There isn’t an audiophile worth their salt who hasn’t heard of AKG. This is an exclusive brand that caters directly to the lovers of neutral and open audio response. Not only have they dominated most of the top headphones list with regards to music, but they also score brownie points for comfort. With some meaningful partnerships with prodigal musicians like Quincy Jones, they manage to refine sound and provide a listening experience that the audiophiles crave for. In this post, we are picking the cherries off the cake with a list of the 15 best AKG headphones in market. You will also be able to understand the difference between their closely related models and narrow down to the one AKG headphone you want to buy.
What makes AKG headphones different?
AKG has a long history in the audio equipment market. Although their first foray was into electronics related to cinema like loudspeakers, projectors etc., they found real fame with microphones. Their D12 mic nearly broke the international market. It was the world’s first dynamic cardiod mic. They were cheaper and more durable for use in studios and radio stations. They started producing headphones in 1949. By 1950 they had created a breakthrough product in this field as well. Their K50 headphones were the first on-ear open-back headphones to be launched in the market.
Although it has over 65 years of legacy in headphones, AKG has remained specialized in studio and reference headphones that can satisfy even the staunchest purists and the most lenient audiophile. Only recently have they dabbled in low-budget headphones with features like noise cancellation and the like. That’s probably why they are worshipped in the world of audiophilia and yet relatively unknown to the casual listeners. In that huge commercial market, they are overshadowed by the highly portable and public-oriented headphones by Sennheiser, Sony and the like. Here’s what sets the AKG headphones apart from the competing brands:
Audio: One thing that you can always count on AKG for is neutral and smooth audio. They have a very justified obsession for neutral sound that can be used straight for studio monitoring. For the discerning audiophiles, this is a sought-after quality in their music. The AKGs sound just a smidgen clearer and more accurate than most headphones in their price range. This allows the music-lovers to indulge in the music as it was meant to be, by the artist in the original track.
Open sound: The AKG headphones are usually open back headphones. And this helps lend that sense of space into their audio that closed-back headphones can rarely reproduce. The wide and deep soundstages allow instruments to be spaced out uniformly and give you a larger-than-usual sonic impression. Precisely put, the AKGs sound big.
Design: One design decision that we see time and again in the AKG headphones is a suspension-type headband. This has a thin layer of fabric headband constrained by metal bands that hold the ear piece. This system is self-adjusting, so you don’t need to make those annoying adjustments to get the fitment just right. The ear pieces are usually comfortable in their ample padding and size. Unlike the V-Moda headphones, these go for large ear pieces that fit all ear sizes.
Durability: Even with their low-budget headphones, we have never had a durability issue. AKG maintains their build quality throughout their lineup, from their priciest gear to the value headphones. They might not feel rock solid like the V-Modas but the incidents of breaking with normal use is reported to be very low by the users.
Convenience: Since most of the AKG headphones are open-back, they are not suitable for use in the public. They will let ambient noise in and also exhibit some audio leakage. But otherwise, they are pretty portable. Most of them have detachable cables. Wireless headphones are rare in their lineup, though the ones they offer have good reviews. Same is the case with noise-cancellation. AKG headphones are geared towards accurate audio. Wireless connectivity and ANC hinder high quality audio playback so they get less preference.
Technology: The AKG headphones often features specialized drivers that create their unique sound. More importantly, they maintain their signature response through years of regular use. They are extremely popular with headphone enthusiasts and audiophiles alike.
Which are the best AKG headphone?
We have covered almost all the AKG headphones in production in this list. And we have ranked them in order of their overall performance using the following parameters:
Audio: All AKG headphones exhibit excellent audio quality. They have maintained their detailing and neutral sound throughout the lineup. The difference is in the sound signature and how well received it is in the audio community. Audio signature preferences do vary from person to person.
Design: We prioritized comfort. Since these are audiophile headphones, we checked that they stay comfortable over long listening sessions. For this, we checked that the earcups are large enough, the clamp pressure, the material of padding and the weight of the headphones.
Features: We also checked the convenience of using these headphones every day, either in the studio or the home setting. We looked for pointers that make their usage easier, including detachable cables. We tested the portable headphones in public environments to see that their closed-back headphones cut out ambient noise.
