AKG's K271 MkII are another impressive set of studio monitors from this brand. As a matter of fact, it's fair to say that they're among the best you can get for less than $200. Not only do K271 MkII bring impressive performance, but they also bring a few unusual features.
Refined simplicity. That is one way we can describe the design of AKG K271 MkII. There is nothing aggressive about these at all. On the contrary, they are as fairly basic. However, AKG did a great job with their choice of materials and colors to make K271 MkII into one great looking pair of headphones. The headband, for example, is a floating piece of leather that slides along external metal rails. That way you don't have to worry whether or not the curve of the headband is going to fit your head.
Ear pads are made of vinyl, as expected in this price range, and are fairly comfortable all things considered. The dark blue exterior of the driver housing, accented with silver and white details, looks extremely attractive. Overall, you could say that AKG K271 MkII are among the most aesthetically pleasing studio headphones in this specific price range.
When we get to features, we see some standard stuff and some features which are not so standard at all. For starters, they went with two fairly fast drivers. Raw specs include 16Hz to 28kHz frequency response range, 104 dB SPL and rated impedance of 55 Ohms. So far so good. Then AKG chose to take things even further. K271 MkII come with an auto-mute feature which mutes the output when the headphones are off your head. This alone is pretty much unprecedented in the price range K271 MkII occupy.
AKG's choice of cables is interesting as well. You get a 10 foot one and a 16 foot coiled cable. There are no short ones in this package. On top of that, both cables use a 3-pin jack to connect to the headphones, while the other end is a 1/8 inch plug with a 1/4 inch adapter included.
Performance wise, AKG K271 MkII delivers one of the most balanced responses out there. There is a lot of transparency, but not the dull kind. Instead, K271 MkII is full of detail and composure. The fact that AKG has managed to avoid that treble brightness that plagues a good portion of studio headphones in this segment, is worthy of praise. On top of that, there is the matter of comfort. These might not be the lightest headphones on the market, however you don't really feel them.
If you put them on and use them for an extended period of time, the only problem you might have is some sweating due to those vinyl pads. Other than that, the clamping force seems perfect and the headband does exactly what it is designed to do. AKG has once again created a set of studio headphones that tick all the necessary boxes.
To summarize everything so far, AKG K271 MkII offer a combination of features and performance that's rarely seen in this segment of the market. Even AKG were to lose the auto-mute function and cut down the length of the cable to the standard size, K271 MkII would still be amazing.