Open-back headphones are preferred when it comes to monitoring with accurate sound imaging. Unlike their closed-back counterparts, open-back headphones can have much wider soundstage and thus deliver a more accurate representation of the sound. In this article, we will discuss two of the most popular open-back models in the market right now, AKG K712 Pro vs HD600.
Continue reading below to find out more about:
- What items that come included with each model
- The design and build quality of each model
- Which pair of headphones that is generally more comfortable
- The comparison of their lows, mids, and highs
- The soundstage of AKG K712 Pro vs HD600
- Which open-back model that is more recommended for you
AKG K712 Pro: What’s Included?
There are good reasons to why you need to have a reliable pair of headphones for monitoring in the studio. With a good pair of headphones, you won’t have to listen to the same set of speakers all day long. You can also compare the sound from the headphones and the speakers to see if your mix sounds good on both of them. See also: Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 Vs 6i6
For such purpose, you want comfortable open-backed headphones – something like AKG K712 Pro. Although cheap closed-back headphones are probably fine for a tracking session, you still want open-back headphones that can deliver accurate sound imaging when it comes to monitoring, mixing, and making crucial decisions.
AKG K712 Pro was released with this need in mind. The company describes this headset as a pair of reference, open-back, over-ear headphones designed for accurate listening and mixing. The sound is indeed great, with an impressive soundstage. This headset is perfectly suitable for casual listening as well as professional mastering.
One difference between AKG K712 Pro vs HD600 is that AKG K712 Pro comes with two cables, instead of one. You can find a straight cable and a coiled cable in the box. Both have three-pin mini-XLR connectors that are solidly locked so they won’t get accidentally pulled out. Both cables end in gold-plated mini-jack connectors. In addition, the box does include an optional screw-on 1/4-inch stereo adapter, so you can use the headset on pretty much any set-up.
AKG K712 Pro: Design and Comfort
The first thing of AKG K712 Pro that will impress you right away is the build quality. The headset was hand-crafted in Austria. It has a black color scheme with burnt orange accents on the headband arches and the cables.
There are two slim aluminum arches that connect the left and right headphones. Despite the slimness, these arches are really tough and durable. The ear cups also seem to be robust, and the joints are solid. For sure, this headset will last for a long time.
The headband is equipped with a soft leather pad with a fairly flat profile. At first, it may seem to be a bit narrow, but it actually fits most heads really well. The soft leather doesn’t put pressure on your head, and the headset is quite lightweight. As the effect, you can actually wear the headphones over a long listening session without any discomfort.
Adjusting the fit is utterly straightforward. You just need to pull the headphones, and the elastic headband will adjust itself to a natural position. This is really cool. Meanwhile, the earpad cushions have a smooth velvety surface; they will cover your ears completely, while at the same time providing soft, pillow-like cushioning.
AKG K712 Pro: Performance
If you have ever used the company’s previous open-back headphones, AKG K702, you probably have a good idea about what to expect. AKG K712 Pro takes the performance one step higher, and overall is very impressive. There is plenty of detail in the sound, and the frequencies are all balanced properly.
The soundstage is vast, immersive, and with a real sense of depth and placement. If we compare the soundstage of AKG K712 Pro vs HD600, the winner is clear – AKG K712 Pro comes out on top. This headset has excellent transient response, with a pleasantly wide soundstage and very accurate sound imaging. The produced sound is captivatingly lifelike.
The low-end is deep, full, and overflowing with detail. AKG K712 Pro is surprisingly able to deliver bass with good impact without affecting the overall clarity. Meanwhile, the midrange sounds pristine with astounding fidelity. The treble is bright, yet not overly sibilant. Female vocals and strings instruments easily sound heavenly.
Sennheiser HD600: What’s Included?
Sennheiser HD600 probably doesn’t need any introduction. It is one of the most famous open-back models in the last two decades. It is the flagship of the company’s line-up of open-back headphones, and it often said to be the state-of-the-art representation of the moving-coil transducer design. To make it even more amazing, Sennheiser HD600 is available at a fairly affordable price.
Well, the affordable price means that there are a few things that are cut out from the bundle. The box is pretty standard. Inside the box, you can only find one straight cable and one 1/4-inch adaptor. There is no coiled cable, and the included cable is pretty short. In a studio environment, you sometimes need a long coiled cable that will allow you to move freely.
On the good side, the included cable is well-made. It is made of oxygen-free copper to ensure minimal distortion and optimum sound quality. It is said to have very low handling noise. The cable is reinforced with Kevlar to enhance the toughness and durability.
Sennheiser HD600: Design and Comfort
Sennheiser HD600 looks pretty nice. It has a marble blue color with black pads. The appearance is a bit classic and may remind you of the nineties, but overall it doesn’t look bad.
The construction is mostly plastic, so it doesn’t feel as premium as the metallic headband of AKG K712 Pro. Nevertheless, the construction is solid and tough, and there are actually metal reinforcements on the ear cups and joints. Just be careful with the grills on the back sides of the headphones, as they seem to be easy to twist.
In terms of comfort, Sennheiser HD600 is good. But if we have to compare AKG K712 Pro vs HD600, we may find that Sennheiser HD600 is a bit more exhausting to wear over long periods of time.
The ear pads are made of high-quality velour. They feel soft and comfy. The headband padding is also spongy and comfortable. However, the fit won’t suit all people. If you have large ears, the pads may feel tight and put some pressure. Sennheiser HD600 also tends to get hot a bit more quickly.
By the way, while the cable is detachable to allow easy storage, it has separate connectors for the left and right headphones (instead of one-sided like the design of AKG K712 Pro). Having cables on both sides of your face is a bit annoying and uncomfortable, and increases the chance of tangling.
Sennheiser HD600: Performance
Sennheiser HD 600 has been known for having transparent and balanced sound. Overall, you can say that Sennheiser HD600 is a neutral-sounding pair of headphones. It will give out precisely what it gets, without altering or adding much in the mix. If you play a flawed record, it will output crappy sound. If you play a good record, it will output good sound.
For that reason, Sennheiser HD600 can be a viable choice for monitoring and mixing. Unfortunately, the soundstage of this headset is not impressive like expected. Well, it is decent, but it is not as wide as what AKG K712 Pro offers. The sound imaging is pretty good, with nice details, but the sounds are not really separated.
The bass response is not bad. There is plenty of detail, but overall it lacks the oomph. On the good side, the bass will not muddy up the mids or highs, and the transition to the midrange is smooth. Meanwhile, the midrange sounds organic and accurate with great clarity. Many people say that the midrange performance is the best thing about Sennheiser HD600. Vocals and instruments are highly detailed and well-balanced.
The treble has caused some controversy. Some people say that Sennheiser HD600 has veiled treble, meaning that the treble is somehow muffled and lacks energy. This is probably fine for people who don’t like high treble presence, which can make the sound too sharp or sibilant for their ears.
That said, after some time getting used to the Sennheiser HD 600 headphones, you may find that the treble performance is not that bad. Some recordings still have high treble presence, and thus the sound becomes a bit harsh on your ears. But overall the sound is clear and well-balanced.
AKG K712 Pro Vs HD600
Between these two open-back models, AKG K712 Pro is generally more recommended. It has a better build quality and overall is more comfortable. The box includes two cables, one straight and one coiled, which can be handy in different situations. The performance is great; AKG K712 Pro has a wider soundstage and more accurate sound imaging. The bass is deep and full, the midrange has astounding fidelity, and the treble is bright without being overly sibilant.