AKG’s Harman Target based closed-back headphone!
PROS: Best value for money closed-back in its segment, build quality for the most part, comfortable fit, compact form factor, detachable cable, multiple cable options, true reference well-balanced Harman-neutral sound signature, sub-bass rumble, midrange quality, natural tonality and timbre, smooth but resolving treble.
CONS: None for the asking price. Nitpicking – I personally would’ve liked a bit more upper treble, concerns of durability of faux leather and glued on rubber cushion of the headband, unavailability of replacement ear pads on the official website.
I’d like to thank Harman and AKG for providing me the AKG K371 for a review. I am not affiliated with the company or any of its sellers and write this review with an unbiased opinion regardless of how the review turns out.
AKG probably needs no introduction since it has been making great world-class audio gear for more than 50 years now. For those who are still unaware of its existence, AKG is an Austrian audio equipment manufacturing company founded in 1947 in Vienna. AKG produces both professional as well as consumer products and is particularly popular for its microphones, headphones and wireless audio systems. It was acquired by American company Harman International Industries in 1994, when it had already established its American subsidiary arm in Los Angeles (1985). In 2017, Harman decided to shut down all of AKG’s facilities in Vienna and was then acquired by Samsung Electronics in the same year. AKG Acoustics USA now has its headquarters in San Fernando Valley, California.
AKG has been making excellent microphones over the years like C12, C414, D112, etc., which are some of the go-to microphones for professionals. I personally own a couple of them too. They’ve also had quite a lot of popular headphones over the years like the K240, K701, K702 Pro and a collaboration lineup with famous producer Quincy Jones.
About AKG K371.
K371 is a $149 (currently selling for $119) closed-back, over the ear headphone which has been developed with Harman’s research of an optimal headphone target curve spearheaded by Dr. Sean Olive, called the Harman Target curve. As per the research and study, it is a target curve measured at the ear-drum/DRP (Drum Reference Point) that defines a reference sound signature that sounds most natural, pleasing and tonally correct to majority of listeners.
- Driver – 50mm Titanium coated diaphragm with pure OFC voice coils
- Sensitivity – 114 dB SPL/V @ 1 kHz
- Rated impedance – 32Ω
- Audio frequency bandwidth – 5-40kHz
- Cables – Detachable 1.2m straight, 3m straight, 3m coiled.
- Connector type – Mini XLR
- Weight – 255 g
Included in the box.
- AKG K371 headphone
- 3 Cables – 1.2m straight, 3m long straight and 3m Coiled cable
- 3.5mm to ¼” adapter
- Waterproof carry pouch
- Warranty card and manual
K371 is built mostly from highly quality plastic with a metal hinge holding the ear cups but is well put together. The top of the headband is faux leather with a rubbery cushion at the bottom. The foldable ear cup mechanism clicks as you fold the ear cups into a compact form (picture below), which makes it nice and easy to carry for on-the-go use. The earpads are made of pleather with memory foam on the inside. They are soft, squishy and very comfortable; much better than the earpads on M50 which are harder and prone to cracking or the ones on Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro and Sennheiser HD380 Pro which are extremely crinkly and start fraying rather quickly. The only things I have my doubts on in the build are the top faux leather wrap of the headband and rubbery cushion that is glued on, whose durability will be seen as the time goes by. Besides that, K371 has a very good build for the price and should last well.
Cables – There are 3 cables in the package, 2 straight cables (1.2m and 3m) and a 3m coiled cable. They are well built and should last even with typical studio rugged use. Nevertheless, the cables are detachable and have a mini-XLR connection, so you can always replace them in case you somehow manage you break theem. Male XLRs connectors are sturdy and give me a sense of security since they have a click lock mechanism which restricts the cable from coming off randomly or when pulled accidentally.
Comfort and Isolation.
K371 has a very comfortable fit for me personally, especially owing to its small form factor. It does not have a lot of clamp force or downward pressure at the headband. The pleather pads are big enough to cover my whole ear and the memory foam adapts to my head shape pretty well but since the foam padding isn’t too thick, larger/bigger ears may touch the driver housing. It is definitely better than the Audio Technica M50 for me in this regard as my ears touch M50’s driver assembly the whole time I have them on. As for isolation, the headphones don’t leak too much sound outside and are fairly decent in reducing the average background noise. I personally can’t hear the house bell ringing if I have the headphones on and music playing at decent volume.