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AKG Ok371-BT Headphone Overview: Prime quality moveable studio screens

“The K371-BTs are portable, detail-oriented cans that live up to the AKG heritage.”

Excellent reproduction of critical details

Nice folding design

Quality touch controls

Good battery life

Uneven pressure can lead to fatigue

Weak bass

AKG’s legacy lies in studio environments where musicians look for strong performance from their cans with critical hearing. Because of this, AKG makes some of the best detail-focused studio headphones on the market that are especially appreciated by recording artists. Not only are these headphones very expensive, they are also not tailored for everyday use.

The AKG K371-BT fills that void as a portable set of studio monitors that are also relatively inexpensive. They cost approximately $ 180, and while they don’t offer active noise cancellation, they want to take AKG’s legacy with them on the go.

How are you? Let’s get into that.

Simple and uncomplicated packaging

The K371-BTs come in a simple, lightweight cardboard box that is safely recyclable as it doesn’t have any thick coatings or textures. That said, the presentation isn’t all that impressive, but I think it’s more important to me to responsibly dispose of a box than to indulge in how it looks and feels.

akg k371 bt headphones review 3 Jaron Schneider / Digital Trends

akg k371 bt headphones rating 2 Jaron Schneider / Digital Trends

The headphones come with a soft carrying case, a USB-C to USB-A charging cable, and three (!) Aux cables – wrapped, short and long straight – for hard conduction into a computer or soundboard. They even come with a 3.5mm to ¼ inch plug adapter, just like dedicated studio monitors. At the other end, plugged into the headphones, it looks almost like a mini XLR. It’s a huge port, and I couldn’t find any information from AKG about why it was connected to that port, but it could be that the sound quality improves dramatically if you plug in instead of relying on Bluetooth – more on that later .

The three different cables are a first for me and I didn’t think I’d appreciate them as much as I did. I’m usually a fan of the coiled cable, but because of the way the connector is constructed (more on that later) I preferred the long straight cable. I like that I had a choice.

Jaron Schneider / Digital Trends

Lots of companies don’t go out of their way with the tote bag (some don’t include one at all), but the AKG tote bag doesn’t get called in the blink of an eye. I really like it. The outside is a kind of rough, tough stitched nylon while the inside is a soft velvety material that feels like a great home for the headphones. It’s still a soft case, so any protection it could offer is minimal, but at least it looks and feels good.

Jaron Schneider / Digital Trends

properties

The AKG K371-BTs have only a few specific features. They have neither active noise cancellation nor a Bluetooth multipoint, nor are they integrated into an intelligent assistant. Instead, the focus is on sound quality and ease of use.

In terms of ease of use, the only visible button / switch on the headphones is located on the left auricle and is used to turn the headset on and off. After connecting, a small LED in the switch lights up blue. It turns white (and flashes) when the battery level is low and stays white while charging. Then turns off completely when the battery is fully charged.

Jaron Schneider / Digital Trends

To control the music, the left auricle has a touch-sensitive pad that feels identical to the non-touch-sensitive pad on the right auricle – a seamless implementation. The pad is sensitive to swipes and double taps: swiping up or down increases and decreases the volume, swiping forward or backward to jump forward or backward, and double tapping on the pad pauses or plays the music. I’ve used a lot of different headphone touchpads and the implementation here is among the best. Since the pad itself is relatively small and easy to recognize by its feel, I don’t often get the desired response with a touch command. Overall, it works great.

I’ve used a lot of different headphone touchpads and the implementation here is among the best.

Thanks to a small microphone on the left ear cup in front of the charging port and slightly forward on the headset, the K371-BTs can also be used for calls, so that you can better record your voice. Learn more about the quality of these calls below.

The battery life of these cans is very good at 40 hours per charge. It’s not the best on the market for a noise-canceling headset (this award goes to the Jabra Elite 45h, which takes an impressive 50 hours), but it’s solid.

They don’t seem to have a quick charge feature, unfortunately, but they’ll fully charge from an empty state in two hours.

AKG does have a headphone app, but confusingly, not all AKG wireless products are supported, including the K371-BTs. It comes as a very surprising to me that a brand like AKG has inconsistent app support. The ability not to adjust the EQ on these headphones is an unfortunate disadvantage that we will discuss below.

Fit and comfort

I have to say that the AKG K371-BTs are unfortunately not the most comfortable headphones I’ve tested. They collapse so that they can easily be stowed on a hinge that also determines the fit. This joint results in a wobbly fit when they are over my ears. It’s hard to explain, but it feels like the bottom of the mug isn’t as tight against my head as the top, which makes it feel like the pressure on the top of the mug is more extreme. This one-sided fit leads to fatigue quickly when I wear it.

Jaron Schneider / Digital Trends

I really like how the headphones break down. The way AKG makes them fold up and fold in on itself feels like a design that puts less stress on the joints and results in a headset that will last a long time.

