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Headphones item created by , May 5, 2010
Pros - very light; good construction; good sound; scales with amps well
Cons - only 1 pair of each ear-tip size; a bit muddy un-amped; volume slider is annoying
After selling my Sony XB-500's, all I was left with was open back headphones, so I needed a pair of portables for school. I was originally going to Purdue the AKG Q350 IEM's, but I didn't have enough money, so when I saw this on amazon for $30.00 with tax, I jumped on it.
The AKG K340's are probably the LIGHTEST in-ear monitors ive ever held, and that combined with the super soft eartips, leads to great comfort. They have a WIDE nozzle, so most standard ear-tips wont fit on them. They ear-tips they do come with isolate fairly well, and add almost no flavors to the sound of the monitors. The cable is VERY light, and can be prone to microphonics. The only real problem is the volume slider right before the split in the cable. It's big and bulky, and does NOT feel strong. Its easy to bump the slider, and mess up the volume. I prefer what comes on the Q350, but then again, I paid $30.00 for a pair of great sounding monitors.
I REALLY enjoyed the sound of my Grado SR-80i headphones, and at first, these sounded just like them. Not very much bass, good clean mids, and a bit sparkly highs. After a couple days of use, I noticed the bass become more prominent, and the highs recede a bit. At this point (un-amped) they sound like a ln in-ear cross between XB-500's and Grado SR-80i's. Presentation is clear, and quick.they've definently warmed up over time, but their mids are still there. Recently, I'd gotten a portable amp (FiiO E7, and I was INSTANTLY blown away by their new sound. Bass tightened up, mids got a fresh cleaning, highs became super quick and very clear. The overall presentation (for lack of a better term) just got a lot clearer. I also (for the first time) noticed some soundstage to in-ears. With the small ear-tips, bass becomes a bit more sloppy, and with the large tips, the stage opened a bit, although the flavors remained relatively the same.
Sounding like Grado's the first thing id recommend for these would have to be rock/metal. These pair fairly well with Rush, and are OK with Dream Theater. Pink Floyd ("The Division Bell" especially) really comes to life, and sounds clear and full. Amping these was the first time I really heard Guns 'N Roses sound very clear. The guitars of 'Welcome to The Jungle' really cleared up ad made me grin. Electronic music is just sorta "meh" on these, as is classical. Jazz is veeeeery good, especially Miles Davis' "Kind of Blue". 'I Talk to The Wind" on King Crimson's "In the Court of the Crimson King" shines,and were the first WOW factor for these IEM's for me. For portable use, at a loud high-school, and noisy bus, these keep their sound fairly well. Would DEFINENTLY recommend if you can get them <$55.00