AKG Q 701 Quincy Jones Signature Headphones
If you’re quick to suspect that a celebrity signatured and endorsed product is nothing more than an expensive marketing plot, then most of the time, you’re probably right. However, the names Quincy Jones and AKG have never been known for creating half-assed products and there is nothing about the components, manufacturing, sound, or customer response about the AKG Q 701 that suggest that this collaboration is any compromise to the profound quality of said names.
AKG Q 701 Quincy Jones Signature
- System: Dynamic
- Design: Semi open-back headphones
- Frequency range: 10Hz to 39.8kHz
- Sensitivity: 105dB SPL/V
- Impedance: 62 ohms
- Well balanced
- Expansive Soundstage
- Pinpoint accurate imaging
- Great price for performance.
- Lean bass (not a con for everyone)
- Bumps on headband (not for everyone)
AKG claim that the Q 701s are the most accurate and responsive headphones they’ve ever produced, and upon looking at the specs you will find that this claim definitely holds some weight. These semi open-back dynamic headphones are designed for the audio engineer who requires a flat response free from hyped frequencies. For mixing engineers in need of an accurate soundstage for pinpoint imaging.
The Q 701s are classic AKG in design. They embody the brands styling aesthetic with their two lightweight arches and self-adjusting leather headband from which the ear cups are elastically suspended. These ear cups are very large and cover the ear completely and are velvet cushioned and angled for appropriate sound direction and form a great seal around the ear with enough internal space for your ears to breath and not make contact with the drivers. This shape combined with their semi open-back design, allows the drivers to be aimed at the ears to produce the ideal acoustical transmission.
The AKG Q 701s come in black, white, or green variations and are shipped with 2 detachable and straight mini-XLR cables — one at 10’ and the other at 20’, both in the bright green colour. The longer one can be useful for tracking guitars where the amps are in separate rooms, but is otherwise perhaps wasteful. The shorter one is a great length for working in closer proximities but is not coiled so bare that in mind.
A flat-wire voice-coil technology creates a spacious, dramatic soundstage with precise 360-degree imaging and superior transient response. Their patented 2-layer Varimotion diaphragm along with the AKG neodymium-magnet system make the headphones heat-resistant, offering a distortion-free bass response and sparkling high-frequency signal tracking.
A general consensus among customers is that the Q701s are “edgy” and “bright,” and we would have to agree. The highs are crystalline and the mids are smooth with a slight peak at around 2Hz. With a wide frequency response of 10Hz to 39.8kHz, they definitely allow for sculpting of low end frequencies with great detail, but as they are studio reference monitor headphones built to reproduce a flat playback, many find that they are lacking in bass.
We wouldn’t go as far as saying “lacking,” but the Q 701s don’t particularly serve well as general purpose headphones. If you’re looking for studio monitor headphones with a strong build to bring on-the-go and crank hip hop and R&B, try going for the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x.
The AKG Q 701 are great for mixing, sound design, and general audio post-production applications that require detail and accuracy for a result that will translate well across all playback devices. Some customers have complained that they become uncomfortable after time or that the large size of the ear cups makes wearing hot after long sessions.
These are pretty subjective and there are likely a variety of factors to take into account. We’ve noticed, like with many other quality headphones, that they sound better over time and take a little wearing in.
To help you out on your quest for the right set of cans, we’ve included links below to detailed reviews of a few models that feature similar characteristics to the AKG Q 701.
We’ve put together The Ultimate Guide to Studio Headphones for Music Production that will teach you about different types of headphones, the applications they serve best, and a long list of great candidates for your home studio.