Updated: Nov 18, 2020
Right in the middle instead of just being there - AKG's open flagship in deutsch
frequency range: 5 - 54000 Hz | sound pressure level: 110 dB | impedance: 36 Ohm | dynamic
It is remarkable how precisely the musical content can be located and how well separated it is. And the K812 sounds so easy and uncomplicated.
Bass Mids Trebles Stage Imaging
9 9 8.5 9 9.5
Processing Comfort Earpads Headband Weight
10 8 8 8 390 grams
Price 870 €
Pro Contra - fantastic resolution - weight
- fine separation - isolation
- tonal extremely correct - light sibilants
- balanced, open sound - 6 kHz peak slightly exaggerated
A headphone with pure sound that inspires, an extraordinary stage extension and fantastic imaging. It is not for nothing that the K812 together with the K872 (closed version) are AKG's current flagship.
With its technical capabilities and its precise and detailed sound, these headphones are a revelation in themselves and let you rediscover your music. Stunning, but not quite perfect for my preference.
That's what I call solid workmanship. The K812 seems to be made of one piece and you have the feeling that this headphone can hardly be affected by external influences, even if the ear cups are a bit "loosely" embedded, or in their connection still look most fragile. Otherwise the K812 impresses with its pure metal construction, as well as leather headband and earpads.
These earpads are placed completely over the ear and thus directly on the head/neck. They do not have a "classic" design, even if the padding is round, but protrude a little bit inwards at the lower part, which should contribute to a better sound sealing and is therefore directly a tuning element. In general, pads can strongly influence the sound of headphones, either by changing the distance from the ear to the driver, or the used (sound permeable) material. Certainly this plays a bigger role with closed designs. The earpads of the K812 feel good, but you notice the "leather lip" protruding inwards, which reduces the comfort for me a bit.
The headband does not offer any additional padding and does not automatically adjust to the shape of the head, but it is comfortable when you have adjusted it correctly, which can easily be done by pushing the "buttons" on the side.
The 8-series weighs a few grams more than the 7-series, which is noticeable, but due to the good weight distribution of the headband and the secure fit around the ear, this is not a big comfort problem and negligible.
The detachable cable measures a good 3m and has a 3-pin LEMO connector towards the headphones, as well as a gold-plated 3.5mm jack plug, for which a 6.3mm adapter is of course also included.
It should be clear that the isolation, due to the open construction, is not really existent, but with moderate ambient noise and running music privacy (at least for yourself) is possible. Of course I also don't want to embezzle the included real wood stand.
The bass of the K812 may not be the most powerful, but it has a damn dry punch and finds the right balance between detail, precision, natural response and entertainment. It could be a bit rounder and more authoritative for my taste, and a bit more powerful in the low end, but even so it's a real weapon, especially when it comes to quality. It also reacts very well to an equalizer without distorting.
The K812 performs just as well in the mid-range. They reveal an amazing number of side scenes and even the finest musical elements, as well as certainly unwanted "production errors". Or better said, it makes the music human and you notice that there is an artist behind it and not a machine. The mids are also quite neutral, but sound neither dull nor emotionless. I'd like a bit more warmth, but the K812 sounds light as a feather in the mids and above all unexcitedly exciting. I don't find any major blunders tonally and above all I never have the impression of exertion or compression.
It becomes a little more demanding in the high frequencies. It is certainly a contradiction in terms to be able to analyze everything in music without having to concentrate on it, and this with a completely fatigue-free high frequency. Somewhere this high resolution has its price, especially when the musical input is not the highest quality. The K812 wants to reveal even the smallest micro-detail, for which every music producer will thank it, but it does not invite you to relax and simply enjoy, also due to its moderate sibilant emphasis and the somewhat obtrusive 6 kHz peak. In the long run it's a bit too intense for me, but I still enjoy the pure and detailed high tone, the higher it climbs.
Surely this is not the first time you read the praises of the K812's spacious stage. I can actually only say that I cover this with my listening impression. But what I find special is that despite the space available, nothing seems lost and voices can just as easily build up intimacy.
This becomes more impressive in imaging. It is remarkable how precisely the musical content can be located and how well separated it is. And the K812 sounds so easy and uncomplicated. In contrast to the K702, or Q701, the K812 is more differentiated and above all at home on all layers, instead of concentrating more on the panorama. Certainly, the K812 is also suitable as a gaming headset due to its excellent localization, but then not at a lan party with other gamers in the room. Apart from that, its technical capabilities make it a valuable tool for editing and processing any kind of music.
What a headphone. I must admit that I am really enthusiastic about the technical capabilities, even if the signature does not match my preferences 100%. I would still like some body in the mids and a more pronounced low bass.
For me, the somewhat pointed trebles are a little bit too much, but considering the refined sound and the spatial representation in total, I can get over it. Details, imaging and stage, combined in a balanced signature with a somewhat emphasized high frequency and thus certainly a bit above the neutral reference curve.
In addition, it has a good grip, is hard as a board and dry in the low frequencies, transparent and high in resolution.
The AKG K812 more than lives up to its flagship status, also in its workmanship. Give me a little less brightness, as well as a smoothed treble and instead more depth and pressure in the bass, with a little more powerful mids. Maybe my "ideal" would be done. It remains to be seen what the K872 can contribute to this.
Thanks to Sattler Electronic Showtronic AG for providing the test headphones.