AKG K371 / K361

Discussion in 'Headphones' started by IUONA, Feb 17, 2020.

  1. IUONA

    IUONA Thief that stole Bloom Audio gear

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    Anyone had a chance to hear these, yet?

    I’m intrigued by what I’ve read & seen. Seems like the first headphone Harman has really poured their research into, at only $99-$149.

    The impressions & measurements I’ve been able to find look promising.

    https://www.rtings.com/headphones/reviews/akg/k371
     

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  2. IUONA

    IUONA Thief that stole Bloom Audio gear

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    Based on 10 minutes listening to Guitar Center’s headphone demo-setup: Not shit.

    K361 & K371 - Both relatively comfortable on my big head & big ears. Elevated deep bass level was a little weird & jarring at first, but didn’t sound distorted or wooly. I’m assuming I could psycho-acoustically adapt to it, or at least EQ it down a bit in a home listening environment. Overall, they sounded better than everything else I heard there, other than the ATH-M50x. But, I’m accustomed to the ATH-M50x, because I use them at home.

    (Grain of salt - being a 10 minute demo at a Guitar Center & all.) Unless I had them at home, I wouldn’t be able to make a meaningful judgement.

    My takeaway- Worth further exploration.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2020
  3. Philimon

    Philimon Friend

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    [​IMG]
    AKG 371 measurements by Oratory1990
     
  4. Philimon

    Philimon Friend

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    Last edited: Mar 31, 2020
  5. Philimon

    Philimon Friend

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    Ive had these headphones (pictured above) the past couple days. They sound like they look in oratory’s fr graph. The midbass dip is noticeable. I guess it could be as good or bad as a midbass bump depending on recording.

    The yaxi pads are less comfortable than stock. The Yaxi’s have the same ear depth, but the width is smaller and makes the ear more confined so actually gets warmer faster. The stock pads are really soft and look nice. And finally the Yaxi’s sound brighter despite any possible midbass assist.

    The AKG 371’s ability to resolve is meh. At this price point the 4XX, T50rp, and Grado 225e (used) are more interesting for HiFi (to be fair the headphones listed above all need mods or eq). Naturally, in a studio is where the 371 is worth consideration. However, I found the design to be a little problematic for this too. My set is noisy - the all plastic build is creaky and the cable is microphonic. If youre sitting perfectly still at a desk it would be alright but its not worth the headache. Other headphones Ive personally tried that are of the uncommon combination of closed back + full-sized + inoffensive + cheap: Brainwavz HM5 (and variants), Sennheiser HD598cs, and Sony MDR CD900st. And none of these creaked or were microphonic.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2020
  6. IUONA

    IUONA Thief that stole Bloom Audio gear

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    Must admit, to me, they look pretty good, aesthetically, if not sexy as fuck. Understated & simple, not blinged out, and a seemingly functional design for its given purpose.
     
  7. Philimon

    Philimon Friend

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    I too think they look good. In hand though they feel their price point.

    More measurements. Agree with solderdude, they did sound a bit metallic but wasn’t too bad.:
    https://diyaudioheaven.wordpress.com/headphones/measurements/akg/k371/

    AKG361 too. Basically its a little lesser for a little lesser money:
    https://diyaudioheaven.wordpress.com/headphones/measurements/akg/k361/
     
  8. ksat90

    ksat90 Acquaintance

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    Just got the K371 over the weekend because... well itchy hands/ears, and they were at a reasonable price, €110.

    Only some subjective impressions to offer:
    Overall tonality is fine for a $110 closed headphones. I like it the best so far out of the bunch of closed headphones I've had [1]. Most of the tonal range is pretty good except that for that 6-8khz peak, though it's nowhere as bad as the DT770 and K550 [2]. Also, the K371 has a slight upper mid recess which I seem to prefer (over the HD650's slight bump around 3-5khz).

    Listening to them with my glasses on somehow help break the seal, reducing the sub bass and treble a little, and makes it sound pretty darn reasonable to me. Without this, it sounds a little too thin/bright [3] to me.

