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AKG K420 sound leakage?

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  1. Hanzol
    So i've been looking around for a pair of headphones in the price class of the AKG K420 etc., around 30-40 euro. The specs say that they are half-open; what exactly does that mean? I'm going to be using mine during long bus travels and the like, and I prefer not to annoy my fellow passengers too much. If i'm playing music at a low-moderate sound in said headphones, how much would for example the person sitting next to me hear? What is acceptable? Thus far i've been using the standard ipod earplugs, and I haven't realised how much people around you actually hear while using them.
     
    I really don't want to spend alot of money on headphones to get some greatly isolating closed ones for example.
     
  2. Danneq
    If you do not play your music too loud, the K420 will not leak much. It depends on if you think it is okay that sound leaks in. The K420 does not isolate at all, and if you want the music to overpower noises from the outside, your music will leak and probably disturb the person next to you. I enjoy my K420 (when I am not using other headphones) and I seldom push the volume over 50% on any of my MP3 players when using the K420's. I am not undisturbed in my music listening this way, but the K420 are great headphones and very engageing, so I accept that...
     
  3. W1CKED
    Sometimes I use my K420s while on the bus too
     
    I've tried holding it about 1.5 feet away from me while on the bus and playing music about 50% on my player
    with the noises on the bus, i couldnt hear the leakage at all
     
    like "Danneq" said above, if you raise the volume to overpower the noise (which is really loud), people would hear your music too lol
    it's fine if you just not overpower the ambient noises around you and let them blend with the music  :)
     
    but imo i just can't help thinking that IEMs would suit you better, something like Brainwavzs is in your price range and also sounds great (I own the ProAlpha, somehow, to me it sounded kinda like K420 with a little less bass)
    take a look at this thread by ljokerl for info :)
     
  4. Hanzol


    Quote:


    I have tinnitus so I'd preferably avoid IEM's because of the 'in-your-face(ear)' approach IEM's have to your ears.
     
  5. Danneq

     
    Quote:

    I'm there with you, dude! Got some tinnitus in my left ear, and it has been there for over 10 years, since my early twenties...
     
    I never use IEM's. I prefer earbuds or headphones, and I accept that I do not need perfect isolation when I listen to music on the go.
     
  6. Hanzol


    Quote:

    Only had mine for about a year now, left ear aswell. With that said, I'm not really bothered by sound leaking OUT, what i'm concerned with with the K420 is people around me being annoyed (even though I don't plan on blasting full volume, not at all, I usually have quite low vol just to relax).
     
  7. Danneq
    I have used my K420 with about 50% volume with my different MP3 players, and they do not leak and bother people. Mind you, I did use them on trains last year when I lived in Japan, and there they are very sensitive about things like that. If you blast 75% or louder, I do not doubt that people will notice it an become annoyed.
    Just be prepared to lower the volume if someone frowns or something.
     
    The K420 have a great sound signature. "Thick" and music at the same time. The music is "in your face", but not in the same way as IEM's, of course.
     
  8. scompton Contributor
    K240 shouldn't leak at reasonable volume levels.  If it did, it couldn't be used in studios because the leaked sound could be picked up by mikes. 
     
    Using open headphones on public transportation is a really bad idea.  Even with IEMs, I can't listen to just any music on the subway. Quiet music is drowned out by the background.   To hear much of anything over background noise with an open headphone, you'll be turning the volume up past healthy levels.  I've not heard any full sized closed headphones that really isolate well enough for mass transit.
     
  9. Hanzol
    Ok, thanks guys. I think i'm gonna have to go for a closed pair to be more secure in that regard. Maybe i'll just move on to the K430.
     
  10. Danneq
    @ Hanzol - if you worry about sound leaking in and drowning out the music, perhaps closed headphones are better. Some people seem to prefer the sound signature that the (semi-)open K420 produce to the K430's. There is always the K450, or a relatively cheap and bassy option - the K518 LE/DJ. Both of those are closed.
     
    As I wrote before, if you accept that outside noise intrudes on your music, open phones are not a problem. If you want to hear the music well, and raise the volume, you should perhaps go for phones that have more isolation.
     