Unfortunately, the AKG K371-BTs aren’t the most comfortable headphones I’ve tested.

The ear cups are a leather-like material that feels pretty normal, but is by no means bad. For the price AKG charges, they’re just pliable and soft enough to meet my expectations. The pillow on the headband is also made of air-filled silicone and is moderately comfortable. Nothing to write home about, but no major complaints either.

akg k371 bt headphones review 7 Jaron Schneider / Digital Trends

akg k371 bt headphones review 8 Jaron Schneider / Digital Trends

I mentioned earlier that I really appreciate the different cable options because I didn’t like the coiled cord I usually choose for my headphones. This is because the huge connector that AKG chose for the connection point to the headphones is so sturdy that it doesn’t bend or fold easily. The cable stuck out to my shoulder, and the coiled cable in particular was pulled against the side of my neck due to the tension from the coil. When it hit my shirt I could hear it echo through the cord and into the cups, which was extremely distracting. When I switched to either of the two straight cables this problem subsided.

Studio quality audio

For those who have worked in music or even video editing, solid, neutral headphones with excellent treble clarity are a must. If this is what you expected in the AKGs, you will get it. These are wireless studio monitors, and with the K371-BTs, you get everything you’d expect from the name. So while you are getting super clear sound that is great for critical listening, you also have a situation where the bass presence is not particularly strong.

The K371-BTs are strongest with vocals. Podcasts, voices in movies, and music for copywriters are where you’ll love these headphones the most. The voices are incredibly crisp and clear without getting icy or sharp. This is a sign of high quality, well-coordinated drivers. If you’re like me and love listening to the vowel tones of the copywriters more than the words they say, you will likely be very pleased with what the K371-BTs offer.

The song of you! from Lany and Oxygen from RØMANS come into their own with the K371-BTs, with the details of their pitch and cadence being crystal clear, while the sound is of soul-touching quality.

You get solid performance over Bluetooth, but since they only support AAC and SBC codecs, these headphones really break out of their case when you connect using one of the three included cables. I enjoy the freedom bluetooth offers, but if you want you can plug these in while working in a recording studio and be very happy with the fidelity they can offer. Wired listening is a huge quality upgrade over Bluetooth, especially if you’re listening to high-fidelity audio sources like a Tidal Mastes track. They won’t compete with the best AKG brands and aren’t quite as good as the V-MODA M-200, Grado, or Audeze wired headphones, but they’re in the same stadium. For its $ 180 price tag, that means something.

The critical listening experiences … are displayed here in full.

As I mentioned earlier, like many studio-only monitors, the bass performance of the K371-BTs is pretty low. The lower registers are absolutely there for you, they are only represented with a flat EQ that corresponds in its strength to the mids and highs. This is great for audio work, but for the occasional listening I really like to hear more oomph. Since there is no way to adjust the EQ, this limits who really likes these headphones.

Jaron Schneider / Digital Trends

In Avengers: Endgame, the final cinematic battle sequence sounds hollow compared to how it is played back on other audio devices. That said, the K371 BTs were reinforced when Sam (Falcon) was talking to Steve Rogers (Captain America) through his earpiece just before the Avengers rallied. It was shockingly clear – clearer than I can remember ever hearing. The critical hearing chops I mentioned are fully displayed here. And for what it’s worth, despite the lack of that bass, the headphones still made me tingle with excitement as I watched all of these heroes lined up.

Call quality

The K371-BT’s microphone is good enough, but there is nothing to write home about. Your voice can sound far away at times, but is generally pretty clear and appropriate. On the other hand, you won’t have any problems hearing calls as the noise isolating headphones do a good job.

Oddly enough, the touch controls don’t support answering or hanging up a call. I can’t imagine it would have been that difficult to associate it with the same gesture as pausing and playing a song, but with the K371-BTs, all you have to do is use your phone to control calls.

Our opinion

Personally, I really enjoy studio monitors when I’m at work and appreciate the critical detail these headphones can provide. Unfortunately I think that many people who would otherwise love these headphones will be disappointed with the lack of bass response and the fact that the equalizer cannot be adjusted. They are very good but can end up being a niche.

Are there any better alternatives?

The $ 180 price tag is good as it is just below many other great options that rival $ 200, such as The Skullcandy Crusher Evo, which has significantly more bass. The Sony WH-CH710N is a solid choice as is the Jabra 85H, which is available now for $ 200. After all, the very good HD 450BTs from Sennheiser are available for only $ 150 and a good set of cans.

How long will they last?

These headphones are well built and shouldn’t break anytime soon. With the ability to physically connect them to your computer, they are useful even if the battery runs out. In addition, there is a one-year manufacturer’s guarantee.

Should you buy it?

Yes, if you are looking for a pair of versatile studio monitors. They’re not the best bluetooth headphones you can get, and they aren’t the best studio monitors either, but they’re a very good device that can work well as either.

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