Akg k550 questions
Jan 18, 2013 at 10:24 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 3


New Head-Fier
Jan 18, 2013
Hi all. Decided to sign up after a few months "lurking" and reading reviews etc. Seems a great forum.

Ok I've been on the lookout / saving for a new pair of headphones for a while and im pretty much sold on the Akg k550's they "seem" exactly what im looking for in a heaadphone. Down to quality of sound, looks, and being pretty much good all rounders for a mix of genres. 70/30 portability (a lot of home use and bus and train rides etc). Ill also be mostly using them with a Galaxy Note 2 which thankfully has the Wolfson dac and a home hifi (Sony cd player and Nad amp). I - might - even use them for plugging into a Vox tube amp for some guitar playing.

Ive seen and read plenty of reviews around the internet and their all pretty much 90% positive, its actually hard to find something bad about them for their price range. The only iffy thing I have heard soundwise is an apparent lack of bass. However, if i have read all these reviews right these are a reference class headphone designed with a fairly flat eq response to produce a good neutral and somewhat transparent sound?

- Also I got to say Tyll's review on innerfidelity was great so thanks for that! -

Ok, getting down to it. This may sound a little "silly" but the main thing that bothers me is the length of the damn cable! It seems way too long for portable use.

I currently have a pair of cheap Sony mdr- xd100s and ended up having a friend to solder the cable for me as out of the box it was that long you could wear the headphones and have your phone in your back pocket and skip with the excess cable! Before those I had a pair of the Philips citiscape downtowns which were just "ok" and nothing to write home about. So the Akg's would be a massive upgrade on both and a welcome addition to my pursuit of sound.

I've noticed theres the "new" k551's out now and the only significant differences seem to be a shorter cable, mic control and a 50/50 inclusion of a carry pouch and I have to say they do look pretty cool in silver. However, they are a good £80 - £100 more and that price difference surely cannot warrant for the sake of having a shorter cable!

Ive seen the detachable cable mods people have done and quite like the idea of that as you would have the option of upgrading the cable. If there is anyone in the Uk doing these would it be cool to get a quote before I go buying?

Also im unsure to ask but if anyone is selling a pair (unmodded or modded) id be really interested (Amazon put them up today to £160 something from the £140 something they were previously, and they dont seem to go much cheaper on ebay etc)

Just to throw a complete spanner in the works ive also been looking at the Q701's too. The only "signature" headphone i would consider buying. I understand the K550's are closed back while the Q701's are open back so on the surface the difference must be like night and day? However, the k550's are designed to sound like an open back headphone. If anyone could point out a few significant differences that would be great.

However, im - very - unsure about the Q701's as they are open back so not suited for portable use? But they do have a detachable cable out the box and I actually quite like them in green!

Thats again to Tyll for his review of the Q701's!

Any help / guidance appreciated

Thanks in advance and I think im going to enjoy being part of these forums.

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Jan 19, 2013 at 2:45 AM Post #2 of 3
You could probably tie up the excess cable, and it wouldn't be too bad. You should also be able to reterminate the cable with very little difficulty. It would literally involve buying a plug (<$10), and spending 10 minutes soldering it on. 

I suggest you do not go for the K701 series if you want any sort of isolation. Another note to keep in mind is that compared to them, the K550 is considered bassy, although I do not consider mines that in the least.
Jan 19, 2013 at 2:50 AM Post #3 of 3
Another option for if you want a shorter cable and you're not comfortable soldering cables is getting the detachable cable mod from BTG Audio. Would let you use a shorter cable on the go and a longer one at home.

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