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Celebrity endorsements are extremely important to about 30% of headphone consumers, according to an NPD survey.
So, AKG decided to relaunch its older, but still among the best, headphones AKG K701 as Quincy Jones Q701. For once, the celebrity endorsement does not mean one would be paying too much for too little, at the current price point Q701 is a good investment.
With the flat-wire voice-coil technology and neodymium magnet system Q701 provides for excellent accuracy. The bass takes over 200 hours to break in, but the performance at mid frequency and hi frequency makes it a music lover’s delight. Even the low notes are tight and nicely textured.
Despite the slightly emphatic treble that make mid-range sound a bit lean, they integrate very well with the lows and the hi-range.
Q701 have a coherent and deep sound as long as it is connected to a good source. A portable device, on the other hand, fails to drive this gear well enough and the experience is less than ideal.
Quincy Jones is not kidding when he says: “These are the only headphones I’ve heard that bring out the true sound we were striving for on records like “Billie Jean”‚ “Thriller” and “Give Me the Night“. It’s the best-quality sound I’ve heard, ever.”
Q701 has an open-backed design rather than the traditional closed-headphones. This means that the noise reduction is practically nonexistent. These are best suited to be used in a quite office or the comfort of your home. The spaciousness it provides does make a well-designed soundscape that much more realistic.
Frequency response range of 10 Hz to 39.8 kHz which is on par with headphones of priced much higher is the result of flat-wire voice-coil technology and ‘Varimotion’ multilayer diaphragm. The coils use aluminum rather than copper, not only making them lighter but also make the diaphragm more responsive.
The coil also increases the packing density and therefore allows for a much higher magnetic coupling. This further makes the motor more efficient.
It comes with a 3m and another 6m detachable cable.
Inclusion of 6m cable is a masterstroke that cuts down on an inevitable additional purchase. The cables connect to the left ear with a proprietary 3-pin connector. These are made of 99.9999% oxygen-free copper and end in a 3.5mm jack. The set comes with a 3.5 to 6.25mm adaptor that can be screwed into position.
Q701 is among the lightest dj headphones of its size at 235 grams. The circular earpads fit perfectly and are very comfortable. These can be easily removed for both cleaning and replacement whenever needed. The two-layer diaphragm provides for a great pistoning action.
The elastic band connecting the earcups and headband means that the headband automatically adjusts. Though this does feel like something that is not built to last, it works almost perfectly. No other headphone I can think of comes with such a long cable out of the box. This allows one to move around freely while listening to uninterrupted music.
These headphones let you listen to music for hours together without any trouble.
AKG is widely considered a leader when it comes to making durable headphones. The core of Q701 is obviously built to last, but the only complaint is about the elastic band which wears out pretty fast. The fans would tell you that these can be easily replaced with elastic hair band, if you can find the right size.
The other thing is that if the stock cables need to be replaced, the 3 pin connector may prove difficult to find. The Varimotion diagraph make the headphone more resistant to viscosity changes due to heating of the material.
This means that even when the headphones get older, the variance in performance for different levels of music will be lesser than competing products.
At the current price point Quincy Jones Q701 are a great investment, if not a steal. Other headphones with similar frequency response are priced much higher. If you are listening to portable music players, adding a headphone amplifier to the set up would be very valuable for you.