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AKG K 550 Reviews

Positive Reviews




Pros: Open Stage, No Congestion at High Volumes, Quality Built, Reference Response Curve, Comfort

Cons: Artificial Treble (can be improved with burn in & DAC/amplifier), Earcups Maybe Too Large For Some

Introduction I got these headphones around the national holiday. These came out about 2 years after I had got my K701. I was first attracted by its classy design and colour. I thought I would never get another pair of AKG headphones since K701 has been my favorite all the time. I finally decided to purchase a pair due to the discounted price of $180 USD including shipping in my country; and most importantly, I needed a closed can(s) to enjoy music at night without disturbing others. In this review, I will skip all the con(s) about these headphones and straightly elaborate on the sound quality and cozy build structure of these headphones. The reason is that at this price point, there are...
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The Versatile AKG K550


Pros: Balanced response, Versatile, Closed-back with an open sound, Build quality

Cons: Lack-luster with classical, ears touch drivers, take a while to break in, lose some personality with time

            When I purchased my AKG K550, I was in the market for a closed-back headphone that gave me the best open-back sound while containing the noise so I could use them in a dorm room. The AKG K550 does that and much more.               After a few days of pink noise break in and heavy music listening, they really showed their true high-performance colors. The highs were balanced and resolving, the mids forward as in any AKG headphone, and the lows are rich and placed perfectly within the frequency spectrum. I was initially blown away by the response of these headphones for being closed back,...
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So open you forget they are closed back

Having owned quite a few closed back headphones I have never experience the open sound these AKGs produce. Yes they may be light on bass but they excel in every other quadrant. Detail, tone and space ooze from these headphones and draw you in. At this price point I would dare to say they are unmatched if you want a truly uncoloured musical listening experience. One snag is people with smaller heads may not get a good seal around the ear cups which will ruin the experience. Try before you buy!

Negative Reviews


AKG K550 Review - An attractive and well built closed headphone that has many strengths, but ultimately falls short on sound quality.


Pros: Looks, Build Quality, Decent tonality and fairly flat FR from midrange down to bass, no treble emphasis, decent soundstage for a closed headphone

Cons: Serious peak and resonance in one spot in the upper mids ruins an otherwise decent headphone

  First Impression   When I first listened to these headphones, my initial two thoughts in this order were: 1. Wow these sound pretty fast and also fairly even - 15 seconds later - 2. Wow something is wrong with the upper mids     Packaging who cares   Build Quality/Aesthetics These headphones feel very well built.  I can't speak to their longevity or durability, but they are nice to hold, feel sturdy, the movements are tensioned well and feel solid, there's no creaking of cheap plastic.  The finish feels durable and well made.  One of the better headphones out there IMO for it's apparent build quality and finish....
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Inoffensive but uninspiring


Pros: Spacious - for closed back. Non-fatiguing, easy going sound. Work surprisingly well with iPhone.

Cons: No better than a reasonable £30 pair of open back 'phones.

I tried these with a Benchmark DAC1, a Fiio X3, a Fiio X1+E17 and various lesser devices including an iPhone. They seem pretty easy to drive. Music was a mixture of classical and Jazz - both CD quality and HiRes.    My value rating is based on the £107 I actually paid from Amazon. I am having to keep reminding myself how cheap they now are in order to give them much praise though. I guess the heavy discounting of these should have told me that they were not that special.I would certainly have been pretty pis**d if I had paid full price.   Their best attribute is a surprisingly spacious presentation - about as good as a cheapish pair of open 'phones. To me...
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It's alright, but build quality and sound are not for me


Pros: Good mids, and decent treble

Cons: Subpar build quality for a 300$ pair of headphones

Well, the K550s don't sound bad by any means, however, the sound signature isn't really for me. I like a little less mid focus and a bit more bass. Less neutral and more fun, really.  Now the build quality of the K550s are not superb by any means. Firstly, the headband cushion was peeling off in the corner right out of the box. Which was really disappointing. The construction of these headphones felt flimsy, even though it is built of aluminum. The M50s have much better build quality than the K550s.  It's really love or hate for me. The comfort isn't great either. My ears touch the drivers which causes them to hurt my ears after only an hour of use. 

More Reviews


[Comparison Review] AKG K550 & Audio Technica ATH-A900X


Pros: Excellent bass extension & mid-range clarity. Smooth & grain-free treble. Spacious soundstage.

Cons: Treble rolls off a bit early. Lower-treble a bit too forward. Mid-range and bass could both use some additional body. Sound imaging a bit indistinct.

Comparison Review: ATH-A900X, AKG K550   Two years ago, when I was looking to upgrade my aging ATH-A9X, I came across the AKG K550 and the ATH-A900X, both then newly-released, with several head-fiers reporting that they are tonally-similar headphones. Unable to decide which one to get, I bought both to do a comparison. I ended up keeping the K550 for myself and giving the A900X to my wife (who still uses it and loves it).   Below are my thoughts regarding how these two cans compare.   ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Craftsmanship & Comfort   Audio-Technica ATH-A900X The A900X isn't a bad-looking headphone, but lacks K550's elegance. That said, comfort level is excellent and...
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Mark K

Big sound....as the size suggests


Pros: Clear high band, acceptable mid tone

Cons: Absolute lack of bass

Well, the infamous K550 was there. Big, comfort at an incredible price. I had to wait for one week before I got mine so I put it on. Absolutely better than K701 I had a while ago. However, the overall quality is killed by zero presence of the bass. Where have they gone?

Get them while you can !


