AKG K 550

Average User Rating:
4.09722/5,
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  1. Larppan
    4.5/5,
    "Well done AKG"
    Pros - sound quality, design, materials,
    Cons - permanent cable
    Maybe the best closed headphones for this price. 
    Very well designed. I´m very pleased about the design, it´s simple, elegant, clean but still extremely cool. There´s not much plastic on the headphones, almost everything is either magnesium or steel. They feel pretty though so they hopefully dont brake that easy. Earcuffs are soft, very soft leather and it feels really good on ears. Overall the design is very good!
     
    Then the sound...
    Well what can I say... I really love the sound of these headphones, its well balanced, nicely bright and still so smooth. I just love them.
     
     
  2. DolbyDan
    4.0/5,
    "AKG K550 Has Bass!!"
    Pros - Great for R'n'B and Hip Hop.
    Cons - Top end can be a tad harsh, fit isn't perfect.
    My last set of cans have all been Sennheiser's, (except a pair of Shure SRH550's which were very thin and uncomfortable).   Sennheiser Momentum's were top of my list next to the HD598's.
     
    My music tastes are very vast, but commercial, varying from Boyz II Men, Bruno Mars, to Bon Jovi, Kings of Leon, to Biggie and Jay Z.
     
    My normal listening kit are Monitor Audio speakers, Quad L sub and Yamaha amplification, which has a very good sound-stage, outstanding clarity with very deep musical undistorted bass.  This is what I was looking for in headphones.
     
    I demoed the Sennheiser Momentum's against my old Shure's and Dre Pro Beats.  To be honest I wanted a combination of all three.  The build of the Beats, the clarity of the Shure's and the beefier bottom end and thicker mids of the Momentum's.  I did walk away a little underwhelmed as none of the three had the sound I was quite after.
     
    After researching this forum the K 550 turned up on the radar and considering the HD598's are open and I was more after a closed phone, I jumped on the K550's, but nervous that I was going to have fit problems and the bottom end being thin like the Shure's.
     
    K550's turned up and I plugged them straight into my phone as I was on my way to work.. underwhelmed and a bad fit..... till I got home after spending the afternoon carefully bending the strap to get a tighter fit, works and they actually fit now like a glove.
     
    Plugged them into my Yamaha amp turned them up pretty darn loud and left them over night... next morning had a good listen.
     
    Setup: 320kbps music via 360> HDMI to Yamaha amp set on "Pure Direct", which turns everything thing off that's not needed and is the cleanest feed it can deliver, which is noticeable.
     
    Bass is something I can't believe people say they don't perform with!!  They aren't as dirty or forward as the Momentum's, but have punchy, clean, deep bass that doesn't disturb vocals one bit.  Hip-Hop or R'N'B are my fave styles of music, which these really perform outstandingly with.  Vocals are amazing with rappers such as Jay-Z, Nas, Tupac and Biggie, smooth, excellent clarity and very easy to listen to and capturing every lyric effortlessly, which the Momentum's slightly struggled with and the Beats surprisingly stink with certain tunes (Biggie's 'Juicy' sounds amazing through the Beats, but then 'Dead Wrong' is just a mess!).  More musical tunes, like Eminem's 'Space Bound' really do sing with a nice sound-stage, but with the added treble the phones are a tad too bright to have them quite as loud as other hip-hop tunes.
     
    This follows R'n'B and soul artists too..  John Legend, Seal, Michael Bolton and Lionel Ritchie all sound absolutely fantastic with these, great sound-stage and their velvet voices really, completely complement the sound of the headphones, but certain tracks from such like when Boyz II Men go Acapella with 'It's So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday' the high mids do resonate at loudish levels, which does force you to turn the track down a notch or two, but when 'The End of the Road' comes on the next track.... absolute bliss.. an absolute joy.  Really enjoyed listening to Bruno Mars and Alicia Keys absolute cracking fun with tracks like 'Runaway Baby' very fun, both artists have bass friendly tracks mixed with lots of different type of instruments still easily heard, even the discrete ones!!
     
