Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › The AKG K550 Appreciation/Discussion Thread!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

The AKG K550 Appreciation/Discussion Thread! - Page 91

post #1351 of 1836
So. My K 551 is out of my hands and in the hands of the owner of a nearby hi-fi store. He's replacing the cable with a 1/8" stereo jack. Just $25 for the labor. I provided the jack, less than $5 for two (I got a second just in case) at You-Do-It.

Will post a photograph once the work is finished and I have it back.
post #1352 of 1836
Quote:
Originally Posted by lawrecedent View Post

They have finally arrived and I'm enjoying spending some time with them and they're the black model (not bronze) which I'm pleased about. I can see why people might feel them a little wanting in the bass department but expected this when people described them as flat and uncoloured. The only problem is it's my birthday so managed to pick up a pair of Grado sr325is today too which means I can't really do either justice.

Run them through an amp with high bass settings for a good 24+ hours. After doing that mine literally sound much better on the bass side of things, when compared to my HD 600's as the standard before and after burn in (to reduce any placebo effects). 

post #1353 of 1836
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jt93 View Post
 

Run them through an amp with high bass settings for a good 24+ hours. After doing that mine literally sound much better on the bass side of things, when compared to my HD 600's as the standard before and after burn in (to reduce any placebo effects). 

K550 vs HD600.. thoughts?

post #1354 of 1836
Depends on ur budget, you can get K550 below $200. You will need an amp for the HD600 to get the best out of it.
post #1355 of 1836
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post


I don't think it's the seal that changes. I think it's related to how the drivers are aimed at one's ears, which can affect frequency response.

My guess is you might also get used to the comfort if you wear them some.

 

I've left it a few more days before coming back to offer an update, and I can say the comfort has improved. I tested both the comfort and the sound by sitting through Das Boot the entire way through without taking the headphones off. It has some of the most immersive and delicate sound imaginable, and is 3 hours 35 minutes long. Although I don't have an amplifier, DAC or external sound card and was only able to plug the 'phones directly into the headphone out on my TV, it was an exciting experience. I always knew they were on my head—probably because of the weight and because I was consciously testing them—but they didn't hurt or develop sensitive spots around my ears or head. The headband definitely could use some extra padding, but I've adjusted the height settings and now there is a little less pressure exerted on my head. I did what you suggested and moved the headband slightly forward. The comfort was about the same, but the sound did improve ever so slightly—or more accurately, it helped preserve the seal and improved dimension, immersion and overall impact. Thanks for that one.

 


I think I'll be keeping these. I'm happy with them. They definitely won't be my only headphones, and I'll be investing in a beginner amp/DAC combo to help boost the performance slightly; I'd like a little extra depth in the sound stage and I've read a good amp can help achieve this. I think my next headphones will be something lighter; maybe an on-ear pair like the HD25 Aluminiums, or maybe the Philips L2s or HP50's, I'm not sure. Either way I'm happy and pleased with the purchase. The price was right, the quality is right, the comfort is mostly right, and the sound is mostly right—it might be perfect with an amp and converter or if the fit was more tight around my particular head, which seems to be average to below-average.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaja View Post
 

Just got a k550 and its quite gorgeous.  I have to play with it a bit each time to get a good seal but once that is accomplished it is very competent.  I'm going to compare it directly to the q701 that I love.  So far after about 30 min of comparing I have come to these quick conclusions.  Keep in mind I bought a used pair so it should have ample time on them.  I don't have any dedicated headphone amps but use my headphones with a m-audio profire 610 interface(quite a high quality interface despite the m-audio name).

 

K550 compared to q701

 

Overall:  It is a tad cold and analytical, however I like that sound signature.  Appropriate for producing/mixing which I do. 

 

Bass: 

Quiet a bit more sub bass emphasis than q701 but seems a tad looser.  Bass seems to occupy more 3d space on the k550 as well.  Easily enough bass for me(same can be said with the q701).  Not much of a bass head myself(on occasion a fun warm bassy headphone is nice though with certain music).  Impact is quite similar between the two (neither have strong impact). 

 

Mids

The mids on the k550 sound a little thinner and cloudier.  There seems to be a very very slight 800-1k emphasis over q701 which gives is a slight cup emphasis reminiscent of some closed headphones, although its very slight.  It might also have to do with the soundstage being a bit more brick walled on the k550.  Upper midrange detail is a little behind q701 I feel.  Not bad at all though and they are a bit similar.  I still enjoy the midrange just fine on them but more so on q701.   

