[Stickied] The K7XX FAQ
As Audiophiles ourselves, we believe that headphone choice and sound perception are deeply personal. We understand that there will always be people who will not like the K7XX or do not agree with the design choices that have been influenced by the community. That being said, the K7XX is a set we are proud to recommend to newcomers and veterans alike.
With over 11K posts and discussions, you can imagine that almost every question has been both asked and answered by the community. A big thank you goes out to all of the community members who, over the course of the past year, have been answering questions and clearing up misconceptions. Below are a few of the most common ones asked.
What’s the quick summary of the K7XX?
The idea and goal of the K7XX was to take the very best from across the AKG 700-series and create a definitive version designed by and for the audiophile community. Lastly, the goal was to offer this version at an incredible price to performance ratio. The following are a few of the key design features.
1. K702 65th Anniversary Edition Drivers: The K702 65th Anniversary Edition (“Annies”) drivers are considered by the audiophile community to be the best sounding driver in the 700-series family which was the reason it was selected for the K7XX.
2. Memory Foam Padding: Absent in the K701 and K702, the K7XX uses memory foam padding which was first introduced in the K702 65th Anniversary Edition. The impact of this choice is that the Annies and the K7XX maintain the same performance in the highs and mids that the 700-series are known for but with an improved 3dB bass increase.
3. Black Colorway: This one is new and unique to the K7XX and was a result of feedback from the Audiophile community during the design process. In general, there was a strong preference for a sleek all-black look. As project86 (a key contributor on Head-fi) puts it, “[the] K7XX is ninja black and gloriously free of any obnoxious accents. It's arguably the best looking variation in the history of the series.”
4. Same Build Quality & Manufacturing Process: The K7XX is built with the same quality and under the same manufacturing process as the rest of the 700-family. It’s made for audiophiles, and we know that everyone would expect no less.
These seem to have a great price to performance ratio. Is it because the K7XX uses cheaper materials?
Where are these manufactured? How is the quality?
A common question that is asked is “where are these made?”. The entire 700-series family, including the K7XX, are produced in China. There is a misconception that AKG manufacturers their headphones in Austria and that there are still Austrian made 700-series available. As an additional point, even the K812 are now made in Slovakia (not Austria).
But the broader point is around production processes, quality control, and manufacturing tolerances. These are all principles and concepts that are geographically agnostic and instead depend on the manufacturer and the factory who are the ones who make the decision either to be detailed-oriented or to cut corners. AKG has a history of being the former and has consistently delivered. Lastly, there is a 2-year warranty on the K7XX.
Do you need an amp?
The K7XX will work fine without an amp.
That said, an amplifier, in general, serves to provide clean power and control of the headphone drivers to deliver sound. A supplemental amplifier may sound better than the one bundled in your phone, which is designed for long battery life or earbuds, for example. The AKG K7XX is not a headphone that is known for being especially "difficult to drive" (as they say). You may, however, find benefits in the characteristics of certain amplifiers and how they interact with your source and headphones.
Why is the MSRP “so high”?
MSRP refers to the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price and is the price that the manufacturer recommends retailers sell the product. It does not mean the price that retailers will actually sell the product at and it does not mean the lowest price found online. While the last two examples may change based on sales and retailer pricing decisions, MSRP stays the same.
The MSRP for the K7XX reflects the MSRP of the K702 65th Anniversary Edition, the headphone that the K7XX can trace its ancestry too.
How do these compare to the other headphones?
This is one we will expand on over the next week.