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AKG K550 Review. - Page 17

post #241 of 320
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morzak View Post

I'm looking for a closed can, to replace my open AKG 141 MKII .  With all I read it seams to me that the 550 would  be something that could fill that place. Liked the Stage the 141 created, and the overall sound of it. I'm aware that a Closed will probably not have the same quality, but I just wonder if there is another can I should consider

id like to know the same

i was eyeing the akg a900x
it too is closed and is priced at appx $300

id like to find the following:
1. closed/noise isolating
2. neutral
3. comfortable: not too much weight/pressure on the top of my head
post #242 of 320

Hey guys, did somebody  compare the K550 with the FA-003?

post #243 of 320
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pondu View Post

Hey guys, did somebody  compare the K550 with the FA-003?

I have both...well, not exactly. I have the Digitech Pro which is FA-003 equivalent for $50 + shipping.

 

http://www.head-fi.org/products/digitech-pro-monitor-headphones/reviews

 

The only area which Digitech / FA-003 has an advantage is a thicker, fuller sound, particularly with vocals. In most other respects the K550 has the upper hand. There are quite a few complaints over the forum that the K550 tend to sound thin. I guess that is a valid concern for many but I did not found it to be a problem for me.

 

IMHO they sound so different that there is no comparison, but ultimately you have to hear it yourself. And there's another alternative, why not get both and sell the one you not like. Since you are in France, you can get the Digitech for $50 plus shipping from UK, which is likely to be minimal.

post #244 of 320

Thanks Greeni. So you are saying the K550 is not really an upgrade, compared to the Digitech / FA-003?

post #245 of 320
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greeni View Post

I have both...well, not exactly. I have the Digitech Pro which is FA-003 equivalent for $50 + shipping.

 

http://www.head-fi.org/products/digitech-pro-monitor-headphones/reviews

 

The only area which Digitech / FA-003 has an advantage is a thicker, fuller sound, particularly with vocals. In most other respects the K550 has the upper hand. There are quite a few complaints over the forum that the K550 tend to sound thin. I guess that is a valid concern for many but I did not found it to be a problem for me.

 

IMHO they sound so different that there is no comparison, but ultimately you have to hear it yourself. And there's another alternative, why not get both and sell the one you not like. Since you are in France, you can get the Digitech for $50 plus shipping from UK, which is likely to be minimal.


Mostly agree with Greeni. In terms of technicalities, K550 is definitely an upgrade than FA003. But sound signatur wise it's different

post #246 of 320
I owned the HM5 which is another headphone like the FA003 and I would say it is close technically speaking to the K550 but as has been mentioned it has quite a bit of a different sound signature. For me neutrality was just not alive in comparison to the K550's mids and treble. But I also know for some the K550 is to hot or bright. If you struggle with to much brightness then the FA003 is a better choice, if brightness translates to vibrant and alive for you then go K550.
post #247 of 320
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pondu View Post

Thanks Greeni. So you are saying the K550 is not really an upgrade, compared to the Digitech / FA-003?

 

IMHO, K550 is a better phone than FA-003. I may prefer the FA-003 for vocals, but for most other genre the K550 is superior. That said, many found the K550 thin sounding, so you have to know your own preference, would that be acceptable to you.

post #248 of 320

Wow thanks a lot guys, even if this is not good for my wallet

post #249 of 320

What exactly are the qualities you are looking for in a headphone, or the kind of music you listen to ?

 

Anyway, here is my short impressions of the K550:

 

For the present going price of $200, it has very good resolution and definition. I have not heard many but for those I heard the K550 is amongst the most detailed I heard at this price and certainly superior to the FA003.

 

The real strength of the K550 however is its soundstage, it was the best I heard in a closed phone. You can distinctively hear that it is closed, and it still lacks behind the open and airy feeling I heard with some open phones. 

 

Well then, what's the deal, you may ask. The soundstage of the K550 is spacious, and along with that instruments are afforded better breath and the envelop of a muscial note is allowed to develop in a fuller manner. Plus, the positioning and definition of instruments within that soundstage is precise. From memory, as an open phone the K701 soundstage is even much more open and spacious but K550 has the upper hand in positioning.

 

I previously elaborate this in a Grado thread, a musical note can very roughly be thought of as comprising three parts : the initial attack, the main thrust, and the subsequent fade out. The Grado RS2i that I owned, at twice the price of the K550, do not allow the musical note to develop in full, but instead emphasize the initial attack, the subsequent fade out and decay is mitigated. Thereby giving an aggressive presentation.

 

In contrast, the K550 is amongst the best I heard at its price range in this regard. The muscial note is given a much fuller expression. The ebb and flow of the muscial event, the degradations and phrasing is easier to follow. The K550 is for those who appreicate subtlety, but I feel some system will not be sensitive or good enough to reveal this strength of the K550.

 

Granted, these qualities are less relevant for those "one note bass" and certain genre, and some will prefer the aggressive, exciting presentation of the Grado, which works very well with rock and certain genre, but ultimately that is a kind of coloration if the Grado fans will forgive me.

