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The AKG K550 Impressions and Discussion Thread! - Page 103

post #1531 of 2455

Ya I'm starting to suspect that they were damaged a bit in transport. The packaging seemed okay, but the right hinge on the earphone is also less "sticky" I guess. It moves more when I bump it, whereas rotating the left cup has some friction and seems to feel stronger. I plugged it into my phone and my sansa clip zip and it had the same issue. I'm probably going to try to get a replacement set :/

post #1532 of 2455
Also experiment with placement. Getting a good seal is important, and then some of us have found that positioning the headband further forward on the head than one might expect helps with the SQ. Finally, if one channel is playing significantly louder than the other, then you'll definitely have problems evaluating the soundstage.
post #1533 of 2455
Quote:
Originally Posted by GirgleMirt View Post
 

There's nothing wrong with critique, but it has to be reasonable...  And there lies the whole issue, when someone says things like "how hard it is to have a linear bass when you have very little bass?"?  It's just plain ridiculous IMHO because "very little bass" to describe the AKG 550 is nonsensical.  Put on a pair of Grado SR80s, and you'll see what "very little bass" sounds like, well no... You'll hear the bass 'hump', and a lack of deep bass... But that's the point.   Saying that the 550s have very little bass, is just plain wrong.

 

I agree, I have the open backed Audio Technica ATH-AD700 and to me, they sound very bass light compared to the K550s. I believe that my AD700s could sound similar to the SR80s as they are both quite bright in the treble and both a bit lacking in bass. I think that to have a soundstage as good as the K550s have for a closed back headphone, the bass can't be much more powerful than it is without messing up the sound on them. I often boost the bass a little bit but they don't need much more. I mainly use EQ with then when I am on the go.

post #1534 of 2455

I am a big AKG fan.. Especially their opens. I was ver excited when I ordered my 550.. But I really couldn't like it what ever I tried... It sounds fine with my iBasso DX90 but there is an obvious bell around 8k.  I am fine with the bass, it is written ''reference'' on it.. So don't wait a booming bass. It has a clean, crispy sound an extremely comfortable but really the bell around 8k is making it unbearable... Maybe there is something wrong with mine.. 

post #1535 of 2455
Quote:
Originally Posted by DDJr View Post
 

I am a big AKG fan.. Especially their opens. I was ver excited when I ordered my 550.. But I really couldn't like it what ever I tried... It sounds fine with my iBasso DX90 but there is an obvious bell around 8k.  I am fine with the bass, it is written ''reference'' on it.. So don't wait a booming bass. It has a clean, crispy sound an extremely comfortable but really the bell around 8k is making it unbearable... Maybe there is something wrong with mine.. 

 I would tell you to try another unit. I have a K550 from long time ago and never experienced such ringing. I mainly listen classic music, progressive rock, some vocals, and some classic rock. 

 

For amping the K550 i use almost everything, from a Sansa Clip, X3, Topping TP D1, Matrix M-Stage..


Edited by drivers66 - 5/24/14 at 8:42am
post #1536 of 2455
Quote:
Originally Posted by helpmebuystuffp View Post
 

also I don't hear the soundstage everyone raves about. :'( I really want to like these headphones but so far my impression is not good. maybe I got duds? :/ I'll let em burn in for a few days and see if there's any improvement


imho the sound stage is average sized.

 

but they image extremely well. also depth is very good.

post #1537 of 2455

Hi

 

Has someone listened to both k550 and the HE-500? I can't find a real good comparison really, if someone could give me a quick comparison via PM it would be awesome!

post #1538 of 2455

I got an handfull or opposite reactions after posting my negative impressions. Thanks for that! I've never liked the idea of apperiaction threads.  No negative feedback allowed. This one is also labeled as a discussion thread so I gave an opinion that is quite a opposite for most people around here.

 

Anyway... I pretty much have only one problem. These would have been a good 100usd heapdhone. Excellent build. Clear midrange, nice bass. But I judge these as these were originally priced, and for that price these are not that good.

 

For a 100usd headphone, sure, nice one.

 

But lets try this... I name couple headphones for half the price of original retail price of k550. Now tell me, why k500 is better?

 

Dt770 (I like akg better, but it is half the price of original msrp)

Focal Professional

Ultimate Ears UE9000

 

And if you happen to be an american (USA) I urge you to try out Martin Logan Mikros 90. Those have been sold as low as 59usd and those kick akg ass in every aspect imaginable, and are also portable... It's not that I think K550 is a bad headphone, its nice...but pretty much anything is better than it.

post #1539 of 2455
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beocord View Post
 

These would have been a good 100usd heapdhone.

 

    100 is too much, 50 id say!

post #1540 of 2455
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beocord View Post

But lets try this... I name couple headphones for half the price of original retail price of k550. Now tell me, why k500 is better?

Dt770 (I like akg better, but it is half the price of original msrp)
Focal Professional
Ultimate Ears UE9000

I'm not sure I understand your point, at least relative to US MSRP for those headphones. The DT770 are $300 MSRP, K550 $350 MSRP, Focals $399 MSRP, and UE9000 are $399 MSRP as well. It would seem that these are all pretty similar in MSRP.
post #1541 of 2455

Ah... There are big differences between eu and us prices. Akg had been close to 300 euros(now about 120e), dt770 has been for 150 for years, and focals seem so sell between 160-250 euros.  Not sure about how ue9000's were originally priced, but those are cheaper than akg's with both having lowered prices...

