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New AKG K495 and K490 Noise Cancelling Cans

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by astroid, Mar 15, 2012.
  1. Frankhz
    Hi, This just happend to me. I love the quality of this headset but mine broke within 2 months. Same place. Problem is that I bought mine at a auction of a Apple reseller. Although I have a receipt I don't expect to have any guarantee. Does anybody know?

    At first I thought that I did something wrong but after reading a few of the posts I am convinced it must be a structural problem
  2. Vasiliy
    I have the similar issue, six months after I purchased them the plastic part broke down at the same place. But I wasn't so successful with AKG service. First of all, I call to local service center in Singapore and got beautiful respond that they can't repair but they have nice trade-in deal. I exchange my pair to a new one and have to pay 70% of retail price.
    Furthermore, I'm trying to contact the main service center in Austria but still unsuccessful.
  3. donalorourke1
    Hi Guys,

    I just purchased a pair of k495's. Unfortunately I didn't do much in terms of investigation of users reviews. I now see a lot of people complaining of a design fault where the plastic arms seems to break after a period of time due to stress. Does anyone have these for more than a year and dont have such a problem?

    Thanks for your reply in advance.

  4. MP3guy
    I have the 490's and I just posted a thread about this design flaw regarding the swiveling ear pieces snapping off. The 495s have a different construction and appear to be stronger, but apparently they break at another point. Having said that, these are great phones otherwise- comfortable, good cancelling, and a great signature for classical and jazz. I'm just afraid to travel with them because they're so delicate, and that's one reason you get NCs. Wish they were more rugged.
  5. donalorourke1
    Thanks for the post MP3Guy.
    I've been using my K495's the last couple of days and I must say I'm happy out with them. As a precaution I've applied a small amount of Gorilla tape to the bottom of the arm where people have been experiencing issues. At this point if they break they break! Looking forward to bring them on their first long haul flight to Brazil next week!
  6. EngineerToWin
    Ok, so first off super happy to have found this website.  Tons of relevant info without a lot of spin. 
    So I guess to jump right in, I was also looking for NC headphones, and was leaning towards the Bose.   Stopped by Magnolia's (HiFi Stereo store now owned BestBuy) and found a ton of good stuff to try out.  Ended up leaving the store with a pair of the AKG K495's and a Bowers&Wilkins P7's.
    AKG's are really nice, I used them for two flights on the way to Miami from Texas.  Not to reiterate the same points people have made too much; Great sound performance, pretty flat with an emphasis on base and mids.  High's not as crispy as I might like but I'm starting to find I have a preference to a brighter sound than what purely flat headsets offer.  The lows are deep and full, work great for pop/hip-hop/dance music and I would challenge most people who pay $400 for the Beats crap out there to try these, as they will kill almost anything beats as to offer in overall quality.  For Jazz (I listen to a lot of Joshua Redman and Michael Brecker) the base isn't quite as tight as it needs to be to appreciate the nuances of an acoustic base, and being a sax player the highs don't quite capture the metallic character that you get from a jazz tenor in the high range.  Also listened to some Metallica and Joe Satriani to get a well rounded music test in and had similar results.  Big and warm base definitely all encompassing at moderate to moderately high volume levels, although with NC on you don't really need a ton of volume to appreciate the music.
    Noise cancelling was really good on planes and they are extremely comfortable.  I like on-ear for traveling since I wear glasses and the seal is not affected by the arms unlike almost every over ear headphone I've used.  However very long periods of wear may leave your ears a little sore where the arms of the glasses sit behind your ears.  Without the glasses I could wear these all day and all night.  Compared to the other NC headphones I have (Sennheiser PXC450's) these do a better job of passive and active noise cancelling across the entire sound range.  As others have said, not much if any difference between NC on and off when listening from a typical mobile source, although I didn't really mess with any true loss-less tracks.
    The Bad:  All I can see across the board with these is that they break at the plastic arm right above where the swivels attach.  The fact that they used plastic at all at this location blows me away.  Although you can see the ridges that are designed to mitigate the affects of stresses at these points, if they had done any sort of durability testing they would have seen failures way earlier than they should have.  I had similar issues with a set of Motorola bluetooth headphones for working out (S11-FLEX HD's) however they failed at the lowest point in the "U" of the neckband where the highest stresses were.  Both of these are cases of fatigue failure and at the price point they were both at (S11's were $130 when I got them), the cost of adding a single aluminum rib around the frame would have taken the load off the plastic and you would have ended up with years of enjoyment.