    It has some slight graininess, and the slightly hot treble doesn't help this. On the other hand, it sounds much better controlled [4] than other closed headphones I've heard. I can't really say about the more nuanced stuff like dynamics, resolution, plankton. FWIW I think at this price point it's much better to not have glaring faults than nuance.

    Comfort is good, though microphonics could be an issue. I wish the plug head wasn't so stiff/long ;) - might not bump into shoulders so much then. Build quality feels a bit meh though. Unlikely to hold up as well as the Beyer/AT closed headphones, but then I always feel this way about AKG headphones.

    For the price, worth a shot, compared to the usual picks.

    With the mods there (reducing treble just a tad) could be pretty decent.

    [1] All low-mid fi stuff though - DT770, K550, QC35, M50x, NAD HP50, CAL, Takstar 80
    [2] from memory, haven't had them for ~ 6 years, but likely to be true since my tastes have mellowed to the HD650
    [3] again, might just be me getting used to the HD650
    [4] resonance/dampening, peak/dips
     
  9. MikeD

    MikeD Acquaintance

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    I've listened to the K371's for a couple of weeks. They are quite OK. But there are some issues that may temper one's enthusiasm...

    They look alright, I reckon - kinda industrial. They have a reasonable heft in the hand and the soft touch plastics feel solid. AKG don't seem to selling the replacement pads yet so that may be a problem down the line... There are a bunch of reports of QC problems on the interwebs - one side of mine had a looser extension mechanism - nothing drastic though.

    The first problem comes when you stick them on your head - presuming they fit your head right (which they may not - the adjustment system seems limited...) they have a very tight seal that creates an air chamber around the ear, I presume this is to maintain the low lows(?). Regardless, it makes them very microphonic, every little movement translating into a weird, distracting shuffling in your ear. The pads are decently deep and wide compared to a forebearer like the K550.

    Overall sound is slightly lean with low bass emphasis and dipped lower treble. It's quite nice - the resolving ability is OK and it all sounds coherent enough. If you were being unkind you could complain that it's like listening to a tinny AM radio and a subwoofer in parallel. Listening to most any Heavy Metal is dissapointing - the dips in FR mean they lack punch and bite. I suppose they would be good enough in their intended environment - the studio.

    If you see these as an evolution of AKG's K550 (with which they share a fairly similar sound, from memory) then it's a step forward, I think. Slighty better ergonomics and a smoother upper mids / treble presentation. They don't have the unpleasant treble wall of AKG's open cans.

    Closed can are mostly a pain the arse compared to open ones. I have a Shure 1540 which I like but the value compared to a 6XX is terrible. I also quite like the Beyerdynamic DT150 but would still pass on it for a Portapro. Still, if you need a bit of isolation the the K371's do OK. I prefer the warmth of my other closed cans, but it's a viable headphone. I dunno, it's mid-fi purgatory personified! It's totally fine! Don't buy one! But remember that all other closed back cans are crap too! (If someone wants to disabuse me of this position I welcome them with open arms and chequebook.)
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2021
  10. MikeD

    MikeD Acquaintance

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    Unfortunately my chequebook doesn't extend to Focal's closed back offerings before anyone brings them up.
     
  11. samwell7

    samwell7 Rando

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    I had a set of these for about a month, while overall they sounded pretty good there were a few things that I really didn't like.

    The seal was weird and I got sick of hearing my heartbeat through my ears, also the build (on my set) wasn't ideal as the cord that carried the signal to the right cup was pinched between the cup and the spot the cup was supposed to rest on, so it was taking the full clamping force folded on itself.

    The sound was like @MikeD said above with bass and treble but the mids being sort of, missing, for lack of a better word.
    I found the lack of midbass made the cans non-engaging to listen to, especially at lower volumes. I bought them to replace my M50 but the K371 went back and the M50s still stick around.
     
  12. Elmer Danilovich

    Elmer Danilovich MShenay trying to pretend to be an old man

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    Can confirm the mid bass is a bit pulled back, personally I prefer a dip to a hump for mid bass. As others have mentioned the resolve is enough and it's coherent.

