A dependable pair of good closed back headphones are an integral part of any studio. Especially home-based studios where you may need to contend with outside noise. In this review, we check out the AKG K371 to see if it is worth considering.
The AKG K371 has a lot going for it. An attractive price point and some great features. Below are the quick pros and cons before we take a closer look at these studio cans.
The AKG K371 aims to deliver studio professionals a comfortable and reliable pair of closed-back headphones. Does it succeed and is it worth adding it to your list of options? Read on to find out.
As with all our reviews for headphones let’s jump straight into the most important element. How good do these headphones sound and are they appropriate for studio use?
Overall balance is quite impressive for headphones in this price range. Neutrality is high without any distinct emphasis in any particular frequency band.
The AKG K371 delivers neutral sound that is great for studio work.
There are a few dips and peaks in various areas. But the majority of these are beyond the audible hearing spectrum. Only the most acute ears may be able to pick them up.
The lows are very accurate with plenty of warmth and punch. Especially satisfying for any bass-heavy music like EDM. Not over-emphasized but retaining a pleasing amount of lower bass tonality.
The mids are the most impressive. Exceptionally neutral and precise. This is fantastic for analytical listening. Vocals are pronounced and clear. Lead instruments come to the fore without dominating. If you mix a lot within this range these are an excellent choice.
The highs also offer plenty of accuracy. But they are a bit bright and not as refined as the mids and lows. Not to the point of overt sharpness or tinniness. If anything some elements may possess less life than some people will desire.
I tend to not like overly bright headphones as I find it causes fatigue over longer sessions. So I don’t find this as big of a drawback as others might.
Imaging is also well-defined with an excellent pairing between the two drivers. But as with most closed-back headphones, the soundstage does feel a little cramped and forward. Hard to avoid with closed-back cans. If you want airiness I’d suggest looking at open-back options.
Despite a few hiccups in the top-end, the AKG K371 delivers on its goal. An accurate and reasonably priced set of studio headphones. Perfectly suited for serious studio work while retaining a pleasant casual listening experience.
There is an interesting conundrum when it comes to comfort with the AKG K371. These offer a comfortable fit but they are not without some issues.
First is the padding. It’s very soft and comfortable. Thick but still providing enough leeway to adapt to your ears. Depth is on the lower end so if your ears stick out a bit you may find them hitting the driver coating.
The headband offers a reasonable amount of padding as well. Clamping force is quite light which is both a blessing and a curse. On one end it offers a very relaxed fit that is especially good for people that wear glasses. On the other end, it results in a loose fit that reduces stability.
Comfortable padding plus adjustable headband equals high-level comfort.
If you tend to move a lot in your studio there is a chance these will slide and move around more than you may like. Any aggressive tug on headphone cables will also see them slide right off your head.
This lightweight grip also doesn’t help when it comes to isolation. Depending on fit there may be some minimal leakage at higher volumes. Likewise, the passive isolation isn’t as pronounced as other studio headphones I’ve reviewed.
This is where I am a little torn. I love the padding and fit. It’s generous and ideal for long sessions. You’ll barely notice them. Even breathability is better than expected for a closed-back pair of headphones.
But in return, you will need to deal with lower isolation levels. For a recording environment, this may be an issue. Depending on your studio and how you work will depend on whether these are right for you.
The AKG K371 sports a fairly unobtrusive and simple design. The all-black plastic look may not be to everyone’s liking. For me the simplicity is appropriate. Refined and subtle. More than fitting in a studio environment and also acceptable when out and about.
The AKG K371 offers detachable cables and solid construction.
The headband offers a satisfying adjustment mechanism. It clicks between levels and keeps its position. But there is an exposed wire present. Thankfully it doesn’t stick out like some other headphones. But at maximum extension the pressure on the wire is evident.
These headphones also collapse into a more portable footprint. This is a great option for both casual and professional applications. Easy to take with you on a trip. Something that is often not the case with other studio-focused headphones.
Detachable cables are also present which is something I always like to see. A good range of options are included but the XLR connection point is a little unusual in the headphone space. It’s a little bulky and detracts from the aesthetics of these headphones.
The AKG K371 also plays nice with lower-powered devices. At just 32 ohms you can plug it into your smartphone without experiencing a loss of power. A great choice for people that don’t want to invest in a headphone amp or DAC. And with a sensitivity level of 114dB, these can get quite loud.
As already mentioned isolation is also not ideal. I wouldn’t recommend these as the best choice for DJs. Or for vocalists that like to use headphones when recording. But for people working in a relatively modest noise environment, these are capable of providing you with some buffer to the outside world.
While nothing groundbreaking in appearance and design the AKG K371 does an admiral job of delivering on the brief. Smart, refined, and with enough features to make them an appealing option.
