The closed over-ear KRK KNS 6402 are a versatile monitoring tool for home recording guitars and vocals. And these headphones are even suitable for DJs, thanks to their flexibility. In our test, the sound was surprisingly rich in detail and finely resolved in the highs considering their price range.
The KRK KNS 6402 is the smaller sibling of the KNS 8402 and like them, aims to provide good service for content creation and home studios. In order to be able to better classify this device, we will compare it to the somewhat more expensive previous model.
The KRK KNS 6402 headphones come with a 2.40 m cable with a gold-plated 3.5 mm jack plug. This can be connected to sockets for large jack plugs thanks to its 6.3 mm screw adapter, which is also gold-plated. The bag included in the package can be used to store and transport the headphones. It is quickly and easily closed with a cord. Last but not least, a cleaning cloth and a manual are also included. What the KNS 6402 lacks compared to the KNS 8402 is a 75 cm extension cable with integrated remote. If you are interested in this device but also want a volume remote for your new headphones, then you should consider the KNS 8402.
Material and construction
Although the KNS 6402’s ear cups are closed, in contrast to the KNS 8402, they are not closed by two metal plates, but by a plastic back. The other load-bearing parts of these headphones are also made of plastic. The core of the headband is a steel plate that provides stability. The replaceable earpads are not made of memory foam like on the KNS 8402, but of a basic foam filling.
Visually, I didn’t like the corrugation of the earpad surface. This is caused by the covers being pushed up by the curvature of the pads. In addition, the surface of the earpad covers seemed thin and fragile. The earpads on the KNS 8402 are much classier. When it comes to the headband padding, on the other hand, both models are on a par.
KRK KNS 6402 technical data
Averaged at 29.5 ohms, the KRK KNS 6402’s impedance is low enough to be loud enough even with low-voltage headphone amplifiers. They can therefore be used for monitoring on mobile devices as well as on audio interfaces and controllers. At just over 100 dB SPL, the KNS 6402’s maximum sound pressure level was surprisingly higher than that of the previous model, without any noticeable distortion. However, buyers will have to make concessions when comparing the frequency range offered. In the bass, the KNS 6402 only reaches down to 10 Hz instead of 5 Hz. In the treble range, the output spectrum was a little more limited than with the KNS 8402. They “only” reached up to 22 kHz. However, most people will be able to get past both of these limitations. After all, for headphones in this price range, the audio transmission range is still a big deal and offers more than the human ear can usually perceive.
The KRK KNS 6402’s low weight means that they do not require a lot of contact pressure. After all, they weigh little more than 250 grams, including the cable. Nevertheless, the fit is not very comfortable due to the ear pads. For me, they caused hot ears after only a short period of wearing. As with the next-larger KRK model KNS 8402, handling was practical but not yet entirely perfected. For example, although a firmly seated plug is used to connect the cable, it does not have a lock. As a result, the cable is not protected from being yanked and accidentally pulled out.
For transport, the headphones’ ear cups can be turned, but not folded. Changing the ear pads is not without problems. The ear pads’ plastic clips can be easily removed. Re-inserting the ear pads, however, was a challenge and even after several attempts I did not succeed. On the positive side, the interchangeable cable with its length of 250 cm and its one-sided cable routing offers a lot of freedom of movement. The KNS 6402’s earpieces can be rotated 180 degrees outwards, so can also serve well for DJs.
KRK KNS 6402 sound
First of all, the sound of the KRK KNS 6402 was surprisingly detailed and finely resolved in the treble for this price range. In addition, to me, the stereo image seemed broader than that of comparable models. Equally striking, however, was the imbalance of the sound image:
Basses were mainly in the sub-bass range and towards the lower mids. However, the frequency component that provides tonal warmth in other headphones was severely neglected in the KNS 6402. And similar to its older sibling the KNS 8402, the sound of these headphones was also strongly compressed. However, if you are looking for headphones that reproduce guitar sounds, vocals and other mid-frequency sounds concisely and yet without sharpness, you should try the KNS 6402. Especially since the closed design makes them well suited for recording. In our listening test, they proved to have a level of isolation from the outside world that was very helpful when recording.
KRK advertise this model as headphones for music creation, monitoring and mixing. However, I would not recommend them for mixing. The sound profile seemed to me to be too specific and too “warped”. On a positive note, these headphones – as promised by their impedance value – were indeed pretty loud in practice, even at headphone outputs with low output voltage. That means they are well suited for use with laptops.
With the KNS 6402, KRK offers headphones whose frequency range is impressive, especially in the highs, for a relatively low budget. If you are looking for a tool that pays particular attention to the upper-frequency spectrum but don’t want to spend too much money, you will find what you’re looking for with these headphones. Inconsistencies in handling and, contrary to the manufacturer’s advertising, a poorly balanced sound, for me, make the KNS 6402 a very specific tool.
In our test, these headphones nevertheless proved to be a promising monitoring tool for home recording of guitars and vocals. DJs, on the other hand, will benefit from the articulation of the ear cups. They come in a well-presented package, but for a few euros more, you could get the much warmer sound of the KRK KNS 8402.
- Ear couplingOver-ear
- Transducer principledynamic
- Frequency response (headphones)10 - 22.000 Hz
- Impedance29,5 ohms
- Sound pressure level (SPL)100,6 dB
- Pressure averaged from big and small head465 g
- Weight with cable258 g
- Weight without cable217 g
- Cable length250 cm
What's in the box
- Cable with 3.5 mm jack
- 6.35mm stereo jack
- Cleaning cloth