 

Now, there are lots of comments over the forum of how these phones sound thin without a good seal, and I can certainly appreciate where are they coming from. The funny thing is, I feel the designer of K550 just cannot turn out a thicker sounding phone but at the same time have the spacious sound of the K550...You see, by virtue that the instrumental images of the K550 is spaciously protraited within the soundstage (for a closed phone standard), it would be difficult to ascribe a thick and dense imaging at the same time. One cannot have the cake and eat it too. Ultimately you have to know your own preference and decide whether that is the kind of trade-off you are willing to take.

 

The real draw back for me with the K550 is tonality. I would describe it as dark and lacking in tonal colours. It is dark not in the sense of lacking treble extension, but an overall blackish tone with everything it plays. I am trying to describe the subtlety of sound here and a little lost with words, but those who have heard it may understand what I am saying. Somehow, AKG do not seem to have an history of not getting the tonality right. The K701 has been decribed as "plasticky" in its tonality. The K550 do not suffer from this, but neither does it excel. My brief encounter with K271/2 suggest that those phones may have better tonality than K550. That said, the drawbacks of the K550 in this regard is one of omission rather than commission, it certainly do better than the K701 in my books.

 

Another minor issue is the K550 has a slight tendency towards sounding clinical. Sometimes it does not have the bite and excitment when called for. I would not make this too big but they are not for rockers. They need a little time to run-in and everything just get better overtime.


Edited by Greeni - 12/30/12 at 10:14pm
post #250 of 320

Surburbanite,

 

In case you haven't made up your mind yet, I happened to buy both the K550 and the A900X from BB Magnolia back in October. I ended up keeping the K550 because I liked the sound more, but its worlds ahead of the A900X in terms of comfort, style and build quality. The K550 really has a sound signature of its own. The A900X is a better version of the Pro700MKII with a little better sound stage and resolution.


Edited by Tony6225 - 12/30/12 at 10:22pm
post #251 of 320

Are there any velour pads that will fit K550 ?

post #252 of 320

I mostely like Rap, Soul and R&B.

I have a Sudiospares M1000, another FA-003 equivalent, and I really like the sound.

But lately I feel like something is missing, nevertheless, I was not really convinced the K550 could represent an upgrade, until you guys intervened.

I need to find a local store in which I can try these.

Again, thank you people.

post #253 of 320
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greeni View Post

Are there any velour pads that will fit K550?

I was wondering the same. K701 pads possibly?

post #254 of 320
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pondu View Post

I mostely like Rap, Soul and R&B.

I have a Sudiospares M1000, another FA-003 equivalent, and I really like the sound.

But lately I feel like something is missing, nevertheless, I was not really convinced the K550 could represent an upgrade, until you guys intervened.

I need to find a local store in which I can try these.

Again, thank you people.

 

Yeap, do get a listen to the K550 first before purchase.

 

Everyone hear things differently. the K550 is an upgrade over the M1000 / FA003 *technically* but the sound signature is so different, that you won't know whether you like until you actually heard it.

 

For the kind of music you listed, I would like phones that are more gusty and skilled at conveying the rhythmic, toe-tapping quality of music...these are not exactly the strong suits of the K550. Actually if you want an AKG, I have not auditioned but some mentioned the K167/267 may be better for that kind of music. It doesn't mean the K550 is more expensive that it is necessarily better with your genre.

 

For a closed phone around the same price, the Beyerdynamic DT770 Limited Edition (32 ohm) has a sound signature closer to your M1000 / FA003, and a definite upgrade I feel. It does not have the spacious sound of the K550 but for the kind of music you listed, I would not rule this one out.


Edited by Greeni - 1/1/13 at 6:05am
post #255 of 320

Got these in as a loan and I have to say that I was very, very impressed by this headphone, at least out of my simple ODAC/O2 rig (haven't tried it on anything else nor will I ever need to).

 

The comfort level, which I'm incredibly anal with, was actually very good. The pads were incredibly soft and non-irritating, and the clamping wasn't much either. I did have perhaps a slight problem with the headband digging into top of my shaved head a bit (the headband is one of those flatter types, and my head is oval shaped so it digs in a bit. The padding is not thick enough IMO), but the headphone itself is light enough that I'm not overly bothered by it with usual 1/2 hour listening sessions. I'm sure it's something I could improve by bending the headband, but that would also consequently change the clamp, and the headphone itself wasn't even mine, so...

 

The sound I'm hearing through the ODAC/O2 rig is a very well balanced yet fun to my ears. Not sure if I will have too many people agreeing with me here, but they actually remind me slightly of the HD25-1 II sound.  Almost like a more open and drier, clearer version of those.  These have bit of that "etch" in treble like the 25's, which will indeed I'm sure will bother some people but is something that I'm very well used to from owning the HD25's and not something I'm all that bothered by anymore.  The bass and midrange felt similar as well, though K550 wasn't as boomy. The bass was plentiful on the K550 and in no ways lacking, which I guess means that I got a decent enough seal on them.  The midrange was rendered very well, perhaps slightly honky in the upper mids but nothing I was too bothered by. Soundstage was very surprisingly open for a closed headphone as well. 

 

Overall I am very impressed and I think I actually like this more than the Denons (used to own the D2000, 7000), DT770, AT M50, AT W1000X and the Shure SRH840's that I used to have. I may actually like it enough to buy one myself very soon.


Edited by K_19 - 1/8/13 at 12:57pm
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