The success behind a piece of good music or video production lies in the hands of a good pair of professional headphones, among many other different factors. Be it for a high-fidelity studio recording project, or home-based production work, having a professional headphone can bring in huge benefits. Right from giving you the power to detect minor sound errors while editing to enabling you to focus on your work by blocking outside noise, the professionals rely on different types of studio headphones for the desired outcome. Before we move ahead with our AKG K712 Pro Review, let us also clear a few other considerations.
AKG K700 Series
AKG K712 is a member of the very popular K700 line of studio reference headphones by AKG. While the brand itself tops in many professional reviewers lists for its incredible offerings of both professional and consumer headphones, the AKG 700 line of headphones has been a great contribution to the headphones world.
AKG Pro Audio K712 is a pair of circumaural headphones in ‘open back style’ that are specially designed with precise engineering and technologies that makes them one of the splendid pairs for studio projects. The headphone is a descendant of K70, the classic version of the series, and is backed by several AKG K712 pro reviews on various platforms from its users and headphones experts.
In case you are planning on buying AKG712 and want to know more about this product and where it stands in terms of quality and performance, then you have landed at the right place. In this article, we will provide you with a detailed AKG K712 pro review, technical specifications, AKG K7xx Pro frequency response, the pros and cons of these headphones. Before we move on to our review of the AKG K712 Headphones, we should try and understand some of the options we have when it comes to Professional or Studio headphones.
What are the different types of professional or studio headphones?
For those who are new to the production field or buying a professional headphone for the first time- there are significant differences between a consumer headphone needed for casual use and the headphones needed for production work.
You need to make a note that a consumer audio gear will not serve the purpose of the ones designed particularly for mixing and monitoring. That said, their main difference lies in the sound signature. A professional headphone is tuned with a flat frequency response that gives a completely neutral presentation, allowing you to hear the littlest of the sound with utmost clarity. Consumer headphones on the other hand have boosted lows and highs to make the listening experience more pleasing.
Studio headphones come in three different types catering to different kinds of production needs and are designed for different hearing preferences of the professionals-
Closed Back Headphones
Closed-back headphones are one of the very common versions used in studios. The headphone with a closed-form factor is best known for reducing outside noise and diminishing sound leakage. This type of device is a great choice for recordists or singers who need to focus on the supporting track while recording and also so that the sound doesn’t come outside and interfere during the process.
Closed-back headphones are also a powerful tool for sound engineers working both in the studio or in an outdoor production, where it is impossible to get a distraction-free environment. The only glitch about these headphones is that due to the closed-back construction, the sound is tight with a narrow sound stage, which is why there is often a low-frequency build-up that deviates the sound from being natural or neutral. This is the reason these headphones are not ideal for other functions of production like mixing and editing.
The headphones are rather heavy, and the sound pressure and heat accumulated inside the ear cups for long hours of use may cause ear fatigue. Therefore, it is always recommended that you take breaks in between usage when you need to wear it for long hours.
Open Back Headphones
Open-back headphones have a completely open design at the back of the ear cups, with a mesh or grille covering the internal components of the headphones. The sound waves reproduced by the headphones can travel freely within the ear cups and get mixed with the external sound, giving spatial acoustics with a wide sound stage. Professionals prefer this type of headphones for monitoring and mixing because of their natural and realistic presentation that is lighter on the ears. Also, open-back headphones provide a lot of detail and there is zero bass build-up, which means they have a flat frequency response.
On the downside, if you want headphones for recording or soundtrack, this is not going to be ideal because of the sound leakage through their open-back cups, unlike their closed-back counterparts.
Semi Open Back Headphones
Semi-open back headphones act as a middle platform between the open and the closed back. This clearly means that these headphones share the qualities of both the above two types. While they sound natural like the open-back one, they also isolate quite a bit of the ambient noise. These headphones are often the top choices of critical listeners who are very particular about the delivery of sound and prefer to let in only some part of ambient sound to the mix. Most studio engineers use these types of headphones for editing, sound mixing, and monitoring, these are also occasionally used during recording depending on the artist’s listening preference. Check out AKG N700nc vs sony 1000xm3 comparison from here.
The main disadvantage of semi-back open audio gears is that they need a quiet space to be used, so using them outdoors is not an option. Their partial perforated design allows the noise to enter, which may interfere with the work. But the good part is, there is good ventilation, no pressure build-up, therefore no ear fatigue.
Now let’s get back to the review.
AKG K712 Pro Review: Akg K712 Pro Technical Specifications, Significant Features- Why Should You Buy These Headphones?
When you think of buying a good pair of professional headphones, AKG is one name that comes to the top of your mind, along with brands like Sennheiser, Beyerdynamic, or Audio Technica that are all known for their offerings in the professional headphones realm. Even though it’s been a few years since this headphone has been released, the company has strategically designed it to cater to the present-day needs of sound engineers and musicians. In this section, AKG K712 pro review, you will see how.
What Should You Expect in the Box?
The box of AKG712 includes:
- AKG Pro audio K712 studio reference headphones.
