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Similar headphones to AKG K550 (K551)

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hey all,

 

This is my first time posting on this website. I've visited before, and used a lot of information on here to help guide me on buying some headphones. I ended up getting the k551, because it satisfied all of my criteria, as flexible as they may be. The only things I really cared about was high quality sound, for various music (metal, rock, some classical, post-rock) as well as gaming (like BF3 or other surround sound games), and closed back; the closed back thing was important to me because I plan on perhaps going out and about with my headphones, for example to a library, and I didn't want the sound leak to be too disruptive.

 

So I decided on the k551, because it was only five dollars more than the k550 and had a mic. When I got them, I was certainly blown away by the sound, though there were some issues with my Realtek Audio Manager which I might address in a different post. Unfortunately, I came to discover that wearing them for long periods of time was really uncomfortable. I feel like my ears can't "breathe," and the discomfort is sort of a deal breaker for me. It just gets too hot and stuffy pressing into my ears.

 

My reason for posting is that I'm probably going to return them, which sucks. However, I want to get something along the same lines, but just more comfortable. If it is open back but somehow magically doesn't leak sound, that would be ideal as well, but all you really need to know is that

1. I game, so a pair that would allow for good surround would be ideal.

2. I listen to rock, metal, post-rock, and classical, and I like to be able to hear the intricacies of the music.

3. I plan on sometimes being outside of my home and don't want to disturb others with the sound leak.

4. I need something more comfortable to wear for extended periods of time.

 

Oh and my budget is around $200. Something else that drew me to the k551 was how it didn't seem to need an amp or anything. But if I am to reduce the headphones price to accommodate an amp, that's okay with me; I'm looking to find something that I won't have to replace for a long time.

 

If there are some open back phones that fit everything besides the sound leak, I suppose that is okay. I don't know if open means less stuffiness or something, but if so, I think I'll take that over the closed. Thanks for the help.


Edited by CyDe29 - 3/18/14 at 6:46pm
post #2 of 6
Thread Starter 

Shameless bump, it's been five hours, I reserve this right :P

post #3 of 6

http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/innerfidelitys-wall-fame-full-size-sealed

Check out the Focal Spirit Pro and the UE6000 (which they consider better than the 550), and the Momentum which replaced the UE6000 on their wall of fame.  (UE6000 is a lot cheaper)

 

Judging by the genres you listen to though, I think you would LOVE Grado, which are at their best for rock music.  Grado 80i, 225i or 325i are around your price range. 


Edited by swiftW1nd - 3/18/14 at 7:08pm
post #4 of 6

First, look for velour replacement pads for your K551. I never use pleather if I can help it, because of the warmth problem.

post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by swiftW1nd View Post
 

http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/innerfidelitys-wall-fame-full-size-sealed

Check out the Focal Spirit Pro and the UE6000 (which they consider better than the 550), and the Momentum which replaced the UE6000 on their wall of fame.  (UE6000 is a lot cheaper)

 

Judging by the genres you listen to though, I think you would LOVE Grado, which are at their best for rock music.  Grado 80i, 225i or 325i are around your price range. 

Thanks for the recommendations, though I'd like to mention that Focal Spirit Pro, Sennheiser Momentum, and Grado SR325i are pretty significantly out of my price range. I'm looking to hover around $200, and these seem to hover around $300. As for the UE6000, I'm curious but hesitant because of the price. It seems a bit too good to be true, and I'm wondering if there is truly a sound quality gain over the k550. Also, the list 'retired' them after the Sony MDR-1R was released, so now I'm wondering about those as well. The Grado 80i and 225i seem quite nice as well, but just judging from looks I'm not sure they would be a comfort improvement over the k551; again, from looks alone, it's hard for me to imagine them fitting over my ears. Also, aren't the SR80i open air, and therefore would leak sound? Thanks for your suggestions, though.

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Claritas View Post
 

First, look for velour replacement pads for your K551. I never use pleather if I can help it, because of the warmth problem.

So that would probably help the discomfort issue? In my head I've somewhat played down these headphones in preparation for the pain of losing them, and that's made me look again at some of their features; namely the cord, which is inexplicably short and the fact that it seems to gear towards Apple fans (the volume control and phone answering buttons seem to work only with Apple products), of which I am certainly not. However, I'd say that replacement pads would probably the most desirable option, just because these headphones fit my criteria so well.

 

With a quick search, I can't seem to find any replacement pads made specifically for the k551 (or k550). Would you happen to have any suggestions as to where or what I should search? A general consensus is that the bass in these headphones is highly dependent on how they are positioned on your head, and it would be unfortunate if I had to make a decision between comfort and sound-quality. Any help with this would be much appreciated.

post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by CyDe29 View Post

So that would probably help the discomfort issue? In my head I've somewhat played down these headphones in preparation for the pain of losing them, and that's made me look again at some of their features; namely the cord, which is inexplicably short and the fact that it seems to gear towards Apple fans (the volume control and phone answering buttons seem to work only with Apple products), of which I am certainly not. However, I'd say that replacement pads would probably the most desirable option, just because these headphones fit my criteria so well.

With a quick search, I can't seem to find any replacement pads made specifically for the k551 (or k550). Would you happen to have any suggestions as to where or what I should search? A general consensus is that the bass in these headphones is highly dependent on how they are positioned on your head, and it would be unfortunate if I had to make a decision between comfort and sound-quality. Any help with this would be much appreciated.

The replacement pads (if they exist) should fit the same, though velour will cause a very slight reduction in the bass. Ask on the K550/551 thread and contact AKG. Good luck!
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