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linden518
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1st AKG K702 Review

Sadly enough, the review's in Korean, written by audio critic Yang Jae Kwon at Hifi Club site:

http://www.hificlub.co.kr/web/board/brd_...23&ishtml=n

I'll generally sum up the review for y'all who've been jonesing for AKG K702 reviews... the review has shortcomings. Doesn't directly compare the performance with the K701s (!) and the reviewer doesn't seem to have tried other cables with the K702s, although he mentions their swappability. Kind of unforgivable, really, in reviewing these, don't you think?

But for what it's worth, the writer mentions that K701 & 702 are identical, specs-wise. He was never too fond of K701s' comfort, as he found that the headband presses down on the top of his head & he says he's disappointed to find that K702 also hasn't changed in ergonimic design.

He mentions that K702's 62 ohm impedance isn't too high, compared to other cans, but they still won't perform at an optimal level connected directly to a portable source sans amp. For the review, he used Audio Technica AT-HA20 for amping.

Anyhoo, the guy finds K702 to be neutral, with great balance to the sound and suppression of undue coloration, and also finds it to lean toward the bright end of the sound spectrum. These traits become apparent in listening to classical music. Listening to Pinnock's Messiah or Brandenburg recordings on Archiv, he is impressed by well-sorted atmosphere of the sound that doesn't detract from the listening experience and the wide soundstage the K702s provide. He is especially impressed by these qualities when listening to Keith Jarrett's performance of the Goldberg Variations on harpsichord, on ECM. He claims that never, with any other headphones, has he felt such a clear and delicate musicality from these recordings. He says he heard recording-related noises in Argerich/Abbado account of Tchaikovsky 1st concerto (DG), so he realizes that K702s may indeed serve as fine monitors for pro use. Also praises the separation of instruments and soundstaging when listening to Mahler.

Yet, he feels a bit let down by its performance on jazz and rock. Doesn't find the mid/bass weighty enough. Listening to Sting's "Englishman in New York," the electronic drum that kicks in during the middle of the song doesn't feel heavy as he'd expected. He says such a letdown will be inevitable for listeners used to Audio Technica or Grado types of headphones. Such a deficiency, he says, is more apparent in listening to Metallica, NIN, Pantera or Linkin Park. (What the hell is he doing listening to Linkin Park?! )

To conclude, he says he's owned K171 Studio, K66, K26P among AKG headphones (so he seems pretty well qualified to comment on AKG cans). He says all these other models, he didn't like the tone color & texture, and they all somehow sounded closed-in, but his experience of K702s made him change his mind about AKGs 180 degrees.

That's all, folks.

Ajani
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Re: 1st AKG K702 Review

Cool... Thanks for sharing... He really should have done a direct comparison with the 701... as I understand it, the 702 is more like a mild update than a real new model... I get the impression from AKG Press releases that the essential reason for launching the 702 was to 1) Change the color from white to Blue/Black, so the Phones would not get dirty so easily and 2) Add a detachable cord - which really makes both replacing and upgrading the cord very easy...

I didn't get the impression that there was really any sonic improvement...

linden518
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Re: 1st AKG K702 Review

Yeah, I agree, Ajani. Definitely didn't get the impression that K702s are a new design, aside from the nice fact that you can choose to swap cables. The way the reviewer talked about them sounds like the initial impressions I got when I first got the 701s, before they were burned in. I think the smart money for the ones who already have the 701s is to hold on to them, and I actually think this is good news for people who have been waiting to see if 702s are significantly different or better than the 701s. Now they can get 701s for much less, as you'll see these crop up on audiogon or ebay at firesale prices. (Stephen, are you reading this? )

dcstep
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Re: 1st AKG K702 Review

Yeah, I'm feeling no need to start over again with a set of 702s. I'm sure that a few of the freaks over at www.head-fi.org will do a direct comparison to the 701s AND try several cables.

If I were buying new, I'd probably go for the 702s, simply for the cable flexibility, then I'd take them to a can show and try several cables and, finally, buy my favorite cable.

Dave

struts
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Re: 1st AKG K702 Review

Thanks for reporting, SD.

Having already recabled my 701s with Black Dragon I really don't think I will bother with the 702s. Two other pretty compelling reasons against are (i) I am one of those people with the wrong shaped head for that design, I get a pressure point on the top of my head after an hour-or-so with my 701s and have to switch to a some other cans (it's like having to flirt with different girls at a party, what a drag) and (ii) having now got my 701s where I want them I couldn't possibly face another AKG break-in cycle.

The ones I am interested in trying next are the Denon AH-D7000s. Anybody had a chance to audition these? Are they as good as people say? Impressions relative to AKGs, Sennies or ATs?

linden518
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Re: 1st AKG K702 Review


Quote:
The ones I am interested in trying next are the Denon AH-D7000s. Anybody had a chance to audition these? Are they as good as people say? Impressions relative to AKGs, Sennies or ATs?


Also curious, except the Denons are closed cans, right? Pretty addicted to open cans at the moment & quite frankly don't know if the closed cans can approximate the kind of airiness & naturalism you get w/ open ones.

struts
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Re: 1st AKG K702 Review

They are sealed and I intend to find out exactly how airy and natural they sound! Haven't seen any of the discounters listing them yet but maybe I didn't look hard enough. If you see them going cheap please let me know!

dcstep
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Re: 1st AKG K702 Review

Haven't heard the Denons, but I've got the AT w5000s and find their top end not near as smooth and transparent as the 701. I have no trouble with comfort with either the AKGs or ATs, so I can't help you in that regard.

