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The AKG K550 Appreciation/Discussion Thread! - Page 20

post #286 of 1758

Awesome post, thanks for this!  Of course, you're making my decision harder, so maybe not thanks.  But yeah, thanks. smile.gif

 

Quote:
First up is the K27X's roll-off in both directions. Bass extension is poor. The highs are pretty good, but the very top frequencies are noticeably missing in some tracks. Crashing cymbals and pizzicato on violins seem a bit dull. On the bright side, totally not fatiguing. No sibilance whatsoever. On the other hand, the K550s have more treble detail and sparkle. I do remember a little bit of treble spikiness in the K550 which might be irritating to sensitive ears (it was okay for me). I've never used the K550 with a tube amp so I don't know how they will sound with  your setup. I also want to mention the wonky upper mids - which sounded a bit too forward for my tastes and according to some has a "plasticky" timbre. I wish I could A/B these, but I hear no issues with the K272's mids. They sound natural, smooth, and detailed. Female vocals sound pretty good out of them.
 
You've already noted that the K550 has more bass, but even so it's pretty close to neutral. I just want to reiterate that the K27X really lacks punch- even more so than notoriously bass-light K701. If you plan on listening to any bass-heavy music then you probably want to go with the K550s.

 

I'm never sure what to think about bass in headphones.  Part of my problem is that I've never listened through some of the music I like best on any of your classic "bass-head" phones (DT770 or what have you), or the classic "bass-light" phones either (K701, HD600, etc.).  I do listen to a fair bit of rock/alternative, and video game soundtracks/electronic music that has some bass.  But I'm not exactly obsessed with bass, either; my home speaker setup is two PSB Alpha bookshelf speakers with no subwoofer, and I'm Just Okay with the bass level that produces.  As another point of reference, I'm coming from the Senn HD280, which has a bass response curve pretty similar to the K550, and dramatically stronger under 70 Hz than the K271 (if you believe HeadRoom's graphs).  I have *no* complaints whatsoever with the bass output on the HD280, but response under 70 Hz or so does seem to be the strongest point in favor of the K550, no?

 

Quote:

In sum, I probably made the K272 seem worse than it really is, but please note that I am exaggerating most of these "differences" for the sake of comparisons. I picked up my pair of K272HD's for ~$100. Is it worth 3x the price to get the K550? Not necessarily.

 

That's the tough call here.  Hell, the K550 is going back *up* in price, it's now selling flat at retail $299.99 everywhere from Amazon to HeadRoom to the AKG website.  But as a longer-term investment, and as a genuine step up from my HD280s, I'm leaning more toward saving the coin for the K550s.

 

Quote:
And oh are those PL notation I see in your avatar? I happen to be taking a symbolic logic course atm and couldn't help but notice. biggrin.gif

 

Yup!  After five and a half years of grad school, I'm finally getting close to my philosophy Ph.D.  These are the push-to-the-finish headphones for my office. smily_headphones1.gif

post #287 of 1758

Can anyone point me to a nice comparison of the dt770 to the k550? I've scrounged around a bit and haven't found a good one.

post #288 of 1758
Quote:
Originally Posted by PanamaHat View Post

Can anyone point me to a nice comparison of the dt770 to the k550? I've scrounged around a bit and haven't found a good one.


Uh, simply Googleing "DT770 vs K550" pulled up quite a bit of links to various threads covering this in great detail....wink_face.gif

 

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/622998/dt770-vs-k550

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/625063/m50-vs-dt770-vs-k550-how-does-the-sound-signature-compare

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/646738/beyerdynamic-dt770-pro-250-ohms-vs-akg-k550

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/607986/akg-k550-vs-denon-d2000-vs-beyer-dt770-pro-80-250-which-one

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/645704/beyerdynamic-dt770-80-ohm-vs-akg-k550s

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/640415/akg-k550-or-beyerdynamic-dt-990-770

post #289 of 1758

I did a comparison review for K550 and A900X.  Please note that being a comparison review, a lot of things are relative (for example K550 sounds thin compared to A900X, but may not sound thin compared to headphones that are even more neutral/analytical).