- XLR connector cable.
- XLR coiled cable.
- A soft carrying pouch.
|Audio cable||3 meters|
|AKG K712 Pro Frequency Response||10 Hz to 39800 Hz|
|AKG AKG712 Impedance||62 Ohm|
|Sound Sensitivity||105 dB|
|Max power output||200 mW|
|Weight||235 g (excluding cable)|
|Accompanying accessory||3.5 mm jack and 6.3 mm screw-on adapter|
AKG K712 Pro Review – Design and Build of Akg712
AKG712 carries forward the same kind of look that its predecessor K701 has. Even though the headphone doesn’t have a bulletproof build, it has a decent, sturdy construction that can withstand the intensive use and pressure of a production environment. The over-ear large ear cups come in open back style with grille screen holding the drivers inside. The earpads are made of plush foam with a velour fabric finish. The round-shaped cups, along with the soft breathable fabric padding, offer maximum comfort without causing discomfort, even when you wear them for long hours. The headphone doesn’t come with any additional replaceable ear pads, but if you want to replace them, you can get them online.
The ear cups are supported by a lightweight metallic frame on either side that suspends above the actual headband. The headband is made of genuine leather and comes in a flat strap form without any plastic or metallic support. This means that it can easily take the shape of your head without forming any kind of compression on the head, unlike some of the other headphones that come with rigid headband construction.
Additionally, the clamping pressure of the AKG712 ear cups is pretty mild, so you will only feel like two cushions over your ears when you wear them. This is great when you sit at one place and work, but it makes them unfit for use during workout sessions because the headphones tend to slip off the head due to rigorous movements.
Comfort and Ease of Carrying
It is also important to note that while the soft head strap is designed keeping in mind optimum comfort and less physical stress, the headband’s adjustable mechanism includes a lot of movable joints. Although these joints are added for convenience, they are also the weaker sections of AKG Pro Audio K712, which can get damaged due to excessive wear and tear.
The overall headphone is only about 235 grams, which is very light. But it cannot be folded in any way, which means that it is going to be difficult to carry. So, if you are thinking of portable professional headphones, this may not be the right one to go for. On the upside, the detachable cable contributes to the longevity of AKG712 because unlike the headsets with attached cable, if this one gets pulled it wouldn’t break or get damaged. The removable cable design with an XLR cable connector allows you to replace it when needed.
All-in-all, the headphone has earned numerous great AKG K712 pro reviews on the durability and quality of the product.
AKG K712 Pro Review – AKG712 Acoustic Performance
AKG adds its innovation in every headphone that it creates, and AKG Pro audio K712 has it running within. The open-back design extends to an airy stereo sound that makes you feel like the sound is coming from large speakers. With a wide sound stage, there is very little pressure built up inside the ear cups, so you will get a more light and relaxing listening experience. This is hugely beneficial in a stress-free sound monitoring or mixing session; additionally, it also enables the mixes to translate pretty well, delivering every minute detail in a clear and crisp way.
Designed for studio use, the AKG712’s natural sound presentation with flat frequency response across the entire frequency range, especially between 80 Hz to 11 kHz, makes its mids range perfectly sounding. Sound engineers and audiophile professionals know how important it is for the mids to be perfect in order for the entire soundtrack to be balanced. This is because some key elements like vocals and the cardinal tones of most of the instruments lie within this range.
AKG K712 Pro frequency response ranges from 10 Hz to 39,800 kHz, which is impressively wide. This extension on the lows and highs beyond the human hearing range paired with high-quality dynamic drivers along with the flat-wire voice coil adds up to a gorgeous sound with accurate delivery of tonal details and depth. A lot of users did mention in their AKG K712 Pro reviews that there is a slight peak at two frequencies that may cause some instruments to sound a little undistorted and lead to ear fatigue if listened for a long time.
But one good thing about AKG712 is that it’s open back and therefore just like any other headphones of this form factor, there is a bass slide off which actually helps in maintaining the balance. Other than that, the stereo imaging of the headphone is powerful thanks to the improvised high-end performance- there is a decent balance between both the channels.
If you ask, the overall sound is wonderfully balanced and accurate. AKG712 displays pretty good layering of the sound making sure that every little element be it vocal, supporting vocals, different types of instruments is clearly audible. There is just the right amount of bass, warm and crisp mids, and smooth highs with no distortion at all even when you listen with the volumes turned high.
AKG K712 Pro Review – Passive Noise Isolation
Noise isolation can be extremely useful in a lot of situations, especially when you need a quieter environment during recording or tracking. It also maintains the quality of the sound by preventing sound leakage.
But K712 is designed with an open back, plus the velour fabric on the ear padding has poor noise isolation capability. The fabric is porous, hence, breathable and offers superlative comfort but there are a lot of sound leakages which is obvious given the back design. However, the whole purpose of this type of headphone is to offer spacious natural audio which it performs to the best of its ability, and it is excellent.
AKG K712 Pro Review – Price
When it comes to premium quality professional headphones, they are usually towards the higher end of the price scale. Many people, especially, those who have just entered into the industry have to look out for other options that will cater to their needs without having to break a bank. You might also want to check out our AKG P120 review from here.
