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Absolutely Fantastic cans by AKG

A Review On: AKG K 550

AKG K 550

Rated # 36 in Over-Ear
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Price paid: $215.00
Posted · 298 Views · 4 Comments

Pros: Amazing build quality, open sound, closed headphone

Cons: so big! And cord isn't detachable.

These headphones are fantastic!  

Build Quality- These are the best built headphones I have ever seen.  They are all leather, pleather, and metal, and feel tough yet very lightweight.

Comfort- These headphones are unbelievably light and comfortable, but they are so big that some people have complained that they feel like these headphones swallow their heads.  If you have a small head you might want to reconsider.  Also the leather earpads have foam inside, which is comfortable, but not exactly the sort of feel I was expecting.

Sound-  as a previous reviewer said, these have two bumps in the bass.  However, the bass is understated. I personally prefer a bit more bass, like what you get with the Pioneer HDJ-2000, but overall these are so much better than the HDJ-2000 that the bass is an easy sacrifice.  Also, they are very open and neutral sounding, so if you like Grados or Beyers (that light rock-and-roll type sound) then you will very much like these.  To me, they sound better than even some of the high-end audiophile closed Sennheisers and Audio Technicas that I've tried!  They especially excel in jazz, classic rock, and strong vocalists, like Tracy Chapman.  Snare drums have lots of sizzle and pop, and the huge 50 mm drivers really capture all the lightest conotations of the high hats and ride polyrythms.  I'm a drummer, so I pay a lot of attention to the drums, but this level of detail is present in everything else, too.

Aesthetic-  There are a lot of memes on the internet about "swag is for boys, class is for men."  Anyways, by that logic, if beats by dre pros are for boys, then these are for men.  They have that same confident, sexy look, but quite a lot more refined and sophistocated.  As one reviewer put it, "They look like Chubacka or James Bond might wear them" (I'm sure I did not quote that verbatim, but you get them point).  They look stupid around the neck, though, because they're so big.


Complaints- These are so big!  I guess it's worth having big cans in order to get that big sound, but still!

Also, for $315, you'd think they could throw in a carrying case!  These things are expensive and I feel bad just chucking them in my backpack.  I'm really pushing that Best Buy warranty to the limit!

Lastly, why not have a removable cord?  It seems impossible that a pair of headphones so big wouldn't have room to make the cable removable.


Bottom line- these are arguably the best closed headphones in the $250-$350 price range for non-=travel and non-portable applications.  I highly reccomend them.  If you want something more portable and with more bass, check out the Philips Fidelio L1 or the Pioneer HDJ-2000 (better in black, get the K!).  However, these do sound better than the L1 or the 2000, so if sound comes first, these are the headphones for you.  Kudos and good job getting over the whole lame-copies-of-that-headphone-nobody-likes phase you were in, AKG, and I for one hope you and Harmen continue the good work!


Also the cord is like a mile long!
Most of AKG's headphones have 10 foot cables...
Nice review. I'll definitely be getting these after my K271 die!
Hi, I just wanted to do a quick comparison of the K550 with the HDJ-2000 for anyone interested.
HDJ-2000 is very good but can be a bit tight on bigger heads like mine, though certainly not what you would call a clamping headphone. In comparison, K550 is a bit too loose, so it moves around and does not stay secure if you are not staying still. Both get 4 out of 5 stars.
The K550 sounds better in the way that Da Vinci is a better artist than that guy who invented James Bond; sure, the K550 is amazing, but on a sunday afternoon most people would rather see the new bond flick than look at some old dead guy's paintings. If the K550 was a little less balanced I would like it more, but they were going for that "open" sound and they certainly got it! 5/5 for K550 and 4/5 for HDJ-2000.
For two of the best-built high-quality headphones around this is a tough one, but because of the lack of folding capabilities the K550 is a bit tougher. 4.5/5 for HDJ-2000. 5/5 for K550.
After dinner listening to jazz you want K550. At school jamming to some rock and roll or hip hop you want HDJ-2000. I've never tried the Fidelio-L1 but hear it's somewhere in between. None of those three noise cancel; in fact they barely even passively isolate.
pm me or comment with any questions.
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