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/650499/comparison-review-ath-a9x-ath-a900x-akg-k550-three-way-shootout

 

My personal opinion of the K550:

 

Pros:

  • It is fairly neutral, very clean, and very smooth.
  • It has a slightly warm tilt, which helps it stay "musical" without sounding colored.
  • Presentation is very relaxed, which makes for easy and prolonged listening.
  • It is neither treble heavy nor bass heavy. People who thinks so may need to re-examine their assessment. Frequency response graphs (and there are many) clearly shows a significant treble roll-ff. Bass response is also very linear, and only slightly boosted (with dimples at 100Hz and 200Hz, which makes it most definitely NOT bass heavy)
  • Bass extension is excellent, and the boost to the sub-bass region makes this very clearly audible.
  • Sound stage is quite wide, and has an airy, enveloping quality.

 

Cons:

  • Treble roll-off occurs a bit early in the frequency range and makes treble a bit too soft. Natural textures of orchestral instruments has trouble coming through, for example (the details are there, but you have to listen for them).
  • There's a sharp peak at 7K-10K, which is typical of most dynamic headphones. However, the effect of this peak is exaggerated on the K550 because of the fairly neutral, thin, and relaxed presentation; this makes sounds in this frequency range overly bright. Good examples are metallic drums and car engines, which has the tendency to sound too pronounced and "hollow" (since it isn't being backed up by thicker mids and sparklier upper-treble)
  • Mids are on the thin side and don't sound as "musical" as more full-bodied headphones. This is not my opinion alone - many reviews (professional and otherwise) confirm this. The K550 has an overall thin presentation. Personally, it's still warm enough for music to be engaging for me, but not everyone will agree (it is too thin for my wife's liking, for example).
  • Bass, while sufficient for slower or classical genres, does not have enough volume or presence for bass-heavy genres like trance or techno. It is also insufficient for movies and game usage, where it fails to give weight to gunfire and engine sounds.
  • Sound positioning is not quite as good as the A900X. Sounds are just less focused on the K550. I am not saying sound positioning is bad, but the difference is most definitely there - this is especially apparent in action movie tests.

 

Overall I still really like the K550 and I think it's excellent for the type of usage I need. The neutral presentation makes me comfortable doing video-editing work on them, and its relaxed nature makes long listening sessions comfortable (I don't listen to bass-heavy genres much).

 

But for the average listener I frankly wouldn't recommend it - it's simply not an all-arounder kind of headphone.

post #290 of 1758
Quote:
Originally Posted by McNuggetsPie View Post

I would get these right now if they had a removable cable.

I sent mine here:

 

http://btg-audio.com/ to have one  of these put on 

 

http://www.btg-audio.com/apps/photos/photo?photoid=162763837

 

and had one of these cables made:

 

http://btg-audio.com/webstore.htm#!/~/product/category=2609075&id=13971845

 

Brian did a really nice job, just sent in my Sony MDRs for the same mod

post #291 of 1758

Hi everyone,

 

I just received my AKG K550 and i´m really impressed with its looks. Great design and fine materials. Still trying the best fit adjustement.

As for their performance, i agree with the most of the opinions here stated; but i think they really benefit from the usage of an external amplifier. I tried them first with my ipod and, even though the sound was somewhat satisfatory, with the Fiio E11 attached they assumed a completely new dimension and everything made sense. 

They we´re sold on Amazon.co.uk for 129.99£ (150€), which i think it´s a bargain for these cans.

 

Best regards for all,

 

lofoscopico, from Portugal 

post #292 of 1758

So... the refurb K550 I ordered is completely different from the original K550 that I bought last spring (when they first came out).

 

AKG must love playing the switcheroo game with its customers. Different earpads, seems more plush but at the same time harder to get a seal than I remember. Headband is more flexible and thus there's less clamping on the ears (causing more difficulty getting a seal).

 

Sound seems similar but oh man... suddenly I hear the wonky upper mids EVERYONE has been telling me about. I rarely noticed this with my original pair.

 

Ugh. AKG, you disappoint.

post #293 of 1758
Quote:
Originally Posted by viralcow View Post

So... the refurb K550 I ordered is completely different from the original K550 that I bought last spring (when they first came out).

 

AKG must love playing the switcheroo game with its customers. Different earpads, seems more plush but at the same time harder to get a seal than I remember. Headband is more flexible and thus there's less clamping on the ears (causing more difficulty getting a seal).

 

Sound seems similar but oh man... suddenly I hear the wonky upper mids EVERYONE has been telling me about. I rarely noticed this with my original pair.

 

Ugh. AKG, you disappoint.

