AKG K 550

General Information

With the K 550s, AKG engineers have struck a masterful balance between the noise-isolating qualities of closed-back headphones and the spacious, dimensional sound of an open-back design – creating reference-class headphones ideal for private listening both at home and on the go. 50mm drivers, the largest in our product line, deliver great AKG sound from your hi-fi system or virtually any portable device. The large ear cups and new headband design ensure an amazingly comfortable fit, and the 2D-axis mechanism folds flat to stow or go.

Acoustic Seal: Closed
Driver Type: Dynamic
Ear Coupler Type: Full-Size
Coupler Size: Large
Cord Type: Straight Left-Side
Cord Length: 9.5ft
Detachable Cable: No
Impedance @ 1kHz: 32 Ohms
Isolation: -12dB ~ -18dB
Weight: 305 grams w/o cord
Connector Type: 1/8
Headphone Type: Full Size
Manufacturer Warranty: 2 years
Sensitivity: 114 dB
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Latest reviews


1000+ Head-Fier
Pros: Effortless big and natural sound. Beautiful built and looks
Cons: Thin pleather ear pad, just a slight lack of low-mid body and warmth
The AKG K550 revisited.
At the time, shortly after I bought my Audio Technica A900Xs I had auditioned the AKG's and I felt my choice for the A900Xs was the right one. I felt the K550s had this weird grating low treble peak that showed up just too often, unlike the low-treble/high mid peak of the Denon D5000s that only got aggressive ocassionally.
The price at the time for the K550s was 300 euro, the A900Xs I got for just 150 euro.
Fast forward in time: the K550 (MKII) now sell for 150 US dollar and encouraged by some reviewers who mention that the MKII version solved the problems of the MKI, no longer a grating treble peak, better clamping and fit and slightly increased bass I took the shot and bought them.
Maybe my ears have changed or the K550 MKII really is an improvement over the MKI version, I dunno, but the low treble peak just isn't there anymore. I tried the most difficult recordings with soaring highs and big contrasts in dynamics. Baroque violin concertos, where the lead violins are recorded so up close that it is impossible to get away with some aching or grating. And some choral works, where most crescendos will make the headphones loose control and start to ring a bit.
To name a few:
Geminiani Concerti Grossi (After Corelli) - Chiara Banchini
Bach Violin concertos - Elizabeth Wallfisch
Haydn Die Schopfung - John Eliot Gardiner
Haydn Die Schopfung - Rene Jacobs
With the violin concertos mainly the slower adagio parts are the difficult parts, because it are HIP (historically informed performance) recordings in where the violins play without vibrato, so the long legato lines, close-miked can grate very easily.
The difficult choral parts are the ones in where the choir all of the sudden sing much louder. 
None of my headphones, including the Sony MDR-Z7 (which is universally qualified as extremely inoffensive sounding) handle these recordings without problems.
The AKG K550s don't sweat, they sound so even over every frequency.
Therefore they surely must lack something? Maybe a soul?
Nope. They just don't loose control, that's it. 
They sound big, have a great soundstage with good width and depth, excellent for classical music. But they don't sound thin and too bright with smaller scaled music, something I do feel ocassionally with the BeoPLay H6s.
The bass is big enough to give music body...talking about body...if I must find something the K550s lack a bit is some low-mid warmth or coloring, something the A900Xs have and what make their sound one of a kind. But the A900Xs can sound grainy, something the K550s never do.
All those years I have dismissed a pair of headphones that are easily one of the best pair of closed headphones under 600 US dollar...and they can be had for a mere 150 US dollar.


