AKG Y50 Black On-Ear Headphone with In-Line One-Button Universal Remote/Microphone, Black

General Information

There are a lot of good headphones out there but few have the credentials for sound quality that AKG enjoys - with over 65 years of Grammy-recognized achievement and the respect of musicians everywhere. Hearing them is only part of the magic of AKG - as the AKG Y50s represent a new breed of exceptional on-ear headphone for people demanding more: more quality, more convenience, more flexibility. Their inspirational performance is matched by a bold styling and a lightweight, comfortable fit that redefines the category. Slip them on. Feel yourself escape into the luxury of rich sound with enhanced bass. Of hands-free controls placed just right for an ease of operation whether you're plugged into your smartphone or other device of your choice. Their closed-back design eliminates any other sounds but the ones you want to be hearing, providing a snug, comfortable fit that won't wear you down like many headphones. Choose a look and color to complement your personal touch - while you become a catalyst for quality and taste.

Latest reviews


New Head-Fier
AKG Y50: Hidden Gem in 2022
Pros: - VERY pronounced BASS
- Detailed and Lush Mid
- The warmth
- Laid back sound signature
- Dirt Cheap in 2022
Cons: - Kind of early high roll-off
- Comfort
- Any cons here are basically very nitpicking
AKG Y50: Supposed to be Beats Contender but it's A LOT MORE

Another Amateur Audio's Review! A little context to the Y50, this is a pretty old headphone, dating back to 2014. At the time, Beats Headphone was the go-to lifestyle headphone just because artists endorsed them even though they sound crap. This Y50 right here is an attempt by AKG to route the Beats Headphone owner to AKG's line of products, designed to directly compete with Beats.

TL;DR: Comparing ANY Beats to this was a HUGE Insult to AKG.


AKG does not sponsor me. I bought the unit's total price for myself. The review will be simple but honest.

Gear Used
- MacBook Pro M1 2020
- FiiO Q1 Mark II
- iPhone 13
- Arturia Minifuse 2

To the review...
Let's break down the review into 3 parts, which are Packaging and Accessories, Comfort, and Sound.

Packaging and Accessories - 8/10
Basically, it is really revealing about the product. It is basic packaging yet intriguing and seems complete. It includes the headphone, a detachable 2.5mm (balanced) to 3.5mm cable with a microphone, a really nice pouch, a 3.5mm to 1/4" Adapter, and some paperwork.

Comfort - 6/10
The comfort is mediocre like any other On-Ear Headphone. The clamping force is not that hard for me, but for some people with a bigger head, it'll clamp a lot harder. This is due to the metal headband which has little to no padding. Even with my big head, it stays on my head nicely though I have to take it out several times on a longer listening session. The isolation is great, provided this is a closed-back on-ear headphone. Other than the on-ear issue I mentioned, there's nothing else, I guess.

Sound - 8.6/10
Allow me to elaborate. All are tested using MacBook > Arturia Minifuse > Headphone.

Bass - 10/10
Basically one of the biggest reasons you'd buy these cans. The bass is SUPER. The amount is good, the punch is hitting your face directly. The sub is rumbling hard, and the mid-bass sounds amazing. Overall bass sounds clean and definitely fun for listening to today's pop song or EDM. The mid-bass, however, sometimes bleeds into the mid though this is kinda nitpicking. Note, that this big bass is definitely not for everyone, but for someone that looks for the fun factor on the bass, this is it, buddy.

Mid - 9/10
The mid is actually good. I was expecting a more V-shaped sound, but nope. It is warm, lush, and very smooth overall. The vocal sounds great, timbre is sounding realistic, especially for the price. The imaging and soundstage on the mid are decent but not as wide as an open-back (obviously). Very surprising indeed that AKG decided to make a warm, laid-back sound signature rather than a V-shaped sound signature that's usually on consumer headphones.

High - 7/10
The high is, as expected, rolled off pretty early. Don't get me wrong, it's a nice high response and really smooth, but it lacks the sparkle and the air. I personally love a sparkly and airy set of cans, so for the high, it's quite left to be desired. Again, as to the warm sound signature, this is expected and nothing to be worried about if you're looking for warmer cans.

