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AKG K550 vs Some others (denon d2000, akg k271, ultrasone edition 8, shure 940, shure 840, beyer... - Page 3

post #31 of 174

so i'm thinking about buying these headphones i currently own the little akg q460 headphones and like the sound very much, i currently own the beats studio but fed up with the over the top bass,

 

i'm looking at the akg k550 would you guys recccomend they have a more clear and detailed sound then the beats? i'm looking for good clear highs neutral sounding headphones that have good crisp mids and trebel without harshness, and bass that is present and not overpowering like the beats

 

and would these be okay to be powered by an ipod, ipad by itself as these are fairly low ohms and on the akg site it says can be driven well from portable devices

any feedback are these good headphones? it was these or the dennon 2000 which are better?

post #32 of 174

The K550 don't do anything wrong! They can definitely be driven by an ipod, no problems (unless you don't want to become deaf). The Denon d2000 are good headphones, but in my opinion the midlle range is too recessed and the highs are unnatural, I like the bass but it is no very thight (a bit sloppy). Well actually it is not a great headphones :) for me...and don't forget that the d2000 don't isolate they are not closed cans, the AKG do.

 

The AKG k550 is another league of headphones (obviously in my opinion) the build quality is amazing, the comfort is the best in the world. The only problem for me is the slightly thin sound (have a look in the headfi glossary to understand exactly what I mean). But I think that they are the best value for money headphones I have tried.

post #33 of 174

If I don't finish this post... it's because 2 menacing men in dark Austrian suits seem to be following me everywhere.  They look like they are "enforcers."

 

Many have commented on the strange AKG packaging and even stranger smells emitting from a newly unboxed pair of AKG K550s... its a chemical

 

designed to infect listeners.  Its effects are felt during quiet music listening and while you might be on the go, with your blood flowing fast too.

 

Well this where I have to get this warnig message out to the world, to the unsuspecting public...  what the Austrians are trying to do, especially

 

to the Germans is....... ahhhh.......................  ugh..........................................................

 

                        ...................................................................................................................................... help!..........................................................

 

 

 

post #34 of 174

Thanks for the reviews and comments, they are very helpful.

I'm interested in the K550's because often, when I listen to music, I have to use closed phones.


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terps Fan View Post

Hey perm!  I was using my k550's with the new iBasso D7 and they sounded very nice.  A few things did kind of bug me a little: 

 

1).  The soundstage was impressive, but everything seemed a little distant.

 

2).  Bass was good but not very articulate.

 

Now I have the FiiO L2 IC going between the D7 and the cMoyBB and even though the cMoy is considered a "starter" portable amp, the addition of 2-9v batteries and an excellent op amp really brought the k550's to life.  Richer, fuller, the bass frequencies are not just deeper, but they hit harder and are far more refined.  The soundstage is still impressive, but it sounds more reigned in and deeper.  The 02 would blow the doors off the cMoy, but I was able to max out the options of this little amp, and add a good IC for just over $90.00. 

 

 

 

It seems to me that AKG favors this signature,

based on my experience with the 271MKII and K702.

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by impermanente View Post

I just tried these for half an hour in a shop, so just a superficial analysis...

 

- They look great and feel great, it is really well made, loads of metal (for sure magnesium because very light). The pads are extremely soft and they look real leather. The chord and the jack is also very very high quality.

 

- The comfort is as the K701, extremely comfortable...in my opinion nothing more comfortable than this. Brilliant

 

- Isolation I bet it is not the best in the world but definitely these cans don't annoy people around you while you are listening your favourite music. It doesn't isolate very well from the ambient noise, but again enough to feel like you are in your quiet personal place.

 

- The sound obiously, I compared them with my wonderful DT1350 right out of my Cowon D2. They are plenty loud at least as much the DT1350.

 

-The sound stage is the biggest I heard for sealed headphones.

 

- The highs are just enough without arshness or sibilance

 

- The middle frequencies are far, very clear but far

 

- the bass is there without any enphasis, the impact is not great but at the same time no absent

 

- No distortion and confusion with complex music like massive modern orchestras, it still does its job

 

These are very linear headphones and they don't do absolutely anything wrong...but but like for the K701 the sound has no body, it lacks of impact and it is not engaging, I would say it is a thin sound. One can hear the more subtle details (the highs are very clear) but the sound doesn't make you stopping doing something and put a smile on your face as the DT1350. The timbre of acoustic instruments is not real enough and all the microdynamics of middle frequencies always present in real life here is absent.