The abundance of plastic is on full display. For some, this may be an instant turn-off. But don’t be too quick to judge these. The plastic is more robust and dependable than you may think.
AKG has reinforced much of the build with metal. It just isn’t visible. This combination makes these quite hardy and able to take the odd slight bump.
The collapsible design and durable components make the K371 good for travel.
The padding is also high-quality and offers slow-retention foam. It adapts well to your ears but between sessions, you may need to readjust to get the maximum seal possible.
Cable quality is also very good. You’ll have access to three cables which is a fantastic inclusion at this price point. A shorter 3.9 ft (1.2m) straight cable along with two longer 9.8 ft (3m) cables. One coiled and one straight.
The XLR connection points lock the cable in place. Both ends of the connection offer good construction and quality. No complaints when it comes to the cables. Despite the unusual choice to go with mini-XLR.
With everything factored in the AKG K371 is a solid pair of headphones that should go the distance. As with most headphones treat them with care and you won’t have any issues.
The AKG K371 also offers an attractive price point. Yes, there are cheaper options available but few will be able to match the level of neutrality the K371 offers.
The AKG K371 comes with a fabric pouch.
When lining these up against more expensive studio headphones they perform well above expectations. In some cases even outperforming more expensive cans.
Inclusions are also great. Three high-quality cables and an adapter. Plus a pouch for travel. The fabric pouch is better than I expected. Durable enough to provide some protection against the elements. Plus it’s attractive. A nice change from the all-black pouches that dominate the market.
AKG has struck an excellent balance between function and price. High-quality sound while retaining a solid build. An admirable achievement at this price.
The AKG K371 is a popular pair of closed-back headphones. A large number of 4 and 5-star reviews from both experts and customers. Most highlight how great these sound and I couldn’t agree more.
4 Tips For Long Sessions In The Studio
Whether you are a working professional or an avid enthusiast there are some things to consider when settling into a long studio session.
Long sessions in the studio can be very productive but also exhausting. To get the most out of your time you’ll find our top 4 tips below.
Long studio sessions can be challenging.
There is plenty of research that highlights that a messy workspace leads to lower productivity. Taking some time to keep your area free from clutter is worth it. Not having distractions also plays a role. Keep things simple and streamlined. That way you can focus on the task at hand.
Ergonomics is another important part of handling long studio sessions. Maintaining good posture is critical. Invest in a good work chair as much as you would in good audio gear. An appropriate desk is also important. But most of all make sure to invest in headphones like the AKG K371 that offer excellent comfort levels.
Nothing beats the feeling of getting in the zone. But even during these stretches of creative brilliance, there will be opportunities for downtime. When it presents itself take a moment to get up and stretch. Even a short walk can give you renewed energy to keep yourself at peak productivity.
It may sound obvious but remember to have fun. Long sessions in the studio can be draining. But keeping things in perspective and enjoying the creative process is important. Don’t lose sight of your goals and don’t get demotivated. If you feel these emotions creeping in I’d suggest taking a short break to re-energize.
The headphone space offers plenty of options. Below we take a quick look at some closed-back alternatives to the AKG K371 that are worth considering.
Rode NTH-100 Review
The Rode NTH-100 is another sensational pair of closed-back headphones. It features a range of innovative features that set it apart from the competition.
- High comfort level with cooling gel ear padding that minimizes heat build-up.
- An exceptionally detailed and neutral sound quality that is great for studio work.
- The ear cup opening is on the smaller side. People with larger ears might struggle to squeeze in.
Sennheiser HD 300 Pro Review
The Sennheiser HD 300 Pro is one of the most recommended monitoring headphones available today. With a host of excellent features, it is not hard to see why.
- Loud and bombastic sound with plenty of punch. A very satisfying listening experience.
- A high level of isolation makes these a great choice for recording sessions.
- While offering plenty of good quality padding the clamping force is a little tight.
Sennheiser HD 300 Pro
PreSonus Eris HD10BT Review
The HD10BT from PreSonus is a versatile set of headphones. The Bluetooth functionality and long battery life make it ideal for producers on the go.
- Engaging sound profile with a distinct emphasis on mid-range performance.
- 18dB of Active Noise Cancellation is great for listening to music in a noisy environment.
- Feature-rich but lacks the precision of dedicated studio headphones.
PreSonus Eris HD10BT
Should You Buy?
The AKG K371 is an excellent set of headphones. A real workhorse option for home studios. The high comfort level is perfectly suited for long sessions. The neutrality of these is also appealing. Accuracy is important when doing serious work and these tick all the right boxes.
A great-sounding pair of headphones without the huge price tag of top-end options. The AKG K371 is a serious contender at this price point and should be on your list of options.