Astell&Kern AKT1p Impressions Thread

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by jwbrent, Oct 2, 2015.
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  1. jwbrent

    As I'm sure you've read, one significant difference between the AKT5p and the AKT1p is the latter uses a semi-open design. Since you mention you want to use them for travel, the AKT5p might be a better choice. As to the premium over the Beyer version, since you plan on a non-AK DAP, I'd probably save the money and buy the Beyer version.
    I wrote a detailed impression on the Colorfly C4, and unless there have been significant improvements, I might suggest a different DAP.
  2. subguy812
    I would agree with jwbrent. Stating your thoughts and wishes I would think the T5p would be to your best benefit. It would also save your wallet. I love the AKT5p but I am pairing with an AK player and using their defined eq settings. Claims are the T5p is thinner sounding than the AKT5p and from the few impressions it appears the new semi open AKT1p is a bit thin sounding as well, and it is not closed thus making it not a great choice to go out and about with. The AKT5p is expensive, I found mine open box and paid a little more than the T5p so the expense is more palatable. 
  3. whiskyman
    Thanks guys. If I do consider an AK player (prices are super high for a portable), do you guys think the AKT5p would be worth it then? I haven't had a chance to demo the AK players but planning to try them out soon. (Probably be considering the 120 II and the 240, the 380 is far more than what i want to pay)
  4. XERO1
  5. subguy812
    It is impossible for me to say what would be worth it to you. I know to me it is worth it. jwbrent has a great dap a 240ss, I just dont want to afford one, but I am envious. Let me give you my opinions of the 100ii and 120ii. I love the pairing with either. I prefer the storage size of the 120ii and the tiny extra bit of power. For long listening sessions there is just a little something that makes the sound quality a little easier to listen to with the 100ii. With either dac the sound to my ears is just right when paired with the AKT5p. The AKT5p did not appear to be wildly popular judging from the lack of comments found anywhere. Probably the price and the fact that it's little brother, the T5p was much cheaper. Also it is marketed to be paired with an AK dap which makes an expensive pairing. To me they are the most open sounding closed headphone I have heard.
    jwbrent likes this.
  6. whiskyman
    Thanks for the helpful comments. I'll be trying out the AK players on monday (probably with LCD-XCs, normal T5ps and Oppo PM-3s) so will be able to make a decision on those vs the colorfly c4 and hifiman 901. However, I can't try the AK T5p or AK T1p here. If I do decide to get an AK player and don't mind spending the extra for an AK headphone too, would the T1P or AKT5P be a better choice for outright sound quality? I'll be using them on the go but largely in quiet environments. Thanks!
  7. subguy812
    AK dap I would go for the AKT5p between the options you mentioned. The Oppo PM-3's are good but I smile each time I put the AKT5p on my head. The only comparisons I can give are not from 1st hand experience. There have been two headfier's in this thread that have mentioned the characteristics of the AKT1p, one said if your main genre is classical they would be great. The AKT5p offers a detailed and fuller sound. There is probably a reason this is still priced higher than the newer AKT1p.
  8. jwbrent

