Finding a great set of studio headphones on a budget might have you scratching your head in anguish. Most sub $300 studio headphones come with some shortcomings, whether it’s sound quality, isolation, or comfort. There’s always a catch…
The AKG K371 tries its best to satisfy all the basics of what a great professional studio headphone should be, but how well does it fair?
The headphones are inoffensive looking and won’t be causing any uproars or turning any heads.
In the box, you’ll find your headphones, three different cables in varying lengths, and a nice carrying pouch for traveling.
The headphones are coated in a matte black finish, and the build quality feels good. The earpads are made with vinyl and feel comfortable when worn for extended periods of time. They are quite thick and are big enough to surround most shapes and sizes of ears. The earpads themselves are foldable up to 180 degrees.
The headband itself is steel and attached to a plastic adjustment piece. It will fit most heads comfortably with a nice strong clamping force that also helps with isolation. If you aren’t used to a stronger clamping pressure, you might need some small breaks in-between sessions. The isolation itself is pretty good and on par with what you’d expect from a good pair of studio headphones.
It’s important to remember that these headphones are not noise cancelling headphones, so don’t expect it to be on par with headphones like the Sony WH 1000XM3 or the Bose QuietComfort 35 II. These aren’t equipped with any active noise cancelling technology.
Needless to say, these headphones don’t seem like studio headphones at a glance, and honestly, it’s quite nice seeing AKG trying to change up what studio headphones should look like.
So, what’s under the hood?
The AKG K371 comes equipped with 50 mm dynamic, titanium coated drivers. These drivers offer up some of the best sounding budget studio headphones in the market.
When buying studio headphones, you’re usually looking for neutral sounding headphones. There are many different target curves that people use to measure if a pair of headphones can replicate the sound of studio speakers.
Measuring these headphones and comparing them to the Harman target curve, you will find that they come very close with only some higher range frequencies being tuned down a bit. This could help cut out some ear-piercing frequencies that creep up in the higher ranges and makes for easier listening.
The bass shines through, especially through the lower range or what some would call the sub-bass. You’ll find it provides a nice rumble without overpowering the rest of the mix.
The mid-range frequencies sound very natural, and all instruments can be heard clearly. There is no audio masking in the 200Hz-1500Hz range, which could very quickly ruin your listening experience and your mix decisions.
Due to some higher frequencies being tuned down, the headphones do lack some of the glitter and shine in the higher range frequencies.
Being closed-back headphones, some clarity might be lost compared to some more expensive open-back headphones like the Beyerdynamic DT-990 or AKG K701.
Considering the price range, these are the best audio reference headsets available for any audio editor or DJ on a budget.
How Do The AKG K731’s Compare?
They hold up well against most of their direct competition. Even some higher-priced headphones are shivering in fear.
Some of the Audio-Technica headphones like the Audio Technica ATH-M50x share the same 50 mm drivers. However, this doesn’t mean they sound the same.
At a similar price, the Audio-Technica’s look more like studio headphones with a clunkier look and circular ear cups compared with the oval ear cups of the AKG. The sound on the Audio-Technica seems to be catered towards the more casual listener, which seems like a strange thing to say about studio headphones.
The ATH-M50x emit a warmer, overpowering bass sound that sometimes creep up a little too high over the other frequencies. Whereas, the AKG seems to have the upper hand when it comes to a more neutral sound when compared to all of its competitors in a similar price range.
Who Are The AKG K731 For?
The AKG K731 are great for people looking to get into the audio production industry and aren’t willing to commit to a more expensive pair of headphones quite yet. They are also a great pick for DJ’s or producers making music.
They are easily folded up and portable for working musicians on the road or students studying any audio degree.
AKG K371 Pros & Cons
- Neutral studio-quality sound.
- Comfortable build.
- Good variety of cable sizes.
- Some sound leaking.
- Mediocre sound isolation.
More Studio Headphone Choices
For a broad overview or quality options for recording and mixing, check out our reviews of the Best Studio Headphones for Home Recording. Also of interest may be the AKG K240 Studio and the Sony MDR 7506.
However, if you’re after some more general-purpose headphones, take a look at our in-depth reviews of the Bowers and Wilkins PX5, the Skullcandy Crusher Wireless, the Beats Studio3 Wireless, the AKG N60NC, the Bose Quietcomfort 25, and the Sony WH 1000XM2.
The AKG371 are affordable studio headphones that don’t settle for anything less than perfect, whether it’s the comfortable fit or the perfect sounding mix, these headphones are the best fit for any studio on a budget.
Happy recording and mixing.