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tom2b's picture
Last seen: 10 months 1 week ago
Joined: 07/05/2012 - 10:52
Posts: 45
AKG550 vs AKG701

Hi all,


I am about to upgrade my headphones from my old 'budget'Sennheisers and have, on the basis of reviews narrowed my search down(rather unscientifically) to the 701 and 550. 

all my music is played through my Marantz M-CR603 . My favourite music is 70's dub Reggae where often the sound quality is rather poor ( either through purchased CD's, or just downloaded through ITunes~just the Standard stuff,eg.no lossless etc) due to the basic recording techniques.

Question is, would the 701's be'too good' for poor quality recordings?~ From reading general reviews I have noted that some headphones are said to be'unforgiving'of less than perfect recordings..

~I am not in a position to actually audition headphones, so would appreciate opinions/advice

Thank you

dalethorn's picture
Last seen: 22 hours 34 min ago
Joined: 07/12/2011 - 21:10
Posts: 2024
RE: AKG550 vs AKG701

The 'unforgiving' aspect is merely accurate reproduction, assuming (not always true) that the headphone's treble is accurate and not peaky. But there usually are treble peaks, and rather than agonize over all the possibilities that eventually cost time and money and disappoint anyway, I get the best headphone and get some experience with it, and experiment to find the best correction curve for brightness etc. to make the bad tracks tolerable. Some purists will tell you that they never do that, but they also miss a lot of musical enjoyment.

Senal SMH1200, V-MODA Wireless2, Beats Studio3, Apple Airpods, DragonFly Red/Oppo HA2 DAC/amps, Lehmann Traveler amp.

mitch65's picture
Last seen: 1 year 5 months ago
Joined: 16/12/2003 - 12:50
Posts: 1170
RE: AKG550 vs AKG701

FWIW I've been deliberating between the two mentioned plus others and I've just taken the plunge today with the 701s. This not to say the 550s are not good but I was not bothered with the open/closed is best debate and went with the one that I thought would give me the best sound quality for the money. :cheers:

Auralic Aries Mini - Marantz SA8005 - Marantz PM6005 - Little Dot Mk.II - Tannoy Revolution DC4T

Sennheiser HD540II - Musical Fidelity MF-200

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