 

I have not heard the ue9000 nor the focals... But I prefer AKG's to dt770 but I Did prefer 30 euro digitech pro monitors (HM5) to the beyerdynamics. Not sure which I'd prefer HM5 or AKG, but even having to think that tells something that AKG is overpriced. Well...overpriced is a strong word. It is just a headphone matched with its price tag. Standard if you will. For 100 euros if it's worse than K550 it's not a good headphone etc...

 

K550 is a nice headphone but...well cel4145, name some headphones for similar price that akg beats? In my books it does beat dt 770 but it's a 20 year old design...if new akg closed flagship could not beat it i'd be pretty damn worried.

post #1542 of 2455
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beocord View Post

K550 is a nice headphone but...well cel4145, name some headphones for similar price that akg beats? In my books it does beat dt 770 but it's a 20 year old design...if new akg closed flagship could not beat it i'd be pretty damn worried.

I prefer the sonic signature of the K550 based on my personal listening tastes, but I don't think either of these two headphones "beats" the other overall. They are similar in class, IMO. But each would obviously have different appeal to different people depending on what kind of sound one was looking for. Headphones are often apples to oranges comparisons, not apples to apples, and personal preference for one type of fruit/headphone sound is such a big factor.
post #1543 of 2455
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beocord View Post
 

I got an handfull or opposite reactions after posting my negative impressions. Thanks for that! I've never liked the idea of apperiaction threads.  No negative feedback allowed. This one is also labeled as a discussion thread so I gave an opinion that is quite a opposite for most people around here.

 

Anyway... I pretty much have only one problem. These would have been a good 100usd heapdhone. Excellent build. Clear midrange, nice bass. But I judge these as these were originally priced, and for that price these are not that good.

 

For a 100usd headphone, sure, nice one.

 

But lets try this... I name couple headphones for half the price of original retail price of k550. Now tell me, why k500 is better?

 

Dt770 (I like akg better, but it is half the price of original msrp)

Focal Professional

Ultimate Ears UE9000

 

And if you happen to be an american (USA) I urge you to try out Martin Logan Mikros 90. Those have been sold as low as 59usd and those kick akg ass in every aspect imaginable, and are also portable... It's not that I think K550 is a bad headphone, its nice...but pretty much anything is better than it.

 

I don't know what makes a headphone worth the price to you. but let me list 2-3 aspects of k550 that make it technically very impressive:

 

completely grain free sound. even out of my grainy hud mini and on grainy old recordings (led zeppelin and such)

totally black backgrounds

very precise imaging. can't believe i payed only $200 for a headphone that images so well. beats most mid fi offerings in this including most prestigious ones.

 

all these things individually are small things but when added together make for a very technically advanced headphone and thus make them good value for me. notice how I did'nt talk about mids, bass or highs.

 

my $100 sennheiser hd518 gives me thicker bass. a lot of $10 earbuds have more more forward mid range etc. frequency response preference is subjective and you may or may not like it. if these aspects you don't prefer then thats you personal preference. I personally really like 550s frequency balance.

post #1544 of 2455
When I got my K551 I tried a selection of other closed headphones in the general price range (MSRP, not discounted).

V-MODA Crossfade M-100. One of the best headphones in this price range. It's actually a remarkably good closed headphone but it's not for everyone. Fit is similar to Sennheiser Momentum (read: small) and it does have prominent bass. Despite the prominence of the bass it's still a clean, clear, detailed headphone and IMO closest to K55x in build quality. Does K55x beat M-100? Yes for fit and comfort, maybe for sound depending on what you want.

NAD Viso HP50. This is another small headphone for what's ostensibly an over-ear model and if you can't get a good seal then it sounds like junk. If you can get a good seal then the sound is comparable to K55x albeit a bit more V-shaped. There's also a lot of flimsy-seeming plastic. Despite the leather it really doesn't feel like a $300 headphone when I hold it. Does K55x beat HP50? Yes for build quality, maybe for fit and comfort, maybe not for sound quality but that may depend on your music.

Several Beyerdynamic models including T 70p (which is a $600 headphone). All of the big Beyers share a design flaw: the ear cups have only one axis of rotation with almost no flex in the sliders. This makes it impossible for me to get any kind of seal out of them on my noggin without holding the cups to my head. Even then I found the bass response to be weak although I'm told that a beefy amp with bass boost helps with that -- but "beefy amp" is not portable. Does K55x beat Beyerdynamic? Yes.


Mikros 90 doesn't qualify for comparison. It's an on-ear design so it's not worth my consideration.

Likewise Focal Spirit Pro. Yes, it's marketed as an over-ear headphone but it's another super-small design like Momentum, Skullcandy Aviator, etc., and it fits (I'm told) like a big on-ear for most folks.

UE9000 is a Bluetooth headphone. Yes, it has a wired mode but there's still weight from the BT tranceiver, decoder, and battery. Do. Not. Want.
post #1545 of 2455
Quote:
Originally Posted by vaibhavp View Post

my $100 sennheiser hd518 gives me thicker bass. a lot of $10 earbuds have more more forward mid range etc. frequency response preference is subjective and you may or may not like it. if these aspects you don't prefer then thats you personal preference. I personally really like 550s frequency balance.

Same here. The only thing that I think I like better (it varies) is Koss ProDJ100 w/ ATH-M50 ear pads. Which is a bit funny because the ProDJ can be had for about fifty bucks and the pads for $15-$20. The ProDJ100 cable is a pain, IMO, so I have a ProDJ200 arriving later this week. Same headphone with a detachable cable jack. Note: the Koss TBSE1 is the ProDJ200 with different accessories and the signature engraving on the shells.
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