Headphones can truly be a make-or-break peripheral of any setup. When it comes to gaming, audio is one of the main factors of immersion and player performance. And when it comes to music, good headphones can bring your listening experience to a whole nother level. Unfortunately, many gamers have yet to experience truly good audio due to the fact that many gaming headsets have lackluster sound quality. Fortunately, we have the option of going the DIY route and buying better quality headphones and microphones. The K7XX Massdrop First Edition headphones by AKG are one of the better solutions, as they offer a much bigger bang for your buck.
For me, some of the most important qualities of headphones are the build-quality and comfort. The K7XX does very well in both of these categories. The headband uses a very interesting suspension system. Instead of having manually adjusted sizes, the suspension system allows the headband to adapt to any head size. I myself have a particularly small head, but I still found the headband to fit my head very well. The clamping force is strong enough to keep the ear pads on my ears, but it isn’t overwhelmingly strong and doesn’t apply too much pressure. Speaking of the earpads, the material they use is absolutely superb. They used a luxurious velour to cover very comfortable memory foam. There was almost no time needed to break them in, and they were comfortable right from the beginning. This combined with the suspension system makes the K7XX’s very lightweight and comfortable, making them perfect for long gaming or listening sessions.
When it comes to sound quality, the K7XX’s perform extremely well. I’ve had them for about a week, and tested them by playing various games including Call Of Duty: Advanced Warfare and listened to various genres of music (primarily EDM and rap. It should also be noted that I am using my on-board Realtek ALC 898 audio codec without an amplifier). The K7XX’s have an open back design, so one would normally expect the bass to not have a prominent sound. On the contrary, the K7XX’s have a nice bass response with good extension. Of course, the open design does forfeit some of the tightness, making these not the best option for dubstep, but it still sounds good nonetheless. Not only does the bass sound good in music, it makes explosions and other low-frequency sound effects in video games boom quite nicely. On the other end of the frequency spectrum are the highs. The highs are a tad sparkly, but are not over done nor are they fatiguing. Finally, there are the mids, which in my opinion, are at a perfect level. They’re not too loud and have a very natural sound while not be being drowned out by other frequencies. The overall frequency response is good for a lot of different genres, but it sounds especially good in various EDM sub-genres such as house and electro. They also likely sound good with instrumental music, but I personally didn't listen to many instrumental songs with them, as it's not my genre of choice.
In addition to good frequency response, the K7XX’s also have a wide soundstage. When listening to music, you feel completely surrounded by the instruments and sounds. This soundstage also proves to be extremely beneficial for gaming. Just 20 seconds into an Advanced Warfare multiplayer match I instantly noticed how precisely I could pick out where sounds were coming from. This doesn’t just add to the immersion, but it also can greatly improve your in-game performance by knowing where enemies are.
As someone that used to use a gaming headset only, I can definitely say that you are missing out if you use gaming headsets. The headphones have been great for both gaming and music, and will likely be my daily drivers for both music and gaming on my PC or Xbox. The value is also quite remarkable, considering they use the same driver technology as the K702 65th anniversary edition, but cost nearly $200 less. The K7XX’s matched with a good microphone, like the AntLion ModMic 4.0, gives you an experience and level of quality you can’t achieve through traditional headsets.
The AKG K7XX was sent to us for review by Massdrop. Massdrop allows you to vote on cool technology and various goods you are interested in buying. If enough people are interested in the same product, you can get the product for a price significantly lower than the MSRP.
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