Review: BTG-Audio AKG K702 cable

btg-audio akg k702 cableBrian Goto of BTG-Audio was kind enough to approach me about reviewing one of his cables. He offered to recable any of my headphones so I chose my pair of AKG K702 to receive the upgrade as swapping out cables is dead simple. It took no time for Brian to make the cable and ship it to me. It was wrapped and packaged very professionally in a zip top bag.

I was immediately impressed with the build quality of the cable. I was immediately impressed with the build quality of the cable. The cable I ordered featured a 10 ft nude cable, which puts the high quality copper strands on display. It terminates in a 1/4″ Neutrik plug, which is hefty and solid. I love the raw, mechanical look of this cable but Brian can make a cable with different colored nylon sleeves if that’s to your fancy. The cable feels solid and I am sure it will last the life of the headphones.

Before I begin talking about the cable, I want to cover talk about the headphones. The AKG K702s are notoriously finicky headphones that require a headphone amp with a lot of voltage to sound their best. Many owners state that their K702 have a shrill high end or are lacking bass because their amps aren’t up to snuff. To alleviate some of the shrill top end, many owners swap out the cables for aftermarket ones like the one from BTG-Audio.

akg k702 aftermarket cable

I struggled for a long time trying to detect the differences between the stock cable the the BTG-Audio cable.So how does the cable sound? To be honest, I struggled for a long time trying to detect the differences between the stock cable the the BTG-Audio cable When I switched out the stock cable with the Null-Audio cable on my Ultimate Ears Triple-fi 10’s I was shocked at how much better things sounded. It was apparent that the differences between the cables would be more subtle this time around.

akg k702

The first track I used to test the cable was Pink Martini’s “City of Night.” I was taken aback by how similar the two cables sounded. I really had to start nitpicking the smallest details to find a difference. The airy soundstage of the K702 was the same with both cables and the air around the instruments was identical as well. I struggled for a long time trying to detect the differences between the stock cable the the BTG-Audio cable. What I did notice was that there was a more realistic decay of notes and there was slightly more energy than the stock cable. The BTG cable got me tapping my foot more often than the stock cable. As a result, I heard more bass depth but not more bass impact.

 

The next track I used was The Black Key’s “Sinister Kid.” I love using this song and album to test headphones because it is incredibly well mastered. It wasn’t apparent right away but I began to hear the BTG cable giving me an more up close and personal presentation of the music than the stock cable. That’s not to say that the cable got rid of the spacious soundstage but it instead gave me more forward vocals while the drums and tambourine still sounded very wide. I felt the BTG cable give me more attack, energy and slightly less grain than the stock cable. I really enjoyed listening to The Black Keys with the K702 and BTG audio cable.

I felt the BTG cable give me more attack, energy and slightly less grain than the stock cable.The final track I’ll mention is “Don’t Know Why” by the venerable Norah Jones. Come Away With Me has a better vinyl master than the digital version so I used my Technics SL1200. I chose this song because the K702 excels with it. The track is warm, extended, lush, and intimate. With the BTG cable, Jone’s voice was more intimate, less grainy, and had a more pinpoint focus than the stock cable. These characteristic were especially noticeable with high notes and background instruments. High notes are less grainy and instruments in the background  are more focused. The stock cable presented instruments further back in the soundstage and sounded indistinct.

Overall, I found the BTG-Audio cable for my AKG K702s to be a subtle improvement over the stock cable. It didn’t blow my mind but it also didn’t leave me disappointed. I really love the look of this cable and dealing with Brian has been a pleasure. I want to thank him for contacting me and sending me a review cable, as well as waiting so long for me to write this review (it’s been a a crazy month!) I hope  his passion for music and audio continue through his college career and I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on his future projects.

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