Massdrop x AKG K7XX Audiophile Headphones
Massdrop x AKG K7XX Audiophile Headphones
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Product Description
Our first custom headphones ever, the Massdrop x AKG K7XX have been an enduring community favorite since they first launched more than two years ago. Since then, they’ve received praise from Head-Fi, Super Best Audio Friends, Z Reviews, and more for offering a rare value in the world of open-back cans Read More
Here's what our community has to say
All of our reviews are from verified customers.
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would recommend to a friend
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ZaphodX
24
Feb 18, 2018
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A pretty good option at this price if you're in the market for open headphones and want something reasonably neutral/accurate. I use this to check mixes and it seems balanced, clear and open throughout the whole frequency spectrum. You need a decent amp, though. You don't have to spend a lot on a super high end one, but something better than the output of your computer or phone.
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Feb 18, 2018
zenith94
10
May 8, 2019
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I absolutely love these headphones. I’ve got a pair of HD650’s and the HD6XX. With a good enough amp, the Sennheiser’s win, in my opinion. However, the K7XX sounds fantastic to. And due to their 62 ohm impedance, you can use them with lower powered equipment. I have the Sennheiser GSX1000 for PC gaming. Yes, virtual surround sound is usually garbage. The GSX sounds fantastic, but doesn’t have a high powered output. The K7XX pairs wonderfully with these. They’re open back as well, so the soundstage sounds great. The K7XX and the GSX1000 makes for a wonderful virtual surround sound experience. And for on the go use, they work great with the AudioQuest Dragonfly Red DAC. Lastly, they are super comfortable. I forget I’m wearing them. Buy these, you won’t regret it.
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May 8, 2019
Disadadi
4
Jul 31, 2019
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You claim that K7XX is semi open? For real?
Jul 31, 2019
Velandron
1
Dec 9, 2019
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Why are you being hostile towards Zenith over a simple statement made about headphones? Life must be tough for someone like yourself that gets triggered so easily.
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Dec 9, 2019
SpamShadow
63
Mar 6, 2018
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I've had these a little over a year, here are a few takeaways: -These are relatively warm headphones, laid back even, coupled with the wide soundstage, nice bass, and pleasant highs they have a great sound signature. They're more "fun" than Sennheiser's more neutral cans without being too fatiguing. They're my favorite sounding headphone. I use them for gaming and music and they excel in both. I go to my HD600s for that clear, neutral tone. I go to my K7xx when I just want some warm fuzzy bass and big sound. ************ -The pads are too thin, I think they'd be fine on most other headphones but the housing is so massive that my ears actually rest against the inside of the housing a bit. My HD600 and He4xx do an excellent job of keeping the drivers off my ears. Maybe that doesn't bug you, it bugs me. Dekoni Elite pads fix this nicely. I'm using ZMF Ori pads now and they're an incredible pair. I've heard plenty of reviews mention that the stock pads are super comfy so to each his own, maybe it'll be fine for you. ************ -No they don't NEED an amp, but after trying them direct, and then trying them through several progressively more powerful amps I'm seeing that they really scale with equipment, my Magni 3 on high gain really brings out the bass in these. I would really recommend either buying a dac/amp or going with a cheaper pair of headphones that don't require amplification, you will be missing out without extra gear. I keep reading review after review saying "They have no bass!" Through the Magni 3, mine have impressive, tight bass. They're not bass canons, but I've never once thought they were lacking. Plugging them into my phone they come off flat and sibilant. I'd maybe recommend keeping your expectations in check, these are reference headphones, they're specifically designed to avoid enormous boomy overpowering bass that you might get with cheaper headphones. What you get in return is a lot more clarity and texture in your sound. ************ -These were my first decent headphones. I've gone through a variety of cans since and always keep coming back to these. They never cease to amaze me. For $200, I have been impressed with these for over a year. If you've got the gear to drive them, I highly recommend giving them a shot. To be fair, between equipment and pads I will have put a lot of money into them, so I really can't recommend them as a "grab and go" pull out of the box and enjoy sort of thing. Try the ATH-AD500x or HD598s for something more along those lines.
