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AKG K271 MKII Heaphone Review

In the world of studio headphones, the options are practically endless. Closed back, open back, planar, noise cancelling, bluetooth…the list goes on. But at the end of the day, when it comes to all around studio use, only three things matter. Sound quality, isolation, and comfort. With the K271 MKII, AKG has hit on all three in a way that most headphones simply can’t. So let’s take at what makes these headphones a fantastic option for recording studios, producers, and engineers.

I recently had the opportunity to get my hands on a pair of these headphones for the first time, and put them through their paces in a wide variety of environments, and I was impressed with the versatility and overall quality of these headphones. But what makes these headphones a great option?

Sound Quality

First and foremost, studio headphones need to sound great. The K271s have great sound quality, with a balanced frequency response that will serve you well in many applications. They’re detailed enough for precise mixing and editing moves, with clarity across the mids and highs that you’d expect from mixing headphones. Considering the price, these headphones are a solid choice for mix engineers looking for a portable, affordable option. Coming in at under $300, they aren’t looking to compete with top end headphones like Focal Clears, but these headphones punch above their weight in the sub-$500 category.

For my money, I’d pick the K271 MKII over the beyerdynamic 770s or the more affordable Shure options. That said, if your primary, or rather, sole use of your headphones is for mixing, and mixing is your main gig, I might suggest you save up for something a bit more high end.

That’s not to say that the K271 MKII headphones don’t sound great, because they really do. They perform exceptionally well as a reference headphone, serving as a great contrast to your main studio monitors.

Isolation

However, where the K271s really shine is in the tracking phase of a project. During a handful of sessions with different vocalists, these headphones performed exceptionally well. When tracking vocals, isolation is a huge factor. If your headphones allow even slight bleed, your mic can pick up the excess noise. These headphones are exceptionally quiet from the outside, meaning you can monitor at normal levels without worrying about spillover from the headphones into the microphone. While it’s still important to check for headphone bleed when recording, these headphones are a great option for tracking due to the low possibility of bleed.

This isolation works in the opposite direction, too. While these headphones aren’t noise cancelling (like most studio headphones), they offer a good amount of isolation for the listener as well. That makes them a great choice for monitoring in loud situations, such as live sessions that include loud amps or drums. It also makes them a solid option for working on the go; you’ll be able to focus on your mix without worrying about disturbing others with excess noise, or worrying about loud environment distracting you from your work.

For this reason, the K271s are a great all-around workhorse headphone.

AKG Pro Audio K271 MKII
  • Closed back headphones for excellent isolation
  • High sound quality for studio applications
  • Lightweight, portable, and comfortable

Comfort

Sound quality and isolation are huge, but ultimately it all means nothing without comfort. The truth is, you’re less likely to actually work on music for long periods of time if you hate wearing your headphones. Uncomfortable headphones are a great way to make sure you never get into the flow state, rush your mixes, or annoy clients.

Thankfully, these headphones are among the most comfortable in my collection. A major contributing factor to this is their extremely light weight. These are by far the lightest professional quality headphones I’ve used, which means you can wear them during long sessions. They also stayed cool even after hours of use, so my ears and head (under the headband) never got sweaty.

What’s the verdict?

If you’re on the hunt for versatile headphones that serve multiple purposes around the studio, the AKG K271 MKII are a great choice. They score huge points in the isolation and comfort columns, where they perform as well as any other headphones on the market. The sound quality is solid, especially for the price, and they’re affordable enough that you won’t feel the need to totally baby them.

They’re a great option for anyone who works on music in a variety of locations, wants a pair of reference headphones, or wants to upgrade from more budget headphones.

Learn more and get your own HERE!

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About the Author: Adam Sliger

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I'm the founder of makethatlouder.com, and a producer, musician, and songwriter based out of Orlando, FL. I have 10 years experience producing and owning a commercial recording studio. I write and produce music for artists, TV, and for my solo project, Night Winds. When I'm not writing and recording, I'm into food, coffee, and riding rollercoasters!

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