 

If your favourite heaphones are the K701 and you need some alternative closed headphones these are your cans (ah they obviously are not portable at all, unless something like a K701 is a portable can for you)

 

If you want the most comfortable can in the world (in my opinion) and you need it closed these are for you.

 

If you think that cans like the DT1350 are wonderful headphones in terms of body and realism and you think that they are super engaging but you want (like me!!!) something more comfortable with more sound stage without loosing realism dynamic and first of all fun, look somewhere else. I think you can wear these headphones for 24 hours without being aware of them, unfortunately in all the senses.

 

 

Right, that lack of "body", call it what you will - nonetheless, I find that the the K702's huge soundstage in and of itself makes them engaging. 

They're not perfect phones of course, none are, but I do listen to them with certain recordings that benefit from their immense sense of space

And the rest of the SQ is quite excellent as well, but outdone here and there by other phones in the same price range.

e.g. the bass of the Beyer DT880's is more satisfying than that of the K702's - but the size of their soundstage doesn't compare...

 

 

post #35 of 174

Right, that lack of "body", call it what you will - nonetheless, I find that the the K702's huge soundstage in and of itself makes them engaging. 

They're not perfect phones of course, none are, but I do listen to them with certain recordings that benefit from their immense sense of space

And the rest of the SQ is quite excellent as well, but outdone here and there by other phones in the same price range.

e.g. the bass of the Beyer DT880's is more satisfying than that of the K702's - but the size of their soundstage doesn't compare...

 

The soundstage of the K701/702 IS HUGE (well more than soundstage I would call it ambience) the best I ever tried, I totally understand why a lot of people out there love it, it is a monster in this respect. The K550 can't compare with that ambience, no ways, probabaly they are the best ambience closed headphones but not comparable with the K701 at all, which is an open can.

post #36 of 174

Great review, CantScareMe! Thanks... beerchug.gif

 

 

These K550 may well be my next and "last" (I whish) headphone update to my collection! k701smile.gif

post #37 of 174

So the final conclusion is...K550 are NOT fun and engaging headphones?

post #38 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by derbigpr View Post

So the final conclusion is...K550 are NOT fun and engaging headphones?


I find them very engaging and quite a bit of fun as well.

 

post #39 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by zazex View Post


I find them very engaging and quite a bit of fun as well.

 



More engaging than K701 or K271? I find my Q701 pretty boring, they never make me feel the music.

post #40 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by derbigpr View Post



More engaging than K701 or K271? I find my Q701 pretty boring, they never make me feel the music.



I had the 271 MK II;s, and the K550's sound much better.

No comparison.

 

Besides more extension in the bass and treble, they sound faster, with more impact.

They have a 'snappy' sound to them that I haven't heard before on AKG's.

It is in fact very engaging and fun to listen to.

 

As for the 701's, -

I've had the 702's for a couple of years now and while they have their weaknesses,

they are nonetheless among my top headphones.

 

The biggest difference to me between the 702's and the 550's is the size of the soundstage,

which is immense on the 702's.  (It's very good on the 550's for closed headphones.)

 

But also, the sound the the 702's is more refined.

(Not so easy to put that aspect into words...)

 

So, to me, the 702's are better headphones.

But if you're in the market for closed headphones,

the K550's are definitely one of the top choices available.

 

 

post #41 of 174
Thanks a lot for such a comprehensive review. At this moment i am having a hard time deciding wich headphone to buy , i live in Colombia (South America ) and here i don't have the chance to try different HPs. I own a UE Triple Fi 10 and i like it a lot but i want an upgrade. After searching and reading a lot, i have narrowed my options to :
Closed ( Denon AHD 2000, 5000 and AKG K 550 )
Open ( AKG Q 701 )
However at this point i am stuck and i haven't been able to decide. I am travelling to Los Angeles next month , so i tought the best way to choose were giving them a try but the only one which seems to be in stock is Q701 so i guess i will have to decide based on reviews and advice from people like you who has a lot of experience with headphones , because i am a newby in this world ,even tough i am not in HiFi , music is my passion and i spent most of my spare time listening to my 9.2 system ( Oppo BDP 95 univerasl player ,Denon DVD player , Onkyo A/V receiver , Martin Logan speakers and subwoofers ) however a day i decided to try headphones and bought the Triple Fi 10 and was captivated for the experience because is a very intimate way to enjoy music even tough it doesn't have the visceral impact and spacioussnes that speakers provide and to tell you the truth i feel so pleased with this experience that i want to have a very good rig to enjoy it.

