AKG K701 Measurements
Dekoni Audio is pleased to share a “deep dive” look into our AKG K701 line of Earpads, specifically tuned to elevate your listening experience.
We start with comfort, using our soft, high density, slow rebound memory foam for an extra plush experience that conforms to the shape of your face (and accommodates glasses stems). Like all our earpads, they are offered in a wide range of fabric options, including Elite Sheepskin, Elite Fenestrated Sheepskin, Elite Velour, and our Elite Hybrid pads. We also have K701 pads available in Protein Leather. We ensured the pads mount just as securely as the stock pads. Finally, we shaped and measured the pads to tune the sound and share a preview of how they sound compared to stock pads.
In our measurements, we aren’t using compensation except to cancel out the ear response of our microphone dummy head. We have been fortunate to have acquired a certain well-known Audio Precision-based measurement rig, and will continue to keep the measurements coming! Some measurements by others are made with adjustments to reflect the effect that the shape of a generic inner and outer ear will have on the sound waves – we don’t do that, because as every experienced audio enthusiast knows, we all have different ears! So, as part of a series of Dekoni Describes posts, we will walk our readers through understanding our graphs
The first thing to understand about an uncompensated graph is that it will sound different to the listener than the graph will show. For one, we haven’t smoothed our graphs, so there are many peaks and valleys that would have been lost information, but also there are other factors, such as the human’s extra sensitivity to vocals, and that the shape of our ears and depth of our ear canals can actually amplify certain frequencies. For the purposes of swapping earpads, it is enough to say that a flat line along the 0 dB line wouldn’t sound “good” on these uncompensated graphs, a dip in the midrange is to be expected since human ears are more sensitive to that region, and mainly we want to focus on how a Dekoni pad compares to the Stock pad. With our measurements, we used the well-known K701, which comes Stock with AKG’s Velour.
We use supple, natural Sheepskin that is the softest and most breathable available today, available in solid or Fenestrated. With our solid Sheepskin, overall we see the largest deviation from stock, where the listening experience will feel like more bass, and overall a stronger v-shaped sound. Keep in mind the dip in the midrange between 1kHz and 5 kHz is to be expected in an uncompensated graph, because of our sensitivity to vocals and the midrange in general, but this will still be a v-shaped sound with emphasis on treble and bass!
Our Fenestrated (French for “windowed,” it has little holes in it) Sheepskin is almost audibly indistinguishable from the stock pad, except for the leather texture and the slightly better bass extension as the frequency drops. Fenestrations are also airy in that they allow some more heat to escape through the pads.
Our Elite Velour has a higher thread count and tighter weave than typical velour pads, soft and breathable but as you can see there is no loss of foundational bass – in fact it traces very similar to the Fenestrated Sheepskin pads on this headphone, with just a bit less energy in the lower mids. In fact, this is a great opportunity to choose based on your comfort preference for cloth or leather, contrary to most velours which lose low end and high end pitch quantity that leave a bare the midrange.
Our Hybrid pads, which are sealed with solid Sheepskin on the outside face, neutral Fenestrated Sheepskin on the inner face, and comfortable with Velour on the face facing your face, measure with more amplitude and linearity in the midrange, and a smaller contrast between the 4kHz and 6 kHz valleys and peaks than stock, but again overall a similar frequency curve shape as the stock pads.
Finally, our Protein Leather pads trace a very similar signature to the Sheepskin. That’s because they’re all sealed pads, though it should be noted that the Protein Leather has further bass emphasis and extension for an even more exciting v-shaped sound. Because Protein leather manufactured from eggshell protein instead of procured from animal hide, it has a more even grain structure, and it’s thinner to contain less heat.
The subjective factor of experiencing headphones and earpads matters the most, of course. If it sounds good, it is good! We listen with our pads for several revisions before release, and we want to thank the reviewers and our patrons on Head-Fi and other platforms who have shared their experiences. Real user experience is the best judge, and we thank everyone who has tried to describe their experience!
Our AKG pads are available now at our fine dealers internationally, and dekoniaudio.com.