My chain is 320kbps Mp3 or FLAC -> Eitr -> Mimby (Optical) -> Magni 3 -> K7xx
Mar 6, 2018
Gibbsman
13
Jul 2, 2018
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That is the different devices that his audio goes through to get from the PC to the the headphones.
So he starts out playing 320kbps MP3's or FLAC (lossless) files on the PC which then go to the Schiit Eitr, which is a USB to SPDIF converter. Basically taking a USB input and changing it to a Digital Coax output. Mimby is slang for the Schiit Modi Multibit DAC. The sound goes from the Eitr to the DAC through the digital coax. The DAC converts the audio from Digital to Analog. The DAC then outputs the audio via RCA cables to the Magni 3 AMP, which amplifies the sound. The K7XX's are plugged into the Magni 3 AMP.
You can find more info on all three of those devices on the Schiit website (https://schiit.com)
Jul 2, 2018
shadowkreep
510
Oct 17, 2018
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Thank you!
Oct 17, 2018
captainmo
8
May 3, 2019
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Best headphone for fps gaming
May 3, 2019
factsvsfeelings
64
Aug 16, 2019
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factsvsfeelings
64
Aug 16, 2019
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hans030390
58
Feb 16, 2018
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The K7XX is a good sounding headphone and a great value for the price. The bass and midrange are its biggest strengths, offering a slightly warm, full, but balanced sound. Treble refinement brings the headphone’s performance down a bit, being a bit bright and uneven at top, but still well within what I’d call an overall balanced sound. Some may even enjoy it for its tonal quality relative to other headphones. The K7XX has an airy, open sound, and is crisp, clear, and fast sounding. It’s lightweight, comfortable, and will work well from most devices, so long as they don’t have a weak headphone output. With an overall score of 82/100, it’s a great headphone and a great value. Well worth trying! Bass - 8/10 The K7XX has nice bass extension, levels, and dynamics. All but the lowest octave has a tasteful, broad bump, transitioning nicely into the midrange. The broad emphasis helps them sound coherent and gives some warmth and fullness to the sound. Bass tightness and clarity are slightly better than, but overall similar to, headphones like the HD600/650, so overall decent-to-good rather than great. Mids - 8/10 The K7XX has a nice midrange as well. It is fairly balanced, blends in well with the bass, detailed, and sound clear. However, it may sound a bit uneven and shouty in the upper-midrange, though whether one hears this the same way or minds will be highly variable. Treble - 7/10 The K7XX falters a bit in the treble area. It can be a bit bright, uneven, and rough sounding, not quite meshing with the smooth, refined, and well-integrated bass and midrange. However, thanks to the bass warmth and fullness, it is still relatively in-line with how a good headphone should sound, if not slightly U-shaped in tonality. That said, the treble is sharp, clear, and detailed, which is a plus, but it falls just shy of reaching truly top-of-the-line performance in this regard. I would prefer it be a little smoother and less bright sounding, though. Soundstage - 8/10 The K7XX has a nice, airy stage. It is wide and has solid instrument and vocal positioning. It sounds very open, as you would expect with its design! The K7XX could stand to improve with staging depth and layering, as it can be a bit forward sounding. Regardless, there’s a lot to like about the K7XX’s natural staging reproduction. Transient Response - 9/10 The K7XX is overall quick, sharp, clean, and dynamic from top to bottom, save for, perhaps, the lowest octave. This is one of its primary strengths, and those who find the HD650 or similar too veiled may have found just what they’re looking for with the K7XX. Build Quality – 9/10 The K7XX feels well built, despite being very lightweight. I would rate them a 10 if they had more premium materials in the build, but the fact is I’d have no concerns about tossing these in a bag for travel. The removable cable is a plus too! Comfort – 8/10 The K7XX is rather comfortable and can be worn for long periods of time. However, the pads could stand to be a bit softer, both in material and plushness of the cushions, but they do wear down in a good way with use. At first, they may feel a bit stiff and awkward if you wear glasses, especially given the large cups and the way they lay flat on your head. On the other hand, the suspension headband is a very nice touch. Out of the box, I could probably wear these for 2-4 hours with ease, but as they break in over time, probably all day. Value - 25/30 The K7XX offers upper-mid-tier performance for well below the cost of what you might expect. It’s definitely one of the better values on the market for what you get, even if it might not be for everyone. There are a handful of headphones I’d say are better overall at this price point or from a general value perspective, but the K7XX is still a great value nonetheless!
