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The AKG K550 Impressions and Discussion Thread! - Page 101

post #1501 of 2455

love these 550's.. over hd800's , over everything ive tested

post #1502 of 2455
In


So far I have found out that it likes a dac/amp. Playing flac files off my PC with the O2+ODAC, IMO, it is at its best. I do need a better seal. Not as tight as my super comfortable Sony mdr1rbtmk2s, or my Harman Kardon BTs. Did the bend thing but only going but so far with the bending.
post #1503 of 2455
Popping in here from the other threads just to say one or two things.

The AKG-K550 were the first cans I purchased after my SRH 840 broke (headband). I had stuffed the ear-pads, tweaked the headband and the seal is great. It took a while to get used to them, but I eventually succumbed to the SQ. Unlike the 840's (which are very musical) I was hearing more detail - good and bad.

They started me on a search for better quality music because they can be fairly revealing. In turn this started me looking for a better DAP than the iPod Classic to reveal more in the music. Once the source files and DAP were in place I started looking for better headphones. First I acquired the LCD-2 rev2 and thought that would be it for me. Nope. Now I needed a better amp. Enter the Fiio e12 and the Pan Am (superb with the LCD-2). Is this it? Am I done? Nope.

After receiving one of the first Fiio X5's (awesome player) I felt there was still more to hear so........ I purchased the LCD-XC. WOW. I thought this was endgame for sure. Easy to drive, clear, fast, punchy drivers. Soooo much detail, such natural bass, liquid mids. Bliss.

But no, my now out of control addiction had me curious about the new Oppo HA-1 class A amp, DAC, pre-amp. Again WOW! I've auditioned many amps, SS and tube, and the HA-1 is the real deal.

The funny thing is that today I dusted off my AKG-K550, put them on, and you know what? These are fantastic headphones after all. Not summit fi gear but for the price and incredible comfort they are very very good headphones. They sound great out of the X5/e12 combo. For the office or bedtime they easily fit the bill for me.

I'm back to the other threads, enjoy the 550's. tongue_smile.gif
post #1504 of 2455
Quote:
Originally Posted by x RELIC x View Post
They started me on a search for better quality music because they can be fairly revealing. In turn this started me looking for a better DAP than the iPod Classic to reveal more in the music. Once the source files and DAP were in place I started looking for better headphones. First I acquired the LCD-2 rev2 and thought that would be it for me.

Your experience mirrors mine. The 550 was my first real headphone. I had an Asus headset and decent Sony headphones years ago and that was about it. I was so hungry for more after the 550 I got my Grado SR325is for the technical metal that I love, but needed something liquid smooth for doom and stoner metal. The LCD-2 is the perfect headphone for that genre and now I feel completely happy. I really don't feel like I need anything else than what I have now. I have a vintage McIntosh MC2105 amp coming in a couple of months from my Dad and I think that will be the final, real, beautiful touch to my gear. It'll be beautiful.

 

Anyway, I agree with your evaluations of the headphones and gear. I'm almost tempted to get an LCD-XC for real amazing quality in the office, but I'm too damn broke for at least a year after all of this stuff.

post #1505 of 2455
Quote: (Click to show)
Quote:
Originally Posted by sludgeogre View Post

Your experience mirrors mine. The 550 was my first real headphone. I had an Asus headset and decent Sony headphones years ago and that was about it. I was so hungry for more after the 550 I got my Grado SR325is for the technical metal that I love, but needed something liquid smooth for doom and stoner metal. The LCD-2 is the perfect headphone for that genre and now I feel completely happy. I really don't feel like I need anything else than what I have now. I have a vintage McIntosh MC2105 amp coming in a couple of months from my Dad and I think that will be the final, real, beautiful touch to my gear. It'll be beautiful.

Anyway, I agree with your evaluations of the headphones and gear. I'm almost tempted to get an LCD-XC for real amazing quality in the office, but I'm too damn broke for at least a year after all of this stuff.

