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AKG K551 Closed-Back Reference Class Headset with Mic (Black/Silver)

100% Positive Reviews
Rated #137 in Over-Ear


Pros: Dynamic range, spacious soundstage, clarity

Cons: short and flimsy cord, portability

So, like all of us on this forum, I love music... couldn't live without it. Whilst I own some decent-ish headphones (Bose QC20i, Bose QC15, Sennheiser Momentums) I wanted something with a bit more musicality. The Momentums I never really liked. I also wanted an all round set of phones that I could use in the house or when out and about, which ruled out open back.


During a single audition session I tried all of the major players in the mid-range closed back field - and I tried them with all sorts of music since, whilst I am no basshead, I do like some depth to my lows. 


So, imagine my surprise when the K551's emerged as my favourites!


The soundstage is really fantastic for a closed back set of phones and the clarity is simply awesome for a set of cans in this price range.


They are reasonably bright in the highs - which to my mind is only as a result of their overall clarity - but they are by no means harsh. In fact, this had been my big fear when trying them out and I went into the listening session fully expecting to prefer their cousin, the K545's, which have a noticeable bass inflection. 


However, the K551's give lows a real depth when the music calls for them, taut and powerful when need be. However, there is no in-built predisposition for the low end of the spectrum - which might rule them out for some.


I noticed no difference in the listening experience against the K550's and it was the long cord and the lack of controls which were the deciding factor here.


The price in the UK is now around the £90 range and yet cost didn't enter into my reckoning. I would have paid much more for the right cans - it was a happy coincidence that the K551's were such a bargain!


The only niggles I have found in my listening hours since purchase are that a) the cord is far too short and flimsy for a set of headphones that have such illustrious lineage and b) they are not the most portable cans out there, by any means! To those two niggles I'd also add that, whilst these phones aren't difficult to drive overall, if ear-splitting volume is your thing then you might want to consider an amp. I use an FiiO E07K for those times when I want some additional gain - and it also gives me the option of slightly colouring the music without resorting to the equaliser, by tweaking the bass a step.


All in all, these are an awesome set of headphones - especially when considering the bargain price. The clarity is a cut above the rest - easily, in my view, worth a lack of in-built disposition for the low end of the spectrum, which might prevent some from making the purchase. This would be a shame - those individuals would definitely be missing out.


I've rated them 5-stars, despite the one or two niggles, because at this price there is simply nothing better out there.


Pros: Very spacious, tight bass with punch, sparkle treble region, easy to drive

Cons: Some people might not like the treble region, the cable seems flimsy

Personally, this is my favorite headphone.


I gave this headphone a conservative 4/5 because I simply have not had the chance to try all the headphones in the world, so I'm sure there are some headphones that can hit 5/5.


First of all, these are closed back headphones with a good amount of isolation. With that said, it is amazing how 'airy' these headphones feel. They offer tight bass with punch which is quite unique to its class. Furthermore, this headphone has a beautiful treble region which gives tons of sparkle giving you the feeling that this headphone reveals a lot of detail.


The only negative thing I can say about these headphones, it is that some people have complained that the spike in the treble region becomes bothersome. With that said, I personally love the treble spike so it does not bother me at all!


For a more detailed review, please see my video review located here:


Pros: Extremely clear, amazing bass, dynamic range, nice earmuffs, seems easy to drive

Cons: Non-detachable cable, huge, cable could use an extra 6"-12"

I'm a newbie to hi-fi headphones, but I'll do what I can.


The bass is fantastic, and I point this out because so many people complain about the lack of bass. It isn't this thumping and muddy sound, but very clear with an entire range to it. For bass-heads this might not be what you want. Although, when I sampled dub step on them (not really a fan of the genre) I could get the bass poppin' by changing the EQ.


The sound is very clear and even, however I would call the high's a little bit harsh (but not unbearable).


The range is amazing. They're very warm in the winter.


The cable should be detachable for this much money and could be a little bit longer. The K550's is far too long, though.


Pros: Audio quality, comfort, short cable for outdoors, sound control on cable, powerful enough for iphone and ipods, no excessive bass

Cons: If you don't like the Princess Leia look also not suitable for cycling because of safety helmets issue

Built for outdoor use like jogging and walking because of the shortness of the cable and the remote volume control. I enjoyed listening to classical music, folk, rock music with it. Sounds were rich and well balanced, highly differentiated but with  no overpowering bass.


The head phones do justice to Noah and the Whale's music for their complex string orchestra and rock music mix.


Great jogging companion. Some dispute that the grip is too loose and falls off from jogging movements. Mine stayed well on my head and were extremely comfortable. I guess we all have different head sizes and shapes. To see if these headphones fit your jogging lifestyle, the only way to find out is try them on for size and go jogging.



If you like the  Princess Leia look, then it is a bonus for you to put on one of these pairs of sweet babies.


They are excellent ear muffs for the cold winters of Norway.


I prefer it to Senheisser's momentum because of a better sound.


Unfortunately, one cannot cycle with it because of helmet issues

AKG K551 Closed-Back Reference Class Headset with Mic (Black/Silver)

The newly designed AKG® K551 headphones are optimized for a fully immersive listening experience and for comfort. Starting with a 2-inch (50-millimeter) driver on each ear, these reference-class headsets use Real Image Engineering to create a highly realistic sound environment with a true sense of dimensional space. Lightweight, with a comfortable fit, AKG K551 headphones have incredible passive noise reduction and extremely low sound-leakage levels that will keep you living blissfully inside your sound environment for hours on end.  2" (50MM) Driver A powerful, 2-inch (50-millimeter) driver enables the AKG K551 reference-class headset to do things that other headphones can only dream of. Music is rich and layered, while audio environments seemingly unfold before your eyes, with sound that's undistorted no matter how high you turn up the volume. Real Image Engineering  Imagine the amount of space between your ears and your AKG K551 headphones. Now imagine the amount of space in an actual soundstage. Real Image Engineering is the science that fits the big space inside the little one. With Real Image Engineering, sounds are huge and accurate, with an incredibly realistic sense of width, distance and depth. Low Sound-Leakage Levels You love your music. The person sitting next to you doesn't. Not a problem. AKG engineers have optimized the K551 headphones for minimal sound leakage so that your music is yours and yours alone to enjoy anywhere you go.

TitleAKG K551 Closed-Back Reference Class Headset with Mic (Black/Silver or White/Blue)
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