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The AKG K371 wired over-ear headphones on an iron bedrame lit by blue and orange lights.

AKG K371 review

It may not be perfect but, boy, is it close.
October 3, 2022
AKG K371
The bottom line
AKG nails it with the K371 wired headphones; these tick all the important boxes when it comes to comfort, sound quality, functionality, and portability. No matter what genre of music you prefer, the K371 is going to make it sound good. Who says you have to sacrifice style for sound quality?

AKG K371

AKG nails it with the K371 wired headphones; these tick all the important boxes when it comes to comfort, sound quality, functionality, and portability. No matter what genre of music you prefer, the K371 is going to make it sound good. Who says you have to sacrifice style for sound quality?
Release date

August 26, 2019


Original: $179 USD

April 2022: $148 USD


3m cable (coiled and straight)

1.2m cable (straight)



Model Number




What we like
Excellent sound quality
Comfortable with or without glasses
Plenty of accessories
Replaceable ear pads
Articulating ear cups
What we don't like
Isolation just ok
Sound leaks
SoundGuys Rating
User Rating
Rating Metric
Our Rating
User Rating
Sound Quality
Isolation / Attenuation
Durability / Build Quality

It’s normal to see a reference audio headset retail for hundreds of dollars, but AKG brings high-fidelity audio to the modern man with the AKG K371. This is a standout set of headphones with its comfortable build, pleasant sound quality, and DJ-friendly ear cups. We spent over a week with the AKG K371 and find it one of the best over-ear headsets under $200 USD.

Editor’s note: this AKG K371 review was updated on October 3, 2022, to update the formatting and address a reader-submitted FAQ regarding the difference between the AKG K361 and K371 and to update the Alternatives section.

Audio engineers should consider the K371 for its pleasant sound, portable design, and extreme comfort. The fit makes it easy to wear for hours at a time, which is necessary for those late-night editing sessions. Podcasters can also use the K371 to mix their episodes thanks to the consistent midrange response reproduced by the 50mm dynamic drivers. Anyone with glasses knows how hard it is to find a comfortable pair of headphones.

What’s it like to use the AKG K371?

A picture of the AKG K371 wired over-ear headphones on an iron bedrame lit by blue and orange lights.
The predominantly plastic build looks spectacular with its matte finish.

This is one of AKG’s middle-tier professional headsets, but don’t let the reasonable price fool you: performance is great. Both ear cups allow for 180 degrees of rotation, so you can articulate either ear cup as needed to hear surrounding noise—a must-have feature for DJs and sound mixers alike.

A metal bracket extends from the headband and holsters an AKG-branded adjustment piece, which is unfortunately plastic. The K371 proves sturdy nonetheless and can withstand careless tosses into a crowded book bag. The ear cups feature soft memory foam ear pads that fully encompass the ear.

The AKG K371 wired over-ear headphones' ear cup rotated back 45 degrees while being worn by a woman in profile.
If you’re looking for a pair of studio headphones, the AKG K371 is a great alternative.

Both ear cups feature a refined plastic and are differentiated only by the mini-XLR input on the left side. There’s a small, flat divot in the otherwise circular input to lock the cable into place. AKG provides three cables ranging in length and design: a 4-foot straight cable, 10-foot straight cable, and coiled cable along with a 1/4-inch adapter—all of which terminate with 3.5mm TRS plugs.

Among those provisions is a drawstring bag lined in a soft material to prevent scuffing. Although it’s nice to have a storage pouch for the cables, it doesn’t provide much protection to the headset.

The K371 is very comfortable to wear with glasses. The slow-retention foam is a pleasure and doesn’t place too much pressure on the temples. The headset evenly distributes pressure across the adjustable headband to prevent hot spots. Finding a proper seal on the first try is tricky, but that’s generally the case for those with imperfect vision.

Is the headset portable?

A picture of the AKG K371 wired over-ear headphones with the AKG headband in focus.
The ear cups fold in toward the headband for a more compact, but still bulky, shape.

For over-ear headphones, the AKG K371 is quite portable and compacts into a shape similar to the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x, but AKG’s headset is lighter and less cumbersome. It doesn’t compare to the portability of true wireless earbuds or even on-ear headphones, but the K371 affords better sound quality than the former and greater comfort than the latter.

How do you connect the AKG K371?

A picture of the AKG K371 wired over-ear headphones on the included drawstring carrying pouch with the included cables.
You get three cables and a 1/4-inch adapter with your headphones.

These wired headphones only have one way to connect to a source: by wire.

In some senses, wired audio isn’t as convenient as Bluetooth playback, but the idea of plug-and-play wired headphones still holds its appeal for many. Plus, if you have a library of lossless FLAC audio files or subscribe to services like Amazon Music HD or Tidal, the wired AKG K371 will reproduce your songs at full resolution.

How well does the AKG K371 block out sound?

An isolation chart for the AKG K371, which shows a decent degree of attenuation.
Closed-back headphones are great at blocking out the high end, but not so great at blocking out low-frequency noise.

Isolation is okay with the K371 as the ear pads aren’t very dense and the clamping force is rather light. However, the return on this shortcoming is an uncommonly comfortable headset you can wear all day. You may hear external noise, which could degrade sound quality unless you’re in a quiet place. Fortunately, the ear pads are removable, so if this bothers you, pick up a pair of third-party ear pads.