Whoo hoo! That's how you go vintage! The McIntosh MC2105 should be really nice. cool.gif

I like to call the K550 my 'Head-Fi gateway drug'. very_evil_smiley.gif
post #1506 of 2455
Quote:
Originally Posted by cehowardNote3 View Post

In


So far I have found out that it likes a dac/amp. Playing flac files off my PC with the O2+ODAC, IMO, it is at its best. I do need a better seal. Not as tight as my super comfortable Sony mdr1rbtmk2s, or my Harman Kardon BTs. Did the bend thing but only going but so far with the bending.

I just picked up the MDR-1R's for a more portable solution to the comfort and sound of my K550's. Although they lack the separation and soundstage, they are thicker, chewier and a little more boisterous and 'fun' to listen to, and of course they have a shorter (detachable) cable, don't fall off the head, and are more compact. I find the K550's a little too clinical and hard sounding on certain tracks and with certain amplifiers, but on my Cowon J3 they have a really pretty sound that is sweet and chirrupy, but also wide and spacious especially for a closed-back design. I might pick up a $300 tube amplifier/DAC to run with my computer in the future to impart a little more warmth to my main working and listening station.

 

The AKG's and Sony's are my first foray into high quality headphone audio. I have dabbled in IEM around the $300 mark before, but never invested in headphones. I'm quite pleased with what I have, but I'm still pining for a portable amp/DAC, a desktop amp/DAC, an open ear headphone like the Philips Fidelio X1, and an on-ear portable headphone like the Beyerdynamic T51p or the Senn DT25 Aluminium. For now, I'm happy.

post #1507 of 2455
Quote:
Originally Posted by AngryGoldfish View Post
 

I just picked up the MDR-1R's for a more portable solution to the comfort and sound of my K550's. Although they lack the separation and soundstage, they are thicker, chewier and a little more boisterous and 'fun' to listen to, and of course they have a shorter (detachable) cable, don't fall off the head, and are more compact. I find the K550's a little too clinical and hard sounding on certain tracks and with certain amplifiers, but on my Cowon J3 they have a really pretty sound that is sweet and chirrupy, but also wide and spacious especially for a closed-back design. I might pick up a $300 tube amplifier/DAC to run with my computer in the future to impart a little more warmth to my main working and listening station.

 

The AKG's and Sony's are my first foray into high quality headphone audio. I have dabbled in IEM around the $300 mark before, but never invested in headphones. I'm quite pleased with what I have, but I'm still pining for a portable amp/DAC, a desktop amp/DAC, an open ear headphone like the Philips Fidelio X1, and an on-ear portable headphone like the Beyerdynamic T51p or the Senn DT25 Aluminium. For now, I'm happy.


Try and keep in mind that so many recordings are crap, as in crap in, crap out......The K550 will make that known at once, and without color.

However, glad you are happy.

post #1508 of 2455
Quote:
Originally Posted by AngryGoldfish View Post
 

I just picked up the MDR-1R's for a more portable solution to the comfort and sound of my K550's. Although they lack the separation and soundstage, they are thicker, chewier and a little more boisterous and 'fun' to listen to, and of course they have a shorter (detachable) cable, don't fall off the head, and are more compact. I find the K550's a little too clinical and hard sounding on certain tracks and with certain amplifiers, but on my Cowon J3 they have a really pretty sound that is sweet and chirrupy, but also wide and spacious especially for a closed-back design. I might pick up a $300 tube amplifier/DAC to run with my computer in the future to impart a little more warmth to my main working and listening station.

 

The AKG's and Sony's are my first foray into high quality headphone audio. I have dabbled in IEM around the $300 mark before, but never invested in headphones. I'm quite pleased with what I have, but I'm still pining for a portable amp/DAC, a desktop amp/DAC, an open ear headphone like the Philips Fidelio X1, and an on-ear portable headphone like the Beyerdynamic T51p or the Senn DT25 Aluminium. For now, I'm happy.

