Recording - January 2013 - 31
somehow. Switching to uncompressed CD audio, you instantly notice the greater clarity and more open soundstage. Continuing on this theme, I went back and forth between older CDs created with relatively primitive equipment and more modern discs, and the contrast between the brittleness of old discs and the more musical feel of newer CDs leaps out of the K702. This is a level of detail that less expensive phones struggle to deliver, and the K702 shows up deficiencies in conversion with almost contemptuous ease. Compare, for example, the original CD release of the Beatles’ Abbey Road with the remastered version, and the differences are obvious! You can hear them on a less expensive headphone like the K271 if you know what to listen for; the K702 puts them right there in front of you and doesn’t let you look away. From here, I dove into my own music. I’ve been recording and releasing music since 1984, with my first few CD releases on a small record label that folded around the time I began writing for Recording. I have copies of my old discs, not just for sentimental reasons but as examples of what I did right back then... and especially of what I did wrong. Bad eq decisions, tiny bits of background noise I didn’t notice at the time, sloppy edits, all were put on display in microscopic detail by the K702. Ouch... but better to hear them than not! Final thoughts These are not tracking phones; as an open design, they bleed like crazy and any open mic near them will pick up everything you hear. I see the K702’s main use in the studio as a critical-listening phone for editing, mixing, and mix testing. There is balance, honesty, detail, and an overall listening experience that is gentle on the ears without hiding things that should not be hidden. Would they also be good headphones for recreational listening? I’d say yes, but only if you’re not in the habit of listening to heavily compressed MP3s, brittle old CD releases, or cheap D/A converters. The K702 is not going to be kind to bad audio, ever. Whether you get the beautifully-appointed 65th Anniversary version or the conventional (but still elegant) K702, your not inconsiderable investment will be repaid with not inconsiderable sonic excellence. These are some serious headphones. Prices: $649 ($499 street); standard K702, $409 ($349 street) More from: AKG, www.akg.com
Final Note: Just as we went to press, we received a note from AKG with clarification of a technical point that has a critical bearing on this review, and we’re including it here. We have been informed by AKG that while this is not explicitly mentioned in the product web pages, there is an important difference between the original K702 and the 65th Anniversary Edition that relates to sonics rather than cosmetics. AKG’s representative explains: “The Anniversary Edition features new velvet ear pads with soft sealing foam, which makes a noticeable difference. It delivers better sound, especially in the range below 150 Hz, down to 8 Hz.” Considering that the one shortcoming of the K701 that has been addressed conclusively in the K702 65th Anniversary Edition is in the low end, we regard this distinction as vital for our readers to know about. We therefore wish to add one last note to our review as follows: All of our conclusions about the K702 65th Anniversary Edition stand as given, and we regard the Anniversary Edition as an exceptional headphone value just as it is. However, readers interested in saving a little money and getting the conventional K702 should be aware that the standard model is in fact different in construction than the Anniversary Edition and was not tested as part of this review. Our listening test results will not necessarily be consistent with what will be heard in the standard K702.—MM
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recording - January 2013
Recording - January 2013
Table of Contents
2012 AES Convention Report.
Universal Audio Apollo.
ADAM Audio F5 and F7 Monitors.
Earthworks ZDT 1022 Mic Preamp.
Trident HG3 Close Field Monitoring System.
AKG K702 65th Anniversary Edition Headphones.
Grace Design m903 Reference Headphone Amplifier.
Monitors & Monitoring.
Lauten Atlantis FC-387 Condenser Microphone.
Recording Fundamentals. Chapter 13: Monitors Part 2.
PreSonus BlueTube DP V2.
Getting Into Your Head.
Shure SE215 Sound Isolating Earphones.
iOS Music Tools: Last-Minute Audio Gifts!
Sennheiser HD800 Headphones.
2012 Annual Index.
Recording - January 2013 - Recording - January 2013
Recording - January 2013 - Cover2
Recording - January 2013 - 1
Recording - January 2013 - 2
Recording - January 2013 - 3
Recording - January 2013 - Fade In.
Recording - January 2013 - 5
Recording - January 2013 - Table of Contents
Recording - January 2013 - 7
Recording - January 2013 - Talkback.
Recording - January 2013 - 9
Recording - January 2013 - 2012 AES Convention Report.
Recording - January 2013 - 11
Recording - January 2013 - 12
Recording - January 2013 - 13
Recording - January 2013 - 14
Recording - January 2013 - 15
Recording - January 2013 - 16
Recording - January 2013 - 17
Recording - January 2013 - 18
Recording - January 2013 - 19
Recording - January 2013 - Universal Audio Apollo.
Recording - January 2013 - 21
Recording - January 2013 - 22
Recording - January 2013 - 23
Recording - January 2013 - ADAM Audio F5 and F7 Monitors.
Recording - January 2013 - 25
Recording - January 2013 - Earthworks ZDT 1022 Mic Preamp.
Recording - January 2013 - 27
Recording - January 2013 - Trident HG3 Close Field Monitoring System.
Recording - January 2013 - 29
Recording - January 2013 - AKG K702 65th Anniversary Edition Headphones.
Recording - January 2013 - 31
Recording - January 2013 - 32
Recording - January 2013 - 33
Recording - January 2013 - Grace Design m903 Reference Headphone Amplifier.
Recording - January 2013 - 35
Recording - January 2013 - Monitors & Monitoring.
Recording - January 2013 - 37
Recording - January 2013 - 38
Recording - January 2013 - 39
Recording - January 2013 - Lauten Atlantis FC-387 Condenser Microphone.
Recording - January 2013 - 41
Recording - January 2013 - Recording Fundamentals. Chapter 13: Monitors Part 2.
Recording - January 2013 - 43
Recording - January 2013 - PreSonus BlueTube DP V2.
Recording - January 2013 - 45
Recording - January 2013 - Getting Into Your Head.
Recording - January 2013 - 47
Recording - January 2013 - 48
Recording - January 2013 - 49
Recording - January 2013 - Shure SE215 Sound Isolating Earphones.
Recording - January 2013 - 51
Recording - January 2013 - 52
Recording - January 2013 - 53
Recording - January 2013 - 54
Recording - January 2013 - 55
Recording - January 2013 - Readers’ Tapes.
Recording - January 2013 - 57
Recording - January 2013 - iOS Music Tools: Last-Minute Audio Gifts!
Recording - January 2013 - 59
Recording - January 2013 - 60
Recording - January 2013 - 61
Recording - January 2013 - Sennheiser HD800 Headphones.
Recording - January 2013 - Advertiser Index.
Recording - January 2013 - 64
Recording - January 2013 - 65
Recording - January 2013 - 66
Recording - January 2013 - 67
Recording - January 2013 - 68
Recording - January 2013 - 69
Recording - January 2013 - 2012 Annual Index.
Recording - January 2013 - 71
Recording - January 2013 - Fade Out.
Recording - January 2013 - Cover3
Recording - January 2013 - Cover4