AKG K812PRO Superior Open-Back Over-Ear Reference Headphones : The underdog

I was fortunate to buy these at a heavily discounted price. I own a pair of shure srh1840’s, sennheiser hd650 and akgk702. They are not portable as they would move around on your due to their size i would imagine, but they are very comfortable and sound amazing. If you like detail then you’ll love these. I found the hd650’s a little too muffled by comparison, others may prefer this deeper presentation. Akg’s are often reviewed as a bit light in the base and that is probably fair comment. I love them though and they seem to like my marantz sa11s3 as a source.

Been running in 24×7 for about a month now and they just keep getting better. Amazing clarity and effortless performance, also comfortable to ware unlike some other makes.

My first serious headphone was an akg and i have always had a bit of nostalgia for the brand. However, through endless iterations, and since the early days of k1000, akg produced more of the same. I was therefore intrigued when a new flagship was announced, however due to mixed reviews i held off until was able to get this for a competitive price. Straight out of the box, and based on looks and build quality alone, this is my new favourite. Sturdy, classy, understated but at the same time quite comfortable (i say “quite” because it is not exactly lightweight). I read a lot of talk about the cable. While i am a believer in cables and spent thousands on expensive experiments, i believe that a cable can not change the fundamental sound on a system, but rather add subtle finishing touches to a well tuned sound. In other words, yes, it is a rather thin and cheap looking cable but it does the job, it is virtually invisible, no microphonics, no thick heavy ropes hanging from my neck, i have no problem with it. As far as sound is concerned i am primarily a speaker user and my headphones are rather a hobby. In the past i tried many and owned plenty of the flagships – denon d7000, beyer t1, senn hd800, grado gs1000, several ultrasone editions but also played with much cheaper products – including the usual suspects hd6xx, k70x etc.

Nice headphones, but my one’s were made in slovakia and i can’t justify paying a premium when they are made on the cheap. Also my left earcup was damaged when i opened the box, probably tied in with the fact that they are no longer made in austria. Having said that i really liked the sound and style.

I recently bought both the akg k712 and the akg k812 so have put a review comparing the experience under both. 30 years ago, i bought a set of akg’s – the k 280. These are called parabolic and have two speaker coils in each ear. Always liked these but i decided to treat myself as technology has moved on a bit since then. I am in my 60’s so ears not so good. Kit is an arcam rhead, irdac ii, a39, cd37, heybrook tt2 deck. Various music both cd and vinyl. The sound was definitely an improvement on the k280, but not the upgrade i expected. Also, not too keen on the pads – like a foam material that could damage easily.

If i buy a new piece of hi-fi equipment, i can guarantee that a colleague or friend, upon finding out, will ask how much it was, and if i tell them, they will then ask why i spent so much on it. I particularly treasure the comments of one female colleague who will berate me for spending e. £1000 on a new amplifier, whilst i know that this sum is dwarfed by what she has spent on designer shoes, most of which she finds agony to walk in. The simple fact is that everyone has (and should have) their indulgences, and given the choice between bunions and thousands of hours of listening pleasure, i know which i’d choose. I preface my review with these comments because these are, by any reckoning, an expensive pair of headphones. Why on earth should anyone in their right mind pay this much?. Well, there is no short answer to this. Headphone and speaker technology has come on leaps and bounds over the past twenty years, and you can buy a pair of headphones for £50 or so now that would trounce the top-ranked ‘phones of a couple of decades ago. So if you want a pair of headphones that will give you reasonably distortion-free playback, with decent stereo separation and a nice wide frequency range, then you need only spend around £50 to get what you want.

I have lots of headphones from stax and kingsound electrostatics to earbuds. These are my favourite overall, though being open they let out a tinny version of what you are listening to and environmental noise in so are unsuitable for trains, buses and ‘planes. They are safer for walking, of course, since then hearing environmental noises is important.

Just got my pair and am comparing them to my old q701s. The overall frequency response is similar, as you would expect from reference headphones. With the exception of the bass frequencies, where there is notable better definition – clearer, deeper without changing the overall balance. There is also better general clarity – soft, background sounds become sharper. The major difference is in spacial representation. It feels as if the sound is moving around in my head; fireworks. I don’t know how they do it. The q701s in contrast sound relatively flat. Previously i had avoided listening to opera on headphones because the experience was too distant from a good live performance.

  • AKG K812 vs K712
  • The Cats Pyjamas
  • about a month now and they just keep getting better! Amazing clarity and effortless performance

AKG K812PRO Superior Open-Back Over-Ear Reference Headphones

Style Name:K812 Open Back Headphones
Product Description, The AKG K812 Superior Reference Headphones carry 53mm transducers – the largest AKG has ever used.With the 1.5 Tesla Magnet System and an ultra-lightweight two-layer voice coil, these headphones deliver an accurate imaging and pure, natural sound. The K812 was also designed for long mixing or listening sessions:An open mesh headband and 3D-shaped slow retention ear pads ensure maximum comfort that will let you forget that you have the K812 on your head.

Box Contains, 1 x AKG K812PRO headphones; 1 x headphone stand; 1 x Warranty card; 1 x 3m cable; 1 x 3.5mm to 6mm adapter; 1x  Owners manual

From the manufacturer

AKG K812 Open-Back Reference Headphones

What Hi-Fi? review

“…you get a wonderfully faithful sound that’s as insightful as we’ve heard from headphones at this price.”

AKG K812 Open-Back Reference Headphones


Unadulterated auditory bliss. Built for the most pure and natural listening experience you can imagine. The flagship AKG K812 Open-Back Reference Headphones are a dream come true for professionals and audiophiles alike. They can reproduce even the most minute sonic details with astounding accuracy. These phenomenal headphones are the ideal companion for mixing, mastering, music production, and high-fidelity listening.

