Updated: Dec 7, 2020
A workhorse in on-ear format in deutsch
frequency range: 18 - 24000 Hz | sound pressure level: 114 dB | impedance: 55 Ohm | dynamic
A workhorse that performs well in terms of sound, but cannot and does not necessarily have to serve hi-fi demands.
Bass Mids Trebles Stage Imaging
8 7.5 8 7.5 7.5
Processing Comfort Earpads Headband Weight
7 7 6 8 225 grams
Price 79 €
Pro Contra - safe tuning - somewhat thin mids
- typical AKG sound - can cause unpleasant pressure on the ears
- versatile use - high and low frequencies without large expansion
- good monitoring tool - imaging and stage rather average
>> The AKG K141 MKII is a semi-open studio headphone with supra-aural earpads.
So it says in the German advertising text and here first of all no discrepancies between marketing claim and reality are to be recognized.
The K141 MKII is the successor of the K141 with detachable cables and slight design adjustments, which should increase the benefit. A workhorse that performs well in terms of sound, but cannot and does not necessarily have to serve hi-fi demands. It's a good tool for monitoring vocals and instruments, but you shouldn't take too much time when singing in or recording, because the on-ear is not one of the most comfortable.
Meanwhile the K141 MKII is no longer in production, so you can only fall back on remaining stocks and used models.
Probably the biggest change to the original K141 is the removable cable. With each 3m and 5m (spiral) it is too long for mobile use, but you are flexible in the studio and the K141 MKII can also work as DJ headphones, at least concerning the handling.
Two different pairs of pads are also included. The imitation leather (pre-mounted) and velour pads can be exchanged quickly. The imitation leather pads are slightly softer, but also less durable and more predestined for sweating on the ear. The velour pads are firmer, but have the better comfort characteristics for me.
An adapter from 3.5 mm to 6.3 mm is also included.
I usually have a hard time with on-ears. They can certainly be an advantage for me as a wearer of glasses, but the general pressure on the ear is usually too much for me to be able to listen to music with them for a long time. This is also the case with the K141 MKII, even though the headband is quite comfortable due to its flexibility. The pads are the clear sticking point for me here. Nevertheless, it is a pressure I can bear, even if I always perceive it and find it disturbing.
Apart from that the workmanship is solid, even if the K141 MKII does not come close to the valuable impression of the "bigger" series of AKG. Due to the half open construction, some music gets to the outside world and also the isolation to the inside is not very given, apart from the on-ear wearing.
The bass is not the voluminous one and certainly cannot satisfy the pure bass hunger, but it is very direct and on the point. Its qualities are more in the detail work, but it can still strike when asked. But then not to the full extent, because there is something missing in the subrange. Parallels can be seen here to the K702, whereby the bass of the K702 seems slightly slower, but sounds more natural, especially due to its reaction behaviour. The bass of the K141 MKII is a bit more crisp, but it lacks a bit of the atmosphere. Nevertheless, it is very appealing and quite musical.
In the mids, as so often, you can hear immediately that you have an AKG sitting on your head. On the positive side, they are not quite as obtrusive around 2 kHz as the K702, which gives it better audibility and better all-round qualities. On the other hand, they sound a bit thinner and not quite as homogeneous as on the K702. Apart from that they have a quite high degree of realism, even if I miss some body in the mids. At times they can appear a bit dull, but this is also produced in combination with the highs, as they are not the most sparkling.
Even if the highs lose a little of their effervescence and brilliance, they are extremely safe and therefore also perfectly suited for monitoring. Here it is not a matter of the finest micro details or the notorious need for ultimate resolution and level fidelity, which can quickly lead to exaggeration and fatigue. The K141 MKII's treble is very relaxed in this respect, like a K240 MKII for example, with the willingness to provide enough information to remain realistic and equally musical. Furthermore, the high frequencies fit in well with the neat overall sound presentation of the K141 MKII, without literally sticking out magnificently. Sibilants are also not an issue.
Despite the half-open construction, the stage has no special dimensions. For the monitoring requirements this is not necessary at all, because sometimes people are working in mono anyway, when they are not singing or playing along to a already mixed song.
But the stage is not claustrophobic or something like that, it's just in good average.
Imaging is not the best in the somewhat centered sound presentation, but instruments are still easily located and decently separated. Here, too, one can speak of good average. However, one should not expect a highly sophisticated, finely differentiated 3D image.
In conclusion, the K141 MKII is musically versatile, even if it does not have the most quantitative bass range and is more concerned with safety than throwing every detail or recording error around your ears. Of course, this is not an advantage for the purist, but it does allow the K141 MKII to "overdub" worse input material. Due to the high efficiency at relatively low impedance it can be operated spontaneously on a cell phone without any problems, but you should always be aware of where you are due to the weaker insulation caused by the construction. Due to the quite high contact pressure of the K141 MKII an unpleasant pressure can develop after some time.
Thanks to Sattler Electronic Showtronic AG for providing the test headphones.