AKG K171 MkII Monitoring Studio Headphones Review

Nothing beats good headphones when it comes to working with a soundboard and mixing live sound, whether it is for a band in a club or for church. If you have not yet invested in a
good set of headphones, it is time you took the step. If you have a bad quality set, maybe it’s time to think about upgrading.

That said, it is not a walk in the park getting the best headphones. With countless brands and models competing for your bucks, you will be overwhelmed when it comes to making the right choice. That is why I have chosen one particular model, the AKG K171 because I think they are particularly good for monitoring for live mixing purposes and doing a proper sound check. I will break down everything for you about this headphone-the good and the bad-and help you make an informed decision. Check out my other post on the best headphones for live mixing.

AKG Headphones – Product overview

AKG K171 headphones are the perfect definition of lightweight and comfortable audio devices you can have over your ears (you will remember this once you have them on). Touted to be the best headphones for broadcast and DJ use, these earpieces will not leak a single decibel of sound to the microphones or someone you are sitting next to. Their unique rugged design with closed-back feature is a sure bet to not only low frequency but also comfort on your ears.

Do not be duped by the simple design; there is more than meets the eye. Their music tracking capability makes them a favorite picks among the who-is-who in the live music circles. If flexibility and comfort are two attributes you would want in your headphones then you do not need to read this entire review to make your choice. But if you rather wait till you read the last sentence in this review, we welcome that too.

The velvet and leatherette pads are your promise to comfort and perfect fit on your ears. It does not stop there; the coiled and detachable cables add a good twist to what is on offer here. If you are the kind that appreciates dynamism and efficiency in the kind of sound that goes into your ears, your shopping for headphones starts and stops right here. AKG
K171 headphones, thanks to their versatility and flexibility they are the top choice among all and sundry. Couple up that with the rich features and specifications; it will always be music home and away.

To check the current price on Amazon, click here


If you are not yet convinced yet, do not fret. I have in store for you the nitty and gritty of this hyped headphone. In any case, you should not be making a premature decision.

Key features

Top of the things you should be looking for in headphones should be the features it comes with. Are they convenient and efficient for the needs you have at hand? These and more questions will be answered in this section of features.

  • Velvet-leatherette ear padding: comfort is a top consideration you have to make in your headphones. It seems the maker of this headphone had the user in mind. With a silky combination of velvet and leatherette padding, this headphone is a comfortable choice and a good performer by all standards.

  • Sturdy rugged design: sometimes it could get rough with headphone handling. If you need a piece that will take all the pressure of this roughness, look no farther. Thanks to the rugged design, this headphone will take in the impact and keep the good music into your ear.

  • Selffitting headband:it will not be a struggle trying to fit this piece over your head. The headband is self-adjusting. Just slip it on and it will find the perfect fit over your head no matter how small or how big.

  • Closed back technology: this is the perfect way to insulate against noise, which if left unchecked destroys the quality of sound. It is also a perfect feature to amplify on the quality of reproduced sound. It’s like you have a full portable studio with you everywhere you go. And if that is not “cool” then I do not what is.

  • Varimotion speakers that come with a patent:if you have your headphones on while you move, this piece will adjust itself to stay in sync with motion. Varimotion is a relatively new speaker technology and you will definitely love what it brings on the table.

  • Hi-Fi studio capabilities:this one is a pure professional headset. If it is clarity you are after, nothing gives that better than this headphone.

  • Two choices of cables: depending on where and how you want to use this headphone, it comes with a set of two cables. One is a straight 10 inch to allow you a considerable diameter of movement. The other is 16 inch long with meticulously done coils.

To check the current price on Amazon, click here


Outstanding specifications

It would be an unforgivable crime to leave out the specs associated with this headphone. If anything, specifications are some of the crucial determinants to whether you end up making the purchase or not. For AKG K171 headphones, here are the specs it boasts of (some will be the first ever on a headphone in this price range):

  • Impedance rate: at 55 ohms, you will love what this does to the quality of sound you get to your ears.

  • Net weight: how does 240g sound for a headphone? It is probably one of the lightest pieces you will ever have for a headphone. Once you get used to it, you can hardly feel if there is anything on your head except the smooth flow of your favorite jam.

  • Cable: The coiled cable is 99.9% free of oxygen. This sets the piece far ahead of its peers.