I though the issue with the upper-mids/lower-treble is with the original; they supposedly tweaked it in newer revisions. If you didn't notice it on the ones you bought last spring, I am not sure what you are noticing now.

 

The one I bought should be of the new revision; it's not piercing or sibilant but it is definitely still bright in that area. My ATH-A900X sounds more neutral overall (funny thing to say considering K550 is supposed to be very neutral - but look at frequency graph comparison)

700

Frequency Response Graphs of ATH-A900X (Left) vs AKG K550 (Right)

 

 

post #294 of 1758

As this is my 550th post, I thought it was only fitting to post something here.

 

Uh...The K550's are really great! I bounce back and fourth between them and the HD650 and they continue to impress.

post #295 of 1758
Quote:
Originally Posted by dxanex View Post

As this is my 550th post, I thought it was only fitting to post something here.

 

Uh...The K550's are really great! I bounce back and fourth between them and the HD650 and they continue to impress.

 

LOL. Grats.

post #296 of 1758

Hello gents, I've been eyeing the K550 for a couple of months now. I'm currently rocking a pair of modded Sennheiser HD558s plugged into a fresh Fiio E10 and I'd like a bit of an upgrade. I've heard a pair of LCD-2 recently but I'm not quite ready to sell kidneys for a pair of headphones (yet.. right, head-fi? ;) )

 

I'd like a bit of an upgrade, then, and a cleaner, leaner and faster sound than what Sennheiser has to offer, and the K550 is just within my budget, not to mention that I'd be able to take my time and audition them before buying. Before doing that, I'd just like to know what's the deal with the seal and wearing glasses? Do they lose all bass, change significantly or is it just overblown talk? Surely we have someone who happily uses them with glasses.. right? Other that that, how's the sound PRaT-wise? I'm mainly into rock and metal, so that's paramount. The Sennheisers are kinda meh in that regard, but I've learned to live with that since they have exquisite layering and soundstage. Also, is the sound kinda thin or just shouty and unplesant? I can dig thin, since I had the HD25s and loved them and I find "musical" sounding headphones sound just blurry and boring to me.

 

Any concise answer would be greatly appreciated, since I'm really itching to go try these out and maybe drop the coin needed to join the Owners' Club.

post #297 of 1758

Since a few folks seem to be interested in these, yet a bit on the fence -

 

Someone commented earlier that the bass on these was similar to the Senn HD280 Pros. I'm not sure I agree a ton. I used Deadmau5: “Ghosts 'n' Stuff" and some organ music to A/B the 280s vs the K550s and found the bass more substantial on the 280s. That was the decision point actually. I like very healthy bass and so they've got to go to help afford the next headphone adventure.

 

PM me if anyone is interested. I've listed them on Amazon at $250 but would discount the price for forum "family" of course.

post #298 of 1758

So I've had these since the 8 and i'm very impressed with them. For me they blow my M50's out of the water in terms of detail.

 

However, If you like bass I would look elsewhere. Songs that have a excellent sound stage really shine with these.

 

For me, I prefer the bit recessed highs. 

 

Just my opinion on these :)

post #299 of 1758
Quote:
Originally Posted by idratherbeflyin View Post

Since a few folks seem to be interested in these, yet a bit on the fence -

 

Someone commented earlier that the bass on these was similar to the Senn HD280 Pros. I'm not sure I agree a ton. I used Deadmau5: “Ghosts 'n' Stuff" and some organ music to A/B the 280s vs the K550s and found the bass more substantial on the 280s. That was the decision point actually. I like very healthy bass and so they've got to go to help afford the next headphone adventure.

 

PM me if anyone is interested. I've listed them on Amazon at $250 but would discount the price for forum "family" of course.

I've listened to the HD280 at my college studio, they have tons of them.

 

The bass is definitely not similar. K550 is less "boomy" but has much better extension.

 

K550's bass is one of its strongest points.

post #300 of 1758

Its been said a few times on here but improving the seal really does improve the bass. I have been slowly bending the headband tighter and tighter so that now the headphones clamp comfortably and then I go and listen to something like the tron legacy soundtrack remixed and laugh at the idea of them being bass light. They are definitely not bass heavy either but as Baghera points out the Bass extension is brilliant and really detailed, you can actually here all the different things that bottom end is doing instead of it just being a loud indecipherable mess. 

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