AKG K371 - Initial thoughts

Rick88Rick88 Posts: 13,426
I've been doing a lot of research for about a month on several different headphones and ultimately ended up choosing the AKG K371 and they arrived today. I've been using them for 6-1/2 hrs and I'm quite pleased so far, and for my needs I think I made the right decision.

I have grown increasingly frustrated with outside noises, especially cars with bad exhaust (it is unbelievable how high of a percentage of the ones that drive by) and the terribly creaky floors from the upstairs apartment in this 105 year old house when the tenant is home. I hear literally every step she takes in every room, the worst being the kitchen where there is no carpet. I am not kidding, it sounds like she's walking/dancing around in cowboy boots up there. This got so annoying as this room was directly above my living room that about 6 months ago I decided to move my audio system and TV into the much smaller spare bedroom in the front of the house. It helped some, but there are still times when I get too distracted to be able to enjoy TV/movies and music when she's home.

I have a set of Westone W20 dual balanced armature IEMs I've been using a lot that sound great and as IEMs go, Westone's are among the most comfortable. But since I get up fairly often for bathroom breaks etc, it is a pain to have to keep taking them out and putting them back in. The other option that I sometimes do is just leave them in and uplug them from my headphone amp until I return. But I don't like to do this out of concern of wear and tear on the input jack of the amp(s), so I decided it was time to get a pair of over the ear headphones.

I really wanted to try the Massdrop Sennheiser 58XX, but due to my needing to isolate external noises a closed back model was a must. Since they'll be used for about 70% TV/movies and 30% music I can live with a smaller soundstage and less airiness that open back headphones would provide. I strongly considered the Shure SRH1540 but didn't want to spend $500 at this time. I then almost pulled the trigger on a pair of Audio Technica ATH-MSR7b at $250, but then I started reading up on the K371 at just $150. Most reviews were very positive and said they were pretty neutral with a good soundstage for a closed back headphone, and excellent sub-bass without bleeding into the mids. Sounded like a good budget pair of cans for mixed use. These should be excellent for watching action films.

So far I've used them for watching various TV programs, including parts of Metallica & San Francisco Symphony S&M2 on PBS (sounded great through these!). I am very happy so far and I think they're keepers. They also have been quite comfortable which is very important for me since I'll be wearing them for extended periods of time. Tomorrow I plan on listening to more music with them to further evaluate. More to come later.


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"Life is one grand, sweet song, so start the music." ~ Ronald Reagan

“I love songs about horses, railroads, land, Judgment Day, family, hard times, whiskey, courtship, marriage, adultery, separation, murder, war, prison, rambling, damnation, home, salvation, death, pride, humor, piety, rebellion, patriotism, larceny, determination, tragedy, rowdiness, heartbreak and love. And Mother. And God.” ~ Johnny Cash




Comments

  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 9,025
    Great photos and initial thoughts, looking forward to hearing more as you log some time with them.

    What amp are you using with them?
  • Rick88Rick88 Posts: 13,426
    I have 2 Fiio portable amps, an A3 & A5. These were also budget minded purchases but I've been very impressed with their build and sound quality for the money spent. They were more than powerful enough for the IEMs and as the K371 is easy to drive, I've been using the A5 with them so far and it has absolutely no problem driving them on low gain.

    I'm also using budget DACs, I have a Topping E30 in the living room and a Schiit Modi 3 in the bedroom. It's amazing how much good sound can be had for so little these days!
    "Life is one grand, sweet song, so start the music." ~ Ronald Reagan

    “I love songs about horses, railroads, land, Judgment Day, family, hard times, whiskey, courtship, marriage, adultery, separation, murder, war, prison, rambling, damnation, home, salvation, death, pride, humor, piety, rebellion, patriotism, larceny, determination, tragedy, rowdiness, heartbreak and love. And Mother. And God.” ~ Johnny Cash




  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 9,025
    edited October 30
    Nothing wrong with Topping. Running the D10 feeding into my SPL Phonitor X amp. ;)

    Edit: Those Fiio amps look slick, love the formfactor and design of the A5.
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 9,025
    @Rick88 Could you take some photos of the inside of the earcups when you get a chance? Trying to get an idea of their overall shape.
  • Rick88Rick88 Posts: 13,426
    Here you go. It was a bit difficult to take photos of the inside of the cups without twisting them around too much which I don't want to do. So they're not the greatest pics but you'll get the idea.