 

Treble

This one surprised me a bit.  I was expecting the k550 to be harsh here judging by what some people were saying.  The treble presentation is quite a bit less aggressive than the q701 and less sibilance comes through.  Overall it sounds a little darker and also rolls of a bit earlier.  It is reasonably detailed.  Maybe an amp for the q701 might change things a little more?  I still like the q701's forward treble however but the k550 is less fatiguing.  Not to say that the k550 is dark as it really isn't.  Still a brighter headphone than my HD558's.

 

Soundstage and imaging

Pretty apparent differences here.  On k550 soundstage seems more egg shaped.  I feel there is actually more emphasis on stereo information on k550.  However this makes the center image a little less defined.  q701 center image is quite a bit better in the respect as well as other 3d information.  Also the stereo image hits more of a brick wall on the k550's outer edges where as the q701 seems more expansive.  K550 imaging is a little more cluttered overall.  Despite that it is still fantastic for a closed headphone.  

 

This is definitely a nice addition to my collection and I feel I will grow to love them.  I was hoping to get a closed version of a k/q series and this delivered to an extent.  It does not replace it but the sound is still about as enjoyable on some occasions. 

 

I noticed the 'cloudy' midrange, too; I thought it was muddy and hazy. It's certainly nothing to complain about as this price point, but it's worth noting if you're a midrange freak and are extremely picky. I'm not.

 

 

 

post #1356 of 1836
Quote:
Originally Posted by AngryGoldfish View Post

I did what you suggested and moved the headband slightly forward. The comfort was about the same, but the sound did improve ever so slightly—or more accurately, it helped preserve the seal and improved dimension, immersion and overall impact. Thanks for that one.

I'm glad that helped. Someone in this thread had suggested it. When I first got them, I thought they sounded a little thin, and then shifting the headband farther forward than I wear anything else seemed to bring the mids to life enough that the overall balance was good. It was surprising.

And it's still surprising that AKG didn't do a little better job on the fit and placement with these. Did they even test them in their labs? LOL
post #1357 of 1836
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post


I'm glad that helped. Someone in this thread had suggested it. When I first got them, I thought they sounded a little thin, and then shifting the headband farther forward than I wear anything else seemed to bring the mids to life enough that the overall balance was good. It was surprising.

And it's still surprising that AKG didn't do a little better job on the fit and placement with these. Did they even test them in their labs? LOL

 

I feel the same way about the Fidelio X1. Surely they knew that the cable was making the sound murky? Or the Sennheiser Momentum, surely they knew they would be alienating a lot of customers with such small earcups? But then again, maybe the reason why they sell so well and sound so good is because of the small dimensions.

post #1358 of 1836
Got my K 551 back this afternoon. Very neat work by Darius at Q Audio:

AKG K551 cable replaced with jackAKG K551 with V-MODA audio only cable.

The jack is a Philmore 3.5mm isolated stereo jack, 3 conductor, chassis mount, part number 70-534. I chose it because the black plastic (probably nylon) barrel would match the cup, which it does.

Darius said it was okay if I sent similar business his way but he asked me to pass on the note that not all hard wired headphones can fit a jack like this.
post #1359 of 1836
Quote:
Originally Posted by ratinox View Post

Got my K 551 back this afternoon. Very neat work by Darius at Q Audio:

AKG K551 cable replaced with jackAKG K551 with V-MODA audio only cable.

The jack is a Philmore 3.5mm isolated stereo jack, 3 conductor, chassis mount, part number 70-534. I chose it because the black plastic (probably nylon) barrel would match the cup, which it does.

Darius said it was okay if I sent similar business his way but he asked me to pass on the note that not all hard wired headphones can fit a jack like this.

Very nice! What cable did he use? Have you noticed any sound differences?

post #1360 of 1836
Quote:
Originally Posted by AngryGoldfish View Post
 

 

I feel the same way about the Fidelio X1. Surely they knew that the cable was making the sound murky? Or the Sennheiser Momentum, surely they knew they would be alienating a lot of customers with such small earcups? But then again, maybe the reason why they sell so well and sound so good is because of the small dimensions.

 

The small earcups are what put me off getting the Momentums. Totally agree with you on that. 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ratinox View Post

Got my K 551 back this afternoon. Very neat work by Darius at Q Audio:

AKG K551 cable replaced with jackAKG K551 with V-MODA audio only cable.

The jack is a Philmore 3.5mm isolated stereo jack, 3 conductor, chassis mount, part number 70-534. I chose it because the black plastic (probably nylon) barrel would match the cup, which it does.

Darius said it was okay if I sent similar business his way but he asked me to pass on the note that not all hard wired headphones can fit a jack like this.