TOP 15 BEST AKG HEADPHONES IN 2019
The top headphones that every music-lover relates AKG with are the Q701 Quincy Jones Signature headphones. Usually a celebrity endorsement of this type indicates disproportionate pricing as we have often seen in older Beats. However, the Q701 surpass quality expectations from their price. These are bass-light ultra-clear headphones for the purist audiophile. Since they achieve the core sound signature of AKG the best, they are our best AKG headphones.
Design and Features
The AKG Q701 headphones are the best example of their suspension design. These happen to be the most comfortable headphones in this price range, courtesy their self-adjusting headband. There’s no business of counting detents and ensuring that the headband is equally extended from both sides. The actual headband is slightly thick but flexible material that’s sheathed in leather. The ear pieces are held together by two cables. These have enough elasticity for proper fitment. The headband aligns itself to the size and shape of your head. It distributes the weight of the headphones very evenly across the head. So you can wear them for hours without any fatigue.
These headphones have large round earcups. They can easily cover even the jumbo-sized ears without pressing down on the edges. They sit around the ears except for the largest ones. The pads are shallow but soft enough to balance the weight of the headphones. The earpads are sheathed with velour material which keep the ears ventilated but are also pretty soft. They have a detachable cable. It attaches to the port on a single side and supports balanced connection for excellent stereo separation. They include two cables for playback, a 10 feet one and a 20 feet one. They also send out a studio adapter which helps you plug into equipment like amps and DACs.
The headband arches are made of metal but the rest of the headphones are unashamedly plastic. We have never had to face any durability issues with the Q701.
We quickly discovered two things that brought out the best on Q701 AKG headphones. One, they need their own sweet break-in time. Since these are bass-light, they might feel too edgy to a user right out of the box. However, once they are broken in for about 200 hours (yes, you heard right!), the edginess vanishes and the sound signature is not fatiguing any more. The second point is using a good source playback device. These need a good amount of power and they are meant to be studio/home studio headphones. So their impedance demands a powerful source device, not a portable player like smartphone.
The Q701 headphones are the most accurate and extended headphones in their price range, although decidedly clinical for the casual listeners. Their frequency response stretched from 10Hz to 40kHz. This performance is rarely achieved in sub-$1000 headphones. Neither is Q701’s level of insight. These are so detailed that even the instruments are sound deceptively similar get their individual identity in the audio. They pull out remarkable amount of nuances from the relatively lossy formats like 320kbps MP3. They handle complicated tracks like pros, lending every instrument space to breathe.
The bass has exceptional extension and definition. The bass is a little diffused and lies slightly south of the neutral line. In the age of bass-heavy headphones, these will not sound as dynamic and deep as the others. However, the classical and orchestral music fans rejoice since these hit the sweet spot of bass. Since these are plenty detailed and extended, you can tune the bass up and get a deep, richer performance. The midrange benefits the most from open-back design. This lends the kind of transparency and airiness to the sound that closed-back headphones can only dream of. The soundstage is stellar in its size and easily houses the layers and layers of detailing.
The Sennheiser HD650s lie in around the same price range but they have a much stronger bass. While both are contenders, we won’t rank one above the other. The reason being, they appeal to people with different music palates and are equally capable with regards to their respective audience. Needless to say Q701s dazzle with all the diverse music of Quincy Jones.
- Balance and dynamics
- Detachable cables
- Ambient noise and sound leakage
The full force of Quincy Jones’ 27 Grammy awards and 79 nominations are felt in the design and audio of the AKG N90Q headphones. These groundbreaking active noise cancelling headphones utilize as many as 5 patented technologies and are bound to set the trend of analog ANC circuitry with DSP-based audio calibration for individual ear structure. The best AKG headphones indeed! It’s their hefty price that brings them down one rung.
Design and Features
The AKG N90Q ANC headphones go all out in their design and accessories. The model we checked was done in black and gold and looked fashionably ostentatious. Nobody would question its price and yet no one will find the extravagance tacky. At 450g, we can safely attribute that heft to the anodized aluminum. There are a few plastic parts but in the crucial parts. The gold accents are tastefully placed on the headband, the yoke and the bold Qs at the back of the earcups.
The headband is optimally padded and sheathed in genuine leather. The earcups area large and round with a 60mm x 40mm sitting space for the ears. The dual-density memory foam earpads are finished in leather as well. The earcups fold flat for storage. There are discreet but functional rings on either ear pieces. One controls the volume and other controls the EQ. The latter has 25 steps and simultaneously tunes mids, bass and treble from the U-shaped signature to neutral.