Overall Score - 82/100
Feb 16, 2018
BagOfBeans
5
Sep 24, 2018
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this review is WAY too generous. I would give the bass a 6/10 maybe, but the headphones are to quiet to judge without blowing out the tiny drivers
Sep 24, 2018
burgercoling
37
Nov 3, 2018
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What headphone amp are you using....Let me guess....none.
Nov 3, 2018
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I absolutely recommend this headphone. It’s comfy, well built, and sounds excellent with all sorts of music. At $200 it has very little competition. When I add up the score in each category, I end up with 83.5/100 - an oddly specific number that ends up feeling perhaps a bit lower than I’d like. It helps if I think of a perfect score as only being achievable by a correspondingly perfect headphone… these rankings are in absolute terms rather than “for the price”.
Bass - 8/10 Excellent performance here. Generous, articulate bass that most listeners will probably find “just right” in terms of quantity. It’s definitely boosted beyond a neutral reference, but not overly so, and I doubt most people really want strict neutrality anyway (even if they like to think they do). K7XX is missing the lowest lows that the absolute best headphones provide, but you’ll have to pay big bucks to get that last bit of extension.
Mids - 8/10 For the most part, K7XX is clear, resolving, and generally quite capable in this area. It works well with a wide variety of music, so don’t be afraid to play “non-audiophile” material. K7XX sounds more natural than any prior AKG K7-series model - many of which had a sort of weird “plastic” sound to them.
Treble - 7.5/10 I’m being picky here, as most will probably find treble to be pleasing overall. I do think the K7XX is again superior to every other K7 incarnation I’ve heard. That said, there’s a bit of a peak in the lower treble range which can come off as somewhat grating at times. Using a bright amp and playing poorly recorded music at high volumes will bring out this trait. Still, I’ll take this over just about any Grado on the market, hands down. If you like an ultra-smooth, relaxed presentation, the K7XX isn’t the best match. But if you prefer an energetic presentation with plenty of “bite”, this could be the headphone for you.
Soundstage - 8/10 Again, better than the prior models in this series. While the original K701 might initially seem more open sounding (due to being a lot brighter), I never found it particularly accurate in terms of imaging. It had that sort of “blob” presentation, where the performance extended well out of your head but didn’t properly assemble into a coherent soundstage. K7XX behaves far better. Width is particularly good, depth is decent, and height is somewhat lacking - but still better than many competitors. You’ll have to move up to something like a Sennheiser HD800 to get appreciably better performance than this.
Transient Response - 8/10 K7XX is rather “quick” sounding, which is nice coming from a headphone with a somewhat warm tonal balance. Usually it’s the thin, wispy sounding models that seem to excel in this area. This headphone is not tripped up by technical metal, jazz, and complex piano works.
Build Quality - 8/10
There are many, many thousands of K7-series headphones in the wild, spanning well over a decade. They aren’t known for being delicate, and K7XX is no different. After using and abusing my pair for 3+ years, they look practically new. I have a Sennheiser HD650 of similar vintage which shows far more scuffs and paint damage. Granted, if anything actually fails, the HD650 can easily be repaired - AKG doesn’t build their headphones to be as modular. My one complaint: the “self-adjusting” bands which connect the earcups to the head pad have stretched out, to the point where they no longer retract. If I had a smaller head, this would be a problem. I have never had this issue with prior models, so this could just be a fluke. Comfort - 9/10
Every head is different. For my huge dome, the K7XX is extremely comfortable. Others may disagree. I can wear these for many hours without issue - the velour pads don’t make me too warm, the cups are very roomy, the design is lightweight, and the head pad is free of those bumps which bothered so many folks on the earlier K7 models. Overall this is one of my favorite headphones for long-term listening. But again, that will not apply to everyone.
