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.