    As you can see, the pads came a bit crunched up from packaging. I was a bit concerned about this at first, but I kinda figured after awhile they'd straighten back out on their own. I went to head-fi and asked about this and was told that yes they'll straighten back out. It's already gotten much better.

    I have also experienced something I read about in reviews so I was well aware of before purchasing. Some people have had an issue with the slider adjustment mechanism being a bit loose and therefore going out of adjustment easily. Mine is looser than I'd like, though I haven't had an issue with them moving on me yet.

    There is a thread on reddit about this and it's an easy fix. It's a simple matter of tightening a screw. All you have to do is remove the piece on the backside of the adjuster and tighten the screw. However, it is apparently glued on and you have to pry it off with a razor blade or similar and back on afterwards and this will void the warranty. Some have said they exchanged theirs for a different pair and the replacement pair had a tighter adjuster, where others have said the replacement pair was the same.

    Mine isn't that bad, but knowing me I will request a replacement pair. For now, I'll enjoy them over the weekend before I make a decision.

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    "Life is one grand, sweet song, so start the music." ~ Ronald Reagan

    “I love songs about horses, railroads, land, Judgment Day, family, hard times, whiskey, courtship, marriage, adultery, separation, murder, war, prison, rambling, damnation, home, salvation, death, pride, humor, piety, rebellion, patriotism, larceny, determination, tragedy, rowdiness, heartbreak and love. And Mother. And God.” ~ Johnny Cash




  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 9,025
    Hey thanks so much for the photos, appreciate it. I understand now how they are shaped.

    The materials and overall quality look to be quite good for a $150 pair.
  • Rick88Rick88 Posts: 13,426
    Well after typing the message above and thinking more about it, I decided to ask for a replacement pair. I just arranged it with Sweetwater. They emailed me a FedEx shipping label and I'll send them back tomorrow or Monday.

    Yes I think the overall build is very good for $150, notwithstanding the minor QC issue that is.
    "Life is one grand, sweet song, so start the music." ~ Ronald Reagan

    “I love songs about horses, railroads, land, Judgment Day, family, hard times, whiskey, courtship, marriage, adultery, separation, murder, war, prison, rambling, damnation, home, salvation, death, pride, humor, piety, rebellion, patriotism, larceny, determination, tragedy, rowdiness, heartbreak and love. And Mother. And God.” ~ Johnny Cash




  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 9,025
    Hope the next pair's slider adjustment is tighter/more secure.
  • Rick88Rick88 Posts: 13,426
    For sure. Like I said mine weren't too bad, but I feel it is inevitable it would loosen up more over time. And I'm a picky SOB and I know it would have eaten at me. It's a shame the piece on the back doesn't just pop off so I could tighten the screw myself.
    "Life is one grand, sweet song, so start the music." ~ Ronald Reagan

    “I love songs about horses, railroads, land, Judgment Day, family, hard times, whiskey, courtship, marriage, adultery, separation, murder, war, prison, rambling, damnation, home, salvation, death, pride, humor, piety, rebellion, patriotism, larceny, determination, tragedy, rowdiness, heartbreak and love. And Mother. And God.” ~ Johnny Cash




  • Rick88Rick88 Posts: 13,426
    I'm dropping them off at FedEx this morning. After enjoying them for two days I'm going to miss being without a set of cans until the replacement arrives, I'm guessing close to 10 days turnaround. Oh well, I'll use my IEMs in the meantime.