The K812s ooze premium quality. From the ergonomic open-mesh headband, slow-retention ear pads, and detachable cable with a rugged Lemo connector, to the hard-wearing metal frame and intricate details. Every aspect of the AKG K812 Headphones is built with extreme care and precision. And with their low-impedance design, using them with a wide range of playback devices is a breeze.


  • Flagship headphones with the most accurate, pure, and natural sound possible
  • Large 53mm transducers provide best-in-class headroom and dynamic range
  • Ultra-strong 1.5 Tesla Magnet System for a powerful and precise listening experience
  • Incredibly-wide frequency response ranging from 5Hz all the way up to 54kHz
  • Phenomenal comfort with an open-mesh headband and slow-retention ear pads

Pure and Natural Sound

Built for those who are serious about their craft. The AKG K812 Open-Back Headphones offer the most pure and natural sound possible, perfect for mixing, mastering, and production. Reproducing even the smallest sonic details with extreme accuracy, these reference-grade headphones are an ideal tool for professionals. You can rely on these headphones for the most critical listening applications, with a high-performance open-back design for outstanding transparency.

High-Performance Technology

Designed from scratch for sonic perfection. The AKG K812s feature a large 53mm transducer, the largest that AKG has ever built. This unique transducer design ensures best-in-class headroom and dynamic range for the highest possible sound quality. Each transducer also utilises a 1.5 Tesla Magnet System – the strongest magnet system available on the market. They also feature ultra-lightweight two-layer voice coils crafted from copper-covered aluminium wire. The powerful transducer designs provide extremely-accurate imaging and sound without compromise. They allow the headphones to extend beyond the limits of human hearing capabilities, allowing you to hear every nuance without distortion at both ends of the K812’s frequency range.

Robust Construction and Immersive Comfort

You can rely on the K812s every single day. These powerful headphones have been built for long-term durability with high-quality materials and premium components. An open-mesh headband combined with 3D-shaped slow-retention ear pads provide an ergonomic fit for outstanding comfort, even during the longest of listening sessions.

Buy on Amazon

Was i even listening to my daw before these unbelievable monitors?if there’s better than this, i’ll be surprised. This is purely neutral sound, what you hear is what is actually pushing through the master channel. Save up, they are totally worth every penny.

Ok, some will say i am just a akg fanboy but i also own grado rs2i’s & the ‘legendary’ sennheiser hd600’s but the k812’s are a really worthwhile upgrade over my akg k702 65th anniversary headphones. I have read every online & magazine review around on the k812’s and ended up somewhat confused, the first lesson is to trust your favourite headphone manufacturer to produce a fabulous flagship headphone and not to get to get bogged down with the minutiae within some of the reviews. The headphones arrive in a simple but attractive box and akg provide a lovely wooden headphone stand which is more useful to me than an aluminium box (i bought two sturdy but light headphone boxes from amazon for £15 each and they accommodate any of my headphones for when i travel abroad). The materials used in the construction of the k812’s are of great quality, they look prestigious and are very comfortable. I particularly like the larger than average earpieces which provide plenty of room for your ears and seal the earpieces to your head really well. I don’t need a 3m cable so i will be ordering a 3ft cable from double helix cables who make very high quality headphone cables. Lot’s of headphone porn on their website. I resisted listening until the k812’s had had 24hrs listening to songs on their own via my laptop, yes, i do believe that things like headphones & loudspeakers need running in but let’s not get into that debate pleasei only use headphones with my two digital audio players, cowan plenue 1 & colorfly c4 pro, so i welcomed the easier to drive k812’s compared to my k702/65’s although i chose both my dap’s because they have healthy power outputs, i’m using noticebly less than i was. The k702/65’s produced enough bass for me but the k812’s produce a much better quality of bass, better defined, more tuneful, doesn’tbecome befuddled when put under pressure, goes nicely deeper so a real improvement in the bass.

Straight into the review,i used arcam rhead (£300-400) and creative xfi titanium hd (~£100)the box is very nice with a fabric finish. The headphones were packaged very well and were on the stand (that comes with it) inside the box. Out of the box it was obvious they had been built with care and the quality was superb. Very comfortable to wear and not a single part of your ear touches anything (once they are adjusted to fit your head). The sound on first listern was incredibly clinical and very sharp. It was clean and the imaging was fantastic, but i wouldnt say it was enjoyable sound, not bad , just not relaxing. This however, mellowed out after a few days and now the sound is wide and smooth and an absolute delight to listern to. The accuracy of these headphones is jaw dropping , sometimes this is a benefit but others not so much. Some songs do have an over exaggerated “ssssss” sound on some lyrics but this only happens on a handful of songs and this shouldnt put you off these headphones because in every other respect they are wow. These headphones have deep bass (not to be confused with skull crushing bass) and beautiful mids and highs that sparklei also use these with movies and games and they perform just as good with these aswell.

For me, it is difficult to imagine how a pair of head phones could sound better than these. I’m picky, particularly at this price point, but i cannot fault these and will happily live with them for the rest of my days. They are just superlative- unprecedented detail, refinement and sound staging.

  • AKG K812 vs K712
  • The Cats Pyjamas
  • about a month now and they just keep getting better! Amazing clarity and effortless performance

AKG K812PRO Superior Open-Back Over-Ear Reference Headphones

Features and Spesification

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  • Ultra-light two-layer voice coil ensures clarity from 5Hz – 54000Hz
  • 36 Ohms rated impedance, 110 dB SPL/V sesnsitivity
  • Large 53mm transducer gets you as close as possible to sonic perfection
  • 1.5 Tesla magnet system offers highly accurate imaging for a pure and natural sound
  • Includes a headphone stand, 3m detachable cable and replaceable earpads
  • There is no AV or Hdmi Kabel with this product.