The first AKG headphones came on the market in 1949. Since then, they have had a legacy of high quality products. Their headphones and microphones were used on tour and in recording sessions for artists ranging from Frank Sinatra to The Rolling Stones to Kanye. So when they sent me one of their newest headphones, I was curious. At $149, would they uphold the AKG name? Let’s take a closer look with this AKG K371 review.
AKG K371 Review
In the Box
-AKG K371 headphones
-Three detachable cables (one straight 3 m cable, one straight 1.2 m cable, and one curly 3 m cable)
– 3.5 mm to 6.35 mm adapter
-Drawstring carrying pouch
Look and Feel
The AKG K371 have a strikingly soft feel in the hands. Their matte black finish with small silver details gives them a sleek and modern vibe. However, their interesting yolk and extender design contribute to this look and to their overall durability. The headphones fold, but not via the normal hinge design. Rather, the earcups turn inward via their extenders, which takes a lot of potential stress off the joints of the headphones. Additionally, all the parts are reinforced by metal, giving them an even more security. Overall, the headphones feel extremely well made, and well above their price point.
Comfort and Fit
Holding the AKG K371 in my hands, they have a little bit of a sense of weight, but ultimately they feel strong and lightweight. The underside of the headband has padding coated in a soft-to-the-touch silicone feeling material. Additionally, the shape and size of the headband will work for a wide variety of heads, except perhaps, for children. My head is relatively small, and the smallest position on the extenders made them fit just right. With a light clamping force, the headphones sit easily and comfortably on my head, although there seemed to be a light point of pressure right at the top of the head. The earpads are made of memory foam and coated in a super soft material. However, they have a pretty large hole in the middle. My small ears touched the earcup a bit, but for those with larger ears, it seems your ears would rest purely on the padding.
The drivers of the AKG K371 are huge 50 mm dynamic drivers. They have titanium coated diaphragms and pure OFC voice coils. As a result, they are able to deliver sound and low end with efficiency and power!
The AKG K371 comes with three different cables: one straight 3 m cable, one straight 1.2 m cable, and one curly 3 m cable. While there isn’t much information about the makeup of the cables, they all feel durable and strong in the hand, with professional, somewhat bulky terminations. Each attaches to the left earcup via a mini XLR connector.
The low frequencies of the AKG K371 have a nice sense of sub energy with a boost around what sounded like 30 Hz. As a result, kick drums, sub synths, and other low frequency rich instruments have weight and a bit of right extension. Additionally, I heard a boost around what sounded like 80 Hz. This boost provided punchiness and a sense of fullness to the lows, even though they were able to keep an appropriate level in the mix.
For example, when I was listening to the song Normal by Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band, the kick drum felt punchy and tight. It took up a little bit of extra space than usual, yet maintained separation from the bass and other midrange instruments. It had a slight sense of extension which gave it emotional impact. And because of the weightiness down there and its relationship to the bass guitar, it was able to provide a good sense of groove to the song.
The middle frequencies of the AKG 371 have a definite emphasis in the high-mids. Vocals as well as drum and string attacks step forward due to a boost around what sounded like 2-3 kHz. And while this boost relative to the middle midrange makes the overall sound signature feel less thick, the headphones maintain harmonic complexity. In reality, there seems to be a solid sense of separation between the middle-mids and the high-mids due to a cut at the base of the high-mids around what sounded like 900 Hz – 1 kHz. Additionally, the high-mids have definite separation between the highs due to another cut around what sounded like 4-5 kHz. As a result, tonally, vocals have most of their emphasis on their throat rather than their mouth or chest.
For example, when I was listening to the song Mercy Now by Mary Gauthier, the high strings and the attack on those strings have emphasis, along with the vocal. Additionally, the wood of the fiddles and mandolin feels emphasized, and they lean upward rather than toward thickness. However, the bass guitar provides a feeling of foundational fullness, supporting the other instruments’ movement.
Like the midrange, the high frequencies of the AKG K371 lean upwards as opposed to a feeling of thickness. However, they are also able to maintain a sense of harmonic complexity. A boost around what sounded like 7-8 kHz provides texture to percussion, cymbals, vocals, strings, and horns. Additionally, a boost around what sounded like 11-12 kHz provides an overall sense of lift to cymbals and a feeling of inaudible air to mixes as a whole.
For example, when I was listening to the song Miles Runs the Voodoo Down, the texture of the horns, snare rattles, and rhodes felt like they had emphasis. However, each cymbal felt like they had their own characters, and I could distinguish between them easily. However, they all leaned upward, away from thickness.
The soundstage of the AKG K371 had a dramatic sense of height due to its high frequency and low frequency extension. And due to the sense of somewhat distinct sections of the lows, mids, and highs, the separation in height was distinct as well. The sense of width had a fun sense of activity, although wasn’t overly dramatic. Lasly, I was super impressed with the feeling of depth, especially at this price point.
For example, when I was listening to the song Djadja by Aya Nakamura I could hear reverbs, delays, and other time-based effects clearly, helping to set each instrument in space. Additionally, the sense of intimacy was interesting with the vocal, which certainly felt present, but wasn’t too pushed forward. This contrasted well with the far-off moving rhodes and other keys and synths. Next, the feeling of height was dramatic, with strong contrast among the 808, the bright synths and the more midrangey arpeggiating synths. Lastly, the headphones handled the dynamic panning of the fun vocal accents, and they all seemed to have a good sense of space around them.
Overall, the AKG K371 are a great value at $149! They are built super well, have great harmonic complexity, and impact. Additionally, they have a nice sense of extension and soundstage, especially for their price point.