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I have previously owned the AKG K430, and for the price I paid I was impressed by the sound quality. The highs and mids came through clearly enough for me (admittedly they're not the most crisp headphones ever), but there was just a little more bass coming through, which I personally like - bass was certainly far from over the top. The problem with these was the comfort on the top of my head and the general durability. I could cope with wearing them for up to an hour, but there was virtually no padding on the top and it would eventually begin to be unbearable. The problem with durability wasn't the build of the main body of the headphones, as they were strong enough for my use, but it was the earcups - their coating wore away and now they're just uncoated fabric. The other problem was the cable - it lasted something like two years, but was ruined after that. I understand that the K451s come with two cables, so if one breaks I can just insert another, and if that one also breaks I'm sure I can find an appropriate replacement.

What I'm looking for in my next pair of headphones is something with a slightly more comfortable headband (I understand the K451s come with more substantial padding), a replaceable cable, and similar sound to the K430s (obviously I'd be perfectly happy to settle for something with better quality if it isn't more expensive, as I'm sure everyone would. I also understand that the K451s are a tad more bass heavy than the K430s, but I think I'm happy with this and will probably prefer more bass, but I am unsure on whether they are going to be similar, but slightly more bass heavy than the K430s, or whether they will just have a totally different tone. I'm happy with different tone as long as it's still something I'll like that can cope with lots of bass but play mids and highs crisp enough for me to be pleased with). As far as price range goes I think where the K451s stand is where I'm at - I've looked at the Sennheiser Momentum On Ears, but they are simply far too much for what I can afford. Style is something I want to take into account too, but as long as they don't look silly I'm alright with that. I very much like the appearance of both the K430s and - even more so - the K451s.

I listen to a range of music, from 90's bands like Nirvana and Rage Against the Machine, to simple, plain rock like Foo Fighters or Cage the Elephant, to modern indie bands, jazz, classical and even full out heavy electronic music.

I thought I ought to ask here as there seem to be very mixed reviews, from "the absolute best for this price" to "the absolute worst for this price", with nowhere in between.


Given all of this, do you all think my choice of the K451s is one which I should go ahead with, or are there other similar alternatives that might give me better sound quality without having to sacrifice style too much? Also does anyone know how the K452s compare sound quality-wise?

Edited by tobyberrett - 2/23/14 at 2:05pm