These AKG headphones come with a significant number of accessories: a 3.3 foot USB cable, a 10-foot audio cable, and two 4-foot cables, one with an iOS control inline and another with an Android control. The USB cable can also be used for playback. The jacks connect on the headphone end with a 2.5mm jack, it doesn’t twist and lock though. The other more notable accessories are the hard case that’s finished in anodized aluminum. It has a thoughtfully placed alcove inside where you can store the cables. This case doubles as the charging station for the headphone or it battery bank which is included in the package. The USB charging cable connects to the outside of this case for charging these devices on the go. There’s a leather pouch as well with suede lining and magnetic closure.
The N90Q AKG headphones deliver on their Active Noise Cancelling promise as well as the Bose headphones. They take out a wide range of frequencies and dull down the highs significantly. Because of the analog circuitry, the N90Qs do not produce that pressure on the ears that the strong ANC of Bose does. That’s a relief especially while traveling since it can cause a vertigo-like uneasiness.
The other highlight of the N90Q audio is its TruNote auto calibration. This automatically corrects the audio for each user’s pinna and ear canal. While testing with incorrect and correct calibration, we heard a noticeable difference in the audio clarity and dynamics. There are also three soundstage settings: Standard mode for Dolby and DTS, Studio for natural playback and Surround Sound for orchestral music. There’s actual difference in the instrument positioning when you cycle through these modes.
AKG nails the tonality and resolution aspects of sound in these headphones. The bass and treble balance in is impeccable and easily equalized by the headphones themselves. They are dynamic and punchy, but they sound natural with whatever genre is thrown at them. We look at these as a very well-executed pioneering device with respect to the DSP involved. But we are sure AKG with improvise.
- Calibration to individual’s pinna and ear canal
- Soundstage options
- Active Noise Cancellation
- On-board equalizer
- Accessories and build
- 5mm port on the headphones is a weak link
The AKG K702 Reference headphones have often bamboozled the AKG fans in terms of their sound response. On the first listen, they sound pretty much the same as the Q701. But there are subtle differences apart from the Quincy Jones’ endorsement. That being said, they are ultra-comfortable for critical listening ad studio monitoring. These stunners get top honors on the best AKG headphones list.
Design and Features
The AKG K702 reference headphones sport the same retro design of the Q701s. It would be difficult to tell them apart at a single glance. The headphones have a suspension-type headband. This includes a leather band with light foam padding that makes direct contact with the head. There are two separate cables that hold the ear pieces together. The headband is self-adjusting so you don’t have to struggle to get the perfect fit. In terms of stability, these don’t offer much and they slide off with mild movements of the head.
These AKG headphones are open-back. There’s a porous grille on the outside which lets the ambient noise in. It’s still more isolating than the K240 MKII headphones although these are semi-open. The earcups are large and round as usual. They don’t stick out from the head but they look large in the side profile. This works to accommodate even the larger ear sizes. The memory foam earpads are slightly firm so they don’t slide out of place that easily. These are replaceable and can be removed with a quick twist. These come with velour earpads which are both soft and ventilating. The headphones weigh 235g which is pretty much average.
The K702 headphones have a detachable cable. This is a very thick and strong cable with a mini-XLR connection on the side of headphones and a 3.5mm connection on the other end. The cable is sturdy and has no microphonics from any movement. These aren’t very portable and not suitable for public use.
The K702 AKG headphones have a spot-on performance for studio headphones. These are clean, transparent and revealing. In fact they are a bit clinical in their retrieval of details, making them perfect for critical listening for any purpose. The sound signature is very consistent and neutral. Different genres of music don’t faze them. They remain natural and open. They have a wide soundstage which sounds a little more open than the K40 MKII. They handle complicated and delicate music with exceptional ease.
The bass is, as usual, not as impactful as the headphones in the same price range. It’s punchy and relatively well-extended, so you have a good chance of boosting it with definition and without any distortion. These serve the critical listening sessions well. However, they sound too dry for other genres like rock and jazz. They aren’t equipped for metal and dance music. The midrange is highly resolved and transparent. The instruments get plenty of space to be placed in the accurate stereo image. The rhythmic precision and tonality have impressed many an audiophile.