    Overall I'm very happy, they're not perfect and I wouldn't say they're worth their RRP, but at thier current price they are fantastic!
  3. Gendarme
    4.0/5,
    "Quite nice closed HP"
    Pros - nice isolation, comfort, design
    Cons - i miss open HP signature in sound, Highs is quite in backround
    Litte bit bassy headphones, bass go deep enought. Highs can be better. Mids not bad.
    But i havent fully burned pair of these nice HP.
    _____________
    I am Gradist :)
  4. Krisman
    4.5/5,
    "So open you forget they are closed back"
    Having owned quite a few closed back headphones I have never experience the open sound these AKGs produce. Yes they may be light on bass but they excel in every other quadrant. Detail, tone and space ooze from these headphones and draw you in. At this price point I would dare to say they are unmatched if you want a truly uncoloured musical listening experience. One snag is people with smaller heads may not get a good seal around the ear cups which will ruin the experience. Try before you buy!
    taffy2207 likes this.
  5. IGarrettS
    5.0/5,
    "My Daily Cans"
    Pros - Clear, Articulate, Powerful, Wide sound stage, Easily driven, So Comfortable, Extremely solid build quality and $300!
    Cons - Long cable (braided it, perfectly fine)
    I have loved these headphones since I picked them up out of the box. They are mostly metal with thick, soft, leather pads and sit on your head very snugly (and if they don't for some reason you can bend it slightly, feel free to message me if you have questions). They produce excellent sound and with a solid burn in it only gets better. The soundstage will open up and the overall sound quality improves greatly. However, one annoyance for me was the long cable which I just braided, afterwards no problem at all. Also I bought an extra pad for the headband for when I want a super snug fit and I highly recommend getting one (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00862522A/ref=oh_details_o06_s00_i01 its a stretch but it will fit, keep trying). 
     
    These have an amazing sound and they are awesome all around headphones for whatever you genre you want to listen to. You wont be disappointed 
     
     
    Simurgh likes this.
  6. Tim Maestas
    4.5/5,
    "Love 'Em"
    Pros - Amazing for vocals and high quality live recordings. Batman approves of the styling.
    Cons - Bass light. Comfort.
    I love mine! They're great with most genres. I wouldn't complain if there were a tad more bass, but it's really not all that lacking. While the earpads are super comfy, the same can't be said about the headband. It's a bit flat on the top, and not incredibly padded, so unless you've got a similarly flat dome, long hours can cause some tenderness up top. Again, not terrible, but just a note. One thing about wearing them out, and I you will be worrying far too much about banging them on something (only downside of them being so darn good looking).
  7. Anhoblack
    5.0/5,
    "AKG K550 REVIEW"
    Pros - Sound is spotless. Design is nice and clean. Like Crocs are to your feet, the AKG K550 is to your head, nice and comfi.
    Cons - No detachable cable.
    When i first saw the AKG K550 i was blown away. The design was so unique and very good looking and when i listen to them i was blown away just more. I bought them without hesitation and hurried home with my new badboys. I have now had them for 3 months, and i have been happy for them every day since. I wish that hearing them was a part of  this review, because the sound is phenomenal.
     
    Sound quality:
    The bass is very deep, soft and round without getting muddy.
    The mids is extremely rich and powerfull.
    The highs is 100% clear.
    Overall this headphone sounds terrific. Some even say that they sound like an open hedphone, but i would not say so that they do. I understand why people say it, because the highs and the mids can have a trend to sound like a open headphone, but the bass is to deep and different then a bass on a open headphone. Let me put it this way, i would much rather listen to Rap music on a pair of K550's then i would do it on a pair K701's. And with that said, it dont mean that the K550 is a headphone with a overpowered bass, the bass is still unobtrusive, but you will notice the bass. I have listened to a lot of different artists, from Tom Waits to Lou Reed, from Katie Melua to John Mayer and the headphone is perfectly balanced from the bass to the highs!
     
    Sound leak/isolation:
    When you take them on, and turn the volume up to about half you can't hear anything around you! But what about people around you, can they hear what you hear? People with big heads will not have any problems with them leaking sound! But people with small heads will/might have a problem with sound leak. Because the earcups are so big, and you have a small head it might give you some problems. But otherwise, you will NOT have any problems what so ever!!!
     
    Build quality and comfort:
    The are all metal so they are pretty steady, and suprisingly they weigh nothing. It was somthing that really suprised me at first, they only weigh somthing about 300 grams. And with that weight the are really comfortable to use in longer periods of time! If there is one little thing to point fingers at, it must be that the earcups ain't in lether, but in plether. they are still very soft and nice, but i would just have loved to see some real lether on it......
     
