AKG Q701 Studio Headphones

AKG Q701 VS AKG K121 Studio Headphones Review

In Buying Guides by MusicGearo

I’ve decided to share my view of the AKG Q701 studio headphones because I have been using a pair of these for almost four years now. My opinion about AKG Q701 is that these are one great pair of headphones which can bring you impressive clarity and space to your sound. 

How I started with AKG Q701 (Austrian version)

It wasn’t my intention to stick with these headphones for as long as possible. I decided to pick just one, so I didn’t need to have a bunch of others. My main goal was to focus on one source of the sound and try to find the potential that it has inside. For most people, it’s hard to find a pair of headphones because there are tons of fabulous studio headphones out there, and they can’t really decide between AKG, Sennheiser, Beyerdynamic or others. Yes, these are really great brands that are offering top-notch sound.

You have to stick to the one source of the audio and try to find these little details that your studio headphones will provide you after a long period of the time.

AKG Q701 Studio Headphones vs. SteelSeries Siberia Gaming Headphones

I remember how I’ve started. Before I’ve got Q701, I had a pair of gaming headphones called Siberia from Steelseries. These were so loud and so bassy that I was a little worried if Q701 will have something to impress me with. And I was shocked. Once I put them on and tested them, my first thought was that it’s a scam and these headphones are fake and far away from AKG studio headphones.

Siberias seemed to be extremely mono, and on the other side, Q701 sounded completely stereo. I think that was the main reason why I’ve wondered if it’s genuine Q701. Yes, it’s a little weird to compare gaming and studio headphones, even when gaming ones are designed for players, these are Closed-back type of headphones meanwhile Q701 are Open-back.

AKG Q701 vs. AKG K121

Back in the time, when I’ve made my first tune called “Unity” I have compared its sound to AKG K121 (Previous ones that I used, to make my earlier tunes).  And there it lacked everything. It sounds pretty obvious, but there was no detail, K121 had some flat bass range without any significant color and also sounded a little dry. On the other side, Q701 had a subtle and very balanced range from 6000 to 16000hz.

AKG Q701 Studio Headphones

When it comes to wearing, Q701 has massive pads that will cover your ears. Meanwhile, K121 have smaller pads, that’s also why they are semi-open studio headphones. With Q701 you may produce hours and hours without noticing any significant thing that you could find annoying.

K121 used to be a little uncomfortable, and I would have them on my head just for a few hours, probably because they didn’t cover my ears. Also, Q701 have detachable cable while K121 does not. Also, pads are replaceable, and you can also wash them or buy new ones.

Addictive Stereo

These headphones will provide you with a vast stereo field, and it can be very addictive to add sides to the max on various instruments and sounds because it merely gives the distinctive sound. But still, it was so annoying that I needed to check the stereo analyzer on the master bus all the time, to ensure that the stereo field is under control and doesn’t cause correlation issues. As time went by, I learned to know when the bass is right and don’t need any more stereo improvements.

AKG Q701 Studio Headphones

When it comes to bass, the key is to get it to the center in the stereo analyzer, but at the same time make it more “compatible” with other instruments, like drums, to make sure that everything fits together.

You should also keep in mind, that using the spectrum and stereo analyzer on your track from the beginning will help you make sure that you are not out of the phase so you won’t waste time when composing, and will prevent you from starting again to rearrange everything. You can also check on my other article where I explain similar themes and tips in Step 2, how to develop your track when composing: How to effectively start, develop and finish drum & bass track.

Long Term Benefits of Using AKG Q701

These studio headphones are just so genius that I cannot really say enough good things about them. Now that it’s 2019, and I know what I want to do with the tracks when some things are missing, why track sounds dull instead of being fresh. That is when I notice I need to remove some compressors on the overheads, add plugins like the passive equalizer on the kick, add dynamic EQ on the bass just because I’ve worked with them for a long time.

It’s literally hard for me to imagine how would I work on my tracks if I had to switch and buy new headphones every single year like I used to do before. Now it’s so much simpler. Now I know what I want to do with my project, when it sucks and when it’s just fine.

I don’t force you to buy a pair of these, I just sharing my experience with them. It’s up to you -stick to the ones you love and try to keep them for as long as possible to find their hidden secrets and gems that they offer you.

AKG Q701 Studio Headphones


It’s Tempting But Q701’s Are Still High-End Headphones

Don’t get me wrong. I’m also inquisitive about other top studio headphones out there. But what’s the point? What’s your goal? Let’s say you’ll get AKG K812 just because you like new things. But will you produce with them for a long time or make only a few tracks and then when a new model is out, you’ll buy new ones and circle will repeat all over again?

Think about it. You need to buy quality and expensive piece, that’s true. You could also try Audeze, which is one of the most expensive brands out there. But when you will make a purchase, try to stay with them. If you hesitate what pair of headphones to choose, feel free to check our guide for Top 9 Studio Headphones in 2019 Under 200$ (Buying Guide).

AKG Q701 & FL 11


You need to find out what you want to do with your music when composing, and how to finish the tracks effectively without the headache of it being too overwhelming. This longterm method that I’ve mentioned above can help you find the path when choosing the right studio headphones for your music production.

General Feeling

For me, these headphones will give you excellent sound for a little money. It’s harder to make decisions when you do not have that much experience with other studio headphones, but what I’m telling you is that after I listened to other tracks and different genres of music, I was satisfied with the sound in general. When I heard lower quality tracks, I could quickly tell the difference. If I heard bangers, headphones easily recognized the quality of the track and enhanced the experience even more. All I want to say is that when you’ll produce music only on these for years, and then you’ll play your music on different sound systems somewhere in a professional studio, you will know that your work sounds good. These are just beast.