I love these headphones. The price I paid at the time I bought it (2020) was around $40, but currently, in my country, it is massively discounted to a mere $20. Yes, you read it right. It's priced like a large pan of pizza. CAN YOU EVEN BELIEVE THAT AN AKG IS PRICED AT A MERE $20? Seriously, buy these whenever you find them. The original price of $99 is even worth the price, don't think of not buying one if you see one below $50.
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Thanks for the review


Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: Very light, good build qualitly, compact
Cons: mid bass blead, headband shape
This review is for AKG by Harman Y50’s
Let me introduce myself my name is Adam I am a 38 years old, I have been into audio equipment since I was in high school. I don’t consider myself an audiophile, I am just an average guy that loves music. I like to listen to my music with the best possible quality. My journey to Head-Fi started one day doing a search on the web for headphone reviews. Just about all searches for headphones and ear buds brings you to Head-Fi, after lurking for a couple weeks I finally made an account and here I am writing reviews. Being on Head-Fi I have learned so much and I am learning something new every day.

Since I am your average Tom, Dick, or Harry working a 9 to 5 job, raising 2.5 kids and a dog that know one takes care of but me. My reviews are written geared towards the average consumer since most web searches direct you to Head-Fi. Head-Fi reviews get more traffic than most pro-audio magazine or any designated review site, you won't find my reviews filled with audiophile terms or do I use graphs, meters, or charts the only tools I use are the ones stuck on the side of my head, there cheaper and it's the only tool that matters in the end. To be honest audiophile terms confuse me, some of them have 2 different meanings depending on who you talk to, or the definition says to see another term. Being a simple guy and write know better than a 10th grader, if you have at least a 6th grade education you are in luck. So if you're looking for the other type of review, skip down about 67 pages and you will eventually find one. If you just want to know if this product sounds good and is worth all your hard earned cash, then you're like me then, so keep on reading.
Before I get into the review I would like to say thank you to Derrick at Harman for sending me out the Y50’s to review. I am not employed by Harman or am I being compensated for this review, this review is based off of my honest opinions. The Y50 MSRP $99.95 here is a link for more information on them.
The Y50’s are a portable on ear headphone and come in many color options, they also come with a in-line one-button universal remote/mic. The Y series headphone line up is geared towards today’s younger generation, the tuning of their sound signature backs this up also.  Nowadays just about every company offers some kind of headphone for portable use. You can’t leave the house without seeing kids from 10 years old and up not using some kind of portable headphone or ear bud.  Y50’s at first glance is not your typical AKG look, it’s more of an urbanite and modern looking headphone that would catch the eye of any youngster.
Having 2 kids one in there 20’s and the other in her teens, the majority of kids in this age group you will usually find them listening to rap, hip-hop, dubstep, and pop. So let’s see if the Y50’s will sound good and appeal to today’s younger generation.
Closed-back headphones
Frequency Response
Maximum Input Power
100 mW
Input Impedance
32 ohms
115 dB SPL/V                                                                                                                     