    Given that in the US these are now popping up for around $110ish if you need the isolation of a closed back the K371 isn't a bad option imo. Like them a bit more than my E-MU Purple Heart with CAL Pads honestly, I also find it more even toned than my HD 25-1 II but not as detailed as the DT 177X GO, I did like it FAR more than the V-Moda M200...

    Now in terms of build quality and passive isolation... it doesn't even approach HD-25-1 ii levels in either category...
     
  13. Brad358

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    I feel a bit guilty about this one. A friend of mine who isn't a headphone enthusiast asked me for advice on a good headphone within a budget that would probably be considered cheap by many here but which he considered quite extravagant. I suggested he try the K361 and 371 as they were within his budget and as we all know the Harman curve is meant to represent a popular preference. He ended up buying the 361 and really loved it for the four months it took for the headband to snap in two. He should be OK as Amazon have already said they'll send out a replacement, but he isn't the type of guy to treat his gear badly and as he pointed out the headphones he bought from a supermarket for not much more than £10 lasted him years without falling apart.

    A shame as I had some time with the 361 and thought it was a good implementation of a frequency response at a very keen price. OK it feels low rent, but it is low rent, the sound quality it offers is superb for the modest price I think. Ordinarily I'd probably have it as my default recommendation for general music enthusiasts asking me to recommend a headphone at the price point (in fact, probably quite a bit more). That said I don't agree with how Harman describe it as a professional monitoring headphone, the bass gives it a very likeable sound signature but it's not neutral.
     
  14. Ox Cart

    Ox Cart Facebook Friend

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    The K371 bores me about as much as most speakers and almost as much as the HD600, which is actually a credit to Harman's work. Other than the build quality, I could easily recommend this to people who need headphones, though not necessarily to people who love headphones.

    Let me explain...

    While I often find myself listening to headphones, I almost never listen to speakers, I listen to audio on speakers. Like most people, I don't have any amazing speaker setups, but I'm able to enjoy almost any setup just because they all sound reasonably familiar. Car stereo, living room bookshelves, studio monitors, Google Nest, my phone, crappy concert PA, they're all basically fine. If I listen critically, I can find faults, but I almost never get to listen loud enough for that and I'm usually doing something else while listening anyway, like driving, working or dancing.

    Most headphones I've owned other than maybe the HD600 are afflicted by colorations and quirks that draw my attention. Given the more solitary nature of headphone listening and the fact that I can listen louder, I more often find myself listening critically. When I do, with the right music and in the right mood, headphones transport me into another world--choral music on the LCD2C after a long day of work is a transcendent experience. OTOH, wrong mood or wrong music, and I sometimes feel like ripping the damned things off my head.

    The K371 is unique, because I relate to it like I do to speakers. It neither distracts me with its flaws, nor draws me in with its synergies. For casual listening it's amazing, but for headphile listening it's kind of unengaging.

    Given that Harman set out to make a product with mass market appeal and started with the sound of speakers as a baseline, I think the K371 is a success. I personally like it better than the HD600, which I also found speaker like in its inoffensiveness, except for a little upper mid shout and missing subbass.

    Note for EQ lovers--the K371 sounds noticably more resolving if I fill in the 4KHz dip.
     
  15. señorhifi

    señorhifi Friend

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    I had the K371 like a year ago and only for a week (take it with a grain of salt). The impressions were:

    - very nice FR response with no big annoyances. Very impressive given the price. This gotta be the most HD600 sounding 100$ headphone (in terms of FR only).

    - bass boost from 20 to around 50Hz. Normally they sound relatively flat, but should the music hit anything in the subbass, you'll hear the boost these have.

    - very crappy, very squishy stock pads. They clamp quite a bit and with the pads being so soft, you end up feeling the inner plastic baffle on your ears. Not good.

    - build is fine. I liked how they fold up (could almost fit it in the palm of my hand). Makes them super portable.

    - nothing special otherwise (speed, soundstage, resolution, slam, imaging)
     

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