Value - 27/30
When I consider the competition for this headphone in the $200 space, the only things which come to mind are other Massdrop offerings. Specifically the Sennheiser HD6XX and HD58X Jubilee. Nothing else out there performs on the same level in my opinion. If we include the second hand market, there might be a compelling argument for something like a Philips Fidelio X2 (which will likely still cost more). In-ear monitors offer quite a bit of bang for the buck, but of course the experience is quite different… it’s not really a fair comparison. Ultimately I come back to the K7XX or the Massdrop Sennheiser options, which leads me to a choice between two signatures: Do I want a more neutral sound with a somewhat relaxed yet overall superior treble presentation? Or a faster, more open sound, with harder-hitting bass? If the latter sounds more appealing, K7XX is the one.
Overall Score - 83.5/100
Feb 16, 2018
desaturated
19
Sep 16, 2019
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Great Sound but the elastic band sucks
The headphone is unwearable as the band become loose. I try to Google a way to fix it but there no good solution, leaving you with no choice but to use a rubber band for quick fix.
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Sep 16, 2019
OakParkMusicGuy
67
Nov 28, 2019
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Yep!
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Nov 28, 2019
EekOZ
0
Feb 13, 2020
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Yep, another casualty to this! Except rubber band didn't even cross my mind. Thanks for the quickfix tip. Drop - can't you come up with some sort of clamping system over the two cross bars?
Feb 13, 2020
Tiddl3ywinks
10
Nov 5, 2019
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Worked great while they lasted
Headphones worked wonderful for a while but the right earcup stopped working. Got zero support on the issue and was told im out of luck.
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Would not recommend to a friend.
Nov 5, 2019
OrangeShadow
146
Jan 9, 2020
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How long after purchase did this happen? Did Drop really not offer any solution?
Jan 9, 2020
PuriK
3
Jan 27, 2020
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mine also had this issue, but i will say.... Support helped me 100% send me a shipping label and allowed me to get a replacement and i shipped my headphones back. They had 3 options, (1.) Ship them in and get a FULL refund. (2.) ship them in and get a replacement free of charge. (3.) keep the headphones and receive a $20 a partial refund. I loved these headphones so much i just got a replacement pair! WOULD RECOMMEND!!!
Jan 27, 2020
buffalobilious
15
Aug 18, 2019
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A great pair of headphones for the money.
