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NEW! AKG K551 Silver unboxing video - Page 3

post #31 of 61

I just received the K551's. Being somewhat of a headphone noob (coming from Beat Solo's) I can still distinguish good sound from bad. My frame of reference when it comes to headphones is fairly limited though.

 

My plan was to replace the Solo's with a much nicer set of cans. Now to my impressions of the K551's:

 

They are BIG. Bigger than I expected and I agree with HiFiGuy528 that they are not that practical for portable use. You can't let them hang around your neck without feeling you are getting strangled and while the cups does fold, the fold in the wrong direction so you can't make the pads rest flat on your shoulder/chest when wearing them around your neck, it is the back of the headphones which isn't all that smart if you ask me. Maybe there's a reason for it. In any case, it seems odd that AKG fitted these with iPhone controls when they seem more like living room headphones than portables.

 

The sound:

Coming from the Solo's I am probably spoiled (in all meanings of the word) when it comes to bass level, but my first reaction was that the sound was a bit thin/flat. The low frequencies were too absent or weak in the sound field. That being said, they certainly sound good and has lots more room and grace than my Solo's, but I couldn't stop thinking that something was missing. I'm not even listening to bass heavy music - I tested them with John Mayer's Born and Raised album. My theory is that neither my MacBook Pro nor my iPhone 5 are powerful enough to drive these headphones. They need a proper amp to play well I guess.

 

Anyway, I'll return these and look for another set of headphones more suited for my need/taste. I could need some advice for that, but that's probably for another thread.

 

EDIT: I didn't burn these in at all. I literally took them out of the case and used them for 20 minutes. How much would burn-in affect the sound I wonder? I'm not going to burn them in because I'll return them based on their size alone (although I'd probably be more forgiving if the sound was awesome).


Edited by selsoe - 11/22/12 at 5:43am
post #32 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by selsoe View Post

I just received the K551's. Being somewhat of a headphone noob (coming from Beat Solo's) I can still distinguish good sound from bad. My frame of reference when it comes to headphones is fairly limited though.

 

My plan was to replace the Solo's with a much nicer set of cans. Now to my impressions of the K551's:

 

They are BIG. Bigger than I expected and I agree with HiFiGuy528 that they are not that practical for portable use. You can't let them hang around your neck without feeling you are getting strangled and while the cups does fold, the fold in the wrong direction so you can't make the pads rest flat on your shoulder/chest when wearing them around your neck, it is the back of the headphones which isn't all that smart if you ask me. Maybe there's a reason for it. In any case, it seems odd that AKG fitted these with iPhone controls when they seem more like living room headphones than portables.

 

The sound:

Coming from the Solo's I am probably spoiled (in all meanings of the word) when it comes to bass level, but my first reaction was that the sound was a bit thin/flat. The low frequencies were too absent or weak in the sound field. That being said, they certainly sound good and has lots more room and grace than my Solo's, but I couldn't stop thinking that something was missing. I'm not even listening to bass heavy music - I tested them with John Mayer's Born and Raised album. My theory is that neither my MacBook Pro nor my iPhone 5 are powerful enough to drive these headphones. They need a proper amp to play well I guess.

 

Anyway, I'll return these and look for another set of headphones more suited for my need/taste. I could need some advice for that, but that's probably for another thread.

 

EDIT: I didn't burn these in at all. I literally took them out of the case and used them for 20 minutes. How much would burn-in affect the sound I wonder? I'm not going to burn them in because I'll return them based on their size alone (although I'd probably be more forgiving if the sound was awesome).

The bass of my k550 did enhance after about 40 hours of burn in, but not of significant quantity. It probably was the right decision for you to return them. They are indeed reference like, and with that said very flat sounding. 