    I concur with subguy about the sound of the AKT5p: it has a full sound with no hint of edginess in the highs. Because it is terminated with a 2.5mm balanced plug, it is designed to be used with AK daps. As to the AKT5p EQ setting on AK daps, I don't really use it much finding little to no eq works best for me. The AKT5ps are extremely comfortable, much more so than my former Audeze LCD-XCs. I like the sound better than the XCs too which I found too detailed for my tastes. The soundstage is impressive for a closed back design, the best I've heard, and I've owned many closed back designs.
    I'm still interested in reading observations about the AKT1ps. I also like the fact the cables are detachable. But in the end, I have a feeling I will stick with what I have ...
  9. subguy812
    +1 on the detachable cables. I noticed they tout the AKT1p as a portable solution but I would be much more inclined to use the closed back AKT5p as a portable. I too want more impressions.
  10. whiskyman
    Had the great fortune of trying out the AK T1Ps a few hours ago. Tried them against the AK T5ps, normal T5ps, Audez'e LCD-XCs and Oppo PM-3s. Sources were a colorfly C4, AK 120 II and AK380.
    Impressions for individual equipment:
    AK 380: AK 380 is superb. Produces a jet black background and drives all the headphones with control and authority, yet ekes out amazing detail from every one of them. The price is insane for a portable media player but you do hear the difference between this and the colorfly c4 and ak 120 II. Really found that this player brought out the best in every headphone and didn't really pair badly with any of them.Would say soundwise, I'd rank the headphones in this order LCD-XC, T1P, AKT5p, T5p, PM-3
    AK 120 II: They didn't have the more popular 240 in stock but the 120 II is supposed to sound exactly the same for non DSD music. Found this to be an extremely good sounding player too. Similar style to the AK 380 but just a touch less detail, smaller soundstage and a little less bass thump. Build quality still great. For some reason though, found this player didn't gel with the T1p though. Just sounded slightly thin and the bass was quite a bit worse than with the AK 380. 
    Colorfly C4: Such an old player but still IMO the most physically beautiful. UI is utter rubbish compared to the AK players but using that analogue volume attenuator almost makes up for it. Sound wise, surprisingly good. Would say it's a tiny bit worse than the 120 II overall but actually better for certain headphones. With the LCD-XC, the bass doesn't hit as deep compared to the AK 120 II. However, it definitely pairs better with the T1p and regular T5p than the 120 II. Much more musical and makes those two headphones an absolute blast to listen to. I'd say overall, the 120 II is slightly better technically (blacker background, slightly more 3D soundstage) but the C4 is a bit more musical and has the potential to still extract tons of detail.
    LCD-XC: Best sound overall IMO. Not by a huge margin, but overall what I thought was best. Was good with all 3 players, had the most detail, great bass and just enjoyably smooth, liquid balance across the entire frequency range. No songs sounded bad from these headphones. however, I decided not to buy due to the insane weight which I found uncomfortable after 30 or so minutes of use.
    AK T1p: Interesting headphones. I found them slightly less detailed than the regular T1 (2nd gen) from memory. However, still a superb headphone. Treble isn't hot but can be a little uneven on certain songs. Bass is solid if not great. Midrange and soundstage, very good and very musical with both the AK 380 and Colorfly C4. Something just didn't sound right with the 120 II though, bass was reduced and sounded sterile. Honestly loved this combo with the Colorfly C4 but still thinking about whether I'll regret buying a semi open headphone, they do allow quite a bit of sound to flow in and out
    AK T5p: Super comfortable. More comfortable than the T1 imo due to the leather cups. (personal preference) Very good overall. Black background, detailed, fast, great soundstage for a closed headphone. Midrange fabulous though not as detailed as LCD-XC. Treble smoother than the regular T5p or T1p but still can sound hot on occasion with certain songs. Those songs stand our more I guess compared to the regular T5p. Female vocals on certain songs also sound a tad less energetic and realistic compared to T1P or T5P. Bass quantity slightly more than regular T5p and has nice thump. Best bass behind the LCD-XC.
    Regular T5p: Great soundstage. (slightly airier and better than the AK T5P IMO) Black background, detailed, fast. Superb midrange and treble IMO, especially with the AK 380. Sounds hot on maybe 1 out of 10 songs but otherwise, outperforms the AK T5p or T1p IMO. For some reason, I just found these to sound slightly clearer but more importantly, more lively, airy and realistic than either of the AK models. I found the biggest gap with the AK 380 but even with the 120 II or Colorfly C4, I thought that these did better on vocals and most instruments. Arguably best midrange IMO, maybe even better than the LCD-XC.
    Bass a notch or two too light. Fast, detailed and punchy but quantity lacking. Quite noticeable for certain songs, much less so for others. 
    Oppo PM-3: Read all about it and it doesn't disappoint. I'd say it was the worst headphone but it was really really close and has a super easy to like sound signature. More or less neutral with a touch of deep bass and high treble roll off. Slightly warm midrange. Frankly, for anyone looking for a closed back portable headphone for about 4-500, this is it. Superb for the price. Lacks that last bit of detail to challenge the rest but superb.
    In conclusion, I'm now deciding between the Colorfly C4 or AK 120 II and planning to get a AK T1P(first choice) or regular T5P. Deciding on whether I'll need a closed back or can live with the semi-open. The surprise of the whole audition was the regular T5p. Really loved it's midrange presentation. Was also impressed by all 3 players and have to make a touch choice between the 120 II and C4 now :) 
  11. jwbrent
    Thank you, wm, for your observations. [​IMG]
  12. theminstrel
    To me, my T1p is very detailed & open sounding, which are the qualities I wanted in it, but does anyone know how they compare to a properly amped 600 ohm T1 G2? never heard one.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
  13. theminstrel
    For some reason, the T1p's tonality becomes slightly darker, richer & bass seems fuller when paired with a T5p cable. Which makes it less fatiguing, without noticeably sacrificing resolution, in fact the smoothing of treble glare means some details are easier to hear. Magnificent!
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2018
  14. Strayngs
    I am brand new to everything here, but I recently bought a new AK120ii for $750.i bought a set of isine 20s which I am waiting for. Audeze Accidentally sent me a set of LCD-2classics. He told me to check out the sound of them while I wait for the iSine20s. I don’t know the AK player just didn’t have enough juice but the base was almost nonexistent on those headphones. Very detailed sound though. I was going through the AK equalizer and I saw The presetting for the AKT5P. I looked them up and found a set here are used for 400 bucks so I just bought them. I’m excited to hear either the isine20s or these AKT5Ps. This next week or so is gonna be very long for me.
  15. Strayngs
    I love my AKT5Ps. I also got the LCD2c which the AKT5P sounds quite a bit better then.
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