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AKG new headphone K545? - Page 12

post #166 of 1723

Sending my headphones back to AKG for a replacement, had a earcup/cable problem.

post #167 of 1723

Here are some comparison pictures of the K545 compared to the K550 plus A/B comparison results.

 

 

OK first thing to note, BOTH headphones use the EXACT same headband system, they are identical. The K550 inner diameter appears to be a couple mm wider in diameter but I had no tape measure to get exact measurements but they are very close, all size savings are due to the thinner earpads. Also note the K545 does not have the metal band around the outer edge of the cup. Personally I don't find the lack of this added detail a major issue but some might. As can be seen in the pictures the K550 is definitely larger on the old melon and has a bit more weight to it. I found both headphone great for comport but give the nod to the K550, but at the same time I do think people will get a seal with the K545 easier as the smaller surface means a bit more pressure per square inch.

 

All testing done from my Nokia 920 smart phone with no amp.

 

OK so what about the sound? First off the thinner earpads definitely translate into less isolation in regards to the K545 over the K550.

 

Bass - There was a definite increase in bass in any song I tried that had a solid bass presence. Cello's had more timbre and weight and bass beats and guitars all had more presence. The difference again is not enough to win over bass heads but it was definitely a welcome increase.

 

Mids - The mids are very similar between both headphones with just a smidge more warmth in the K545.

 

Treble - The treble is very similar between both headphones.

 

Soundstage - This area is probably of the most concern for lovers of the K550. The K550 is definitely more spacious and open sounding but not by as much as I thought. The K545 is more intimate putting you a bit closer to the stage but again not by as much as I thought. So the K545 does make compromises in this area to help reduce their size and increase the bass and add some warmth to the headphone.

 

In the end I would say AKG has NAILED the improvements needed for a portable headphone version of the K550 physically and sonically. There is a trade off in sound stage but they did a heck of a job minimizing the loss in this area. There is also a bit of isolation loss but aside from heavy transit commuters I suspect many people will still enjoy these while out and about. Also please note I have grown accustomed to using an active noise cancelling in ear that has spoiled me to darn any noise (cable, footfalls, creaking from headphones, cars, transit, people talking, ear pressure noise, office air conditioning, well DAM NEAR EVERYTHING!) so I have grown a weeee bit fussy in regards to outside sound LOL.

 

Also I need to get this off my chest. The K545 is a very good to great headphone from a straight portable size like an iphone/pad or other smart phones. but is a Great to FANTASTIC headphone with an amp! I am using it with the Audioengine D1 DAC and these are simply SUBLIME! They also sound nice and warm/lush with my little Indeed tube amp.

 

OK time for a story. I was at Axe Music taking my pictures and doing my A/B test when a kid comes up all excited asking where I got the cool headphones. He was REALLY EXCITED! So I start to panic thinking I am costing the store a sale because he wants my demo headphones that the store can't even buy yet. I start to explain he can't buy them, then the sale clerk I initially dealt with starts to explain it as well. It turns out the kid actually worked at the store and thought I was an AKG Rep showing off the new merchandise LOL. The bottom line though is he and my sales rep were both very impressed and excited about the K545, again all good signs for AKG on this new headphone.

 

If I have a negative comment about this headphone it would be the cables as they are a bit springy and asI have already said verging on being a bit to short (6" longer maybe). I also miss the quality long cable of the K550 and I would urge AKG to offer an upgrade "audiophile" cable that is essentially like the one on the K550 for home use.


Edited by dweaver - 10/28/13 at 8:39pm
post #168 of 1723

Thanks for the awesome read! Looks like I might have to try the K545's. I loved everything about the K550s except its forward upper mids which sounded a bit artificial to me. If you say the K545's are slightly warmer, that might be what I'm looking for. :atsmile:

post #169 of 1723

Thanks for the compliment and for reading. :smile_phones:

 

The upper mids might still bother you but I would give them a try as changes are subtle but may be enough to make these right for you. I am pretty much sold on them, between these and my Q701 I am officially an AKG fan!

post #170 of 1723

Thanks for the comparison, it was all I wanted to help me decide.

So I'll be getting the k545 in a month probably =)

 

Again thank you so much dweaver  ^.^


Edited by joruzani - 10/28/13 at 10:41pm
post #171 of 1723
Ughhhh, I just found out mine aren't coming for another week!? Dirty buggers...

Great review and just what i was hoping for - thanks for putting my mind at ease that this was lthe last HP purchase i'll need for some time

(Riiiiiiiiighhhhhht)
post #172 of 1723

Nice comparison, now i definitely want these headphones. 

 

And now the waiting game for its release in Australia begins...

post #173 of 1723
Thanks for the comparison! biggrin.gif

Haha I can see you smiling with your teeth exposed with K550 and looked so serious with the K545 xD
post #174 of 1723
That's funny I noticed the grin as well when I posted my pictures smily_headphones1.gif

Thanks for all the kind words everyone. I will now actually start my formal review and hopefully have it posted be week end.
post #175 of 1723
Quote:
Originally Posted by dweaver View Post

That's funny I noticed the grin as well when I posted my pictures smily_headphones1.gif

Thanks for all the kind words everyone. I will now actually start my formal review and hopefully have it posted be week end.

Yayyyy! Then there is the Headfonia's Philips L2 hehe
post #176 of 1723

A quick update. I worked from home today so was able to use these with my home rig (computer with Audioengine D1) throughout the day. I never once found myself going "where's my Q701?" I just enjoyed the music. I also wore these for hours at a time with zero discomfort. I occasionally found the bass verging on being to strong but only occasionally. I also had moments with some Pink Floyd and other tunes where the listening experience was simply euphoric as the immersion was so complete with every area being "just right".

 

Not sure if I have mentioned in my posts or not. I am a low to medium volume listener. I rarely ever go loud with my listening. So if you like to crank your music I will likely not be a great reviewer for you as volume level can greatly affect a headphones sound with aggressive headphones sounding good at low volumes and to harsh at louder volumes while other headphones will sound dull at lower volumes and great and higher volumes. In the case of the K545 it is verging on dull at my lower volume levels and starts to be harsh at medium loud volume levels.


Edited by dweaver - 10/29/13 at 4:06pm
post #177 of 1723
I like headphones that sound excellent at low volume but harsh at higher volume! So that people who uses my headphone will not turn it too loud xD
post #178 of 1723
Quote:
Originally Posted by dweaver View Post
 

Here are some comparison pictures of the K545 compared to the K550 plus A/B comparison results.

 

 

 

I think K550 is put backward, shouldn't cable be on the left side, also check the headband connection arm. LOL, hope you didn't audition them like that.

:p

 

 

post #179 of 1723
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew_WOT View Post
 

I think K550 is put backward, shouldn't cable be on the left side, also check the headband connection arm. LOL, hope you didn't audition them like that.

:p

 

 

lol the things people notice. I saw the cable on the other side but thought it not worth mentioning.

 

Good thing it wouldn't change his impressions. Even if he did its all good.


Edited by grizzlybeast - 10/29/13 at 10:45pm
post #180 of 1723
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew_WOT View Post

I think K550 is put backward, shouldn't cable be on the left side, also check the headband connection arm. LOL, hope you didn't audition them like that.
tongue.gif


Give me your eyes!!!!
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