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AKG K550 Review. - Page 9

post #121 of 321
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eargasmo View Post

I use the UDG case and throw them in my bag.  They lay flat, so they fit great in the UDG case, and the UDG case fits good in my backpack.  

Out of curiosity: what type of UDG case do you use? I don’t see a case that is flat.

 

And thanks for your long comparison to the Sennheisers. I have the K550 and while I enjoy them, I agree they are not an all-round solution. I find I grab my D2000s for electronic guitar (rock) music but prefer the K550s for acoustic (singer-songwriter) music. And I still find it strange that a few prominent professional reviews, that came out just after the release of the AKGs, claimed they did not need burn-in but most comprehensive reviews by true enthusiasts find they do. Personally -- as a music enjoyer just starting to appreciate head-fi -- I feel they do indeed get better (more settled) with use.

post #122 of 321

I think its just mental burn in for the most part. These cans do use some sort elaborate soundstage design called "Real Image Engineering" which I assume is something akin to Ultrasone's S-Logic, but perhaps less elaborate. I think that like S-Logic, this design requires some time to get properly used to. With this said, the AKG K550 sounded awesome right out of the box as well...

post #123 of 321
Quote:
Originally Posted by joostdh View Post

Out of curiosity: what type of UDG case do you use? I don’t see a case that is flat.

 

And thanks for your long comparison to the Sennheisers. I have the K550 and while I enjoy them, I agree they are not an all-round solution. I find I grab my D2000s for electronic guitar (rock) music but prefer the K550s for acoustic (singer-songwriter) music. And I still find it strange that a few prominent professional reviews, that came out just after the release of the AKGs, claimed they did not need burn-in but most comprehensive reviews by true enthusiasts find they do. Personally -- as a music enjoyer just starting to appreciate head-fi -- I feel they do indeed get better (more settled) with use.

http://www.amazon.com/UDG-U8200BL-Creator-Headphone-Case/dp/B005O93P9K/ref=sr_1_fkmr1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1347622083&sr=8-1-fkmr1&keywords=udg+k550+case

 

There is the case I got.  It's great.

 

The reason for the "no burn-in" comments from some of the reviewers is probably b/c they got a burned in sample from AKG.  Which misleads some of the readers imho.

 

I appreciate your thanks.  I wanted to make sure I did both headphones justice.  I personally don't own the D2000s, but I could see why you reach for them for electronic guitar music.  I reach for my HD650s for the same reason.  Too much grind with distorted sounds or electronic guitar.  Ethereal synthesized sounds like those your hear in Enigma songs sound amazing.  But the distorted variety you hear from Moby songs sound not so amazing on the K550s imho.

 

But going back to the case...The K550s are a huge headphone, flattened or not.  So the case isn't going to be as thin as a macbook air, but because they do secure the K550s in its flattened form, they are about as "low-profile" a case as you can get for the K550s.  And I put that in quotes b/c let's face it, the K550s are huge...haha.

post #124 of 321

Received mine last week and loving it so far.  It can be very unforgiving if the source is poor.  I compared between spotify's "extreme quality" and my flac files (same artist/music) and I can notice a huge difference in sound quality.  It demands an amp when using with my Macbook Pro.  The headphone output is not good enough.

post #125 of 321

Hey everyone, I wanted to share my experience with these phones. I read the reviews about some people not getting these phones to fit right and hence the sound was horrible with lack of bass. Since I have a big head, I decided to give them a try and had the same sound issues.  I wear glasses and that may be part of my problem, but even when pushing these headphones to the sides of my head, and without glasses, the sound coming from these cans was distant and without any lower end frequency representation unless volume was jacked up well passed my normal listening levels.  I used both portable and studio monitoring amps that pump a lot of power to my phones and power ultrasone pros and senn hd 650s fine as sources during testing.  Although my experience with these phones was similar to others who have attributed the poor sound to lack of fit, I came to the conclusion that the phones may be defective as I could not imagine these phones sounding much better if they fit better.  Especially since I tried exerting additional clamping force by holding them tightly against my ears without a noticable difference in sound quality.    I know a lot of people have had very good experiences with these phones and wanted to get your input on the really mixed experience people have had.  Normally, people like the sound signature of a headphone or don't, however in the case of these headphones, it seems that there is a very different experience of these headphones sound from person to person.  You either like grados or you dont, but peoples opinions wont vary dramatically in the relative signature of the headphones such as amount of bass and high end sparkle. 

post #126 of 321

I also wear glasses and that has not posed an issue for me.  These are an amazing set of headphones.  I have had a number of people listen to them and they have loved them. They always comment on hearing things they have never heard before in the music.