  • Multiple patents: some of the things you get on this headphone are never on any other in its league. They include Varimotion speakers, slot resistor for acoustics, and a multi-layered diaphragm. When you hear this is one of a kind headphone; these patented specs are what set it apart.

  • Sensitivity range: 94 dB/MW and 107 dB/V

  • Scope of frequency: 18-26,000 Hertz

  • It comes with gold plated adapter in two sizes 1/8 inch and 1/4 inch

  • Maximum power input: 200 megawatts

To check the current price on Amazon, click here


What I like

It would be a blatant lie if I told you that I didn’t like this headset. It is ideal for live sound mixing and podcasting alike. There is a lot to like about these headphones. here are a few things that might help you make your decision.

  • One-ear technology is something I do love about this piece. You will love it too once you get to hear the golden sound you get from it. You will be getting the highest possible level of noise attenuation.

  • Closed design is relatively new in the world of headphones. It should have been introduced early and it could never be better than on a piece like this headphone. You are looking at the best way to insulate noise and end up with the best quality of sound reproduction. Once you have this set over your head, you will appreciate the closed technology feature.

  • Mild treble and bass enhancing is real on this headphone. This is one of the few headsets that come with such a feature. It will come in handy for sound reproduction.

  • You will be getting unrivaled comfort. Build with the final user in mind, you will have no complain about its comfort. The leatherette and velvet padding has contributed much to this.

  • Self-adjusting fitting. The fact that you will not struggle trying to fit it over your head is a big plus. You will only slip on the set and you are good to go.

  • Clean and clear sound. The quality of sound is incomparable with what you can get from other pieces in its league. You can count on super clarity of sound every time you have this one on.

  • It is great value for the price you are paying. I have tried cheaper and expensive headphones but nothing comes close to the qualities this piece brings on the table of music and sound.

  • Option of a coiled and straight cord. You have a 10-inch and 16-inch straight and coiled cords. The length raises not a question and they are both replaceable.

  • Rugged design for rough handling. Occasionally you may have to roughly handle your headsets. This should not be an excuse for them to play weakling. This set has a rugged design that will take in impact and keep functional just as if nothing happened.

  • Zero chances for sound leaking. Even a person sitting next to you would not have a clue to the kind of music you are listening to. You can take this to bank; there is zero chance of sound leaking from this piece.

  • The tracking cans are super good. This headset will work best in live scenarios and give you the best sound quality.

To check the current price on Amazon, click here


What I don’t like

Nothing is ever perfect and it will not be beginning to be with this set of headphones. As much as I like much of the things this headset has to offer, there are a few others I did not like. They are:

  • The bass may not be as high as some users would want. If you are buying headphones to amplify on music bass, this one may not be the right piece.

  • Lack of headphone amp. Sure, I found this a miss, but it’s not something everyone is looking for.

Who is this headphone for?

This headphone is specifically good for live sound mixing, monitoring, studio work and for DJs and those in the broadcasting field. If you look at its features, it is more of a
specialized device than a generic one. However, that should not rule you out if you are not in these two fields. Out of curiosity, you should try this one out.

What others are saying about AKG K171 headphones

If you ever want to know how good or bad something is, take to the public opinion court. I did this by looking into reviews from different buyers who have actually used this headset.

Many people commend the AKG K171’s for being noise free, comfortable and having clear sound reproduction. Some brands of headphones suffer from buzzing, but these AKG headphones are very clear. Click here to read more about getting rid of headphone buzzing issues.

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OBS Studio Microphone Guide - Best Settings, Filters & More

It has also been mentioned by a few people about the need for a bit more bass with these headphones.

My verdict

You did not come all this way in vain. It is because you want to get the decision right for the headphone you end up buying. If you have been keen, we have laid everything for you in a systematic manner and now we are about to give our verdict on whether this is a good purchase or not.

To check the current price of the AKG K171 headphones on Amazon, click here


I definitely recommend this headphone for anyone who appreciates quality sound and comfort when listening to music and sound reproduction, and for our purposes doing live sound mixing, they are very good indeed. Among most reviewers, this headset is worth every dime you are paying for it. I have no doubt that this is the right pick as long as it meets
your purpose. Since I have done the heavy lifting part, I leave you with an easy decision.

Check out my other post if your headphones not loud enough

Frank Edwards

Frank Edwards is the founder and owner of churchsoundtips.com and has over 10 years experience running sound in his local church.

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