How does the AKG K371 sound?

A frequency response chart for the AKG K371 closed-back headphones, which shows output very close to our house curve (albeit a bit quieter).
Pretty much all music genres sound good through this headset.

The AKG K371 frequency response (cyan) closely follows our target curve (pink). Sub-bass notes below 80Hz are slightly louder than the midrange, resulting in a frequency response we’re confident most people will like. All genres from heavy metal, to rap, and acoustic music are reproduced pleasantly.

The frequency response chart illustrates ever-so-slight midrange under-emphasis, but that’s pretty typical of modern headphones. This means you can register unusually low notes that might otherwise escape your auditory perception. The crests and valleys in the treble range sound quite natural, since this mimics how we normally hear the world around us. We’ve observed similar frequency responses from various Sennheiser products, too.

Lows, mids, and highs

UPSAHL’s song Drugs sounds great with the K371: bass notes are easy to hear while Taylor Upsahl’s vocals remain clear during each verse. More impressive, vocals remain distinct during the din of the outro. Skip ahead to 2:30, Upsahl echoes the word “drugs” higher than her usual pitch. This is hard to discern with bass-heavy headsets like Beats but comes through surprisingly clearly with the K371 even when surrounded by synth noises, a kick drum, and her own lead vocals.

Some shortcomings

This headset has its weaknesses because clarity isn’t as pronounced as you might get from more affordable open-back headphones like the Grado SR80X. If you’re looking for pristine audio reproduction and don’t mind the limitations of open-back headphones, you may want to look into something like the Beyerdynamic DT 880 PRO, Massdrop x Sennheiser HD 58X Jubilee, or Monoprice Monolith AMT.

Should you buy the AKG K371?

A picture of the AKG K371 wired over-ear headphones in profile on a lampshade.
Wired headphones provide superior sound quality to their Bluetooth counterparts.

Yes, the AKG K371 provides a fabulous bang for your buck. Anyone interested in a versatile frequency response should consider this. Now that the K371 has been on the market for a couple of years, you can frequently find it on sale for an even better value. Sure, there are headsets with even “flatter” frequency responses but, again, that requires a more forgiving budget and potentially more hardware like an amplifier. The AKG K371 isn’t perfect but, boy, is it close.

The AKG K371 headphones are very similar to the AKG K361 model. The K371 has titanium-coated drivers and a greater frequency response extending from 5Hz-40kHz compared to the K361’s 15Hz-28kHz frequency response. Both units extend well beyond what the typical adult ear is able to perceive, so a more palpable difference is in weight. The AKG K361 wired headset is 219g, making it lighter than the 255g AKG K371. This is because the latter has more metal-reinforced components that make it more durable. If you’re on a tight budget, the AKG K361 is a more sensible pick as it’s $70 USD cheaper than the K371 headphones.

A product image of the AKG K371 headphones in black on a white background.
AKG K371
All prices listed in USD unless otherwise specified. Prices may change over time, and vary by region. Unfortunately, we cannot list Amazon prices on the site, as they vary greatly by currency.

How does the AKG K371 compare to other headphones?

The AKG K371 holds up rather well against its main competitors, the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x and Sennheiser HD 559. Additionally, it makes a compelling case against the longtime industry stalwart, the Sony MDR-V6 variants.

A man wears the Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2 pressing the buttons on the left ear cup.
A two-second press and hold of volume buttons skip forward or back on the Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2.

Audio-Technica’s headphones have a more industrial appearance and use circular, rather than oblong ear cups. Both headsets have 50mm dynamic drivers, yet the ATH-M50x has a more consumer-friendly sound in terms of the bass and upper-midrange shaping. Isolation is slightly better with the K371, but neither is stellar for blocking out the sounds of your daily commute. Unlike the AKG K371, the M50x rotates to lay flat against a surface but lacks the ear cup articulation that lets you feel like a DJ. Both A-T and AKG’s headsets come in Bluetooth variants: Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2 and AKG K371 BT.

The Sennheiser 559 has oval-shaped ear cups and a different style than the K371. The former appears slightly more mature and slightly less modern, but both remain attractive headsets. Again, you’re not going to find the same neutral-leaning sound with the HD 569 compared to the AKG K371: bass notes are emphasized. The Sennheiser headset isn’t very portable, because the ear cups don’t rotate or fold up toward the headband. It is, though, nearly as comfortable with glasses.

Frequently asked questions about the AKG K371

You can get a replacement mini XLR cable for the AKG K371 headphones on Amazon; this model also includes a 1/4-inch adapter.

If you need extra portability, the Bluetooth version will serve you well. It operates via Bluetooth 5.0 firmware and supplies 40 hours of playback on a single charge. Oddly, it doesn’t support aptX, just AAC and SBC. This means Android users won’t benefit from reliable high-quality wireless streaming, but iOS users will. That said, when you’re doing serious mixing, you’ll likely opt for wired listening anyway. You can take hands-free calls with the AKG K371 BT built-in microphone. However, as of March 25, 2020, the Bluetooth version isn’t available through Prime. You have to spend nearly $20 on shipping. The versatility may or may not be worth the extra cost depending on what you prioritize.