As for AKG Pro Audio K712, the headphones have a higher figure, but the e-commerce sites do a great job offering discounts. The price listed on the AKG official website is $575.00, but Amazon is currently (at the time of writing this article) offering it at a discounted price of $379.75 which is definitely a good deal. So in case you are planning on buying this, you may want to keep an eye on the best deals offered by these sites.
Pros and Cons of AKG Pro Audio K712
AKG712 has endless qualities that we have discussed so far but like every other headphone, this one has its flip sides too. So here’s a list of the pros and cons of this product that has been listed, taking into consideration most of the AKG K712 pro reviews and expert opinions:
- Vintage kind of look with large ear cups for outstanding comfort.
- Build quality is pretty good.
- Overall neutral performance with one of the widest sound stages found in headphones of this kind.
- Offers superior musicality through most of the genres.
- Open back offers natural and lighter sound, giving a more pleasant experience.
- Distinctive layering of all the elements in a soundtrack.
- Detachable cable and ability to replace the ear pads offers extended longevity.
- Efficient speaker drivers with low THD offer incredible response to EQ.
- The oversized ear cups are great for comfort but don’t suit everyone’s preference and convenience.
- With a high sensitivity of 105 dB 62 Ohm impedance, AKG712 needs quite a high-power source to perform at the fullest. So you will need a good headphone amp to sound best when the volume is turned high.
- A few AKG K712 Pro reviews stated that there are some weaker joints that are prone to damage due to rough handling. You will have to be careful about that.
Various AKG K-series Headphones and the Differences Between Them
As mentioned earlier, AKG712 is the refined model of its predecessor K701 and K702, and the K700 trio hail from the brand’s premium shelf. But if you are looking to see a wide range of collections for music production, then AKG is sure to turn all the heads around. Most of the time, it is recommended to go for an expensive pair of headphones for serious production jobs. This is because they are engineered for ace level accuracy and offer other premium features like more comfort, extra accessories, or something like that.
We understand that it may be a lot of money for a pair of studio headphones which you cannot even use for other purposes like casual listening or movies etc. But that little extra accuracy can be extremely crucial to get the desired results when you are mixing sounds or monitoring for a hi-fidelity assignment. That said, the K-series AKG has headphone offerings in all the ranges to suit everyone’s pocket, where some of them are tuned for professional use and others kept open for casual music listening.
Budget Offerings From AKG
For budget buyers, there is an economic range that includes K52, K62, and K92. These headphones feature over-ear, closed-back design and are integrated with professional quality drivers responsible for crystal clear sound with deep bass. The closed-back design prevents sound leakage, while the accentuated bass gives a pleasant listening experience. K52 and K62 aren’t suitable for sound mixing and editing, but they are great if you want an affordable pair of headphones for casual use. K92 however can be used for high-end production work like for home projects, or small school projects.
The Foldable Options
Stepping up a bit, there are AKG’s ‘foldable headphone lines’ that include K175, K245, and K275 that are designed keeping in mind the expectations and needs of the professionals performing sound editing and mixing on the go. The headphones have on-ear, closed-back ear cups, designed for mixing and monitoring. They have a snug fit and with 114 dB sound sensitivity that can get really loud even at medium volumes. With 40 mm drivers, the headphone delivers plenty of power and a great quality sound across the entire frequency range. They may not be the best ones that are available in the market, but for their price and design, they have proven to be pretty good for sound mixing and editing.
On the top end of the line are the K800 lines- the K812 (superior reference headphones and the K872 (Master reference closed-back headphones). These are expensive options but are also geared for high-fidelity production use that requires extensive accuracy and detailed acoustics. Their 53 mm large transducers are specifically designed to achieve sonic excellence and dynamic range.
AKG Pro Audio K712 is a sophisticated pair of studio headphones from the brand that delivers great sonic performance. When it comes to the overall sound, it may not be audiophile-grade because there is a mild accentuation in the bass. But if you are not too bothered about that, it is a great tool for your studio monitoring and mixing. The sound, however, varies as per individual hearing preference. While some feel the K702 to be flatter than the AKG712, others have a varied opinion. The distortion level of the headphone is minimum for its open-back design which makes it a great tool for production but with bass roll-off, it is obviously not a great one for casual listening.
AKG K712 Pro Review – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
AKG712 may be an expensive option for some, but you can get pretty good discounts on e-commerce websites. Right now, Amazon is offering these headphones at a decently discounted rate. Click here to check out the details.
Well, AKG712 drivers are tuned for a flat or neutral frequency response that doesn’t have any boosted bass, mids, or treble. So basically the sound is crystal clear and bright but not enhanced for an immersive listening that most people prefer for movies. But in case you have acquired the taste of this natural sound presentation, then you would probably enjoy watching movies with this pair.
Yes, the headphones come with a detachable cable, which is very easy to change or replace in case of damage. Other than that, you get replaceable ear pads online that you can change periodically if you use your headphones extensively.