Hopefully they start shipping soon.
New release - the AKG K553 Pro - featuring a killer Massdrop deal - Page 7
Head-Fi's Best Sellers
Maybe if the cord fails but not otherwise.
(Foobar - WASAPI - Audio-GD NFB something with dual Wolfson D/A)
Comparison to K551 I have recabled, it's a K550.
AKG K553 are here. I picked them up from the USPS rather than waiting tomorrow. UPS hand off service to USPS is horrible, it's slower than shipping something first class USPS.
Appearance is identical to the K551. Expected that, AKG put zero effort into appearance on these. Some parts do have a rubbery/matte coating, nice touch I suppose.
Very disappointed with the padding. One word to describe the padding, CHEAP. Feels cheap. It's not as dense or firm as the K551, pressing the pad feels significantly less substantial. The pleather or whatever also has a dryer and lighter texture to it. Overall horribly disppointed. I prefer the padding on the K551/K550 than these K553 by a good margin. If you had issues with ear pain from touching the housing on K550, K553 is worse.
- Because of the above, the seal is worse than the K551. I did bend the headband massively, so getting a decent seal right now.
Packaging: It's just the headphones. No bag, protective accessory. Nuthin.
Cable is stupidly long again. For home/portable use with a 10ft cable? Nonsense.
The sound is different! K553 DO NOT sound more "Pro" or professional than K551. I would not recommend these for professional use. It still has the artificial K551/K550 sound.
- The K551 has a more expansive sound, maybe artificial sounding, but it has a more open airy sound.
- K553 Bass is more noticeable. I don't think it goes deeper or more articulate or punchier, just more quantity of it, but it's slight. Not something to rave about. Please note I do not think the bass is better or improved on the K553, the extension, sound, quality is not better, just slightly more noticable.
- Treble slightly less recessed? Not sure.
- Mids are more prominent on the K553. But again, not by much, it's not earth shattering wow moment. It's eh, I guess I can hear it moment.
My initial thought? If you were only slightly disappointed with the bass and mids and wanted some more, K553 might be it, otherwise if you have the K550 already, K553 is not an upgrade or much of an improvement. IF you want it and could snag it for $120 or less, go for it. But I am underwhelmed by AKG. Far as I'm concerned, AKG did not rectify the glaring issues I think the K550/K551 have. Artificial treble, seal, and padding.
If you want portable closed, I'm still going to say HP50 pretty much does everything better than AKG K553, no contest (bass, mids, treble, presentation are all better on NAD HP50). I'll be using K553 for gaming, these are not going out, they isolate slightly better than completely open air.
I prefer both music from above on HP50 over K553 in almost every way.
Edited by SSandDigital - 4/14/15 at 2:28pm
Recabled with OCC, hopefully will get better 3.5mm and heatshrink to make it look more proper. Taking it apart, the drivers and internals look IDENTICAL to the K550.
I almost think the only difference between K550 and K553 is thinner pad. They are more comfortable with the K551 pads.
But... For $120 these are FANTASTIC!!! Glad I got in on the MassDrop deal though, will give the K551 away to a friend.
Edited by SSandDigital - 4/14/15 at 7:31pm
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Happy I joined the drop on these then. Harsh review of them, but happy that they are great for $120!