In comparison to the legendary Q701, these AKG headphones favor the brighter side. There have a very detailed and sparkly treble. The Q701 sounds warmer overall and has a stronger bass which extends deeper. The Q701 sound fuller in the midrange while K702s are fast and clinical. Which one you like better will depend on your audio preference. The Bass of K702 has more impact that the K240 MKII but less than that of the Q701.The soundstage of K702 is similarly positioned between Q701 and K240MKII and has a wide but not so deep soundstage.
- Bright and fast
- Detachable cable and earpads
- Sounds dry and clinical
The AKG K240 MKII is the other top choice of audiophiles if they don’t go for Q701 due to its price or sound signature preferences. They are positioned at an excellent place on the price-spectrum. They also bring remarkable quality and accuracy for this position. However, we advise you to temper your expectations in terms of portability. These are at-home or studio headphones that blow the competition out of the water to be the best AKG headphones.
Design and Features
The AKG K240 MKII headphones are semi-open headphones. The back of the earcups has horizontal slits which is covered by another plate with large holes. This covers up parts of the backplate and ensures that sound/ambient noise doesn’t pass through as easily as the Q701. While these headphones are still not suitable for use in public, they are designed better off in this regard than Q701. They K240 MKII looked slightly more appealing to us in their color scheme than the Q701. The build is all black with metal highlights. The build is completely plastic and they feel sturdy to touch.
These AKG headphones sport the suspension headband as well. The headband is pleather and distributes weight evenly. The earcups are large and round in the true AKG fashion. They sit around the largest ears in our testing team pretty comfortably. They are originally mounted with cushy pleather pads. But they also send velour earpads which are optimum for hours and hours of comfort. The K240 MKII come with detachable cables: one is a straight cable and another us a coiled one. The cables connect to the left earcup via a mini XLR port and end in 3.5mm jacks. The coiled cable does have strong coils but we like this quality in a new headphones, this indicates the coils will take time to loosen. The design stuns in terms of quality and comfort. The whole headphone weighs around 8.5 ounces which is much lighter than most audiophile headphones.
As with the Q701s, the K240 MKII AKG headphones are very accurate and extremely transparent. The semi open back lends airiness to the different layers of instruments and detailing. The audio is very soothing and causes no fatigue over long hours of listening. The bass is light and punchy. It doesn’t have the impact of dynamic headphones like M50, but it’s perfect for studio monitoring purposes. And it also plays well into the quiet and restful playback of genres like classical.
Although the bass is generally light, the midrange sound lush and rich. They have that that smooth and rich texture that’s spiced by a generous helping of details. The acoustics and vocals sound very natural in this area of the spectrum. The yearning in the voice of R&B singers and the strumming of strings in rock are brought out with emotion. The bang-on sparkle in treble makes the audio sound very musical and fun.
The main difference between Q701 and K240 MKII AKG headphones is that the Q701 has better extension on both sides. Because of the completely open back, the soundstage of Q701 is bigger. However, if you are looking to master, the relatively smaller soundstage of MKII is more helpful. The MKIIs have slightly less bass than the Q701. This maybe a pro or a con based on your sound signature preferences. The overall resolution of Q701 is obviously better courtesy the price, but K240 MKII still win the market in their price range. On more advantage of the MKIIs is that they don’t need amping quite as desperately as the Q701.
- Natural and neutral
- Tonality and resolution
- Somewhat bass-light
The AKG K240 Studio headphones first debuted in 1975. The design and tuning has been revised since and the headphones continue to be bought for professional use. What makes them appealing is their price point and close similarity to AKG’s higher-end headphones in terms of tuning. They are also a great bridge between audiophilia and casual listening in the affordable range, hence their place in the best AKG headphones list.
Design and Features
The AKG K240 Studio headphones resemble the Q and K-line headphones on this list. They have the retro suspension-type design that is equal parts cool and intriguing. The opinion on whether these look good is highly polarized. We liked the contrast of gold over black. They aren’t as flashy as the N90Q but they have their own flair. The construction is mostly plastic. This may feel somewhat weak, but they have braved against slim odds in many a studios and come out working. The headband slim and padded with a thin layer of foam. The ear pieces are connected by two cables and suspended with enough flexibility so that the earcups and headband conform to the shape of the head.
