Review AKG Q701 Quincy Jones Reference Class Premium Headphones – For Serious Stay at Home Audiophiles

Beats by Dr Dre headphones seem to have opened the floodgates to a wave of celebrities endorsing what all claim to be the best headphones on the market. In this case the AKG Q701 headphones have been endorsed by none other than 27 time GRAMMY award winner Quincy Jones. Having worked on an extensive back catalogue that reads like a roll call of some of the world’s greatest musicians, his endorsement is high praise indeed.

In his own words: “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.”

So do these deliver the true sound that artists and studio engineers hear? Or is Quincy’s endorsement mere marketing mush? Let’s find out…

Appearance

Anybody hoping for a big, bold ‘Q’ on either headphone can to mimic the branding of Beats by Dr Dre will be sorely disappointed. But these aren’t designed for impressing people on the commute to work. But what you do get is a solid metal pair of cans with a reassuringly luxurious velvet ear pads and a real leather headband that auto adjusts to grip comfortably onto your head.

Available in a range of colours, including bright green, these are an attractive set of headphones. However, their elegant appearance is likely to be just for you and your nearest and dearest’s enjoyment because these are unlikely to leave the home. That is unless you’re happy to lug around the extra amplification equipment that needs to go with them…

Performance

The AKG Q701 Quincy Jones headphones feature revolutionary flat wire voice coil technology and patented two-layer diaphragm. To the uninitiated, this is the same audio technology you’d find in a high end speaker system or microphone compressed into a set of headphones. In practical terms, this means you can expect extremely accurate sound reproduction that will simply blow you away.

Quincy Jones knows good music and, judging from the performance of these, he knows a good pair of headphones. As befitting the price tag, the AKG Q701s offer a spacious soundstage, which gives pin point clarity, depth and a sweet bass that blends into the midrange beautifully.

If you want to hear music as the artist intended then the AKG Q701 Quincy Jones headphones are a high end option that can offer you some of the most enjoyable listening experiences money can buy.

What people say

Reviewers are universally agreed that the sound quality of the AKG Q701 Quincy Jones headphones is simply superb. They cover a phenomenal frequency range and give you a real sense of ‘space’. As with everything in life, quality comes with a price tag, but if you love to hear music with clarity and depth then these are money well spent.

However, it’s important to note that you may not get the optimum experience listening to these straight through the audio port of your iPad or laptop. These need extra amplification to drive the sound. One solution is to buy a USB audio amplifier (e.g. TonePort or FiiO E17) to give the sound that extra kick through the audio cable. You may also want to ‘burn’ these in for two weeks to get the true audiophile experience that AKG and Quincy intended.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that these headphones are open backed, and consequently leak sound and wont mask background noise. So not ideal for the commute to work, but then that’s not what these headphones are for. They’re for becoming immersed in music at home where you can take pleasure in every note and stanza, just as the artist intended.

Music to turn up

Classical, pop or rock will sound like you’re discovering music for the first time.

Music to turn down

Heart palpitating bass was not on the design sheet for these. For deep growling bass for hip-hop, drum & bass, dub step and beats on the streets you might want to look elsewhere

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