Member of the Trade: Audio Excellence
Pros: great sound stage. reasonable tasteful bass. Great MIDDD range
Cons: Pads wear out and they do not sell replacements. it can be too big and fall off.
few months back my friend tried these headphones. Few days ago she wanted to buy it from me. And I quote her to start this review off "I've never heard music like I did with this headphone"
Hello ladies and gentlemen. I am a hobbyist that creates reviews and post beautiful Instagram photos of various audio equipment. That being said, my passion for audio quality started with my Sennheiser HD598s. However over time I felt the HD598s lacked bass. But I loved my HD598s and wanted something that contains the sound stage + bass. I came across the AKG 550  and immediately fell in love with it. If anyone asks me "what should my first audiophile headphone be?" I would without hesitation recommend you the AKG 550. You might think I am crazy comparing open headphones to closed ones but you will see my reasoning in this review.
The company operates in Austria, and was founded in Vienna in 1947 by physicist Dr. Rudolf Görike and engineer Ernst Pless. Originally, its main business was to provide technical equipment for cinemas: loudspeakers, film projectors and light meters. The business slowly expanded and AKG started selling car horns, door intercoms, carbon capsules for telephones, headsets and cushion speakers. The first AKG microphone was used by radio stations, theaters, jazz clubs and cabarets. About this time, the company developed its first patents, the moving coil technology and the principle of mass load membranes, allowing its products to have extended frequency ranges. With the creation of the D12 microphone in 1953, AKG achieved international fame, setting the standard for voice transmissions. Being the world's first dynamic cardioid microphone, it possessed excellent sonic qualities for that time, making its way into radio stations and recording studios from across the world.The product was improved through subsequent upgrades, spanning the famous C414 and C12 microphones.In 1984, AKG became a public company, listed on the Vienna stock exchange. As a blue chip company, it was one of the most traded stocks.The company was acquired by the American company Harman International Industries in 1994. By this time, AKG's United States subsidiary had been established (in Los Angeles in 1985). AKG Acoustics USA, still headquartered in the San Fernando Valley, also houses regional offices for Crown Audio, another Harman Industries subsidiary.

In 2010, the company received the prestigious Technical Grammy award.




The build quality on these headphone is phenomenal. Its practically metal on metal on metal. It is extremely sturdy. With that being said, it is bulky enough to consider it a full sized headphone. The headphone is adjustable through some real nice mechanism. The fit is very comfortable and the stocks pads are one of the softest I've ever felt. However the downsize is that you cannot buy the stock pads anywhere, not even from AKG. I have a pretty standard head and it is pretty big on me. I bought these because it is a closed headphone, but they do not isolate sound very well due to the fit being too loose. Also the wire is nondetachable terminating in a straight 3.5mm jack. 




AKG advertised these as "sound stage of an open back in a closed set of headphones" and they have every right to. These do have a sound stage the surpasses many closed set of headphones. However like I have mentioned before, these do not have the qualities we would be seeking from a closed set of headphone, I would categorized these somewhere in the semi-open headphone zone. The sound stage is give or take at the HD598 level.



This is a MIDDD ranged headphone. However there is some bass like will satisfy you. This was something lacking in the HD598s. the treble is clear but can get sibilant in certain songs. Overall, the sound is something of preference and this was a good experience for me. 


Overall Thoughts


This headphone does have negatives here and there but in the end... for the price point, it is one of the best entry level headphones you can purchase. 


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review provided by soulsikreviews.com


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Hmm...... a tube amp? Interesting. I'm a portable guy myself, so I'd prob never buy a tube amp. But having said that, they look so cool! lol 
Nice. Yeah if you do like the Oppo's DAC, then the 10 won't disappoint! If you do get it, PM me and I'll give you some suggestions on how to use it, like about the Personal Audio Profile and stuff. 
@RockStar2005 Sounds Pretty Good ! Yup, I do enjoy tubes at home, on the go I usually use IEMS, hey I'll follow you, why don't know follow me back so we can keep in touch. thanks!
That's cool! 
Alright sounds good brotha! 


New Head-Fier
Pros: Very balanced monitor style. Great with classical music. Great construction
Cons: Bass could use more body. Bulky and sometimes sweaty.
Bought these bad boys on sale from Harman Audio. Very clear and balanced sound for the price range, I have also had some good Grado SR80i headphones that I gave to my brother but the AKG K550 has very good sound with little leakage compared to open backs (good for office use). I love how Beethoven and Bonobo sound, these headphones have a very 'true to life' reproduction. So far I have found that I notice many details in tracks that I have not heard before! 
Perhaps not the absolute best audio in the world, but definitely one of the best values in the crowded sub 300$ space. If you can get them on sale, I would highly recommend them to any budget conscious audiophiles. 
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The last time I used the K551's in office, someone asked me where did I got that helmet from! But, the 551's if they sound same like the 550's were having a good body on midbass, compared to my current Beoplay H6's. What source do you use with it? 
Hi Dexter thanks for your comment. Yeah they are definitely big headphones. Currently I just use the Macbook pro sound output, but I have been interested in getting a DAC/AMP combo. Maybe when I get a bonus I can get a good one. Wishing you well.


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