 

You need to make sure you properly burn them in. I think that is the key to these headphones.  They lacked punch for me at first and thought about returning.  But after burning them in they sounded wonderful. I also found that they sound even better when properly amplified also.  Currently I'm using a Headstage Arrow 12HE 3G the Bass Boost is only on 1.  I found that these to be very versatile and shine on all genres of music.

post #127 of 321
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spawn300Z View Post

I also wear glasses and that has not posed an issue for me.  These are an amazing set of headphones.  I have had a number of people listen to them and they have loved them. They always comment on hearing things they have never heard before in the music.

 

You need to make sure you properly burn them in. I think that is the key to these headphones.  They lacked punch for me at first and thought about returning.  But after burning them in they sounded wonderful. I also found that they sound even better when properly amplified also.  Currently I'm using a Headstage Arrow 12HE 3G the Bass Boost is only on 1.  I found that these to be very versatile and shine on all genres of music.

 

these are great for glasses wearers because of the soft 'memory' foam.

post #128 of 321

Interesting.  I guess there could be a burn in effect or they could have been a defective pair, although I dont know why both left and right drivers would be simultaneously effected unless it had to do with the wire.

post #129 of 321

I just got mine yesterday.  A few quick impressions:

The fit for me is perfect. I experienced the "suction cup" effect immediately. I'm not small (6' 5" or 195 cm), and by no means have a Beetlejuice head ;-) I had to set each side on '3' (i.e., 3rd notch; I love that the band is notched) to get the right fit. But I can see where an improper fit would cause problems.

 

My only other decent cans are old Grado SR225s. I like their sound, but they just aren't that comfortable. I am going to try the Senn. HD414 quarter mod with them, if Amazon can manage not to ship the actual Grado L Cush pads again. My main reason for getting the K550s is for my iPod Classic ("7th" gen 160 GB). I don't have a HP amp... yet, but it's on my wish list. Until then, I wanted cans which could be driven by the iPod. The Grados distort a little, esp. on mid-y, treble-y indie rock. I tested a few tracks with the Grados (brand new L Cush pads), and then the same with the K550s. What a difference! The K550s give so much more presence (better sound stage, I guess), and the details jumped out at me. And zero background noise (thanks, Good Fit). I did notice a little harshness in that suspect band (4-8 kHz, or so I've read). Some jagged guitars. But other tracks (anything from the remaster of Rush's Moving Pictures) were deliciously clean and detailed. The low end was plenty for me, though I've yet to test with anything seriously bassy.  OK, I did queue up some Kelly Clarkson disc (not mine, I swear ;-) which has some decent bass, and thought it more than adequate.

 

Which leads me to the burn in process. I'm hoping that they will smooth out a little over time, and given reviews here and in various magazines, I assume they will. In a general sense, what's the best way to burn these in? I've had them plugged into an M-Audio Revo 5.1's HP jack, running nearly continuously for 26.5 hours now. The volume is not quite maxed, but the Revo's Output Mixer never shows clipping. At first I ran some seriously noisy stuff (a couple Flaming Lips albums), mostly because they seem to hit the troublesome frequencies a lot, and will play LOUD, with that Kelly Clarkson in between them (and set to repeat in Winamp). After running that overnight, I switched to a far more eclectic mix, also on a loop.

 

Is it OK to run them continuously (sure would save time), or should I let them rest? Do cans need rest?

 

Also, any recommendations for a cheap (below $100 US) amp that will work well with a Rockbox'd iPod Classic? Given the nature of most of what I listen to, an amp that might warm things up a bit would be ideal. But I'm truly clueless when it comes to HP amps. I'll be doing a lot of reading now, as I really want to get the most out of this setup. I'm more inclined to a "desktop" type (runs off an AC adapter, rather than battery; I think I've got that right).

 

TIA for any advice and feedback.

 

In short, I will NOT be returning my lovely AKG K550s :-)

post #130 of 321

Congrats on your purchase. I'm sure you will love them.

 

I did the same thing your doing had them playing for about 72hrs straight on my iPod Classic 7G.  I also have an iPod Touch and got an burn-in app called audio sizzler and used that to burn them in. There is a post on the forum about it.  I love my K550's.

post #131 of 321
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThurstonX View Post

I just got mine yesterday.  A few quick impressions:

The fit for me is perfect. I experienced the "suction cup" effect immediately. I'm not small (6' 5" or 195 cm), and by no means have a Beetlejuice head ;-) I had to set each side on '3' (i.e., 3rd notch; I love that the band is notched) to get the right fit. But I can see where an improper fit would cause problems.