1.20 m
99.99% oxygen-free cable
Jack plug 3.5mm, hard gold-plated
190 g

AKG Y50’s come in a cardboard box with a clear plastic front for viewing. The headphones are packaged inside in black plastic blow form. The packaging is what you would expect at the price point. On the back of the box you will find all your specs and other information on the headphones in a couple different languages.  It gets your headphones from point A to B safely during shipping.
1 pair of AKG Y 50 On-ear headphones
1 detachable cable w. universal one-button remote/mic
3.5 – 6.3mm adapter
Soft travel pouch
AKG Y50’s come with the basic accessories at this price point, they do include a nice neoprene carrying case with AKG printed across the front. The carrying case is very nice and has to be the thickest neoprene I have ever seen or felt. They also include a ¼ adaptor incase you are going to use it with another source at home. The cable included comes with a remote/mic with a 1 button function.
On to the build the Y50’s are made for portable use and they are very light and a minimalist design. The pair I received are black, they are made of both plastic and metal. The ear cups are aluminum, painted in satin black with AKG printed across them. I really like the looks of the ear cups, it’s a very techno modern look and stylish. But what do I know I am 38 years old and my kids tell me I need to update my wardrobe.  On to the headband, it’s less than an inch wide made from spring steel connected to a plastic housing that can be adjusted to 10 different positions for people with large heads. A small padded faux leather band is on the underside for maximum comfort. The ear cups are on hinges and can be rotated to store them flat, they also fold inwards to store them in the included neoprene bag. The ear cups are connected to the headband by a plastic arm that swivels up and down to form around your ear.
Y50’s ear pads are made from faux leather and can be removed for cleaning. On the inside of the ear cups they are marked with a L and R.  The fit of the Y50’s was very comfortable and can be worn for hours. I really liked how thin the headband was it pretty much disappears when wearing them, you won’t have to worry about any hot spots either. Being an on ear headphone you do get some ambient noise leakage. If listening to these at high volumes there is also is a good amount of sound leakage for others to hear.
The cable is coated in a soft non slip rubber material, the plug is set at 90 degrees. I really like the plug design, it’s profile is very low and won’t stick out far from your source. The plugs housings are also some kind of nonslip rubber, the housing of the control button is made from plastic also but has a high-gloss finish on it. The cable has good strain relief on both ends, I would have liked to seen a cable without a mic included also.
Overall I really like the design of the Y50’s, they are lightweight and have a sturdy build quality. There look will appeal to many younger and older generations, style is a big part of today’s younger generation and if it doesn't look good you can forget about it.
Most of my listening was done with my AK100II, I also used the following Samsung Alpha cell phone, Lenovo laptop, and Fiio X1. The Y50’s are easy to drive no amping is necessary, all my music files were either hi-res flac, wav, or mp3 format.
The overall sound to my ears is slightly V shaped, this kind of sound signature  will for sure appeal to my kids and peers alike.  The lower end of the Y50’s is boomy and hit’s hard, mid bass is more prominent the sub bass. This kind of bass works better with hip-hop and rap, there is some mid bass bleed into the midrange  and can take away details in vocals. The mids are detailed and smooth sounding when listening to tracks that don’t call for a lot of low end. The higher frequencies are slightly elevated without being ear piercing. The upper frequencies have good clarity to them, but are not overdone. The higher registers sound exceptional better with electronica and edm music.
Listening to rock and live music, the midrange can sound overly warm to me, switching to hip-hop and rap you will hear a more balanced sound. Instrument separation and sound stage is about average, on ear headphones I find don’t help in these departments.
V  shaped signature headphones isn’t my first headphone to go to, my personal preferences are more towards a neutral sound. A lot of people do like V shaped sound sigs, these may be right up your alley if that is you. This type of sound signature fits the general consumers listening preferences and a good amount of younger people. Most companies stick to there house sound AKG saw a market towards a younger generation and ran with it.
Using the one button controls worked to play and pause the tracks coming out of my cell phone. Making phone calls the one button worked as expected, using for phone calls the clarity of the person on the other end sounded unbelievable good. The Y50’s has to be one of the best headphones I have used for hands free calls. I always use my mother for testing headphones for phone calls, since she is hard of hearing. The lovely woman on the other end couldn’t tell I was using a hands free device.

If the particular headphone that I am reviewing is not to my taste it will be someone else’s favorite. Established companies do a lot of research for a specific targeted age group for their product, and the Y50’s are tuned and geared toward  a younger generation and I have no doubt that they will be loved by many. Winning 2014 product of the year from What Hi-Fi? can back there success, I would have know problem recommending these to anyone that is looking for a reasonably priced portable headphone for music I listed in my review.
There worth the price just in there build quality, most headphones in this price are typically all made from plastic. It’s hard to find products that are reasonably priced, that both sound good and are built good, and the Y50’s achieved both of these. I can know finally let my daughters use these again, I had a hard time pulling them away from my kids to write this review. They are my ultimate Beta testers for portable equipment, especially for style and fashion. It must meet my kids approval, and if it can withstand the abuse my kids put products through it will last for many years. I hope this helped anyone interested in purchasing these thanks for reading.
Great honest review!
Nice review Acain! But the AKG can't stand to the beauty of that stand LOL
It is so hard for me to read a review that has such an incredible mess of incorrect English usage.