    Design:
    simply outstanding, no need to say more!!!!!!!!!!!
     
    Check out my homepage for pictures...
    http://audioheadable.wordpress.com/2012/10/28/akg-k550/
     
     
    Simurgh likes this.
  8. angevoi
    3.0/5,
    "AKG K550"
    Pros - detailed, clean, balanced, no need of powerful amp
    Cons - unexciting, harsh on some frequencies
    It doesn't really need amp, but it benefits from them. My ears got tired of listening to them.
  9. xStreame
    4.5/5,
    "AKG K550"
    Pros - Great build quality, Comfortable, detailed, well-balanced open pair-like sound
    Cons - Too big for small heads, non-detachable cable
    I'm not an advanced audiophile. I'm a senior high school student who loves headphones and decided to invest all his money into a proper set of cans. 
    Coming from a pair of bass-modded HD448's, as well as the PortaPro and a couple pairs on in-ears running though my Fiio E7, my review is purely subjective, therefore I'll keep it short.
     
    From the very first moment I put on the K550 and started listening, I know this is a completely different league. The amount of detail is blistering, I immediately felt like I've always been listening to only half of the music. Doesn't matter which genre, there is just so much more to hear. The bass goes far more deeper than I've ever known, the mids give out such amounts of depth and detail, you start to hear each guitarists finger slide over the strings, every punch/tone played fading away. While your Portapro's sound travels into your ears, the K550's sound will surround your head, which such detail, you will never want to go back once you get used to them.
    I can only judge according to my own experiences, but for the owners of sub-100$ cans: If you chose to take the next step, this pair will blow your mind.
  10. yosister
    5.0/5,
    "Absolutely Fantastic cans by AKG"
    Pros - Amazing build quality, open sound, closed headphone
    Cons - so big! And cord isn't detachable.
    These headphones are fantastic!  
    Build Quality- These are the best built headphones I have ever seen.  They are all leather, pleather, and metal, and feel tough yet very lightweight.
    Comfort- These headphones are unbelievably light and comfortable, but they are so big that some people have complained that they feel like these headphones swallow their heads.  If you have a small head you might want to reconsider.  Also the leather earpads have foam inside, which is comfortable, but not exactly the sort of feel I was expecting.
    Sound-  as a previous reviewer said, these have two bumps in the bass.  However, the bass is understated. I personally prefer a bit more bass, like what you get with the Pioneer HDJ-2000, but overall these are so much better than the HDJ-2000 that the bass is an easy sacrifice.  Also, they are very open and neutral sounding, so if you like Grados or Beyers (that light rock-and-roll type sound) then you will very much like these.  To me, they sound better than even some of the high-end audiophile closed Sennheisers and Audio Technicas that I've tried!  They especially excel in jazz, classic rock, and strong vocalists, like Tracy Chapman.  Snare drums have lots of sizzle and pop, and the huge 50 mm drivers really capture all the lightest conotations of the high hats and ride polyrythms.  I'm a drummer, so I pay a lot of attention to the drums, but this level of detail is present in everything else, too.
    Aesthetic-  There are a lot of memes on the internet about "swag is for boys, class is for men."  Anyways, by that logic, if beats by dre pros are for boys, then these are for men.  They have that same confident, sexy look, but quite a lot more refined and sophistocated.  As one reviewer put it, "They look like Chubacka or James Bond might wear them" (I'm sure I did not quote that verbatim, but you get them point).  They look stupid around the neck, though, because they're so big.
     
    Complaints- These are so big!  I guess it's worth having big cans in order to get that big sound, but still!
    Also, for $315, you'd think they could throw in a carrying case!  These things are expensive and I feel bad just chucking them in my backpack.  I'm really pushing that Best Buy warranty to the limit!
    Lastly, why not have a removable cord?  It seems impossible that a pair of headphones so big wouldn't have room to make the cable removable.
     
    Bottom line- these are arguably the best closed headphones in the $250-$350 price range for non-=travel and non-portable applications.  I highly reccomend them.  If you want something more portable and with more bass, check out the Philips Fidelio L1 or the Pioneer HDJ-2000 (better in black, get the K!).  However, these do sound better than the L1 or the 2000, so if sound comes first, these are the headphones for you.  Kudos and good job getting over the whole lame-copies-of-that-headphone-nobody-likes phase you were in, AKG, and I for one hope you and Harmen continue the good work!
    Simurgh likes this.