AKG K 550
The AKG K550 headphones offer stellar sealed-back musical performance from the Austrian headphone kingpins. Featuring heavily researched audio engineering and a new materials design, AKG Acoustic's 100 years of electronics and headphone innovation is obvious in the K550. Virtuoso dynamic range and deep clarity at every frequency meets ergonomics shaped to make you feel like these cans were built just for you. Closed-back earcups provide excellent listening privacy and solid audio 'leakage' protection for utmost in listening privacy.
- 50mm drivers, largest in AKG sealed headphones
- Durable fold-flat headband construction for ease of storage and transit
- Reference-class acoustic performance for the home or office
- Full-size sealed-back earcups deliver excellent listening privacy and comfort
- Free 2-year AKG manufacturer's warranty
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The most important 2012 headphone release for AKG Acoustics is the K550 sealed audiophile model. The K550 is a full-size closed-back design efficient enough to be driven from portables like iPads or laptop computers while delivering the accuracy of the famous AKG K701 (semi) open-back reference headphones, but with an audibly fuller bass presence. Finally, here's a well-priced circumaural 'closed' headphone that rivals the top cans in the category in sound quality and is also built to withstand the rigors of serious portable use. To be honest, we were planning to quickly check the K550 for a fast audio impression and then put them away for an expected long 'burn-in' process due to the typically laggard bass and edgy highs that top AKG headphones are renown for prior to burn-in. But even right out of the box, we liked the smoothness and detail of the midranges all the way into the upper high frequencies. But after 300 hrs of burn-in play-time, the K550 developed a fullness and heft of tone not initially heard. With certain audiophile recordings we did detect evidence of timbral sharpness or excessive grain at times, but it was fairly innocous and not a deal-breaker for most of our testers. The K550 top-end forwardness is supported by a deep, balanced bass that sounds better-textured than any other AKG headphone we've heard. Indeed, the bass presentation sounds as typically tight as the K701 but with a welcome low-end texture perhaps only lacking extreme sub-bass extension. The AKG K550 mid-ranges stay focused and centered, and while the highs sing very crisply and articulate, they never hit the point of harshness even at loud listening levels. We found the soundstage imaging of the K550 also excellent with very well-delineated separation and simple definition, easily surpassing the spatial dimensionality of any other closed-back AKG headphone.
The AKG K550 really feels exceedingly well built and durable with quite solid earcup-to-headband connections -- which are often the weak point of other closed-back headphones. Mobile or portable listeners should have no worries toting these around campus, taking them on airline flights or commuting from home to office. The K550 wearing comfort is also exceptional and the only quibble we had with the fit is it merely takes a bump of the earcup to break the flush 'seal' of the earpads against the earlobes. Fortunately, it's a quick thing to correctly re-adjust the fit and bring the proper bass response back to full fruition. We find the AKG K550 aesthetics appealing with an elemental but modern design and cool matte-black finish. As another minor quibble, we'd like to see a detachable cord in a top-level headphone at this price. The K550 will serve well in many varied applications and is a great upgrade in the studio or in the club for DJs and recordists seeking superior musical detail and tonal clarity. Audiophile listeners at home, office or on the move will delight hearing your old music made new again through the K550. Excitement is amazingly high for the AKG K550 amongst our jaded HeadRoom headphone freak all of us feel it is a great candidate for any listener seeking a tonally accurate sealed headphone with a tight bass response and accurate musical precision throughout all frequency ranges. So we think we have another massive winner from AKG Acoustics! The 2-year manufacturer's warranty remains free with your 'AKG authorized dealer' HeadRoom purchase receipt.
The AKG 2-year manufacturer's 'repair or replace' product warranty remains free with your HeadRoom 'authorized dealer' purchase receipt!
- Acoustic Seal: Closed
- Driver Type: Dynamic
- Ear Coupler Type: Full-Size
- Coupler Size: Large
- Cord Type: Straight Left-Side
- Cord Length: 9.5ft
- Detachable Cable: No
- Impedance @ 1kHz: 32 Ohms
- Isolation: -12dB ~ -18dB
- Weight: 305 grams w/o cord
- Connector Type: 1/8
- Headphone Type: Full Size
- Manufacturer Warranty: 2 years
- Sensitivity: 114 dB
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Posted by somedude from east bay, ca on 2013-06-10
Recommend Product: Yes
Pros: build quality, clarity, adaptable
Cons: slightly uncomfortable
I have a recording studio and record people that play flamenco guitar, classic piano, slap bass, and saxophones. They are great for vocalists too because the closed back seals quite well.