Pros: Inexpensive, well-built, beautiful detail and soundstage, deep and textured bass
Cons: Can become a little fatiguing on the ears, colours, perform better when amplified

Let's start by stating the obvious criticism that has been thrown at the Y50s – the coloured versions of these headphones. They are obviously love/hate, and I personally (like many I've heard from) hate them – in particular the yellow ones. The Y50s are, from what I am led to believe, AKG’s attempt at a lifestyle product – taking on the likes of Beats and Sennheiser Urbanites.
This is why, predictably, I chose the black version. It’s subtler, and despite the size of the AKG logo on the cups, the gloss black logo on matt black finish does tone everything down a bit. I'm surprised at AKG for this cosmetic treatment, as typically their equipment is on the conservative side.
With this huge caveat out of the way, we can concentrate on what is an excellent product.
In the box
Inside the packaging, which is workmanlike but not exactly premium, is the headphones, detachable cable with inline universal one-button remote/mic, soft drawstring bag and a 3.5 to 6.3mm adaptor.
Looks 8/10 (Black version)
Aside from the coloured versions, which I’ve covered, these are a handsome looking pair of headphones when you actually get them out of the box. The polished bevel around the cups adds an air of sophistication, and the matt plastics not only look good, they feel substantial and high quality. The surround of the bevel has a nice touch, with tiny AKG icon cut outs all the way around, with the joint from the headband to the cups also featuring the AKG icon. The AKG logo again features on the headband, and whilst this might sound like branding overkill, it’s actually done in quite a subtle fashion. Whilst I prefer the look of the Sennheiser Momentums (who doesn’t), the Y50s are attractive enough to be worn as a lifestyle product without looking like you’re trying to hard in the office.
Build 9/10
The Y50s feel really substantial. Only time will tell if they stand up to the abuse they'll be subjected to, but as these are intended as portable headphones that fold, they should in theory last the distance. The plastics used certainly feel high quality, and in general build quality feels good. Let's bear in mind these are £80 headphones though, and compared to the fragile feeling Beats these are positively bulletproof.
Comfort 6/10
I’ve always found on-ear headphones the most difficult to get along with. Over-ear headphones just seem more comfortable. Unfortunately, the Y50s haven’t changed this opinion for me. I wouldn’t call them uncomfortable, but longer periods of wearing may cause some fatigue on the ears. The pads are soft, but the band does pull the headphones in tight on the head and the ears get quite warm.
I’ve read elsewhere that the Y50s are intended to tempt customers away from Beats, and that the sound signature is similar. I can confirm this to be absolutely NOT the case, and to even mention the Y50s in the same sentence as even the most expensive Beats is an insult to AKG. I have never yet listened to a pair of Beats headphones that I have wanted to take home with me at any cost – all the marketing in the world cannot hide generic drivers, lightweight plastic casing and an artificial sound signature.
AKG describe the Y50 as having “signature AKG-quality sound with enriched bass performance”. If by this they mean they have coloured the sound signature to provide a deeper, enhanced bass, this isn’t massively apparent - unlike other headphones where the bass is overemphasized at the detriment of the rest of the frequency range. In fact, I found the bass to be about right – that is to say it’s very evident but not in an artificial way. Mid-bass is punch and tight, and the kick drum in Elbow’s “Mirrorball” is powerful without stealing the show. Sub bass, when it’s there to be had, comes in smooth but thickly textured layers that is inherently musical and not just noise – the bass track to Daft Punk’s “Lose Yourself to Dance” sounds deep and tuneful and doesn’t muddy the waters. Ironically, Dr Dre’s “What’s the Difference” had deeper sub bass and tighter mid bass than the headphones that bear his name.
Treble is precise and nicely separated, although poorly produced music can become a little fatiguing – especially on inherently bright sources. In general though, it’s there in just the right amount at the right time, cymbals are clear and crisp without being too abrasive.
Mids on the Y50s follow suite – no one particular frequency is dominant, and if anything the mid is the only slightly subdued performer.
Where the Y50s really shine, for portable, closed back, on-ear headphones that is, is the detail and soundstage. Whilst they aren’t as open and as spacious as AKG’s K550 or something like a Grado SR80e, they don’t leak noise and they have substantially more bass response. Madonna’s “Swim”, for example, is deeply immersive, although being produced by William Orbit helps. Newton Faulkner’s “Uncomfortably Slow” is deeply revealing with layers of detail and dimension – close your eyes and you’re in the recording studio with him.
Unsurprisingly, the Y50s perform better with well-produced music. They aren't overly fussy, but poorly produced music doesn't come across particularly well. Where they can, the Y50s will reveal the beautiful sonic detail in your music collection.
With a retail of £80, the Y50s are already popping up for £60 on some online retailers. At £80, these are a bargain. At £60, it’s daylight robbery and you should have one eye over your shoulder for the Police (whilst listening to The Police?)


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