 

Dude they're soooooo nice! Like the post above asks, are there any audible differences? Very nice work done I don't see any trace of work done on it at all - it's like it was designed with the removable cable jack! 

post #1361 of 1836
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peccz View Post

Very nice! What cable did he use? Have you noticed any sound differences?
The cable is mine, a V-MODA audio only in black and grey.
No noticeable differences. Impedance is probably a teeny bit higher with the jack instead of the hardwired cable but it's small enough that I can't tell.

Quote:
Originally Posted by raidenwolff View Post

Dude they're soooooo nice! Like the post above asks, are there any audible differences? Very nice work done I don't see any trace of work done on it at all - it's like it was designed with the removable cable jack!

He did a nice job with it. The entry hole needed to be enlarged slightly to accommodate the jack, and of course the strain relief and interior retention plate were removed, but other than that there are no changes to the cup itself. There's also a dollop of hard glue inside on the locking nut to keep it from coming loose. You can't see it, of course, and it probably wouldn't be necessary with an externally threaded jack but that wouldn't look as nice.
Edited by ratinox - 4/2/14 at 7:29am
post #1362 of 1836

^ excellent work! Mini XLR would be sweet too!

post #1363 of 1836
Quote:
Originally Posted by dxanex View Post

^ excellent work! Mini XLR would be sweet too!

Mini-XLR doesn't make much sense for portable kit.
post #1364 of 1836
Quote:
Originally Posted by ratinox View Post


Mini-XLR doesn't make much sense for portable kit.


maybe not per se, but i'll definitely fit one to mine.

i made a nice 1m cable for my q701 for walking round the house, and i'd also like to use it with the k550 on the go.

 

besides, it would simply look awesome :cool: 

post #1365 of 1836

Hello head-fi, long time reader, first time poster.

 

I originally fell in love with the looks of the AKG K550, after reading every mixed review I could find on the K550 I figured it would suite what I wanted perfectly. Boy was I RIGHT!

 

Initial SQ impressions:

Plugged these into my laptop just to see what all the fuss was about, as I expected, no real bass presence, piercing highs, thin/hollow mids etc....

 

Fit: 

I lucked out as I have no problems with a good seal. The furthest outward points of my ears did press against the speaker mesh but was not a problem.

 

Burn in process: 

In preparation for my first set of decent headphones, I had already purchased the FiiO e07k, plugged the k550 into the FiiO just to see what the K550 could do, cranked the Bass up to +8db and BOOM! we have bass! My listening preferences lean more towards the dark side (I have yet to get my hands on the hd650 but want to) so I also turned the treble down to -4db and holly cow these babys are nice sounding. Burn in process commence, I couldn't put them down but when I had to, I left them playing as much as possible to rack up the time. I can confidently say that a minimum of 10 hours is required, these things turned into a completely new headphone after about 10 hours of burn in, FiiO settings were now at bass +4db and treble -2db and fell in love AGAIN!  Everything was engaging to listen to, electronic music never sounded so good!

 

Official impressions:

I have explained this to all my friends and co-workers (who are all impressed) the bass on these headphones extends low, however I was still having more fun blasting rock/metal on my $29 Panasonics and the only explanation was the upper Bass/lower mids was more pronounced on those, thus more engaging for a typical rock song. The AKG is clearly the better headphone but when it came to actually having fun I now knew why audiophiles own so many headphones. The K550 with a proper EQ is honestly the best... anything I have ever heard (aside from the spike in the treble, I have yet to try the felt mod).

 

Current Setup:

Wanting more from the ear pads, I decided to pull the trigger for the AUDEZE LCD-2 ear pads (the new soft ones). Got these in the mail and immediately installed. My ears now touched NOTHING and the thicker pads actually created more pressure thus sealing even better. Be warned, the sound does change with this setup, with the drivers now further from my ear and more air separating from my ears, the sound stage actually improved with this setup! However with the larger sounding soundstage, the mids sunk (sounded further away) and the bass faded a bid, the treble was still there so back to the drawing board (FiiO EQ). After playing much music and messing with the EQ on the FiiO I found a proper middle ground and can say that they sound even better than they did before. The lower mids are more engaging, the bass is not as in your face but actually sounds cleaner and still rattles the cans on my head.

 

AKG K550

AUDEZE LCD-2 pads (new soft ones)

FiiO e07k: Bass +6db, Treble -8db

 

This setup actually now makes rock music sound better and more enjoyable than the Panasonics and Electro still sounds amazing! I can honestly say I am not sure how it gets any better than this (for under $400).

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphones (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › The AKG K550 Appreciation/Discussion Thread!