These AKG headphones are finished in pleather. This is quality fare that doesn’t tear off at the slightest touch. The ear pieces are semi-open just like the K240 MKII and somehow have worse noise isolation than the open-back Q701. The earcups are padded with somewhat firm foam which holds on well to the ears. The pads are moderately deep but very large so they can easily accommodate large ears. The earpads are not removable as these are a very old design. The cable is detachable, surprisingly, even in such an old design. There’s a mini XLR jack on the headphone end and a 3.5mm jack on the other end. A 6.3mm screw-on jack is the only accompanying accessory. These are budget headphones so we aren’t complaining.
Physically, the only difference between the K240 Studio and MKII are their color-scheme and that the MKII may feel slightly more comfortable to a wider range of audience.
The K240 Studio AKG headphones offer a similar sound signature as the K240 MKII. We didn’t notice any difference in their audio performance. They are both equally talented in their detail resolution and presentation. The K240 Studio gleans tons of details from even the lossy audio formats. But it presents them in a smooth and effortless manner which flatters classical and rock genres. The midrange and highs really shine in the wide soundstage and with the instrument staging.
The bass is the weak point here, if you want AKG headphones that work with all genres. There’s simply not enough bass or extension in the lower frequencies. You can boost them but the K240 Studio will never sound as warm or engaging in these genres as a V-Moda M100. The audio response is clear and balanced. The neutral and open-back nature makes them sound very natural. These aren’t very sensitive headphones so they need a good amp/source to drive them. We mean that they simply won’t stun when plugged into a portable MP3 player.
- Clear and airy
- Detachable cable
The AKG Pro Audio K712 Pro headphones are a variant of the Q701 sound. They priced slightly higher and have a more popular tuning courtesy some physical changes. However, they can also so like Q701 with slightly different earpads. So you buy the unique performance of two great headphones for the price of one. Otherwise they resemble the best AKG headphones, Q701 in every respect.
Design and Features
The AKG Pro Audio K712 Pro headphones look much like the Q701 if not slightly smarter. But we could be biased. The earcups are large and round. They are the same size as the Q701 earcups and sit completely around the ears, small, medium and large. The only difference is in terms of the earpads. The cushions of Q701 are a tad thicker and angled. The K712 velour earpads are not angled and are slightly shallower. While this doesn’t affect the comfort level much, they lend the K712 audio its different nature.
These AKG headphones have the suspension-style headband too. In the model we tested, the ear pieces are connected by sturdy tangerine cables. The headband itself is broad and optimally padded. The fit is comfortable and the earcups do their bit by tilting and swiveling a small amount. However, they don’t fold flat. Physically, the K712 has no feature that makes it portable except detachable cables. They come with a 3m straight cable and a 3m coiled cable. These connect to one earcup using a mini XLR connector. There’s also a stain-lined velour carry bag which is a rare accessory with AKG cans.
We immediately warmed up to the audio of the K712 AKG headphones. These are warmer and slightly bassier than the Q701. While this may be somewhat disappointing for the purist audiophile target audience of AKG, the K712 is more widely accepted in the world of casual listening. We noticed the K712 earpads are not angled like the Q701. Upon swapping them for the angled earpads of AKG Q701, the audio signatures turned out to be the same! AKG plays around with the earpads they ship with K702 as well and as a result, they end up sounding like K712. That could be the reason why most potential buyers prefer to save money and buy the Q701, because to them these sound the same as K712.
The audio of K712 also sounds more fulfilling because they don’t pan the audio to the left and right as strongly as the Q701 or K702. In fact, the soundstage of K712 can be described as circle with most of the audio focused at the center. While the soundstage of the other two is more oval with sound image stretched to left and right. The detail resolution, accuracy and extension on both ends is same as the Q701. The Q701 had an upper mid peak of around 4dB. This is absent in K712 and audiophiles appreciate this change.
- Warm and engaging
- Fulfilling centered sound
- Clear and transparent
- Detachable cables
- Performance difference doesn’t justify price difference
The AKG Y50 headphones are from their lifestyle collection aimed at everyday use. These are very different in body and in sound from the previous headphones on this list. But they still maintain the comfort, build quality and audio quality that their brand has become synonymous with. One of the best AKG headphones ever!
Design and Features
The AKG Y50 headphones are on-ear, a fact that we realized much later because of its high comfort level and isolation. These are a different animal from AKG audiophile cans in their design. The frame, headband and the back of the earcups are done in aluminum. They feel sturdy in the hands. The earcups are plushly with firm but soft earpads. These sit on the ears but the clamp is just right, so they don’t hurt the ears. The metal headband is padded along the arch and flattens out in this area for a better fit.
