Just got AKG K26P and ATH-FC7...
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atomic

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Okay, so a couple weeks ago y'all helped me decide on some foldable closed headphones for use with an ipod (unamped) mainly for use on airplanes and at work, in a biochemistry lab with noisy equipment. So I ordered the K26P and the FC7 and I've had both for a couple days now, and here are my impressions:

Design/Comfort:

K26P: I'm not so sure about this. I like how they fold up so small but I don't really like the headband, it's two pieces of metal that slide back and forth across each other to make it shorter or longer. The headband "wants" to be small as possible so it slides back unless you hold it in position and put it on your head. There's two little pads that rest on your head and if you adjust the headband while on your head the little pads pull your hair and that is pretty annoying (my hair is pretty long, but my boyfriend has short hair and he found it annoying too). But once adjusted, they are pretty comfortable.

FC7: These are much cooler-looking than the k26p. I like the design better, the headband is just a single piece of plastic so it's easier with my hair, and I really like how it folds up into a ball. These are quite a bit bigger than the k26p, folded and unfolded. They're both supraaural but the fc7's cover more of the ear. Unfortunately, they aren't as comfortable as the k26p, they press on the outer edges of my ears and it kind of hurts after a while, whereas the k26p's press on the more sturdy parts of my ears.

Sound:

K26P: At first I was pretty disappointed, they sounded muddy and muffled compared to my KSC-35 (only other headphones I have), but I expected this, as they're closed. So I let them burn in overnight and took them to work.

I tried them on the bus and at work, and isolation was good, I could hear that people were talking but I couldn't hear what they were saying, and the bus/lab equipment noises were greatly reduced. I was impressed with how "big" they sound when they are such small headphones. These definitely sound better with hip-hop and electronic music, and not so good with classical - they are just kinda muddy sounding with orchestral instruments. There is quite a bit of bass, and it sounded really boomy at first, but it has calmed down a bit and overall, I think these guys sound good.

I listened to Radiohead's 'Kid A', Rolling Stones 'Hot Rocks', Rodrigo's 'Concierto de Aranjuez' for classical guitar and The Books 'Thought for Food' and was impressed at the level of detail I could hear. Radiohead and the Books both use plenty of small electronic noises that I don't always notice on my crappy speakers at home (yep, i'm already deciding on my next purchase...
). Electric guitar was pretty enjoyable, but the Rodrigo just didn't sound quite right. But I'm sure any cheap closed headphones won't be able to handle acoustic instruments that well.

FC7: I think these are similar to but better than the k26p. At least classical music sounds better, it's less muddy sounding. These are, however, definitely less isolating than the k26p, which probably affects the clarity of sound. Listened to the same stuff, enjoyed everything. Detail and clarity were good with everything I listened to, I was really able to enjoy all of the different sounds and instruments used in the music.

Honestly, I think both of these are good for cheap closed portable headphones, but I'm going to keep the k26p just because of the comfort issues and the better isolation. I do think the fc7's sound better but the k26p's are good enough for now!

I'll probably post an ad to sell the FC7's in a couple days if anyone is interested...
 
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Rodent

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thanks a lot, I've been waiting for a comparison between these two headphones for ages!

edit: I forgot one thing, how do they look when worn? Pictures have me believing that the k26's are quite thick and therefore extend outwards quite a bit and makes you look weird when wearing them. Is this true?
 
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gshan

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Quote:

Originally Posted by atomic

I'll probably post an ad to sell the FC7's in a couple days if anyone is interested...



Nice comparison. What color will you be selling?
 
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fureshi

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great comparison. i was considering getting the k26p for a while but hearing that they're muddier than the fc7 has taken them off of my list. i originally bought the fc7 while on a trip to tokyo earlier this year but eventually sold them after i got back as they were to dark and muddy sounding for me.
 
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atomic

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Rodent: the k26p's don't really stick out that much, just a little more than the fc7's, and the k26p headband stays right next to your head while the fc7 headband does stick out a bit from your head. (sorry i don't have any pics...yet...) but i'm comfortable wearing the k26p's walking around and at work, i don't think they look too weird!

Fureshi: I definitely think if you didn't like the fc7's then you probably won't like the k26p's. But there's also the k24p's, the open ones, might be better than the k26p's.

Gshan: they're the metallic gray color... quite nice
 
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iancraig10

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The K26p is also extremely sensitive and goes very loud compared to other phones at the same volume.
 
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atomic

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iancraig, yes i definitely noticed that the k26p was louder than the fc7 at the same volume level on my ipod, but i thought it may have been just because the fc7 is less isolating.
 
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Duxxy

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Got my unwanted K26P's in today and i definately agree with your critique... muddy

first word that came to mind after burning them in for 8 hours. I think they're headed back to headroom.
 
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terrymx

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yeah i agree the fc7 hurts the ears, since the driver stick out. i put foams under the earpads to solved the problem. also install canare cable to it, it sounded pretty decent.

i was so looking forward to the akg closed portable since its what i really need. something that is closed, small and foldable like the px200 but better sounding. still havent found yet.
 
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terrymx

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Duxxy
Point of reference... my portapro's sound much better than the AKG's.


i figured anyway, but we are looking at portable closed headphone, which there are very feel models, good one at that.
 
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