I would recommend you to see a local dealer and just try out different cans. If you like to upgrade to a bassy headphone, take a look at Audio Technicas Ath-M50's or beyerdynamics.

post #33 of 61
Burn-in time for the 550/551 is approximately 124 hrs. to get the best out of the variomotion drivers. These are digital, not neodymium. The difference is night and day. Burn in utilizing bass heavy songs at medium volume only. Burn in every 1/2 hr. and let it rest 2 minutes. Also, try to use all genres of music, but utilize the Equalizer app through the iTunes Store. Use the bass booster portion of the app and modify the trebles to your preference without clipping.
post #34 of 61
Once burned in, the difference is unbelievable. I thought the same too initially, but I gave it a chance. Get the 550's. The cable is what's causing the difference. You can always recable it with a silver dragon, etc. to improve it. There are even guys who will make it so you can use it with a detachable cable. Either way, compared to the Dre's, it's no contest. 550's are the best for the price.
post #35 of 61

So would you suggest the Sennheiser Momentum as a portable alternative? Because the K550s were my favs until I discovered they weren't portable for using on public transport and such.

Or what would be a god alternative?

And they are all better than Beats Pro right?

post #36 of 61

Hi,

 

When I had demoed the K550, there was no difference at all, no mater how long they were used. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seen3 View Post

Once burned in, the difference is unbelievable. I thought the same too initially, but I gave it a chance. Get the 550's. The cable is what's causing the difference. You can always recable it with a silver dragon, etc. to improve it. There are even guys who will make it so you can use it with a detachable cable. Either way, compared to the Dre's, it's no contest. 550's are the best for the price.
post #37 of 61
I've not had a chance to test the momentum. From what I know, it's a nice headphone made of good materials specifically designed for commuter use. It doesn't have the same detail as a closed reference (not in the same category) as the 550's or Shure 940's but it is a nice soundings headphone overall.
post #38 of 61
Yes, much better than Beats Pro. For bass, rock...try the Amperior. If you want bass and are okay with a thin mid, it would be the beredynamics custom pro.
post #39 of 61

Well anyway is it true that AKG are not for public use AT ALL or is it just because they are a little big?

Because I'd just love a close reference headphone. I tried the K550 at a shop here sometime ago, but are they really that much bigger than Beats Pro?

What about the Pro 900 are they better detailed than K550s and do they sound better?

post #40 of 61
They are large, but not ridiculously large, and completely possible to use in public. They're probably more preferable on a plane. However, if it's detailed sound you are after and overall mechanics, sound and build quality, I can think of no better headset (once burned in at about 100 hrs.) to use. They're better than anything out there for closed reference.

The headset sounds pretty horrible straight out of the box though. I almost gave up right away on them. Glad I didn't.

Footnote: the Shure 940 is maybe the best sounding headset (closed) for the money. The problem is that the headset feels it can break every time you put it on. It's really too bad.
post #41 of 61
Beats Pro is pretty large too, but somewhat smaller than the 550's. If you're a basshead who is after regular stereo-sounding headphones with not too much detail, you may want to look that way. That being said, it has a decent sound. I don't think they're worth the money. But I would look towards some of the Beyers for bass.
post #42 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by tino96 View Post

Well anyway is it true that AKG are not for public use AT ALL or is it just because they are a little big?

Because I'd just love a close reference headphone. I tried the K550 at a shop here sometime ago, but are they really that much bigger than Beats Pro?

What about the Pro 900 are they better detailed than K550s and do they sound better?

 

Anyone who's used them knows that they are simply suitable for portable use. Very big and heavy, as well as little clamping force... they will constantly be sliding off your head. Long, thick, high quality cable with a long jack which is amazing for home use but just gets in the way. They fold flat, sure, but have a huge footprint.


Edited by viralcow - 11/25/12 at 12:04am
post #43 of 61
Thread Starter 

After almost of week of playback, the K551 is starting to sound better.  I have to spend more time with it before reviewing against K550.  I do see a bright light at the end of the tunnel. 

Reply
post #44 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFiGuy528 View Post

After almost of week of playback, the K551 is starting to sound better.  I have to spend more time with it before reviewing against K550.  I do see a bright light at the end of the tunnel. 

Thanks for the help.

 

Still the K550 have a thicker cable which is also god plated. I hope you will have your final thoughts soon so I can make my mind up.

Any comparisions between K550, K551, Ultrasone Pro, Sony MDR-1R, Denon AH-D400 and D600 and  Sennheiser Momentums?

post #45 of 61

aw man that cable seems flimsy compared to the 550's themselves... It looks good at least?

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