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Headphone Review: K701/2  

2010-03-19 01:08:50|  分类: 想想 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Pros: Soundstage, good level of detail, overall instrument separation & clarity

Cons: Needs good headphone amp & source, limited applicability with multiple music genres

I think the user reviews preceding mine have sufficiently covered the pros of the K702 - yes, it's a pretty good headphone and I'll admit that if you've never heard headphones remotely close to this price range before, it may very well even sound great (depending on how you like the sound, of course). We all had to start somewhere and the K701 (the K702's precedent) was actually my first expensive headphone too.

But enough of the praise because the K702 isn't what I'd call stellar in every aspect. I'll start first by saying that the K702 is identical in sound quality to the K701 - I did own both at the same time to find out for myself. The main reason to get the K702 instead is for its cool midnight-blue color and detachable cable - however, unlike the K701 the K702 *cannot* be re-cabled to balanced.

I've been fortunate enough to hear lots of headphones over the last 3+ years (mostly by traveling to meet lots of like-minded headphone listeners who have had some seriously crazy gear stashes), most of which are considerably more expensive than the K701/K702 ("K70x" from here on out), so I'll try to put these headphones into proper context.

Sure, they're detailed, obviously more than headphones that are cheaper, but the level of detail is really nothing special when you compare them to similarly priced competitors, and of course more expensive headphones. In the same approximate price range I found both the Sony SA5000 and Beyerdynamic DT880 to have an extra degree of detail (well they're also very treble-tilted but that's beside my point). The SA5000 and DT880 simply have a more "clear" sound that masks the entire frequency spectrum less and just allow you to hear more densely-packed subtleties.

The K70x are also moderately fast in terms of their impulse response but in order to get the best possible impulse response, you need to amp them with a really good amp and even then they won't take home any awards for their speed, even at their price - the Sony SA5000 for example is considerably faster, as are other headphones from Audio-Technica and Grado, and there are also a few electrostatic headphones in this price range too. The K70x doesn't really "blur" fast & incisive notes but neither does it make them "pop" with clarity, it's sort of in between.

The soundstage is a double-edged sword - it's very large and open with a killer vanishing effect (instruments can sound like they're literally suspended around and in front of you), but the K70x imposes this soundstage on everything regardless of the recording. It can work for music like classical and jazz, but probably the last thing you want if you're an avid rock or metal listener.

The sound quality is also somewhat of a double-edged sword. The overall sound is quite laid-back (compared to notably the Senn HD600/HD650 and especially Grados) and there isn't that much mid-range either (except in the female vocal range), so full-range instruments and voices won't exactly exude a ton of body and weight, which can come off as sounding a bit "disembodied." This makes the K70x less than ideal for genres like prog rock, metal, & some electronica where a lot can depend on driving bass & mid-range, but it's not as bad with genres like classical, jazz, folk, even some classic rock.

To boil it down, I think the K70x is at best an "average" headphone for the price. It's not terrible in any one area but not really outstanding in any either. Not that it's "bad" per se, I just don't think it's great - but on the other hand, you really have to spend serious money to get something better-sounding (like $1.4K for the Sennheiser HD800, for example). Also keep in mind that the K70x needs both a high-quality source component and headphone amp to perform its best - in fact, I would suggest not buying these if you intend to use them straight from a computer or portable DAP. That said, it's still probably the headphone to get if your budget is under $500 and you don't mind a general "neutrality" to the sound quality (with a large soundstage to boot), and you have a good source & amp too (or plan to acquire them).

I agree about the detail part.. Never understood the 'great detail' that the 701 has.. Very good, yes! But SA5000/DT880/DT48 are more detailed with a heightened sense of resolve. In general, I feel the review is fair, but a bit harsh in a way..

I DID NOT WRITE THIS REVIEW.. a hEAD fI MEMBER DID.

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