That's why i want to ask you some questions .

1. How would you rank the 5000 in SQ compered with 2000 and K 550 ?
2. What about Q 701 , i know it is different type but i would like to know your oppinion.
3. Regard to amplificarion i was thinking in a Fiio 11 or O2

It is important to point that i will mainly use them to listen to Apple Lossles files from my iPad/iPod at home and why not from my A/V receiver , i normally listen to low volume to protect my hearing and my musical tastes include Jazz ,Classical, New Age, Electronica, Dance ,Pop and more

I hope some of you can help me with suggestions and advice.

Thanks,

Carlos
post #42 of 174
Thread Starter 

A very kindly put question there.

 

It's always slightly hard to recommend headphones to new folk here as whatever they hear will sound excellent (most likely!). And that's true with all three headphones you've mentioned there. The k701, denon d5000, k550 would all sound excellent.

 

Let's assume you want to get only one of these headphones.

 

Function:

1) Important that it is closed. 

I mean is it important that the headphone isolates and does not leak sound. If important then your search between these three should stop here. K550 is the choice. I see that you've got a monster speaker setup- so if you want this intamicy of private listening like your iem's can provide (silent backdrop) then the k550 would be great. With basically the largest soundstage for real closed headphones (maybe the ath w3000 might have a larger sound stage, not sure)

 

2) Desirable that it is closed.

Then factor in the d5000. These isolate mildly and leak a little. 

 

3) Don't mind at all. 

All three come to play here!

 

 

The reason why I gave these last categories is this is by far the easiest way of deciding between the headphones- as that's choosing based on facts. All else really comes down to opinions really, so its inherently harder to decide.  

 

Directly responding to your questions:

 

- Unfortunately I haven't heard or owned the k701 at all. So i refrain from commenting. You see, the only open full size headphones i've heard are the hd600, hd650 and some philips ones i can't remember. I can't care for any of them as they are open backed and provide no isolation and leak like laptop speakers.

 

- Amplification for either one. From what i've read clearly the objective 2 is the better amplifier than the fiio e11. That's clear. But then what is your source/dac? IF your looking for a portable small setup based on an ipod then the fiio e11 would be decent for all these headphones. But to tell the truth all that you are using to convert digital into sound is the ipod digital to analogue convertor (DAC). How good can this be? It won't allow you ever to get the best out of your headphones to such an extent that i'd say all an amplifier does in an ipod based system for headphones like the ones you've mentioned is keep them from sounding bad. In other words, make sure they don't sound bad, rather than really focus on making your headphones sound good. 

 

Lets say you want a desktop setup from your mac/pc or even using the onkyo reciever, then you will see the differences. A fiio e10 would be in a similar vain to the previous setup, something that focuses on making sure your headphone doesn't sound bad. It contains a dac and an amp for less than £50 and is a great little thing to have. Really small, just plug it into a usb port and your basically done! 

 

 

- d5k vs the k550.

To tell the truth what applied to the k550 vs d2k applies here, except that the d5k is more comfortable than the d2k. I didn't allow myself much time with the d5k- and i didn't compare them directly to the k550, but they are similar in many ways in how the d2k's. Just that the d5k is more clear, less veiled and a touch more defined in the lows. Unless you think you're gonna upgrade to the highest numbered model in the future (d7k), I'd say the d5k is worth the price here. The best denon is the one that does the bass the best and this is the d7k!

Overall, say out of a fiio e10 I'd say the d5k would sound better to most ears, but they don't to mine- by a small margin. You see it's in the end the definition in the mids, the air in the soundstage and most of all the lack of bass bloat in the k550 that wins it. Clearly the d5k portray vocals and instruments with more vigour and sound probably more natural to most ears, but the bass bloat is actually a bit too much here. I mean the d7k really cleans up here, and so overtakes the k550 easily. I think the d5k are a bit more laid back in the highs than the d2k, so sibilance shouldn't be an issue.

 

 

Lastly

It's always best to be able to put these headphones in context here by comparing them already to what you've heard.

 

Short and sweet. The denon d5k will sound like a scaled down version of your speakers. The k550 will sound like a scaled up version of your tf10's.

 

 

 

OF course, if you could get to a demo unit of either or both of these headphones then that'll help your decision a lot more.

