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AKG K 420 Foldable Mini Headphone - Blue

100% Positive Reviews
Rated #381 in Headphones


Pros: Exciting SQ, Easy to drive from Portables, Build Quality

Cons: imaging, instrument separation, depth and finesse

Waltzing through a mall the other day, I moseyed into a JBL (part of the Harman-Kardon evil Empire) Brand Store, just to kill time - when I saw an AKG display in a forgotten corner. They were having a Sale to clear off old stock, and this was easily the best deal out of all the other 'phones on offer.


It seems these Cans were made with Mobile Phones in mind, because they work so well with my Milestone(DROID to you Yanks) that I have since stopped carrying my Cowon D2 everywhere. Using PowerAMP from the Android Marketplace, I can play FLAC off the phone now, and can finally retire the aging D2 and Yuin PK2 to home use.


These Phones, IMHO, are easily the most handsome portables out there. No fancy silver paint, chrome accents, or neon colours(ahem) - they are plain, naked plastic and rubber, with a touch of subdued blue in the rear vents and stainless steel in the headband. They look the Business, and thanks to the lack of paint, what you see is what you get - a good quality steel headband encased in tough plastic and rubber, and scratch-resisting plastic housings for the drivers. The Foam pads however, seem to be permanently fixed, as I have not been able to remove them.

The Folding mechanism is simple, although you need to be careful not to get the rather short and flimsy cord tangled or stretched in the process.


The Sound coming out from the Drivers is the sort you need to cheer you up, tap your feet, and rock out. They have a nice, rich, warm upper bass, that adds richness to bass guitar and percussion,  and a strong, forward vocal presentation, with a rolled off top-end. Just the sound you need to work well with Portables and Mobile Phones, where 24/192 Lossless material would be just overkill with the cut-price D/A conversion these devices offer. These are NOT phones for Critical Listening, Classical Works, or High Bitrate tracks. You will not get the trademark AKG Kx01 series Soundstage, nor will you get to hear nuances and details in large orchestral works. You will get a more intimate, upfront presentation, with the vocals and primary instruments taking up 90% of the space, and the details will be pushed back.These Cans are made to Rock out with, to enjoy on the move. Personally, I think they offer a Refreshing window to Sound, and really let you get caught up with the Beats-Think Grados with more Comfort and Practicality.


Pros: Price, sound (for the price), balanced sound, design

Cons: Cable may be too short for some

I've been looking for a good open headphone that I can use in the office instead of my IEMs. It proved a little tricky to find a portable open headphone, but I eventually narrowed it down to the following list:


  • AKG K420
  • Sennheiser PX100
  • Jays V-Jays
  • Koss Porta Pro
  • Aiaiai Tracks


After much listening and comparison, plus a little thinking about my wallet as I don't need a flagship sound quality for this application, I settled on the AKG K420s.


The K420s offered easily the most balanced sound of those listed above. The Sennheisers came a close second, but for the extra money, I felt that they were limited to sounding good on bassy genres while lacking some space and resolution for more subtle acoustic tracks.


The K420s are fairly no-frills. Except for the denim coloured trim on the grey frame, there is no bling and they come with a simple, short (1m) cable and a simple carry pouch. For me, that's perfect because the cable is just long enough to reach my laptop without pulling or tangling.


The sound from the K420s is outstanding if you keep the price tag in mind. Clearly they're not going to compete with some of the $200-$300 offerings out there, but I can't find an option under $150 that comes close to their balanced, clean sound.


Bass is ample and responds well to a good EQ, mids are solid and clean, and highs are detailed and resolved to a good level.


In comparison to the PX100s and Porta-Pros, the K420s could seem a little bright at times and therefore may become fatiguing and high volumes, but haven't listened for long enough to know yet. For me, their ability to create space in the soundstage and resolve detail was what pushed them past the competition.


