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AKG K550 Has Bass!!

A Review On: AKG K 550

AKG K 550

Rated # 36 in Over-Ear
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Price paid: $200.00
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Pros: Great for R'n'B and Hip Hop.

Cons: Top end can be a tad harsh, fit isn't perfect.

My last set of cans have all been Sennheiser's, (except a pair of Shure SRH550's which were very thin and uncomfortable).   Sennheiser Momentum's were top of my list next to the HD598's.


My music tastes are very vast, but commercial, varying from Boyz II Men, Bruno Mars, to Bon Jovi, Kings of Leon, to Biggie and Jay Z.


My normal listening kit are Monitor Audio speakers, Quad L sub and Yamaha amplification, which has a very good sound-stage, outstanding clarity with very deep musical undistorted bass.  This is what I was looking for in headphones.


I demoed the Sennheiser Momentum's against my old Shure's and Dre Pro Beats.  To be honest I wanted a combination of all three.  The build of the Beats, the clarity of the Shure's and the beefier bottom end and thicker mids of the Momentum's.  I did walk away a little underwhelmed as none of the three had the sound I was quite after.


After researching this forum the K 550 turned up on the radar and considering the HD598's are open and I was more after a closed phone, I jumped on the K550's, but nervous that I was going to have fit problems and the bottom end being thin like the Shure's.


K550's turned up and I plugged them straight into my phone as I was on my way to work.. underwhelmed and a bad fit..... till I got home after spending the afternoon carefully bending the strap to get a tighter fit, works and they actually fit now like a glove.


Plugged them into my Yamaha amp turned them up pretty darn loud and left them over night... next morning had a good listen.


Setup: 320kbps music via 360> HDMI to Yamaha amp set on "Pure Direct", which turns everything thing off that's not needed and is the cleanest feed it can deliver, which is noticeable.


Bass is something I can't believe people say they don't perform with!!  They aren't as dirty or forward as the Momentum's, but have punchy, clean, deep bass that doesn't disturb vocals one bit.  Hip-Hop or R'N'B are my fave styles of music, which these really perform outstandingly with.  Vocals are amazing with rappers such as Jay-Z, Nas, Tupac and Biggie, smooth, excellent clarity and very easy to listen to and capturing every lyric effortlessly, which the Momentum's slightly struggled with and the Beats surprisingly stink with certain tunes (Biggie's 'Juicy' sounds amazing through the Beats, but then 'Dead Wrong' is just a mess!).  More musical tunes, like Eminem's 'Space Bound' really do sing with a nice sound-stage, but with the added treble the phones are a tad too bright to have them quite as loud as other hip-hop tunes.


This follows R'n'B and soul artists too..  John Legend, Seal, Michael Bolton and Lionel Ritchie all sound absolutely fantastic with these, great sound-stage and their velvet voices really, completely complement the sound of the headphones, but certain tracks from such like when Boyz II Men go Acapella with 'It's So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday' the high mids do resonate at loudish levels, which does force you to turn the track down a notch or two, but when 'The End of the Road' comes on the next track.... absolute bliss.. an absolute joy.  Really enjoyed listening to Bruno Mars and Alicia Keys absolute cracking fun with tracks like 'Runaway Baby' very fun, both artists have bass friendly tracks mixed with lots of different type of instruments still easily heard, even the discrete ones!!


Overall I'm very happy, they're not perfect and I wouldn't say they're worth their RRP, but at thier current price they are fantastic!


"Bass is something I can't believe people say they don't perform with!!" yeh you will find that around here alot, some will say the headphone is boring and have no bass and wont recommend it, but when you try it you have to wonder what ere they listening to, but you will find they recommend headphones with strong bass and recessed mids and give them praise...it puzzles me too
Michael Bolton? Boyz 2 Men? Dang, you are a brave soul.
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