Hope you find your right headphone!  

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

post #43 of 174
Thanks for taking the time to reply so quickly and in this extensive way. It have helped me narrow my quest just to 2 of them, 5000 and K 550 , now i would like to ask you 3 more question to help make up my mind.

1. How would you compare ( realism, accuracy ,life like sound , naturalness ) and ( soundstage , imaging ) between them ?

2. I am a little worried about 5000 bass from what you said in the last post, is the bass in 5000 uncontrolled , boomy and intrudes over the mids and highs ? Is better K 550 ' s bass ?

2. To summarize, if you had to rank them just considering sound quality how would that be ?


Again thanks for helping me .

Regards,

Carlos
Edited by manzano804 - 3/24/12 at 6:03am
post #44 of 174
Thread Starter 

No problem,

 

1) In realism, life like sound, naturalness and soundstage the denon d5000 win. It's funny that you say naturalness alongside soundstage as in the denon series these two mix very well to produce an enjoyable sound. I'd say the k550's soundstage is more steril and lacklusture than the d5000, but then again this could mean more clean and clearcut. 

In imaging and accuracy the k550 are vicrorious. They are highly resolving in all ways and are not as predictable as the d5000 in their soundstage. I mean if vocals are upfront then this you would here with the k550, but probably not with the d5k. Accurate.

 

 

2) Bass is a bit of a problem. It could either be absolutely fantastic for you or you may not like it so much. The bass you get from the denon's extends very deep and unlike other phones they don't just focus on a mid bass hump. Compared to the k550 it's very different in this regard as it would spill over a bit into the other frequencies. But do remember that were talking reference level stuff here so mids would be clean and as of the slight emphasis they place on the high range- you won't feel like your missing anything in the music.

 

Because you haven't heard headphones of this sort, i can't say which you will prefer- the k550's bass or the denon's. I normaly avoid saying a specific headphone is only suited for specific genres of music- but it has to be mentioned that the denon wouldn't render classical music to the same level of the k550 which win here easily. It's just that there's too much meat on each note and the bass emphasis kind of kills off the air that should be present.  The clinical airy k550 mind you does have a great bass punch of its own. Most importantly it extends deep; this along with them not bumping up the midbass thumping frequencies and this never altering the flavour of the rest of the spectrum. That is important and makes it awesome for me in the bass regard. A very linear frequency response. Maybe a touch of a spike in the lower mids range but that's not noticable.

 

You'd find the k550 much more neautral than the denon d5k BUT it'll come down to a preference between presentation in the other areas. Do you want a more lusher, energetic, full and impactful soundstage? Would you want it to sound more like speakers rather than your tf10's? More naturalness (timber)? More wowing- like for movies? More immersive? 

 

Then the denon d5k is for you.

 

Notice that both are extremely comfortable. I'd say there around equal in that regard or maybe the denon wins in the end in terms of comfort!

 

3) In sound quality, for my preferences both are equal. Sometimes i'd favour the d5k and sometimes the k550. Only the d7k pushes ahead of the k550 clearly, all except in classical music.

But for the general preferance of the headfier, including new ones like yourself, i reckon the d5k would sound better overall- sometimes even by quite a distance. If you were to get one, the safer choice would be the denon d5k. So that's the one i'd recommend!!

post #45 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by manzano804 View Post

Thanks for taking the time to reply so quickly and in this extensive way. It have helped me narrow my quest just to 2 of them, 5000 and K 550 , now i would like to ask you 3 more question to help make up my mind.
1. How would you compare ( realism, accuracy ,life like sound , naturalness ) and ( soundstage , imaging ) between them ?
2. I am a little worried about 5000 bass from what you said in the last post, is the bass in 5000 uncontrolled , boomy and intrudes over the mids and highs ? Is better K 550 ' s bass ?
2. To summarize, if you had to rank them just considering sound quality how would that be ?
Again thanks for helping me .
Regards,
Carlos


 

As someone who owns K550's and has heard the D5000's, I'd chose D5000's in a heartbeat.In fact I would have gotten them but they cost 3 times more than K550's where I live. I think they're much better music headphones, especially for someone like you who is used to listening to music on a high quality speaker system. K550's would just sound too uninvolving,  sterile, cold and boring I'm afraid. They're great as a reference headphone, for studio use, but for pure music enjoyment D5000's (and even D2000's) are far ahead of them.

 

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