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Disappointed with the AKG K550 – Where is the bass?

post #1 of 45
Thread Starter 

I read a few reviews that described the K550 as having ‘powerful bass’. This is most definitely a lie. I expected so much from these headphones (I've had them for 2 days now) but they haven’t moved me in any way. There is no bass whatsoever. They sound extremely thin. Do you think this has anything to do with burn-in? Will playing music non-stop for a week or so make a difference?

 

I’m seriously debating whether I should return them or not. I love the way they look, the build quality is impeccable (very sturdy and tough). The ear pads are EXTREMELY SOFT and plump so that’s another plus. But the sound is so underwhelming.

 

Does anyone here have these headphones? What amp do you recommend for a significant bass boost? I was thinking of getting the fiio e17 but I’m not sure.

 

By the way, I use headphones for films, music and games. I listen to all kinds of music although I mostly listen to jazz.

post #2 of 45
Burn-in will not result in massive differences - if you don't like them now, I'm guessing that long-term this will not change. You will, of course, get more used to them though.

I would not regard the K550 as a bass-heavy headphone, having said that. There are other cans I would look at, like the HFI-2400.
post #3 of 45
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the info. I’ll definitely check out the HFI.

post #4 of 45
Thread Starter 

Anyone else got any ideas?
 

post #5 of 45

Try a pair of Denon D2000's? Now that they're EOL I've seen them for as low as £145 here in the UK.

post #6 of 45
Thread Starter 

Yeah, I know. They’re a bit hard to come by though (not many HMVs round my area). I was thinking of getting the Beyerdynamic DT770. Do you think the bass is adequate on them?

post #7 of 45

Audiophile headphones don't have bass.

post #8 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by RoMee View Post

Audiophile headphones don't have bass.

post #9 of 45

My K550s have plenty of bass. Not sure what you are talking about. My music preferences range from Progressive, Downtempo, Acid Jazz, Hip-Hop (not rap), ect...

 

It isn't skull crushing bass, but it definitely isn't weak. Made my Q701s feel like I have been missing something this whole time.
 

post #10 of 45
When I had the K550s I noticed that the quantity of bass greatly depended on the seal. If you are not getting a good seal with these headphones, then the bass drops off sharply.

I still think the K550s had some of the deepest bass I have ever heard in a headphone. The sub-bass was fantastic. The mid-bass however was far less prevalent to my ears.
post #11 of 45

I had the K550 for about 5 months, and thought it was a terrific pair of headphones. Just curious OP, what headphones are you coming from? Coming from Beats or any other bass-heavy cans, it may sound weak. My M50s (the older version) had punchier & deeper bass than the K550s. But the M50s were too much bass for me in most cases, and I found the K550s to be just right.

 

AKG is known for having somewhat anemic bass, other than a few exceptions. And I don't think I've read any reviews describing the K550s as having "powerful bass." Keep in mind that deep  powerful. My K172HD has deep bass, but it hardly has any impact.

post #12 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Almost Blue View Post

I read a few reviews that described the K550 as having ‘powerful bass’. This is most definitely a lie. I expected so much from these headphones (I've had them for 2 days now) but they haven’t moved me in any way. There is no bass whatsoever. They sound extremely thin. Do you think this has anything to do with burn-in? Will playing music non-stop for a week or so make a difference?

 

I’m seriously debating whether I should return them or not. I love the way they look, the build quality is impeccable (very sturdy and tough). The ear pads are EXTREMELY SOFT and plump so that’s another plus. But the sound is so underwhelming.

 

Does anyone here have these headphones? What amp do you recommend for a significant bass boost? I was thinking of getting the Fiio E17 but I’m not sure.

 

By the way, I use headphones for films, music and games. I listen to all kinds of music although I mostly listen to jazz.

What source(s) are you currently plugging the headphones into?

What DAC and headphone amp. are you using?

 

Try putting the K550 under a blanket for a few days while plugged to something playing audio at a higher level then you normally listen to.

I prefer to play Metal for burn-in audio.


Edited by PurpleAngel - 8/24/12 at 3:14pm
post #13 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by draven5494 View Post

When I had the K550s I noticed that the quantity of bass greatly depended on the seal. If you are not getting a good seal with these headphones, then the bass drops off sharply.
I still think the K550s had some of the deepest bass I have ever heard in a headphone. The sub-bass was fantastic. The mid-bass however was far less prevalent to my ears.

this. tyll at innerfidelity also commented that a seal would be required to sound its best, and its logical since a seal would keep the pressure in better and thus produce a better bass

post #14 of 45

I've had K550 for months now and I've always felt that proper seal is very important with this headphone. Why don't you try and push the cans to your ears? If this improves the sound/bass a lot, then you have to find the sweet spot by adjusting the headphones' placement on your head.

 

I think K550 is one of the most underrated cans. It is similar to T5p with 1/4 of price. That being said, they are reference headphones and this means that it has flat sound across the graph to produce exactly what your music source is giving. Headphones like M50 or Denon DX000 series are not reference(neutral) headphones, they produce way more bass and recessed mids. 

post #15 of 45

I remember ages ago I read a preliminary review where one guy lambasted the k550 for it being picky and fickly with regard to fit. In his view this is a major flaw of the headphone and I didn't agree with him at the time. But you know what, I have to say (having used this headphone perhaps more than anyone here) that I agree with that view a lot more now.

 

I just grab any other headphone in my acquaintance, shove it on and over my ears and that's that. I don't think about getting the right fit or whether moving it millimeters this way and rotating it that way is reqired to obtain the correct sound, because such movement won't create an audible change in sound full stop. Not with the k550 though. Just the other day I was listening to something that suddenly was sounding much more sharper than I had ever heard it. Of course. I was wearing the k550 wrong and it didn't help that at that moment in time i'd wore it probably more than a few thousand times before!

 

It's not a massive problem- only that one has to make a concious effort to ensure an isolating and correct fit each time it's worn. Well, in my case anyway. 

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