The K 501 are "concert hall headphones" for lovers of classical music and for purists. Patented...

AKG K501

Rating:
4.6875/5,
Tags:
  • The K 501 are "concert hall headphones" for lovers of classical music and for purists. Patented Varimotion diaphragms from AKG provide a high-resolution sound with pinpoint imaging.

Recent Reviews

  1. Hunki Chunki
    Best headphones I ever owned.....in the last 15 years ++
    Written by Hunki Chunki
    Published Jan 26, 2016
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Great sound, easy to listen to for long periods, super confortable
    Cons - bass could use a tiny little more kick
    Had this for more than 15 years, got a pair of 702s but the 501s were still my preferred.
     
    Just an awesome headphone
  2. szoze
    Classical music master
    Written by szoze
    Published Jan 25, 2013
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Beautiful midrange, well balanced "old-time" sound, price
    Cons - price, not sturdy enough
    This headphone is one of the best headphones for classical music. Others in the same price range would be Audio Technica ATH-AD900, Beyer DT880, AKG k701. I think that k501 can even challenge some other dynamic headphones in higher price ranges. It is definately better than Sennheisers offerings HD650/600, for classical. This is a real classic, one of a kind.
    1. rezolver
      You nailed it szoze. You have an appreciation for what this headphone does best, classical music. Not only that, its fantastic with acoustics. Enjoy its sweet melodies. My K501's are with me for life.
      rezolver, Jan 25, 2013
    2. pietcux
      Had the K401. Sadly sold it before I got a proper headphone amp. They sounded very balanced too and the comfort is still unrivaled.
      pietcux, Jan 26, 2013
  3. bracko
    A real legend
    Written by bracko
    Published Jan 13, 2013
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Open, airy, detailed sound. Great for classical music
    Cons - Build quality could be better
    I heard this headphone a couple of years ago and fell in love with it. Since then I have been trying to find a mint pair at a reasonable price. This is a "poor man's electrostatic" as I have heard someone calling it. The mids are beautifully open and airy without a hint of hardness. The treble is soft and crisp. The bass is well defined but not in excess. They ar erelaxed, pure and genuine sounding. All in all, a legendary headphone. It's a shame AKG discontinued it.
    1. xEcuToR
      xEcuToR, Jun 9, 2013
  4. testicon
    First foray into fullsize cans
    Written by testicon
    Published Jan 9, 2013
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Comfort, sound, visibility
    Cons - Feel fragile, non-detachable cord, leakage.
    I bought these on clearance back in 06. No regrets whatsoever. They are so comfortable, you'll swear they aren't even there. They sound great even with a relatively high impedance coming straight from an iPod. Most recently, I drive them with a custom kernel enabled Nexus S 4G. I have a FiiO e17 in the mail though, so I'll have to re-evaluate. 
     
    They are also very visible and if someone sees you with those on your head, they wont come strike up a conversation. 
     
    The only downside for me is leakage and how fragile they feel. I guess I put too much stress on the cord because one of the internal connectors actually broke off the driver on the right side. It was easy enough to re-solder, but still, thats a concern. The leakage is only a concern becuase I primarily use them at work and like to crank it up. 
  5. tuahogary
    A True Classic
    Written by tuahogary
    Published Oct 21, 2011
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Probably one of the best midrange in the world, great for their price
    Cons - Not enough extension on both ends
    This is my first non-thread review. I gambled on the AKG K501 and fell in love with it. It is considered by many as one of the best headphones AKG ever produced, apart from the polarizing K1000. It is well known for a very natural and realistic tone or timbre which is something I'm very fussy about. IMO, the K501 nails timbre allowing music to sound almost as good as the real thing. The midrange is simply beautiful. It is slightly thick and lush while maintaining all detail. I wouldn't consider it bass light, my AD900 has less bass. I think the K501 is almost perfectly balanced.
     
    However, it is not without it's own flaws. Compared to modern headphones like the AD900 and FA-003, it has less overall detail and extension on both ends. But it has the soul of a true classic headphone. One that focuses on producing beautiful mids instead of trying too hard to nail the frequency response. Just as another reviewer said before me, this is one headphones that every audiophile should have in their collection, especially at the price they can be had. I repeat, you probably won't get much better midrange than this unless you're willing to spend a lot more.
  6. homeros8000
    The Great K501
    Written by homeros8000
    Published Aug 31, 2011
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Sweet treble, great mids, non fatiguing, wide sound stage, comfortable
    Cons - Nothing at this price range
    Both K501 and Sennheiser's HD600 are the sweet points of Head Fi. They are sold at a fair price and they do nothing wrong, they only differ in the way they reproduce music. While the HD600 is soft, smooth and mellow, the K501 has more detail, transparency and more extending treble which is never harsh or piercing in comparison to the K701. The mids of the K501 are magical in comparison to the K701 which is a bit recessed. There is a sense of immediacy with the K501 which brings you closer to the music, a feeling I never had with the K701. It's a pity that this headphones is discontinued, I wish AKG would create a similar headphone with better bass extension and detail, better separation of instruments and better imaging and keeping the same tonality of the K501. The K501 sounds more natural than the K701 which I never enjoyed in the 2 years that I owned them.
     
    Update 01/09/12
     
    I acquired a used pair of K701 which has been used for 1000-2000 hours. I really enjoyed this particular pair more than my K501 which I eventually sold to another Head Fier. The K701 I own now has better detail than the K501, more extension in treble and bass and wider sounstage. The K501 has more coherent imaging and more forgiving with badly recorded music than the K701. I hope that helps!
    1. actorlife
      Nice review! How much do the 501's go for these days?
      actorlife, Aug 31, 2011
    2. actorlife
      Meaning used.
      actorlife, Aug 31, 2011
    3. homeros8000
      120-200 it's variable.
      homeros8000, Aug 31, 2011
  7. Lewzke
    K501 - legend headphone
    Written by Lewzke
    Published Feb 24, 2011
    4.5/5,
    Pros - very airy, pretty balanced and detailed sound with huge soundstage and great midrange
    Cons - hard to drive
    Setup: EMU 0404 -> Corda Aria -> K501 (ver. 1.0)
     
    This headphone is ideal for acoustic and classical music. I love the airy character of the sound that makes lively. Great for quality live records. Overall detail is very good especially on the midrange. The bass is punchy and full with a powerfull amp.
  8. FritzS
    K501 - an old AKG flagship
    Written by FritzS
    Published Jan 4, 2011
    4.0/5,
    Pros - very relaxed sound
    Cons - little rolloff on both ends (treble, bass), compared to the 70x line
    Compared to the Q701, K701, D7000 the K501 spend a very relaxed sound to me.
    You could here with this headphone many hours without tiredness.
    Compared direct with the Q701 I notice a little rolloff on both ends (treble, bass). 
    A very good headphone for little instrumentation ... e.g. a vocalist and a guitar and for some classic music too.
    It's a headphone that headphone »freaks« must have.
    Cons - AKG don't made them furthermore, it's obsolete.
     
    I bought it almost good as new and checked by AKG.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. bracko
      For $60 paid it has to be a higher value rating! 5 stars at least. This headphone is great value at $200.
      bracko, Jan 13, 2013
    3. Quinto
      Still love my K501's with K601 pads...Perfect for chamber music. I'm thinking of buying a K712 pro or Annies for orchestral music, since the K501 is a bit bass light with Mahler & Shostakovich..
      Quinto, Sep 19, 2013
    4. jdpark
      jdpark, Jul 27, 2015

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