All the cushioning on these AKG headphones are finished in quality synthetic leather. The earcups have a bold AKG monogram. We expected it to look tacky but it just looked bold and classy. A detachable cable connects to one earcup via a 2.5mm jack and terminates on the headphone end at a 3.5mm jack. Y50 can fold flat and inwards for easy portability.
Not only are Y50 the most comfortable on-ears we have tried they offer strong noise isolation. The relative silence makes the audio sound bolder and richer. AKG has retained all the positive chracteristics of its sound like balance and detail resolution. They have given the bass a merry pump which makes the traditional AKG sound richer and warmer. But the bump is calculated and never makes the bass sound distorted. The bass is taut and punchy.
The bass lends fun to the insightful midrange which makes it sound more substantial even at low volumes. The Y50 never sound tinny like the audiophile AKG headphones do. The treble is detailed but smooth. The soundstage is reasonably large for on-ear with a sound image that feels intimate.
- Balanced and fun
- Folds flat and up
- Highly portable
- Detailed and clear audio
AKG is so popular for their porous audiophile cans that we often forget that they have some pretty decent portable headphones too. The AKG N60 were already a compact alternative to the Bose QC35. Their wireless version makes them even more convenient for travel. These fly right into the best AKG headphones list.
Design and Features
The AKG N60 NC wireless headphones are a capable alternative to the Bose QC35 and that’s saying something. The N60 headphones are on-ear cans so they are much easier to pack for travel. The earcups are round and have plusher pads than the wired N60 cans. The headband is comfy with lesser clamp than the original N60s. The headphones are primarily plastic with some metal reinforcement. They looks and feel robust. They are lighter than most ANC headphones though.
The controls are discreetly placed on the rim of the right earcup. These include a multifunctional button and track navigation controls. The ANC function is combined with wireless connectivity via Bluetooth. These headphones can chug out 15 hours of continuous playback on a single battery charge with both Bluetooth and ANC on. The ANC also works in wired mode and can make 30 hours through a single charge. These come with an audio cable and a neoprene case for travel. There’s a mic onboard for making calls but it’s not as clear as the Bose QC line.
The AKG N60NC headphones impressed us with how closely they match up to the Bose QC35’s sound. These are on-ears and cost less. Yet AKG maintains the dynamism, resolving ability and balance in these headphones. These are smooth, enjoyable and insightful. They are very musical and transparent for wireless ANC cans. These sound slightly better in the wired mode where there’s slightly more energy and dynamic punch. That being said, its wireless mode is pretty impressive in comparison with other wireless cans in this category.
The ANC does not interfere much with the audio. There’s only a very mild hum. The noise is battled by a slightly boosted bass as well which makes the audio sound richer at low volumes.
- ANC and Bluettoh
- 30-hour battery life
- Dynamic and resolved
- Comfortable fit
- Portable and compact
- Call quality could be better
The AKG Pro Audio K92 is the crown of their affordable line. And they are the best value-for-money cans at this price range. And it also helps that they looks amazing in their black and gold design. The overall performance left us impressed enough to put them on the best AKG headphones list.
Design and Features
The AKG Pro Audio K92 headphones look very pretty for their price. They are a black version of the Q701 with gold accents. The cables connecting the earcups are flat and sleek which adds a certain character to the design. They are done in gold. The round earcups have a gold backplate with AKG plastered across them. The earcups are large and low-profile like those of Q701. The headband is the self-adjusting type. It molds to the shape of your head and is springy and supportive.
These AKG headphones have a non-detachable cable. But this cable is 3m long so you get plenty of leeway to use these with audiophile equipment. Although closed back, they aren’t particularly portable and best used at home or studio. The cable does not have any inline controls and it terminates in a 3.5mm jack. A 6.3mm jack accompanies the headphones.
The AKG Pro K92 headphones reflect the same AKG performance that’s common in their higher-end fare. They are clear, detailed and transparent. They display remarkable maturity and rhythmic precision in all genres. The sound is set in a wide soundstage that’s hard to reproduce at this price. You can hear all the instruments play cohesively in the large space where the stereo image is set. The vocals are very engaging. Male vocals are treated especially well.
