A very good mid-range studio headphone with auto power off and auto size adjustment.
Processing and handling
The AKG K271 is easy to use but doesn’t suffer for its simplicity. Both sides are made of plastic and reinforced with a metal ring at the edge, while the headband is made of imitation leather and is supported by two metal hangers. The ear cups enclose the ears and offer sufficient horizontal and vertical play so that the headphones fit snugly to the head. At first glance, the AKG K 271 MKII doesn’t seem to be that unusual, but it does have one or two hidden treats. For example, instead of a conventional jack plug, the left earpiece has an AKG typical mini XLR connector for the two supplied cables, making them interchangeable.
Another special feature of the K271 MKII is the self-adjusting headband, as well as an automatic switch-off, which mutes the headphones when they are removed. When the earpiece is put on, a rubber band at the lower ends of the headband gives way so that it slides upwards on the frame until the auricles sit on the ears. At the same time, a small switch on the outside of the left shell is released so that the audio signal can pass through. If you put the receiver down, the switch is pressed again and silence reigns. Although this is a nice gimmick, it is also one of the breaking points of the headphones. Otherwise, there is nothing to criticise as the earpieces and shells are firmly connected, offering a robust overall impression.
The ear-enclosing imitation leather pads are comfortable and not too small. Also included are velvet cushions so, if you like, you can swap them with the leather cushions to prevent sweaty ears during longer studio sessions in summer. The headband mechanism, as well as the flexible headband frame, ensures little pressure development on the head and makes long-wearing in various positions, including “one-ear-free mode”, possible. All in all, the AKG K 271 MKII leaves nothing to be desired in terms of comfort, making it indispensable for the busy producer and music lover.
As spiral cables are reminiscent of the horror of phones from the 70s and 80s, we would like to thank AKG for the fact that in addition to the approximately 5 m long spiral cable, a 3 m long normal cable is also included. Both cables have a mini XLR connector on one side and a 3.5 mm jack connector on the other, and an adapter to 6.35 mm jack is also included. The alternative velvet ear cushions are considered by many to be more comfortable, as well as solving the problem of sweaty ears.
The AKG K271 MKII can be found in many studios around the world, and there’s a reason for this: it has quite a few highs, which give unproduced sound material the necessary brilliance for a proper assertiveness. With “normal” music consumption, however, the treble range is a bit too sharp, albeit not metallic.
The bass range is not overemphasised, so it is quite slim and precise, providing enough detail in the midrange. The stereo resolution in width and depth is also good, especially for headphones in this price range. I noticed a special feature at the MacBook headphone output, which is known not to be one of the best. Surprisingly, the AKG K271 MKII still sounds good here, as the bass is somewhat more powerful and the treble is slightly reduced, creating a very relaxed setting for “pure” music enjoyment. The mids are also more clearly audible, but not super detailed. That’s not so much due to the AKGs themselves but is actually because of the MacBook’s amp, which makes even the stereo stage look a bit narrower. The fact that the differences in the headphone amplifiers can be heard perfectly also speaks well for these headphones. In addition, the headphone’s isolation capability is very good, making it ideal for tracking singers.
The AKG K271 is a true classic – and quite rightly so. Its basses are beautifully “un-hyped” and precise, and its trebles slightly boosted. Its workmanship and aesthetics are in line with the price but are no high-end luxury. The AKG K271 is and will remain simply a great workhorse.
- Ear couplingOver-ear
- Frequency response (headphones)16 - 28.000 Hz
- Impedance53,85 ohms
- Sound pressure level (SPL)90,95 dB
- Pressure averaged from big and small head391,5 g
- Weight with cable295 g
- Weight without cable239 g
- Cable length300 cm
What's in the box
- 6.35mm stereo jack