For $1499, you could do a lot worse than the AKG K812. Pretty much just buy any other $1499 headphone and WHAM! you’ve done worse. Because these headphones will make you hear God.
First off, the packaging. The one word that comes to mind? LUSCIOUS. There’s a neat, trim, padded box. Inside, the headphones are cocooned between soft foam and one of those omega-shaped wooden headphone stands you see on Amazon. Inside a small box, there’s a cable and some literature. Screw that literature, though. Put these headphones on your ears! They’re just aching for it!
Plug them in to anything and enjoy. The specs are phenomenal: a highly efficient nominal of impedance at 35 ohms opens up a frequency range of 5 to 54000 mother-freaking-hertz. I mean, Sweet Jesus on a Velociraptor, that’s one wide frequency range.
Once you get used to the feel of the headphones (as the headband probably needs adjusting for maximum comfort), you almost forget these things are on your head. Which is awesome, because you can just focus on that glorious sound. There is much, much more detail in the high end on the AKG K812 – as opposed to a slightly more clipped range on the competition. Here, too, the highs never seem to screechy or over-zealous – something that can be found in other manufacturers’ flagship models.
So what about the low end? Oh it’s there – articulate with minimal distortion. Plus, the 53mm transducer displaces more than a smaller component would. The result is some bass with a bump, but not unnatural-sounding.
Build quality is of course astounding. AKG has spared no expense in delivering a freaking amazing experience, and the build quality seems to follow suit – both in terms of comfort and durability. While cheaper models use liberal amounts of plastic, the K812 goes the opposite route by utilizing copious amounts of metal. And even the plastic parts that do make an appearance are stronger. The details are out of this world, down to the little plastic/rubber stoppers to prevent the earpieces from getting scratched by the forks.
All in all? If you have the money, do the right thing by your ears and get one of these dimes. Otherwise…I don’t know. Sound-wise, this may be the best damn headphone I’ve ever tested. Build-wise, and comfort-wise, it may not be the very best, but it’s up there on the list. It’s hard, then, to recommend anything cheaper or of less quality.
If you can live with a little less in terms sound and build, you could consider the K712 Pro, which costs about 1/3rd of the price.
But if you want the best, you want the AKG K812.