Summary (tldr): Very comfortable headphones for people with giant noggins (after a few modifications). Very good imaging, separation, and soundstage, especially in this price range. Pleasing tonal balance after a pad swap. I like them more than the HD6XX or HD58X. --------------------------------------- Background: I bought these as an upgrade to a pair of AKG K240 studios. I own a few pairs of headphones that are "nicer" than the K240s, including the MrSpeakers Aeon Flow, Audioquest Nightowl Carbon, and HiFiMAN He-400i, but the K240s are my daily drivers for work because they're SO much lighter than the others and have the least clamping force, so I can wear them the longest without getting a headache. Why is this all so much of an issue? My head is enormous. I can't even wear adjustable, one-size-fits-all baseball hats. They just sit on top of my head like a thimble on an orange. I've replaced the earpads on the K240s with a softer pair than what comes standard, and I've cut the elastic on my 240s because other wise they didn't sit far enough down on my head without putting a lot of pressure on the top of my head, but with the elastic cut, they're extremely comfortable. My hypothesis regarding the K7XXs was that they would be ergonomically and sonically superior to the 240s. ---------------------------------------- Comfort: I have a large head, and I use headphones for multiple hours every day. That usually poses me with some ergonomic challenges. The K7XX is the lightest "audiophile" headphones I've encountered, and their ear cups are very spacious. My ears don't touch the insides of the cups at all, which I appreciate. The 240s are almost more like on-ear headphones, so the biggest comfort issue with them is my ears beginning to feel compressed after a few hours. I've replaced the earpads on the K7XX with Dekoni Protein Leather earpads because, although the velour pads that come standard have a nice texture, the foam is far too firm. It doesn't conform to the contours of my head to create a good seal. It just cuts into my head, creating pressure points and hot spots that distract from the enjoyment of my music. The Dekonis are vastly more comfortable. I have the same issue with the HD6XX velour pads. They're like velour-covered cement. I've always found suspension headbands more comfortable than regular headbands. Unfortunately, the headband on the K7XX doesn't really extend far enough down for me to get it to center around my ears properly without it resulting in the headband exerting a great deal of pressure on the top of my head, an issue my K240s don't have. There are a couple of plastic pieces that brace the suspension system but that impede the vertical extension of the K7XX's headstrap a centimeter or so lower than I'd like. Oh, and the K7XX is LIGHT. It's SO light. I'm completely in love with how light it is. It's the lightest full-size headphone I own. It's even lighter than the K240 which feels like it's made of papier-mâché. I erroneously assumed that the K7XX would be more generously proportioned than the K240, but it isn't, vertically speaking. The headstrap on the K240 is also deeper front-to-back, so it disperses the pressure along a larger area of my head, creating a greater sense of invisibility. However, I am going to try to modify the K7XX headband to make it extend further without putting so much pressure on my head. I've never once owned a pair of headphones that didn't require some modification to be comfortable. Not even my Aeons and Owls, both widely lauded as being two of the most comfortable headphone designs in existence, didn't escape a touch of modification just to make them that little bit more comfortable. Like I said, my head is HUGE. I do feel compelled to modify them to make them more comfortable though. Why?... ------------------------------------------------ Sound: The K7XX sounds very good. My pairs from MrSpeakers and Audioquest are overall more resolving than the K7XX, but the K7XX frankly has a much larger soundstage and images better. And although the Nightowl and Aeon do feature good senses of separation, the wider stage of the K7XX allows for a great sense of separation. A big part of my enjoyment of music is dependent on my ability really drill down into the music and hear the different parts of what's going on, and the huge stage and excellent separation of the K7XX really facilitates that to a delicious extent. Even though the Aeons are more resolving and faster, some fun musical details shine through in the mix more with the K7XX just because of their great separation. The sound signature of the K7XX with the standard velour pads is a little shouty and lean, with the bass laying back a touch and the upper mids being a touch sharp. When I switched the velours out for the Dekoni pads, the bass become richer and fuller, and the upper mids chilled out a little, resulting in a much more pleasant and balanced overall tuning. I don't mind lean bass if it still feels appropriate to the music, but I can't listen to sharp upper mids or highs very long without getting fatigued, which is my biggest issue with the K240s. They have very lean bass, again not a HUGE issue but still not ideal, but they have some peaks in the presence region that wear my ears out, so I have to listen to them just a little quieter than I'd like in order to be able to use them for extended periods. The K7XXs with the Dekoni pads do not have this issue. They are very nicely balanced, are more resolving, have a wider soundstage, and image better than the K240s. Total slam dunk. The K7XX is going