 

My only other decent cans are old Grado SR225s. I like their sound, but they just aren't that comfortable. I am going to try the Senn. HD414 quarter mod with them, if Amazon can manage not to ship the actual Grado L Cush pads again. My main reason for getting the K550s is for my iPod Classic ("7th" gen 160 GB). I don't have a HP amp... yet, but it's on my wish list. Until then, I wanted cans which could be driven by the iPod. The Grados distort a little, esp. on mid-y, treble-y indie rock. I tested a few tracks with the Grados (brand new L Cush pads), and then the same with the K550s. What a difference! The K550s give so much more presence (better sound stage, I guess), and the details jumped out at me. And zero background noise (thanks, Good Fit). I did notice a little harshness in that suspect band (4-8 kHz, or so I've read). Some jagged guitars. But other tracks (anything from the remaster of Rush's Moving Pictures) were deliciously clean and detailed. The low end was plenty for me, though I've yet to test with anything seriously bassy.  OK, I did queue up some Kelly Clarkson disc (not mine, I swear ;-) which has some decent bass, and thought it more than adequate.

 

Which leads me to the burn in process. I'm hoping that they will smooth out a little over time, and given reviews here and in various magazines, I assume they will. In a general sense, what's the best way to burn these in? I've had them plugged into an M-Audio Revo 5.1's HP jack, running nearly continuously for 26.5 hours now. The volume is not quite maxed, but the Revo's Output Mixer never shows clipping. At first I ran some seriously noisy stuff (a couple Flaming Lips albums), mostly because they seem to hit the troublesome frequencies a lot, and will play LOUD, with that Kelly Clarkson in between them (and set to repeat in Winamp). After running that overnight, I switched to a far more eclectic mix, also on a loop.

 

Is it OK to run them continuously (sure would save time), or should I let them rest? Do cans need rest?

 

Also, any recommendations for a cheap (below $100 US) amp that will work well with a Rockbox'd iPod Classic? Given the nature of most of what I listen to, an amp that might warm things up a bit would be ideal. But I'm truly clueless when it comes to HP amps. I'll be doing a lot of reading now, as I really want to get the most out of this setup. I'm more inclined to a "desktop" type (runs off an AC adapter, rather than battery; I think I've got that right).

 

TIA for any advice and feedback.

 

In short, I will NOT be returning my lovely AKG K550s :-)

I recommend burning them in at really high volumes.  You can use a mix of pink and white noise, but I generally just loop my music.  But I highly recommend doing so at VERY high volume.  

 

The reason I love my K550s is because they don't need an amp.  On long plane rides, I plug them directly into my Cowon Z2 and listen blissfully.  I have a nuforce icon that does absolutely nothing for the K550s.  A desktop amp can increase the volume, and depending on the amp, you may change the color of the sound some, but I don't think they really need an amp.

post #132 of 321
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eargasmo View Post

I recommend burning them in at really high volumes.  You can use a mix of pink and white noise, but I generally just loop my music.  But I highly recommend doing so at VERY high volume.  

 

The reason I love my K550s is because they don't need an amp.  On long plane rides, I plug them directly into my Cowon Z2 and listen blissfully.  I have a nuforce icon that does absolutely nothing for the K550s.  A desktop amp can increase the volume, and depending on the amp, you may change the color of the sound some, but I don't think they really need an amp.

 

Nah, I wouldn't burn them in using 'very' high volumes. It's debatable if there is any significance to burn-in, so use your discretion so not to damage your drivers.

post #133 of 321
Quote:
Originally Posted by talisman42 View Post

 

Nah, I wouldn't burn them in using 'very' high volumes. It's debatable if there is any significance to burn-in, so use your discretion so not to damage your drivers.

I burned them in with my Asgard at 4 o'clock on the power dial.  Did no damage to my K550s. 

post #134 of 321

Thanks for info, all. I'll keep the loop playing. It's definitely louder than what I'd use if I were actually wearing them.

 

I suppose a good test with tunes that seem a little distorted through the iPod, is to run the K550s through my AVR and listen for a difference. Rockbox allows a lot of tweaking, which may help.

post #135 of 321
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThurstonX View Post

Thanks for info, all. I'll keep the loop playing. It's definitely louder than what I'd use if I were actually wearing them.

 

I suppose a good test with tunes that seem a little distorted through the iPod, is to run the K550s through my AVR and listen for a difference. Rockbox allows a lot of tweaking, which may help.

By the way, I ABSOLUTELY agree about Rush Moving Pictures comment.  I have not heard Tom Sawyer sound so good.  The drums in Tom Sawyer through my K550s sound as good as anything I've heard from any headphones. In fact, I think earlier on this thread I mentioned Tom Sawyer through the K550s.  Based on your comments, it sounds like you are having almost the exact same experience as I.  Seems like you and I have very similar hearing.


Edited by Eargasmo - 9/27/12 at 9:35pm
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