The clarity of these cans is remarkable. I have an Allen and Heath Zed10 mixer which is my primary headphone out so I don't use a headphone amp. To exemplify this point, ever since recording with these phones, my final projects come out crystal clear on any sound system. This is a huge deal. This means what your hearing is what your getting, anything different and it's the sound system the song is coming out from.
The only issue is that the cushion on the band isn't too cushy and causes some uncomfortability after a couple hours of straight use. However, its a simple DIY fix I'm sure.
I'm anxious to upgrade to the balanced xlr cables.
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Posted by Nfslmao from Toronto,Ontario,Canada on 2013-01-04
Recommend Product: Yes
Pros: Comfortable, sealed, mids, lows, highs, sound stage, build quality, looks, value.
Cons: Small head will have a tough fit.
I'd first like to say that i am NOT an audiophile. I do NOT have proffessional equipment. Nevertheless i love my music and appreciate sound in its entirety.
Looks & Feel
By far one of the more stylish pairs I've seen on the market. The matte black finish is complemented by the slight dark grey aluminum headband. It just looks elegant and very attractive. The build quality does not fall short of its looks. Most of the build is made from metal (i'm not sure what metal). The headband is very sturdy and flexible enough to stretch for those bigger heads. The headband measurement adjustment system is marked with numbers so that you know where the best fit is for your head. I thought that was a neat addition, very user friendly. Overall the headphone is very solid and very good looking.
I found these headphones very comfortable, perhaps the most comfortable pair i've tried yet. The ear pads are very plush and they do not, at least for me, cause my ears to sweat unlike most closed headphones. Thus i can listen for hours on end. Now there is a problem with the fit. I found that if your fit was off, the bass would be the first to degrade. This isn't a big problem for me because i have a rather large head and i very rarely have a problem with the fit. However, if you have smaller heads, or even normal sized heads, be cautious because these headphones require a good fit for a proper seal. Other then this issue, the only thing i wish for is more padding on the headband. Just a tad more would be nice, but they are still comfortable.
Bass & Lows
The bass is there and clear. Each thump of a beat can be hear but it is not boomy or muddy. Very clear and thumpy bass without being overwhelming. For bass heads, this might not be a very good pair because they don't overpower, but if you do want more bass, these can go fairly boomy and still remain clear and tight. Not much distortion either.
The mids are probably my favourite part of these headphones. The smoothness of the mids make its very nice to listen to. Vocals will and have undoubtedly shined. Very clear crisp and very smooth. Great mids again with no distorions.
The highs sparkle like a star at night. Very clean sound to it and definitley not harsh on the trebles. its very crisp and smooth much like the rest of the spectrum. Again no distortions here.
The sound stage is amazing. There are some other headphones that are better in this area but they are open headphones. Considering these are sealed and have relatively good isolation, they are easily the winners compared to other closed headphones. I can think of maybe one, but then you'll have to spend over $1500 on them. The soundstage is very wide with great instrument separation and imaging. I found that these headphones can reproduce the location of the instruments very well and they do not dissappoint. I personally love the sound stage on this pair.
Overall these are great pair of headphones for a very good value. Considering these are sealed headphones there really aren't any other headphones that can beat these in their price range. The comfort, style, and build quality are nothing short of amazing and the sound reproduction is very very good. The low impedance (32 ohms) is also great for people that don't have a headphone amplifier. But i would recommend using one, even a cheap one would make a difference. But for $300 this sweet pair is a keeper.
I cannot recommend this enough.
Just be cautious of your head size, you might not get the best fit.
Devices used to conduct this review :
Iphone 4 (Alone)
Iphone 4 amped with FiiO E6 and E11 with LOD
Sony Walkman (NWZ-E464) alone
Sony WAlkman amped with FiiO E6 and E11 with LOD
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Posted by breakfluid from nelson, bc on 2012-10-07
Recommend Product: Yes
Pros: Build, Comfort, Resolution. Mids and Lows, Vocals
Cons: Hi-top basketball shoes.
36 out of 38 people found this review helpful. Did you?