After spending just five minutes of listening with the K702 from AKG, you will understand why they ended up on our chart of the best studio headphones under $500. While they lack the portability and flexibility compared to some of the others on our chart, the sound from these open-backed phones is one that will blow you away. Let’s take a closer look…
This is a pro-grade pair of cans in terms of design, that’s for sure. While they appear elegant, don’t be fooled – made in Austria, this is a robust pair with great durability. You get the impression that they would survive a good battering in the studio! They are a little bulky and do not fold down in any way, so they are more suited to sitting in front of a mixing desk, as opposed to regular travel or on-the-go mixing.
In terms of comfort, the K702s tick all the boxes. They feature an adjustable cushioned headband made with genuine leather, which offers a snug and even fit. This is complemented by a pair of large replaceable over-ear ear cups, which are well-padded with ‘3D’ soft foam and have soft velour covers. Overall, they feel beautiful to wear for lengthy studio sessions and go a long way towards justifying their high-end price.
Starting with what’s under the hood and the K702s feature AKG’s patented Laminate Varimotion diaphragms and flat-wire voice coils, resulting in a very high performance and accurate response. They have a frequency range of 10 to 39800Hz and an impedance of 62 ohms.
In the box you get a straight 3-meter detachable cable, that attaches with a locking three-pin connector. This has a gold-plated 1/8” (3.5mm) stereo plug, as well as an included gold-plated screw-on 1/4” adapter. Disappointingly, at this substantial price, there is no case for these headphones which is a bit of a shame, but not a deal-breaker.
While the design and comfort are very high-end, it’s the sound of the K702s that truly make them feel worth the cash. As you would want from a good pair of studio headphones, they offer a clean sound with an overall flat response, which makes them perfect for monitoring and mixing. The open-backed design makes for a big and immersive speaker-like sound reproduction. Of course, due to this open design and associated sound bleed, they are no good for anywhere other than relatively quiet studios or home mixing.
With no case, a non-foldable design and big sound bleed, the K702s are naturally no good for use outside of a studio. However, with top-notch comfort and a spacious, natural sound reproduction, the K702s are an excellent choice for studio engineers, as well as all kinds of critical listening, mixing and mastering.