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AKG Q701 - Sound Quality

By Hugo Jobling



  • Recommended by TR


Our Score:


Inside the earcups, the Q701s offer the same flat-wire voice-coil technology, 'Varimotion' multilayer diaphragm, and neodymium magnet system that AKG developed for its studio headphones. The result is a claimed frequency response range of 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. That should explain why Quincy Jones believes: ‘These are the only headphones I’ve heard that bring out the true sound we were striving for on records like “Billie Jean”‚ “Thriller” and “Give Me the Night“. It’s the best-quality sound I’ve heard, ever.’


The AKG Q701s come with both a 3m and a 6m length of detachable cable. Considering these are headphones that you'll want to hook up to a proper Hi-Fi set-up while lounging in an armchair, the inclusion of a longer cable is a particularly useful on - saving an otherwise inevitable extra purchase. It's worth noting that these cables use proprietary connector at one end, so replacement - if necessary - will prove a pain. At the far end from the headphones, the Q701's cable terminates in a 3.5mm jack, and a 3.5mm to 6.25mm adaptor is supplied, which screws into place keeping it secure.


The decision to make the default connector on the cabling compatible with portable media players isn't the best indicator of where the Q701s perform best. The Q701s aren't easily driven. Trying to use them directly from an iPhone the result was decidedly lacklustre - even at full volume there simply wasn't enough power - which isn't necessarily a problem, but is worth considering, bearing in mind that the likes of Grado's SR325s are easily driven enough that, if you do want to use portable player, they'll try their hardest to make it sound at least half-decent.

Attached to a more suitable source device, the Q701's really shine. AKG makes big claims about the accuracy of these headphones, and we're not about to dispute them. Even with just 320kbps MP3s the Q701s draw an impressive amount of detail out of recordings. Listen to lossless files, or good old-fashioned CDs and the results are nothing short of astounding, given the price of the Q701s.


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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