 

yup try a tube amp. they respond well to amplification change and can sound very lush with something like alo pan am.

post #1509 of 2455
Quote:
Originally Posted by AngryGoldfish View Post
 

I just picked up the MDR-1R's for a more portable solution to the comfort and sound of my K550's. Although they lack the separation and soundstage, they are thicker, chewier and a little more boisterous and 'fun' to listen to, and of course they have a shorter (detachable) cable, don't fall off the head, and are more compact. I find the K550's a little too clinical and hard sounding on certain tracks and with certain amplifiers, but on my Cowon J3 they have a really pretty sound that is sweet and chirrupy, but also wide and spacious especially for a closed-back design. I might pick up a $300 tube amplifier/DAC to run with my computer in the future to impart a little more warmth to my main working and listening station.

 

The AKG's and Sony's are my first foray into high quality headphone audio. I have dabbled in IEM around the $300 mark before, but never invested in headphones. I'm quite pleased with what I have, but I'm still pining for a portable amp/DAC, a desktop amp/DAC, an open ear headphone like the Philips Fidelio X1, and an on-ear portable headphone like the Beyerdynamic T51p or the Senn DT25 Aluminium. For now, I'm happy.

You and I are in the same boat, the Sony MDR 1RBTMK2, AKG K550 and Harman Kardon BT, are my first quality headphones too, plus I am newbie. With that said, let me give you my take on the AKG K550.

 

First off, I have the MK2 version of the Sony 1R which is a upgrade to the 1R. The AKG K550 sounds good, and clear, and I am using flac files plus a amp/dac.. However, my Sony MDR 1RBTMK2 is in another class.. Everything is better with the Sony 1RMK2 including comfort.

Plus, I had the AKG K550 hooked up to the O2+ODAC amp/dac, and the Sony on bluetooth, still the Sony was better all around. Bass, separation, clarity, mids, highs.. The Sony cost twice as too. 

 

Anyway, I got my AKG K550s on a deal.. I paid $143 brand new. I will be returning them, since I already have two close back headphones, and going for a set of open back AKG K712.. The point is, the AKG K550s are great in their class and price point. I have the Harman Kardon which are BT and closed back..So, the AKG K550 would be overlapping for me. Going to explore new ground with the open back AKG K712 Pros..

post #1510 of 2455
Quote:
Originally Posted by cehowardNote3 View Post
 

You and I are in the same boat, the Sony MDR 1RBTMK2, AKG K550 and Harman Kardon BT, are my first quality headphones too, plus I am newbie. With that said, let me give you my take on the AKG K550.

 

First off, I have the MK2 version of the Sony 1R which is a upgrade to the 1R. The AKG K550 sounds good, and clear, and I am using flac files plus a amp/dac.. However, my Sony MDR 1RBTMK2 is in another class.. Everything is better with the Sony 1RMK2 including comfort.

Plus, I had the AKG K550 hooked up to the O2+ODAC amp/dac, and the Sony on bluetooth, still the Sony was better all around. Bass, separation, clarity, mids, highs.. The Sony cost twice as too. 

 

Anyway, I got my AKG K550s on a deal.. I paid $143 brand new. I will be returning them, since I already have two close back headphones, and going for a set of open back AKG K712.. The point is, the AKG K550s are great in their class and price point. I have the Harman Kardon which are BT and closed back..So, the AKG K550 would be overlapping for me. Going to explore new ground with the open back AKG K712 Pros..


Having expendable income is a wonderful thing.  If you are truly looking for open back headphones expand your choices if your cash flow will allow. Audition, Audition, Audition........Oh yes, and bring your own music preferences. Enjoy your day.

post #1511 of 2455

Since this is also labeled as an discussion thread, not only as an appreciation thread I thought it is a due time for some negative experiences with k550. First of all... These are propably the most overrated headphones  ever... These and AKG K701.

