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Compact and Powerful, very Impressed with AKG

A Review On: AKG K403

AKG K403

Rated # 25 in On-Ear
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Price paid: $30.00
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Pros: Compact, impressive mids and bass for the price

Cons: Comfort becomes a problem over extended use


This was the first AKG product I purchased. I decided to try a more affordable model to get an impression of the AKG sound. I bought this for $28 on a clearance sale, a major discount from the MSRP of $99.
From the moment I played the first track on these, I was blown away by the overall sound signature of this headphone. It is very clear that AKG put the money into what matters, the drivers. AKG took away all the fancy stuff, a no frills approach, and put your ears as close as possible to their investment (the drivers). The bass is punchy and tight, more so than many other open headphones I own at more than double the MSRP of this. The mids are incredible, in your face and up front, where they should be. These are very easy to drive, and as a result, get really loud, even from portables. For those who listen at high volumes, you will love this, it gets louder than any headphone I have tried. The sound stage is average, especially for an open design, but the outstanding bass, mids, and volume more than make up for this. The overall sound signature is great for any genre of music.
Honestly, from first visual impression, I was surprised to see it with such a high MSRP, it looks more like a sub $40 headphone. After opening it up and trying it on, I realized the plastic and metal is above average quality, it looks cheap but don't be fooled, it's well made.
Comfort overall for me was acceptable. I wear glasses, and most on ear headphones get uncomfortable after a while. These did get uncomfortable after 1-2hrs of use. The discomfort for me comes from the ears due to the clamping force and minimal padding over the drivers. I find this gets a bit better over time as the headband stretches out. Because there so light, the little headband pads are adequate, and I feel no discomfort there. 
They look good when there on, they are sleek and minimalistic, people will barely notice them. Once there on, they stay put, even when running/exercising. Since there so sleek, you can easily put a hat or toque over top. The folding design and small size is perfect for portable use, however, because there open, I do not recommend using these in quiet public places.
These represent the AKG sound signature very well at a great price point. The design is simple, and no frills. The money goes into what matters, the drivers. AKG takes away the fancy stuff and gets you as close to the drivers as possible. You hear the difference this makes immediately. I highly recommend these, specially if you can get them under $50. I have been a loyal Sennheiser user for years, but AKG has won me over with these. I will be looking at AKG for my next $200-300 purchase now.

1 Comment:

I was at the same clearance sale and agree completely with the above review.
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