These headphones have a punchy low end. In this respect, these are very different from the bass-light high end offerings of the AKG. The closed-back gives them decent isolation. But the headphones don’t fold have a very long cable. If you have space to carry them and coil up the table, you can take the K92 around.
- Highly affordable
- Sturdy and sleek
- Balanced, open sound
- Detailing and rhythmic precision
- 3m long cable
- Ultra-long cable hampers portability
AKG Pro K141 MKII headphones are one of those hidden treasures in their price range. These on-ear semi-open headphones have a Grado-like openness and musicality that can be found only at a higher price point. These come with an excellent bunch of accessories for the price, hence their place in the best AKG headphones list.
Design and Features
The AKG K141 MK2 headphones have a supra aural design. There are slots in the large round earcups which allow the air inside the ear pieces to move freely. The earcups are only slightly smaller than those of their over-ear models. But the opening of the earpads is such that they rest on the ears, not around them. The headband design is similar to Q701. There’s a springy band that makes contact with the ears. All cushions are finished in quality synthetic leather.
The earpads of these AKG headphones are removable. These are shipped with a pair of velour earpads well. These lend the audio a warmer and laidback character. The cable can be detached from the headphone. Again, the K141 comes with two variants: a straight cable and a coiled one. They have the mini XLR jack on one end and the 3.5mm jack on the other.
The other headphones in the KXXX line have a peak around the 10 kHz region. This makes the sound brighter and clearer. But this could be irksome to some who like their audio darker and more laidback. The peak can also fatigue you during extended listening sessions. However, the K141 does away with this peak. It sounds neutral and natural with punchy bass. The soundstage is big for the driver size. And AKG nails the detail resolution and transparency in these cans as with their other headphones.
- Natural, balanced sounds
- Spare velour earpads
- Detachable cables
AKG is more than just a headphones brand. They prove their mettle with some popular earbuds too. Their N20U earbuds don’t get as much limelight as the full-size cans. But they play the familiar AKG quality audio in a very sturdy and stylish design. They get a well-deserved place in the best AKG headphones list.
Design and Features
The AKG N20U in-ear headphones stand out from the usual earbuds designs. The earbuds are slightly larger and flat on the outside. Although they pack only one 7mm driver each, they look somewhat beefy because of the bass port hole at the back the ear pieces. This compensates for the small size of the drivers. The ear pieces themselves are crafted out of aluminum so they are immune to damage. They are available in silver or black models.
The cables of these earbuds are firmly attached. The cord terminates in a 3.5mm jack. The inline control of N20U is the most evolved one we have seen till now. It has a toggle switch at the back which toggles the usability between Android and Apple systems. On the other side are the standard volume navigation and multifunctional button. They come with 3 pairs of silicone tips in different sizes and a zippered carry case.
The AKG N20U earbuds focus on reference-grade audio. They have the clear and bright audio that exposes the details of all kinds of songs. They focus more on a clear and extended treble. The highs are super detailed which lends to a bright song. These are not for the lovers of darker and laidback music.
These AKG headphones sound more natural and neutral with the transparent treble. The bass port also works in its favor giving the lower end a lot of oomph and power. They have a great sub-bass extension too which helps with genres like EDM and Hip hop. They are very resolving and coherent in their presentation. So they sound very accurate and hi-fi.
- Aluminum build
- Bass port
- Natural and bright
- Clarity and high-fidelity
- Android/iPhone compatible control
AKG Y500 on-ear headphones are a very convenient buy for everyday day. Being AKGs they make comfort a priority and end up feeling comfy even though they are on-ears. They are compact, sleek stylish. The wireless functionality is well-crafted. The complete package deserves a place in the best AKG headphones list.
Design and Features
The AKG Y500 looks like a Beats Solo or Sony headphones. Except the Y500 have excellent build and comfort. These look fancier than their price too, not that these are inexpensive. The all-black model is mellow but still stylish. The colored models are funky. The on-ear earcups are round and mounted with soft foam. There are perforations on the earpads that allow more ventilation. The headband has silicone padding along the arch. Overall, these look sleek and low-profile on the head.
These AKG headphones are foldable. The yokes of the earpieces swing inwards and reduce the footprint to half. The ear pieces can also swing forward and hug your ears. There are simple controls on the right earcup. These are Bluetooth headphones with multi-point connectivity. You can connect to multiple devices and play based on priority. The battery lasts through a whopping 33 hours. It also has a speed charge option that gives it 1-hour life with 5-min charging. It comes with an audio cable with mic inline.