For less than $150-200 (perhaps more?) you will have a very hard time finding a better blanced sounding portable, open headphone. The PX100 would be my choice for a bass-oriented sound, but these win hands-down for balanced sound.


Pros: excellence sound, comfortable, sturdy, short cable

Cons: leak sound (open-back design)

i bought this pair for alternate use with my iGrado. (iGrado is less comfort for a long use). 


Audio sounds better than the closed-back AKG K450, Senn PX100. i love the balance sound which i think is comparable to iGrado and Koss PortaPro. Design wise, the AKG420 looks more sturdy than the Senns, even though the portability of the latter is better. The denim and matte finish together with nicely placed AKG logos on both cups are very easy on the (my) eye. Size is neither too small nor too big, and rest comfortably on both ears after adjusting the headband. i listen to wide genre of musics. this headphones gives nice kick on most of the genres, including Toni Braxton's, Metallica's, Adele, Dave Gruisin's, Lee Ritenour's, Flletwood Mac's. Strings, horns and bells in the 1821 Overtures and others are clearly expressed. Music listening is very enjoyable.


The only drawback i noticed about this pair is its tendency to leak sounds in and out. As I enjoy listening to music with maximum volume, this pair is not very commuter-friendly. However it was designed to be like one as this is an open-back can (you can opt for the closed-back K450 to minimise the leakage). 


I will recommend this pair to anyone who is looking for a sub USD100 headphones which can deliver excellence audio quality for portable use.




Pros: It is cheap and has a very good sound quality for the price. The mids and highs are excelent.

Cons: Very poor ear pad quality. Lacking bass on some recordings.

This headphone has a quite good sound quality for its price. Its sound is very clear, the mids and highs are well detailled. The bass is tight but some recordings sound lacking bass. It needed a little bit more body and warmish on the sound. The ear pads have a bad quality. The pads from mine has last about 8 months. 


Pros: Great sound for <100USD , good bass

Cons: Not very sustainable

After a thorough market research and reading the good reviews on this website, I decided to buy the AKG K420 headphone about a year ago. It seemed perfect for my needs: low price, good sound quality, very portable and rather bad sound isolation, which I need so that I can hear the cars when riding my bike. As always, I bought it second hand because you usually get much better deals buying second hand; I still cannot believe the kind of great stuff I got for incredibly cheap prices.


So I got the headphone. They looked as new and they sounded as I hoped, no disappointment there! I've been using them every day, riding my bike to work and taking them with me almost everywhere I go. Unfortunately, after a few months, the left speaker started falling out every now and and died in the span of a few hours. I don't know much or anything about repairing headphones, which was confirmed in my attempt at saving them. I figured it might be due to abusive use by the previous owner so decided to buy another AKG K420 headphone, but this time a new pair. Unfortunately, after a few months, the exact same thing happened: the left speaker died on me again.


Taking them everywhere, I might not be the perfect headphones-host but I'm certainly not the worst and I've had cheaper headphones lasting for years. As this happened to me twice, I'm thinking this is not an isolated incident and felt like I had to create a profile to let the world know that the shelf life of these headphones is questionable, especially if you like to move them around.


Pros: great sound, very comfortable, open back

Cons: looks cheap quality..

i have got these headphones 2 days back 5-6-14. at the first look and impression of these headphones i thought they will sound like tiny treble producing headphones, i was not impressed by the look actually, but when i put these headphones on.... with my cowon d2+, i feel like wow.... it has balanced bass which i had not expected at all. sound was not congested every beat was there but yeah felt lil lack of sound-stage.. but for the price point these are amazing.....i got it at good price around 37 usd (rs.2200 inr). for me its bang for the buck...


Pros: Compact, comfortable, beautiful, doesn't leak much

Cons: Muddy, lack soundstage

I bought the AKG K 420 for those times when I wouldn't be able to use my grado headphones, I also wanted something compact so the AKG K 420 came handy. In the beginning I was happy with the purchase but soon I noticed it was just too muddy for my ears compared to what I like and what I'm used to.


