job of giving the Q701's a wide, uncluttered sound. Poorly mixed radio-destined music doesn't really benefit, but the spaciousness adds an extra dimension of realism to well-mastered recordings, such as the ever-impressive works of the London Symphony Orchestra, from whose works the Q701s allow you to pick out individual instruments with ease.

A wider range of material showed that AKG isn't exaggerating in its claims of the excellent accuracy of the Q701s. From the low end to the high end these are some of the flattest headphones we've ever listened to, with no trace of distortion and the amount of detail reproduced is as impressive as the flatness of tone.


Taking Quincy Jones at his word, we gave a selection of both his music, and that which he has produced for other artists (an almost unbelievably large catalogue from which to chose) and though we can't guarantee that the sound produced by the Q701s is, indeed, that which was intended to come across, but whether listening to the man himself, or works produced by him, the Q701s never disappoint.

It's not just the Quincy Jones catalogue that sound great via the Q701s. From Louis Armstrong to Frank Zappa, Credence Clearwater Revival to the White Stripes, and Aha to Kanye West, the flatness of tone exhibited by the Q701s means that they sound equally good with just about every genre of music. As such, those with particularly eclectic tastes might well consider them a better option than, say, Grado's RS325s, which although an incredible pair of earphones, have a particular 'Grado sound' that lends itself to some types of music better than others. We'd say the same, too, of Sennheisers HD650s which, though very detailed and accurate, have a more pronounced bass response than the Q701s. We'd be lying if we could call any of these - or, indeed, any of the alternatives - the 'best' and you're best bet is to find a retail shop that will let you compare a selection and pick the right one for your tastes.


The AKG Q701s are a truly excellent pair of headphones, with which Quincy Jones can be proud to be associated. Their wide, flat and accurate sound puts them in a great position in competition with similarly priced headphones from Sennheiser, Beyer Dynamic, Grado, and others with the choice between the options one of preference, not outright superiority.

Overall Score


Scores In Detail

  • Design & Features 9
  • Sound Quality 10
  • Value 9


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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