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AKG K518 LE Review

  1. mihirwadia
    I got these while looking for a closed headphone for the office so my coworkers wouldn't hear everything like they do on my Grados. So, I took the plunge hoping they would be good based on the reviews here.

    Equipment/Source: Zune 120GB with 320kbps mp3 files run through a Fiio E5 amp.

    Lets get on with the review.

    Comfort: These are quite uncomfortable...more so than any other headphone I've tried. I don't have a big head but these are seriously tight. People who say that Grados are uncomfortable haven't experienced these yet!! If I didn't weigh as much as I do, someone could lift me with these headphones on my head!! I will try stretching these out on some speakers for a few days and see if it helps.

    Sound: This is where you think: "I'll live with the clamps!!!" Of course there are better sounding headphones out there but you'd be hard pressed to find something that sounds so good for this price. Although a little heavy on the bass, the highs and mids are also nicely balanced.

    Mod: These come with some foam pieces covering the drivers inside the pads. With the foam, they sound extremely bassy and the highs and mids are muffled. Pull the foam out and you'll notice an immediate improvement in the sound. It doesn't damage the headphones, takes all of 5 seconds and you can always put it back in if you don't like the sound. In my case, I prefer the sound with the foam pads off and that's how it's gonna stay.

    Price/Value: For the price, these are extremely good value (less than 50). You could spend more and go for the Bose or the Beats but these are MUCH cheaper and beat them both on sound quality by a HUGE margin unless you like bloated and muddy bass without any other aspect of sound.

    I would definitely recommend these if you're looking for a closed headphone. If you don't mind an open headphone that would leak sound out and in, go for the Grado SR80i or even the SR60i...my favorites for under $100.

    BTW...this is my first review!! :)
  2. nonsupremous

    I spit water right through my nose when I read that!  Good assessment.  They are like vice grips on the noggin for sure.  Good first review btw.  Could you describe the sound difference before and after you pulled the foam cushion out?  How much did the mid and high open up and the bass fall back? 
  3. chelboed
    Good to hear about these. I'm looking into these adn the k81's as a slightly more portable alternative to the m50 or k181's. Price is nice...though where are you getting them for $50?
  4. mihirwadia

    You can get them from Amazon.com - The orange ones are listed by warehouse deals for $46. Warehouse deals is a sister concern of amazon. The ones I got were as good as new. I think the only reason they reduced the price was because the box had some damage. Even if go for the new ones, they're $59 for the orange ones. Prices differ by color.

  5. mihirwadia

    Its hard to quantify but if i was to assess it qualitatively, I would say that the vocals sound a little more forward, the vocal 's' sounds a little more alive. The highs open up a bit in the sense the cymbals have a little more shimmer and there is a little more detail. The difference is subtle but can definitely be heard if you listen closely. The bass sounds just a little tighter too than with the foam pads on.

    Hope this helps.
  6. akacoke
    these have really boomy bass, the decay time is very long.  vocal is thin and clear IMO
  7. LaughMoreDaily
    I bought these a year or so ago at Winners for $30 and they've been sitting in a drawer ever since because of the hard clamping headband. I just did the foam mod and now will endure the clamping for the now way better sound. The foam dampens them like crazy and without it opens everything up. This is a high-quality pair of headphones that probably compare to $200 ones.

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