Pros: Clear Highs, Great Mids, Good Soundstage, Very Comfortable

Cons: A Bit Muddy Bass (on the strong size)

Ok, so it's the season to be jolly, and purchase new audio gear.

Yours truly has went out to get himself some audio candy (not to confuse with SkullCandy...) to refresh his audio experience.


I had to wonder around the store to find me a good pair of headphones, and after about an hour of browsing and the seller trying to sell me on the Beats Studio (aparently he had no clue whatsoever as he first tried to sell me on some SkullCandy and Bose...I have left the store cheerful and sound-happy with a pair of AKG K420 and the Etymotic MC5 (I really wanted to hear those).


Enough with the casual chit-chat, let's get down to business!


After unpacking I have discovered that the K 420 are really light, and even squak a bit when stretched (let that not deter you from these headphones, as they are quite sturdy).


First Impressions:

Cable is a bit on the short side, about a metre (if you're from europe) or somewhere about 3.2ft. which is just enough to reach my pocket, all in all...good enough.

The fit is extremely comfortable, I was suffering from pressed (or squished) head after using my audio-technica's closed earphones, these however fit right in and sat snugly enough to embrace my ears.



Well, here's the tricky part, the sound of the AKG K 420 is really good, a bit on the warm sound, I have heard people comparing them to the porta-pros and the Px100, I think personally that they are quite better than both, in terms of the sound stage, it is somewhere in the middle.

The sound tonality is warm - to the bassy side, however the highs are very clear and the mids are fantastic.

In some songs the bass kind of takes over and resonates, which I guess is something that I will have to get used to, which is kind of odd to me since it doesn't cloud the highs, it just kind of smears the bass all over, makes it a bit muddy maybe.


Songs tested on:

Don Ross and Andy McKee - Rylinn:

started off great, with clear acoustics, however once once the second guitar came in, they sounded like they were having a fight over my brain, each taking over the sound in turns.


Metallica - Wherever I may roam:

Drums and guitar were so real I wanted to join in and play with the band, I think these headphones will shine with metal music in general, beware of the vocals sometimes taking over the sound stage.


Radiohead - Let down:

This song left me stunned with the clear highs and the amazing vocals, the beginning of this song resonates in my head till this point...amazing.


Stereophonics.- Maybe Tomorrow:

Well, maybe even today. The gritty vocals sat right in with the headphones, the sparkles were shining through the song, and the guitar wasn't lost. a keeper.


To sum it up, these headphones handle quite well whatever I have thrown at them, if you like the Grado sound or good semi-open headphones, for that matter, they are a good value for great headphones, however as semi-open heaphones, do understand that they leak sound, although not horribly but they do, if this is a concern for you, don't even think about then, otherwise,  I would highly recommend them to anyone.

AKG K 420 Foldable Mini Headphone - Blue

When you want to take your personal listening expereince to the next level, AKG K 420 mini on-ear headphones let you do this comfortably and affordably. Deisgned to deliver true AKG performance - high-output sound and excellent frequency response - from virtually any portable device, including iPhone, they are the "next level" upgrade to an improved personal listening experience. By using a semi-open deisgn that fits comfortably on the ear, the K 420s deliver rich, detailed sound that is free of distortion, even at high listening levels. AKG has even made tucking these headphones away very easy as the patented 3D-Axis folding mechanism allows you put these heaphones in a carrying pouch no heaphones this size should be able to fit in to. An attractive blue finish completes the expereience as their lightweight, comfortable fit makes them the perfect companion for everyday use. A protective carrying pouch is even included to keep your headphones safe and secure when not in use.

FeatureUnique 3D-Axis folding design allows the K420's cushioned headbad to collapse along a three dimensional axis to fit easily into the carrying pouch
List Price$89.95
Package Quantity1
Product GroupCE
Product Type NameHEADPHONES
TitleAKG K 420 Foldable Mini Headphone - Blue
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
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