AKG brings its top game to the Y500 headphones. The audience is mostly casual listeners who are swept off their feet by the AKG sound. It’s clear and punchy for all genres of music. Still, they sound natural and neutral. They are plenty detailed too, as most AKG headphones usually are. The Bluetooth connection is strong and plays without drops. The audio quality for a wireless headphone is excellent.
- Sleek and compact
- Bluetooth connectivity
- 33-hour battery life
- Balanced, natural and punchy
If you are looking for affordable AKG sound, the K72 are a worthy pick. Not only are they relatively inexpensive, they have all the hallmark traits of their high-end cousins. Its closest relation, the K91 looks and sounds a tad fancier. But they are both the best AKG headphones in their price range all the same.
Design and Features
The AKG Pro K72 headphones are a dressed down version of the K92. There are no jazzy gold accents but the framework is the same. There are two flat metal bands joining the ear pieces. The earcups are large and round. They are mounted with foam pads and sheathed in quality pleather. Ears can sit nestled in the earpads. The headphones are light but durable. The clamp is light since these are lightweight. The suspension-style headband adjusts itself to the shape of your head.
These AKG headphones have a permanently attached cable. The thick cord runs 3m long and has to be tied up in coiled to take them around. The cord terminates in a 3.5mm jack. These headphones are closed-back but there’s limited noise isolation.
The K72 AKG headphones do not pander to the bass-lovers as most headphones in this price range do. These are studio headphones and their reference quality audio playback reflects that. They aren’t as resolving as their pricier models, but they are very detailed for the price. They offer great instrument separation and a wide stereo image. The treble rolls of fast so the audiophiles who favor a bright sound might be disappointed. But those of us who like dark and laidback music will appreciate the K72.
- Balanced and open
- Instrument separation
- Cable is too long
The AKG Y100 wireless earbuds are very convenient for sports and everyday use. These snip away the limitations of the cable and bring AKG sound successfully to the wireless domain. The choice of colors is attractive and the quick charge option helps make them one of the best AKG headphones on the go.
Design and Features
The AKG Y100 wireless earbuds are a set of two earbuds connect by a cable. The ear pieces are bulbous but not heavy to weigh down your ears. The eartips project in an angle from the ear pieces. The ear pieces are black in the model we tested. But there are three other colors which adorn the back of the ear pieces in different models. The cable hangs loosely at the back of your neck. It has an inline controls for calls and volume control.
These AKG headphones connect via multipoint Bluetooth, they can connect to multiple sources at a time and play based on priority. The battery lasts through 8 hours of playback. It also has the turbo charging option wherein it can be powered up for an hour on 15 mins worth of charge.
The AKG Y100 headphones have a full and satisfying audio. The bass is on point, it beats with some punch. AKG goes traditional and equips the mids and treble with clarity and transparency. There’s a good amount of detailing as well. They never sound tinny or distorted no matter what music they are treated to. They also have an Ambient Aware mode where in, the user can switch on the mode and hear the outside voices more clearly. This is particularly useful when you work in an office environment.
- Aware mode
- Speed Charge option
- 8-hour battery life
- Balanced punchy sound
- Cable could be more flexible
The AKG K77 headphones are another one of their budget cans. These are semi-open and lightweight. Their durable build can take the abuse of everyday use in a studio. They are versatile in terms of the genres they can handle. Their accurate presentation makes them one of the best AKG headphones.
Design and Features
The AKG K77 headphones are a detour from their typical design. The earcups are oblong and have that racetrack oval shape that are typical of Sony headphones. It can fit in large and medium-sized ears easily. They go for stark black and silver. The headband design is similar to the Q701. It can adjust along the shape of your head. The clamp of the headphone is comfortable. These come with an attached cable. This is a 2.5m straight cable terminating in a 3.5mm jack. A screw-on jack is provided for studio use.
At this price point, we often expect the headphones to play loose with bass. The AKG K77 are a fresh perspective on sound. They offer tight and detailed bass that extends well. It goes down to 25Hz with minimal effort. These offers detailed and musical vocals. They don’t display the warmth and dynamism of Grados but they are open and clear. The treble is smooth but demands a little more clarity.
- Detailed and transparent
- Neutral, balanced
- Treble could be more detailed