    I'd really like to just pop off the cover to the screw and tighten it myself. Even though I'm pretty sure I could do it and glue the piece back on without it being noticeable, I wouldn't want to risk voiding the warranty. Here is the thread on reddit discussing it.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/headphones/comments/hoz3jk/akg_k371361_headband_slippingfalling_fix/
    "Life is one grand, sweet song, so start the music." ~ Ronald Reagan

    “I love songs about horses, railroads, land, Judgment Day, family, hard times, whiskey, courtship, marriage, adultery, separation, murder, war, prison, rambling, damnation, home, salvation, death, pride, humor, piety, rebellion, patriotism, larceny, determination, tragedy, rowdiness, heartbreak and love. And Mother. And God.” ~ Johnny Cash




  • msgmsg Posts: 6,147
    +1 on cars with bad exhausts.
    This includes some new cars with exhausts that work "as designed". I think some of these knuckleheads must floor it off every single light.
    I disabled signatures.
  • Rick88Rick88 Posts: 13,426
    I am really surprised at how many cars drive by with loud/bad exhaust systems. I'm not kidding, it's gotta be close to 50% of them. I am constantly thinking how the heck did they pass state inspection?

    Now my bike is pretty loud, but when I ride normal it is not bad at all. I am considerate of others so I stay out of the throttle until I get out of town and/or away from residential areas.
    "Life is one grand, sweet song, so start the music." ~ Ronald Reagan

    “I love songs about horses, railroads, land, Judgment Day, family, hard times, whiskey, courtship, marriage, adultery, separation, murder, war, prison, rambling, damnation, home, salvation, death, pride, humor, piety, rebellion, patriotism, larceny, determination, tragedy, rowdiness, heartbreak and love. And Mother. And God.” ~ Johnny Cash




  • msgmsg Posts: 6,147
    edited October 31
    Yeah, I've wondered that myself.

    Also been wondering about LED lighting. I find them near blinding at night sometimes, and sometimes even the rear lights. I think they don't even work as well as halogens, like the Sylvania Silverstar Ultra. It's weird, they seem to project a dimly spread beam on the road, but you wouldn't know it approaching one.
    Post edited by msg on
    I disabled signatures.
  • Rick88Rick88 Posts: 13,426
    I hear ya on those lights!! :#
    "Life is one grand, sweet song, so start the music." ~ Ronald Reagan

    “I love songs about horses, railroads, land, Judgment Day, family, hard times, whiskey, courtship, marriage, adultery, separation, murder, war, prison, rambling, damnation, home, salvation, death, pride, humor, piety, rebellion, patriotism, larceny, determination, tragedy, rowdiness, heartbreak and love. And Mother. And God.” ~ Johnny Cash




  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 9,025
    edited October 31
    Rick88 wrote: »
    For sure. Like I said mine weren't too bad, but I feel it is inevitable it would loosen up more over time. And I'm a picky SOB and I know it would have eaten at me. It's a shame the piece on the back doesn't just pop off so I could tighten the screw myself.

    Yeah it seems like it's one of those things where some cost saving decision was made during the design/manufacturing process, possibly to help simplify it for those putting them together. "Should we make this user serviceable/adjustable?" "No".

    But now that decision ends up costing them more money in returns/exchanges.
  • Rick88Rick88 Posts: 13,426
    After a few emails back and forth today and me getting a bit frustrated, Sweetwater shipped out the replacement pair today before receiving the return package. I should have them Wednesday. :)
    "Life is one grand, sweet song, so start the music." ~ Ronald Reagan

    “I love songs about horses, railroads, land, Judgment Day, family, hard times, whiskey, courtship, marriage, adultery, separation, murder, war, prison, rambling, damnation, home, salvation, death, pride, humor, piety, rebellion, patriotism, larceny, determination, tragedy, rowdiness, heartbreak and love. And Mother. And God.” ~ Johnny Cash




  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 9,025
    edited October 31
    That's the way it should be done. Very good.

    I'm trying to think of what I should listen to today. So far it's just been the local FM jazz station on in the background in the other room. Feeling kinda low energy and blah even though I've had 4 shots of espresso today!

    Later tonight I think I will log some more time on the Shure headphones. Maybe I'll try them with The Nightfly. I saw you posting about that album in the what are you listening to thread.