Dave

linden518
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Re: 1st AKG K702 Review

Would love to hear Ultrasone Edition 9s, especially after reading JM's rave about them in a review... probably one of the most overpriced pair of closed cans? Or do they merit their cost? Any UE9 owners with feedback here?

dcstep
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Re: 1st AKG K702 Review

You'll probably need to go to a headphone meet to hear the 'zones for yourself. I was very curious about them and talked to several guys that tried them and didn't hear enough compelling reports to go after them for myself. Still, headphones are highly personal and they could really float your boat. Who knows, in "the big city" you might actually have a retailer that you could visit.

If you do get to hear them, please post a report.

Dave

linden518
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Ultrasone Edition 8

The word is that Ultrasone unveiled the Edition 8 prototype at the Tokyo show this past month. No one got to listen. Supposedly, they're geared more toward portable use, but still cost 150000 yen.


Kind of ugly, I think. Vain, I know, but unlike other audio gear, you WEAR the headphones. The cups are made of Ruthenium, material rarer than platinum, and the drivers are made of titanium, just like Edition 9. 30 ohm impedance. Comes with a short mini-plug cord with an extension cable. Out this March '09.

(Hat tip to head-fi)

struts
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Re: 1st AKG K702 Review


Quote:
Would love to hear Ultrasone Edition 9s, especially after reading JM's rave about them in a review... probably one of the most overpriced pair of closed cans? Or do they merit their cost? Any UE9 owners with feedback here?

Someone here wrote up quite a detailed comparison of the Edition9 versus the Sennie 650, ATH-W5000 and ATH-L3000 using a Reference Line mbl front-end and Rudistor RP7-B and RP010-B and MF X-CAN v3 headphone amps. I'm afraid the text is in Swedish, although I ran it through the Google translator and the result was surprisingly intelligible despite some hilarious transliterations of Swedish figures-of-speech. No such problem with the pictures, which are happily all in English.

Interestingly, in summary his conclusion was that these were fine cans but that they had some quite significant flaws. While he praised their sound in many respects, particularly some smooth, lush highs, as well as the build/finish and the extremely good isolation from ambient noise, he also noted several significant weaknesses:

  • Bass-heavy. His comments keep coming back to this. With bass-heavy programme this became so overpowering that he had to take them off.
  • "Strange" soundstage, not necessarily wrong in a way he could put his finger on but just that, "strange".
  • Very sensitive to head placement (front/back, up/down and headband angle). Also, he got much better results with the diaphragms a little further from his ears and said he was going to experiment with some ear muff tweaks to achieve this.
  • Price

Finally (and possibly most interestingly for you, SD) he noted that these cans didn't jibe at all well with either of the tubed headphone amps he tried. They sounded "less open and airy in the highs" and "all-over-the-place in the bass" with the RP7-B and "no fun at all" with the X-CAN v3. Interesting stuff.

Reading this certainly had me "jonesing" for them a bit less and they have subsequently been deposed from my must-hear list by the aforementioned Denons.

linden518
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Re: 1st AKG K702 Review

Ooh, thanks for the crucial post! If I can't use the UE9s with the Leben, that's a broken deal right there... I think I'm going to have a chance to hear them some time... will let you guys know what I think...

struts
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Re: Ultrasone Edition 8


Quote:
The word is that Ultrasone unveiled the Edition 8 prototype at the Tokyo show this past month. No one got to listen. Supposedly, they're geared more toward portable use, but still cost 150000 yen.


Thanks for the heads-up on the Ed8s although looking at them I can't understand what it is that suits them more for portable use than Ed9s (unless it is just that they're easier to drive); they seem just as big and possibly even less 'aerodynamic'. Maybe it's just the camera angle.

I don't know that I find them ugly per se but they are certainly very bling; one can imagine them quickly becoming a permanent fixture on MTV rap videos alongside the diamond-encrusted Vertu cellphones. Frankly, I don't know if I would have the balls to wear them in public!

Personally I prefer something a bit more discreet like a pair of UE-10s tucked under my beanie..

dcstep
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Re: 1st AKG K702 Review

Struts, I own the ATH-W5000s and I've heard the Senns and, of course, I own AKG 701s. I prefer the 701s, by far, for their bottom to top naturalness and tranaparency. The Senns are too thick in the bass for me and the W5000s don't get the imaging and highs nearly as nice. Placement IS super critical with the W5000, but when you get it right it's easy to replicate. (All this is with my Woo Audio WA6 with upgraded rectifier).

Maybe with that cited review it'll help you triagulate onto the Ultrazones' sound.

Dave

ncdrawl
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Re: 1st AKG K702 Review

how about these swarovski encrusted hd-25s that are being released...

linden518
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Re: 1st AKG K702 Review

I can see Paris Hilton or Daddy Yankee rockin' those. And they're both stupid.

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Re: 1st AKG K702 Review


Quote:
Yeah, I'm feeling no need to start over again with a set of 702s. I'm sure that a few of the freaks over at www.head-fi.org will do a direct comparison to the 701s AND try several cables.

If I were buying new, I'd probably go for the 702s, simply for the cable flexibility, then I'd take them to a can show and try several cables and, finally, buy my favorite cable.

Dave

Yes, same here, never felt at all that the 702`s were anything but a color change. In reference to the Denon 7000`s, I think we would all love to hear them. These headphones are getting pretty good press and everybody loves them. Supposedly the best cans, especially since ttheir closed. And, you have a company (Lawton Audio) already doing modifications. Can`t say that for anyone else.

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