 

First of all, let's get one thing straight. I have nothing against AKG. I love K501....with little bass it had it is an excellent heapdhone.  Midrange presentation is one of the best I've heard and treble is so natural. If it had any bass and more precise imaging it would be one of the best dynamic headphones ever created.

 

Anyway... About K550... First of all, the headband? For a lot of people it is just huge. Many people have to bend it to get a proper fit. I'f i was to buy my first good expensive headphone I would not wan't to buy a heapdhone which needs adjusting. Physically bending the metal...on a 200$ headphone. Just to get a proper fit.Besides that it is built awesome, and for the current price it is a definate buy. Which is propably one of the reasons  people fall for this scam called  K550.

 

I love the bass, it is accurate,textured, and most of linear... But how hard it is to have a linear bass when you have very little bass? Yeah.... The easy way out. A lot of the bass amound people receive depends on the seal provided which depends on if you have a huge head or bend the headband. I got a good seal...hmmm...seal? English is not my native language so talking about seals reminds me of those cute animals living on arctic. Hmm...

 

Talking about arctic...it's cold... Cold like the midrange on K550. I hate exessive midrange boost, and I like K550 doesn't have it...but I don't know if it is lack of midbass or something else but mids on K550 sound shallow.

 

The highs are the worst part... In innerfidelity review it was said that the highs were "tizzy". The highs definately are that. Horribly undetailed tizzy highs... For a headphone that retailed for over 200$, one could expect more.

 

And one other thing... The soundstage. People say it is so awesome, big, and exceptional for a closed heapdhone. Well...Compared to higher end closed headphones AKG soundstage is tiny. Compared to significantly cheaper Takstar pro80 it has smaller soundstage.

 

I kind of like K550, I like it better than Beyerdynamic DT770. However that does not mean much.... I did not like DT770. I think Takstar Pro80 is better headphone, and it cost's hald as much as AKG does now that the price has been reduced. I would have liked K550 better if it was originally priced $100.  Headband for giants, lack of bass...and that horrible tizzy high end? All the makings of a great 300 dollar headphone? I think not..

 

For the current price, these make a decent buy. For 100usd or 80 euro it is a decent buy. I would not recommed paying more than that. Infact I would recommed Takstar Pro80 instead of this if you are looking for a affordable closed heapdhone.

 

This whole thread is filled mostly by comments "omg, I have heard things I have not heard before. Best headphones ever. Better than my PortaPro." These are a starter headphones, and for the money not the best one could get.

 

Sorry about being negative nancy...I'ts not that K550 is a bad headphone. It

s just that it as good 70usd headphone and nothing more.

post #1512 of 2455
Not negative. ...just your opinion, which you may express.
post #1513 of 2455

Yeah...no offense to anyone, but there is a reason why people with more experience with different headphones tend not like these in the long run.

post #1514 of 2455
Quote:
 I love the bass, it is accurate,textured, and most of linear... But how hard it is to have a linear bass when you have very little bass? Yeah.... The easy way out.

Comments like these always make me wonder if people are listening to the correct headphones!

 

Quote:
 I don't know if it is lack of midbass or something else but mids on K550 sound shallow.

Very slightly IMHO, but indeed the midrange is slightly on the recessed side rather than perfectly neutral or emphasized.

 

Quote:
 The highs are the worst part... In innerfidelity review it was said that the highs were "tizzy". The highs definately are that. Horribly undetailed tizzy highs...

Really?  They're that bad according to you?  Because that sounds pretty damn bad...  Are we talking about this review?  http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/wonderfully-competent-akg-k550-sealed-headphone

 

Sound Quality (Click to show)

Wow. Just great ... for a sealed headphone. Many in the headphone enthusiast world are going to bitch and moan: "But the Denon AH-DX000 sound so much better!" And they already have in this thread, but I don't think they're really getting it: these are sealed headphones! I agree that the Denon AH-D2000 is a slightly better sounding headphone with a more refined and properly articulate treble, but the Denons (D2000, D5000, and D7000) are far from sealed. I love recommending the D2000 to audio professionals because they are articulate and clear, but I always have to warn that they really don't seal very well...hardly at all, in fact. So the fall-back position for a really good sealed headphone seems to be the slightly biting Audio Technica AT-M50 or somewhat woolly Shure SRH840. Lately I've been turning to the Skullcandy Mix Master as a top-end sealed can, but it's not very refined. None of them really turn the trick.