    I also thought about hooking up my AH! Njoe Tjoeb 4000 CD player to my HP amp, but I don't really have room on my desk to do so without some clever re-arrangement. There's just something fun about playing actual CDs instead of digital files sometimes.
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 9,025
    The stack as it sits currently:

    im7zzoi85xtt.jpg
  • Rick88Rick88 Posts: 13,426
    Oh yeah, The Nightfly would be a great one to put the Shures to the test!! B)
    "Life is one grand, sweet song, so start the music." ~ Ronald Reagan

    “I love songs about horses, railroads, land, Judgment Day, family, hard times, whiskey, courtship, marriage, adultery, separation, murder, war, prison, rambling, damnation, home, salvation, death, pride, humor, piety, rebellion, patriotism, larceny, determination, tragedy, rowdiness, heartbreak and love. And Mother. And God.” ~ Johnny Cash




  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 9,025
    Sounds good, I'll give it a go later!
  • BlueFoxBlueFox Posts: 13,939
    Clipdat wrote: »
    The stack as it sits currently:

    im7zzoi85xtt.jpg

    Is that a cat claw post in the back right?

    Bud - Silicon Valley

    Lumin X1 file player
    Sony XA-5400ES SACD
    Pass XP-22 pre, X600.5 amps
    Magico S5 MKII Mcast Rose speakers, SPOD spikes

    Shunyata Triton v3/Typhon QR on preamp, Denali 2000 (2) on amps
    Shunyata Sigma XLR analog ICs, Sigma speaker cables
    Shunyata Sigma HC (2), Sigma Analog, Sigma Digital, Z Anaconda (3) power cables

    Mapleshade Samson V.3 four shelf solid maple rack, Micropoint brass footers
    Three 20 amp circuits.
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 9,025
    Yep, it's a scratching post/cat tower.

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  • BlueFoxBlueFox Posts: 13,939
    Nice gear, and nice cat.
    Bud - Silicon Valley

    Lumin X1 file player
    Sony XA-5400ES SACD
    Pass XP-22 pre, X600.5 amps
    Magico S5 MKII Mcast Rose speakers, SPOD spikes

    Shunyata Triton v3/Typhon QR on preamp, Denali 2000 (2) on amps
    Shunyata Sigma XLR analog ICs, Sigma speaker cables
    Shunyata Sigma HC (2), Sigma Analog, Sigma Digital, Z Anaconda (3) power cables

    Mapleshade Samson V.3 four shelf solid maple rack, Micropoint brass footers
    Three 20 amp circuits.
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 9,025
    edited October 31
    Thanks Bud. He's the most purring-ist cat ever. Crazy loud purr. Literally purrs on contact and keeps purring and purring and purring. He's basically purring all of the time except when he's sleeping.

    If he's ever not purring I know he's feeling sick or something. I get surprised when I interact with other cats and they are silent. Love his mighty purr!
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 9,025
    Also sincere apologies to Rick as now that the cat pics have come out, this thread has been officially derailed. Sorry buddy!
  • Rick88Rick88 Posts: 13,426
    edited October 31
    No problem, I don't mind. It had already gotten a bit off-topic anyhow.

    By the way, I was going to say your cat looks cramped in there and perhaps Santa needs to bring him a new bigger one to hang out in. :)
    "Life is one grand, sweet song, so start the music." ~ Ronald Reagan

    “I love songs about horses, railroads, land, Judgment Day, family, hard times, whiskey, courtship, marriage, adultery, separation, murder, war, prison, rambling, damnation, home, salvation, death, pride, humor, piety, rebellion, patriotism, larceny, determination, tragedy, rowdiness, heartbreak and love. And Mother. And God.” ~ Johnny Cash




  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 9,025
    LOL! He's definitely too big for that tower, but he loves it! 15lbs! He's a big boy.
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 9,025
    edited November 1
    @Rick88 I just listened to The Nightfly album on the Shures!

    It sounded pretty good in the sense that the music had a decently sized soundstage, with the different sounds having room to spread around have their own space.

    The overall sonic character did strike me as a bit thin, but it could just be the recording. I wanted more depth to the treble elements. For example some of the drums and cymbals just sounded kinda flat and simple. Aa cymbal just sounded like a "tsst" sound versus an actual percussive instrument. A snare drum strike just sounded like a flat "pffft" sound instead of an actual drum strike with depth to the sound.

    My LCD-3s have this additional depth and complexity to the treble elements. Once of the reasons why I go so crazy when I listen to them.

    Then again, $500 Shures vs $2,000 Audezes. I guess you really do get what you pay for in this world. That being said, I still feel that these Shures should sound better than they do for their $500 price tag.

    Hope your replacement AKGs arrive soon.
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