REVIEW: AKG K612 PRO - OPEN BACK - ENG

Aktualisiert: Nov 17

In this price class the epitome of neutral, with a musical touch. in deutsch


frequency range: 12 - 39500 Hz | sound pressure level: 101 dB | impedance: 120 Ohm | dynamic

The K612 PRO convinces me with an extremely neutral frequency response, which however sounds surprisingly musical.

Sound 8.6

Bass Mids Trebles Stage Imaging

8.5 9 8.5 8.5 8.5

Handling 8

Processing Comfort Earpads Headband Weight

9 7 8 6 238 grams

Total 8.4

Price 110 €

Quickcheck

Pro Contra - price-performance ratio - somewhat artificial high frequency

- neutral & musical - a tad too bright

- linear bass with texture - isolation

- mid-range reproduction - slight shrillness

Intro

The K612 PRO came out relatively simultaneously with the K712 PRO, which is supposed to be the top model within its series.

The K612 PRO convinces me with an extremely neutral frequency response, which however sounds surprisingly musical. It also brings a little more calmness and composure to the music than some models of the K7 series. Nevertheless, you can immediately recognize (regardless of the outward appearance) that you have an AKG on your ear, especially in the mids.

Handling

In the K6XY and K7XY, AKG has decided on a design that has been followed through with only slight modifications. Why change a proven design when it offers functionality and comfort, at least as far as the ear cups are concerned.


The velour posters enclose the whole ear, but are uniform in thickness, which is different from the K7 series, where there is a thick and thin side, which should let the sound hit the ear a little more directional. They are still comfortable, even though I generally like to use 3-party pads on the AKG models (see pictures), which has a positive effect on the sound, especially the shrillness of the typical AKG midrange. But for the review I use the original pads of course.


The cable (3m - 6.3mm jack) is not removable and can be adapted to 3.5mm jack (adapter included). I wish that AKG had set their models with detachable cables (Mini-XLR) to 4-pin, because this way you are denied a purely balanced operation and the added value of a detachable cable is reduced, so that (with this knowledge) the tied one doesn't bother me much with the K612 PRO either.

Due to the negative feedback from the K701 or K702, the headband is probably a flat one, which I personally find much more comfortable than the (older and meanwhile adapted) nubbed version of some other models.


Apart from the 6.3mm adapter, the scope of delivery is actually non-existent. But good, you don't need more to use the headphones.

Sound

Bass

AKG is not known for giving their reference models extra bass, but rather for their neutral bass reproduction. This certainly doesn't suit every taste and is not perfect for every style of music, but is a necessity for mastering, mixing, monitoring and anything else that requires a neutral frequency response for reference listening. Many AKG models are also not designed for mobile use, but are intended to find their way into the professional or home studio. The bass of the K612 PRO is part of this "reference series" from AKG and therefore does not provide a generous amount of bass. But it doesn't need to, because the K612 PRO handles the bass with its fine blade, has depth and above all texture down to the low frequencies. Compared to the bass of the closed K271 MKII the bass is nearly fun tuned.

Of course I sometimes wish for a more powerful punch here and there, but I always know what I'm getting from the K612 PRO in the bass range and that with a consistently high quality. The bass is also more linear than on the K701/702.


Mids

I was taken with the midrange of the K612 PRO. AKG stays true to itself here and doesn't try any big experiments in the mids, but the neutral "house mids" of the company have a recognition value and therefore character. They are tuned a bit flatter than on the K702, but the 2kHz is also softened, which partly takes away the slight shrillness and nasality. You could assume that the K612 PRO is boring in the midrange, but I prefer to call it unadulterated. I can immerse myself in the music without any problems, since the bass also gives the mids enough warmth and musicality. Flat? Yes, but sterile? No. I especially like the attention to detail, as well as the tonal accuracy with mids that are a bit forward. With the appropriate replacement pads you can ensure a more relaxed reproduction, which also takes away a bit of liveliness, but takes another step towards absolute neutrality. Vocals and instruments sound very natural and also bring emotions across, although not as intimate as a SENNHEISER HD6XX. But the K612 PRO has a better grip.


Trebles

It's a slight AKG "disease" that the highs don't always have the absolute resolution, but that details (also due to the bright tuning) are sometimes rather simulated, which you can hear when you smooth the peaks with other pads or filters. Nevertheless I find them subjectively high quality and above all coherent, which I find much more important in this context. Trebles can have a high (technical) quality no matter how great. If they are not coherently integrated into the signature, you have gained nothing. The K612 PRO succeeds very well in this integration into a harmonious sound image. Likewise one should not misunderstand me. The trebles are on a very high level for me, they just can't quite keep up with higher class models. However, my expectations are met and for me information is presented in a comprehensive way. Nevertheless, they are still a bit too bright for my taste.


Stage

When I hold an open-back AKG in my hands, I can expect to get an extremely wide stage, which sometimes even seems a bit over the top. But the K612 PRO also manages to show presence in depth and in the vertical. It has this advantage over other models and therefore the stage appears realistic and three-dimensional.

Imaging

With the space provided, the K612 PRO can draw a fine 3D image, which has the strength in the panorama, but is quite capable of forming a sphere around the head rather than an ellipse. I find the K812 even more accurate in the separation, but the K612 PRO doesn't have to hide behind the K7 series. A very good and authentic imaging are the keywords here.

Outro

The K612 PRO has played itself into my heart. With no big gimmicks or teenage poses, it transports the music as neutrally as possible into our ears without sounding sterile or boring. At the same time, it has excellent all-rounder qualities and even with electronic music, it doesn't convince with a lush bass quantity, but with texture and stability down to the lowest frequencies. For me it is a successful mixture of the K701/Q701 and K702, but with a more relaxed overall presentation. The K612 PRO also sounds a bit bright, but it has better control over the sometimes shrill midrange around 2 kHz of the K702, or the sharp high frequencies of the K701. The Q701 may sound a bit livelier, but it's exactly this matter-of-fact yet musical approach of the K612 PRO that I love, because it stays true to itself in every song. However, it should be mentioned that in terms of sound, no quantum leaps should be expected in comparison to the other models mentioned. For the most part, AKG sticks to a neutral tuning with subtle adjustments in its reference models.

For around 100 € the K612 PRO is not only the perfect entry into the AKG world, but also an honest companion that plays above its price range in technical terms. If you want to smooth out the frequency response a bit more and take away the remaining subtle shrillness in the upper midrange, you should think about additional pads (see link - Sheepskin with holes).


I have no problems to mention the K612 PRO in one sentence with the SENNHEISER HD6XX. The HD6XX plays a bit more organic and is maybe a bit more natural in comparison, but the K612 PRO is for me in this price range the epitome of neutral, with a musical touch.


Thanks to Sattler Electronic Showtronic AG for providing the test headphones.

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CHI-FIEAR © 2020 by David Hahn

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