 

The AKG K550, on the other hand, is a very well balanced sounding headphone, and, to my ears, bests the above mentioned cans in terms of overall performance. They're nice and tight in the bass, where I find the SRH840 woolly, and the Denons a bit loose. The midrange clarity is very good and quite even for a sealed can, presenting the upper mid-range/low treble beautifully and giving voices their full throat. The best of the bunch here.

 

The only place they stumble is in the treble's upper registers where they're a bit "zazzy" and indistinct. While the high notes aren't biting, they're also not well enough enunciated to bring out the natural textures of cymbals and brushes on the drums. If you're a mixing or mastering engineer that can live without good isolation, the more refined treble of the Denon D2000 is the way to go, though they tend to be a tad bright up top. The more expensive Denons are, well, quite a bit more expensive, but somewhat better sounding. (The diminishing returns curve is hard at work here.)

 

Some will want a comparison with the AKG K701--a bass shy, but otherwise excellent headphone. I think the K550 is a remarkably different beast, bringing far more heft to the low notes, a similarly good mid, and not quite as competent treble, but overall a significantly more balanced and enjoyable listen for me.

I guess it depends on what you compare them to.  "Horribly undetailed tizzy highs" seems a rather ludicrous exaggeration...

 

But yeah the Takstar pro80 looks interesting, is it related at all to Beyerdynamics or is it just a... copy?  (looks like they ripped off the 880 design for instance..)  The measurements look ...  Well.. Not too impressive:  http://diyah.boards.net/thread/527/somebody-own-takstar-headphones   The measurements they post are linked from another site, and you can compare the impressions of the two headphones there.   In short:

 

Takstar pro80 (left)   vs   AKG K550 (right)    The parenthesis is description of -5 in scale vs +5

Transparency   -0.5  vs 3     (veiled - clear)

Dynamics             1 vs 4     (compressed - natural)

Resolution      1 vs 4            (dull - vivid)

treble relative to midrange   -0.5  vs 2  (dark - light)

treble texture   -2  vs -0.5               (rough - soft)

bass relative to midrange    1   vs 0.5  (thin - boomy)

bass texture -1.5  vs  -2    (fluid - solid)

 

So I don't know...   Doesn't seem to fit with your descriptions as from that review at least seems to rather be a blowout...   What are you powering the AKGs with?

 

I think I remember reading on other forums that there were some large discrepancies with some of the early AKG550s... Luckily, my copy sounds fine, maybe you have a defective set?!  Maybe try to contact AKG because if they sound as bad as you make them out to sound, I'm pretty sure something is wrong with them!  :eek: 


Edited by GirgleMirt - 5/22/14 at 6:32pm
post #1515 of 2455
Quote:
Originally Posted by BeBop Lives View Post
 


Having expendable income is a wonderful thing.  If you are truly looking for open back headphones expand your choices if your cash flow will allow. Audition, Audition, Audition........Oh yes, and bring your own music preferences. Enjoy your day.

Expendable income??  I am 74, is that what I can call my social security check? :DAt 74, I am wise enough to know that these times don't come back.. ;)

I have been reading, reading, and reading.. I like what I hear about the K712. Also, as I have found out from my 3 month experience, I want some that at equal to or preferably better than my Sony MDR 1RBTMK2.. I just auditioned the K550s. IMO, They are great at their price point. 

So, I will be auditoning the K712s, I have read enought to order them without auditioning them.. I like the price point to, they are a score short of $400.. 

 

Thanks for that input... :beerchug:

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