Anemic and muddy at the same time!

A Review On: AKG K451 High-Performance Foldable Mini Headset (Black)

AKG K451 High-Performance Foldable Mini Headset (Black)

Rated # 94 in On-Ear
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Pros: Nice packaging. The remote control seems to work

Cons: Mediocre at best...

I joined head-fi specificaly to post this review....


First - my credentials as a headphone user (as far as they go). I've been into hi-fi for 3 decades, and consider myself a reasonably discerning and critical listener. I'm currently using some byerdanmic p50t's, a pair of koss prota pros :-D and some sound magic e10 in-ears for the bus :-(.

Disclaimer - I've also posted more or less the same review below on the What Hi-Fi site. Everyone needs to be warned about these lame headphones! We have to save ourselves from the pernicious mediocrity and terrible superficiality they represent!

I honestly can't understand how these headphones won any kind of award, let alone the What Hi-Fi best product (headphone) award 2012.

I just picked up a pair from Richer Sounds for £50, a bargin i thought given the list price (I'm assuming they are not fakes, given the vendor). I bought them as an alternative to my sound magic e10 in-ears, partly becuase i'm fed up of stuffing things into my ears in the office every day, and partly becuase i wanted something a bit more capable of reporudcing the subtle low end in some of the stuff i listen to most (electronic mostly), whilst still delivering decently textured mid and highs.

Perhaps my expectations were unrealistic, but the AK451's are sadly far from an improvement...

The K451's are (very) muddy in the mid and high's, far too bass heavy, boxy and echoic, present a cramped-to-the-point-of-claustrophobia sound stage about as big as a postage stamp and are nothing even close to transparent or detailed. My £25 koss porta pros that make these seem over priced. My (admitadly much more expensive) Bayerdymanic p50t's make these look just plain silly.

I'm hopping that the rumor of them improving with extensive burn in is correct rather than just some sort of desperate self-confirming rationalisation on the part of many a disapointed buyer. I'm going to try them again after running white noise through them for 48 hours. They'll have to improve considerably if they are not to end up on ebay, or in the bin...

Perhaps they are terribly subject to batch variation, or they have somehow changed the drivers since this review. This can be the only explanation for such an apparently misleading award? Perhaps one for WHF to persue with AKG? :-/

UPDATE: I just some comparison listening between theses and the 5 other pairs of headphones i own. No amount of burn it will improve these to an acceptable level - they're awful. I'm returning them. :-(



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