     
    @ scompton. It's not the K240 we're talking about. They are a bit too much for portable phones. I don't think anyone uses K420 in the studio.  [​IMG]
     
    Here are the K420 and the K430
     
     
    K20420202620K43020C2A339_99202620C2A349_99.jpg
     
     
     
     
    There is also the brand new K422 which seems to offer slightly more isolation than the K420.
    775299-akg-k422bWF4LTYwMHg2MDA.jpg
     
  11. Hanzol

     
    Quote:

     
    I tried searching around if anyone sold the K422, found no stores at all. And there are zero at ebay aswell. Those look interesting I must say, what price range are they in; below the AKG450? People said the cables for the K450 aren't very good, is that something AKG might've readjusted for this one?
     
  12. Danneq
    The K422 appears to be very new. They are not even on the AKG homepage.
     
    I found two threads here on Head fi. One of them was where I first found out that the K422 exists.
     
    http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/537644/advice-on-buying-headphones-akg-k420-k450-etc
     
    http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/536737/looking-for-a-new-set-of-foldable-headphones-akg-k-430-k-450-k-518-sennheiser-px-200-ii#post_7252236
     
     
    Perhaps you might need to wait a bit for the K422 to become more available. I have not found a price for these either, but it should be around the same as the K420.
     
    Have you considered the K518 LE? They are not too expensive. Perhaps $60 or $70. They sound very good for the price. A bit bassy, even after you remove the extra foam layer in the earpads, but it can be EQ'd away. They might clamp on your ears a bit, but if you strech them out over some books for a day or two, the clamping feeling can be reduced.
     
    EDIT: About cables, I have no idea about the K450, but my K420 has got a pretty solid cable. It is not as flexible as other cables, so I suspect that it is a steel cable instead of copper(?). I read one review on AKG's homepage where the connector had broken, but the cable seems solid. My wife has got the K518LE and that cable seems solid as well. It has got the same type of connector as the K420. I think all the portable AKG headphones in the same price group have the same or similar cables...
     
  13. Danneq
    Found some more info on the K422. They seem to be a model excusively for a French store called FNAC.
     
    http://www.ciao.fr/AKG_K_422__2522794
     
    http://www.fnac.com/AKG-K422/a3109268/w-4?SID=e21a18d0-5b0f-e8ac-c0f9-fdbe654cc592&UID=0A4200AB5-77A6-1C62-5665-F1740E7E8B19&Origin=CIAO_PT&OrderInSession=1&TTL=070820111258
     
    I do not speak French, so I translated online, but this is what it says on the FNAC web page (bold marking by me):
    "A clever and unique helmet, exclusively at Fnac! In semi-open design, it delivers a haunting and without distortion, even at full volume. Lightweight and comfortable thanks to its built-in padding, it offers an ingenious folding system on a three-dimensional axis. It will house easily in the included case."
     
     
    It might be a really exclusive and limited model (unlike the K518 Limited Edition which isn't limited at all), or it will be released worldwide in a while. If you cannot buy from France, you can only wait and see.
     
  14. Hanzol
    Thanks again for the help. I have looked into the K518, both DJ and LE. What put me off is mainly the size of the earmuffs compared to the other AKG models. I like the subtlety of those smaller ones. I've read reports about them not being very comfortable aswell.
     
    I probably should wait a bit to see how the K422 sale evolves. It seems it's possible to order to here from France though so that's good. I suppose what's less good is if there should appear some warranty issues and such and i'd have to deal with the french store. If the K422 is pretty much the closed version of K420 they should be quite good I assume, judging by how praised the K420 is. I wonder what type of material the padding is made of though, doesn't look like the leathery material that's on the K430/450.
     
  15. Danneq
    The K518 can be "modded" to be more comfortable. In this case the modding is simply streching the headband so that the earcups do not press on the ears that much. You can also put some padding on the headband to ease pressure on the top of the head...
     
    It looks like the padding on the K422 is made from textile. I do not know how it will last compared to pleather. But perhaps you can change the textile earpads for K430 or K450 pleather earpads?
     
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