Pros: Sound, Overall quality, Comfort, Closed-back but they don't sound like it, Bang for the buck

Cons: Non-removable cable, Cable is very long (3m), Can be hard to drive from small devices, not recommended for small heads because of sealing issues

This a review, as well as bit of a comparison to the Focal Spirit One, as those are the last headphones I owned and I absolutely loved them.  Man, where to start with these; right off the bat let me tell you that I absolutely love them. They are totally different from the Spirit One, and in a very positive way. When I first got the 550's, I was surprised at how heavy the box is. Now to anyone who thinks you get a lot of accessories with the K550's, I have to disappoint you. All you get are the headphones and a quarter inch adapter, the latter of which is gold plated and screws on top of your cable. Everything about the headphones exudes quality, which couldn't be said about my...
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[$200 & Under]Best Beginner $200 Headphones


Pros: Sound, Fit, Style

Cons: Ears Can Get Sore

I've constantly said I wanted to try these. I've seen the price tag stay at $200, and it's appropriate. It's big, but has elements. It's sound is stand out, Class A, $200 Sound.   The AKG K550 I've been wanting to try these since I seen the price tag, after searching for an upgrade, looking at the MDR-7506, and seeing these side by side, the MDR-7506 is OK, but has a purpose. It's a Studio Monitor, that's it's justice. The AKG K550 is an important piece in it's price range, and it reminds us as the why the M50 lost it's reputation.   I finally got a chance to borrow these.   Let's discuss. Build Quality: - To one who can appreciate, is to one who's more likely...
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Superb closed back option


Pros: Comfort, Isolation, Balance, Detail

Cons: Nothing at this price.

Been a while since I bought some new headphones. The HD800's put an end to that for the last couple of years... But I wanted some closed back for certain times and so snapped these up.    The balance of these is very good indeed, as is the tone. The AKG sound in a closed back pretty much. More midcentric than the KXXX with a closer image - slightly warmer but still with plenty of bite at the top. I'm impressed with the isolation as well- wasn't expecting too much - I wear glasses and I still get a very good seal. The comfort of the pads is another plus- very soft.    The mid frequencies are much better on these than the KXXX and this is most welcome. (no nasty peak...
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Great Cans


Pros: Non-overwhelming bass, detailed vocals, great soundstage

Cons: Can't find yet

Excelllent headphones, coming after ss 9h headset, senn's 429 558 598 and i love these most, i differentiate details better in vocals now, i can say if vocalist is blowing into microphone while singing, there are more details in vocals which i cannot explain in english,  coz i'm not good at this section in english. Bass is not overwhelming, it is what i like most, not muffled, also if you EQ the bass it will sound much better as it did on my nokia with eq presets. Priority is for home use, but it's perfect using outside with phone, cable thickness is not the problem, as you can roll it around the phone, and put everything in the pocket without all stuff sticking out too ugly.  ...
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Very impressive technically as well as musically


Pros: imaging, clean sound

Cons: no carrying case included

I have been using AKG K550 for past few weeks and enjoying them pretty well. This is my first foray into mid fi and I think its a solid contender for getting into mid fi sound especially as it has very low barrier for entry (whole setup). I am driving it with Audinst hud mini, entry level dac/amp and it drives it with authority and good clarity.   I have been using Sennheiser HD518 extensively, and have auditioned HD595 as well as HD650 before this. So thats my reference point here as HD5XX series is rather popular and what you can expect to get if you go for K550.   First some sound signature differences between sennheiser and akg. k550 requires you to be engaged to music...
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Great deal of detail across spectrum. Built like a tank and a new lower price!


Pros: Great detail especially in the treble, Well defined bass, Outstanding soundstage, Extremely comfortable, Built like a tank

Cons: Treble can be harsh at louder listening, Not enough bass for bassheads (Not a con for many)

Introduction I got these headphones around Christmas time in 2012. I loved the design at first sight, I find it understated and classy where others find it hulking and ugly, it's all a matter of opinion. After the excitement of unboxing them and plugging them straight into my phone I was horrified by how quiet, lifeless and lacking of detail they were. But rest assured this first impression didn't last long.   Design & Build Quality As you can probably tell from the introduction, I'm a fan of these headphones looks. For me they fit my head perfectly but for others the size of this headphone is just too big to get a good seal, so it may be wise to try them out to see where you...
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Good Balance and pursues a neutral sound. Decent General Purpose Headphone


Pros: Looks sturdy, bass is tight and midrange is lovely

Cons: Hard to get a good seal. A bit-lean sounding. Treble is a bit odd but still good

This headphone has a great neutral sound but I can see many people finding the bass a bit too lean yet not light. This can be due to poor seal which as mentioned earlier is a bit tough to get for some. I personally did find the bass very good however there are times where I feel it’s a bit lacking. But even with the perfect seal, people who are used to big bass and stuff may find this headphone a bit light in the bass.   With a good seal, I think the bass is very good. It’s flat, impactful but not overbearing at all. There’s not much emphasis on the upper bass and lower mids area so it’s not as warm as what I would call as a warm-sounding headphone. Overall midrange sounds...
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Akg K550


Pros: Neutral Sound, Tight Bass, Full Bodied Mids, Isolation, Comfort

Cons: Lacking Mid Weight, Poor Treble Attack, Too Little Bass for Some

    AKG K550 [Price $160 Used]   Test Process   Source Win 7[Foobar2000 WASAPI] -> oDac -> MonoPrice Premium Coaxial Cables -> Matrix M Stage [0  [w1000x Akg K550/+18 db Gain Lme 49990 OpAmp]   Will be compared again'st my w1000x and my Beyer Dt 990, since I intend to use this headphone as a portable, with all genres. I want to see how it does against my two "specialists" Specifically, the Dt 990 will be compared only with Classical and EDM [I got lazy and only did classical and Dub Step] genres. Songs 2 and 7.   As always gain and volume are adjusted for each headphone. [To ensure each has equal volume levels, despite gain.]   7/9 Songs are without EQ, Benga-Invasion and...
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