to be a great daily driver for use at work (I sit far enough away from anyone else that nobody will hear my music, even at medium volumes from an open-backed headphone). ----------------------------------------------------------- Selected comparisons of other phones in the general price vicinity: HD6XX (have listened to extensively due to multiple friends owning them): I prefer the K7XX to the HD6XX. I know this is a minority opinion. But I find that with the Dekoni pads, the K7XX has a fairly similar tonal balance to the HD6XX but with MASSIVELY wider soundstaging and superior imaging and separation, which I think are really the magic ingredient in truly great headphones. As much as I think Sennheiser is awesome, those 600 series phones have, to my ear, pretty mediocre soundstage, imaging, and separation, which makes them just a little underwhelming for my taste. I also really don't like the ergonomics of the 600 series Senns. I find them endlessly uncomfortable. I'm sure this opinion here isn't all that helpful to most though. The 600s are nearly universally beloved for a reason, I'm sure. They just don't hit me the way they hit everyone else, clearly. HD58X (I own): Pretty much the same story as the 6XX but with a different tonal balance and with a driver that's easier to drive. All the same notes regarding soundstage, imaging, separation, and comfort. HE-400i (I own): This one's a little trickier for me. I find the 400i much more comfortable than the 600 series Senns, but they have a lot of the same ergonomic challenges that the K7XX has. The HiFiMAN phones come with much comfier pads, but they don't extend vertically as much as I'd like. I've dismantled them and inverted the headstrap so that it can extend further up. That's helped quite a bit. The 400i might be a touch more resolving than the K7XX, and it is faster, but it's also a little grainy in the mids and treble, the K7XX not so much. The 400i is much heavier than the K7XX though, and the K7XX, like with so many others, handily bests the 400i on imaging, soundstage, and separation.
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Would recommend to a friend.
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Aug 18, 2019
revisionary
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Dec 21, 2019
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Thanks for a great review. I've had a pair of HD6XX for a good while and I'm looking for something with better soundstage. Thought these might do the trick and your testimonial pretty much confirms that. Cheers!
Dec 21, 2019
massdropweb
25
Mar 29, 2018
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These headphones are great for watching videos because of the soundstage. It often sounds like something is happening in my room instead of in the video, which took a little getting used to. I didn't instantly love the K7XXs headphones for music, because somehow they didn't make me want to rock out as much as the other headphones I had (Grado SR125, Bose QC2, and some other headphones I've since gotten rid of). In part I think it's because of the much less accentuated bass response in the K7XXs. However, the K7XXs have really, really, really grown on me. I recently got the Sony WH1000xm2 (noise-cancelling) headphones for an open-plan office. Before bringing them into the office, I tested them back-to-back with the K7XXs and found the Sonys are almost unlistenable in comparison. The K7XXs sound so open and detailed and spacious, and somehow the Sonys just feel small (acoustically) and flat. I was so shocked at the difference I busted out my Grados to see if the Sonys were just crap. However, I found that the Grados, which served me fine for years, now sound terrible to me--all bass to the point of overwhelming the detail in the rest of the music. So I'm not sure what to conclude. Maybe we just like the sounds we are used to. But I have a hard imagining going back to other headphones unless I really need them for noise canceling. Another unexpected thing (which might make you want to discount my review) is that, contrary to popular opinon, for my level of discernment (I guess I'm not an audiophile) I didn't find the K7XXs hard to drive. I've done back-to-back tests with the Schiit Fulla2, the Aune X1S (from massdrop), a $14 USB 2.0 external 5.1 sound box (from "optimal shop" on amazon), and the analog headphone jack on my Google pixel phone. I literally cannot tell the difference between these four amps (the third of which isn't even really an amp so much as a DAC) when I plug in the K7XXs. That's in stark contrast to the salient differences between the different sets of headphones I have. So I'd certainly say that if you are deciding between better headphones (like these) or a new headphone amp, get the headphones. For any given amp, I do need to turn up the volume slightly for the K7XXs compared to other headphones, but who cares? Update: Well, I've had the headphones just over two years, and the little clear plastic piece that holds the headband to the spring-loaded bands has broken on one side. I don't think I've been particularly hard on the headphones. Not only did they break just after the warranty expired, but AKG will not even repair it for a fee or sell me the plastic part I need to fix the headphones, telling me my only option is to buy an entirely new pair. So I'm docking a star because that plastic part is pretty flimsy and looks like it should break often:
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(Edited)
Mar 29, 2018
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