    I will most likely be returning the AKG's or at least buying a replacement plan..... or buying the Bose QC15 or 20i's  =)  The P7's are amazing too, but I'm still having to battle seal issues with glasses so not sure how much staying power they have with me for $400.
    Music Source:
    iPhone 5
    Spotify: Extreme Quality (320kps)
    - Casi Casi - Toby Love (bachata)
    - Sun Is Shining (Smoke Out Dubstep Remix)
    - Dame Un Chance (Salsaton) - Ricky Campanelli
    - Delta City Blues - Michael Brecker Quartet
    - A Milli - Lil Wayne
    - The Day That Never Comes - Metallica
    - Cool#9 - Joe Satriani
  7. packmangrn
    Just happened to mine on the exact same spot, hopefully, you were able to get them fixed? any advice is appreciated thank you in advanced.
  8. Andre Lydersen
    I have the same problem, inn the same pleas. 6 mondts after buying.... = (
  9. Andre Lydersen
    I have the one in the picture. And it broke too. = (
  10. Ninho67
    Hi all,
    I had the same incident as you with my AKG 495NC headphones. I looked over internet to find a solution but found nothing. I contacted AKG support for a replacement part but it was a dead-end as well.
    Finally, I decided to build my own piece of plastic to repair my headphones. Here are the links for the STL parts :
    Just print them in 3D, buy some screws (1,6 mm x 10 mm) and mount them around the broken area and you're good to use your cans again !
    (I'd like to post some pictures but can't due to security restrictions with new users)
    Hope this helps !
  11. dsawatzky
    Well it's several years later (2015), and it looks like AKG redisigned the arm sliders of the K490NC. Now they're metal reinforced plastic. The metal still ends at the joint, so there could be a weak spot there. I've had mine for a few weeks, so not long enough to really know if the redesigned arms are stronger.
    see pic at https://flic.kr/p/CdEVkM
  12. anpes
    Hi, do you have any trouble until today? Because i really wanted to buy the K 490 and there is a big discount here.. But i'm still not sure with the build quality..
    Is anybody else know there are new batch for this product, because there is a big discount here, and the products is running out..
    And how to differentiate it.. Because i saw on the box, its written copyright 2011, it doesnt show the product manufacture date..
    Thanks, kindly waiting for any reply..
  13. Ashley Scott
    Mine snapped one one side below the arm shown in dsawatzky's pic - at the swivel joint above the earcup. Very gentle usage over 2 years. I'm assuming that my messages to service centers will lead to nothing (I live in Australia, so I expect extreme hassles getting anything audio fixed), maybe I'll be surprised.
    They are otherwise great cans - I've even used them for mixing recordings.
  14. MP3guy
    Just to resurrect this issue, and make it known that AKGs response to this matter is completely unsatisfactory.
    I had them replace the original set of phones that were broken, but actually had to give them back to the person who gave them to me since I had no receipt. They were really insistent on this point.
    The second set of phones broke again, after very occasional use, and they just collected dust. I really missed having a quality set of headphones around, and decided to take action. But while Googling for AKGs site, you can see the internet is absolutely LITTERED with the complaint about this weak point that holds the headband to the swivel mount that attaches to the phone.
    After half a dozen e-mails fencing with them for a return, Harman basically told me to sod off. This, after a cat and mouse game trying to find the serial number. (It's under one of the ear pads)
    I was really pissed. But wait, there's more!
    Not only is the 490NC flawed this way, and the company had to KNOW since they got a flood of returns and complaints, they simply duplicated the design on the successor model, the N60 NC. This complaint for that model appears right on AKG's website:
    "$250, that is what I spent. What I got was structural design that is beneath what should be excellence from Germanic/Austrian engineering. Firstly everything is great about this headset, and I don't want to take away anything from the fine engineers that did the good stuff. However, it means nothing when there is a bad apple in the mix the renders the entire headset garbage. The problem: the only thing connecting the earpiece to the headband is a very weak piece of plastic. From what I can see, it is also not fixable. So, my perfectly working N60's, made garbage by a piece of plastic. Engineering fail with the cost put on the consumer."
    The guy happens to be right. The phones have a great sound signature, but they can't even stand up to light use, i.e., I never even traveled with them and used them exclusively at home. In the meantime, you can imagine how gingerly I handled the replacement set, and they still broke. So not only was AKG aware that the 490 was flawed, they kept right on producing them with the flawed design and carried it through to their next model.
    The N60 is still being sold on their site.
    AKG has a good rep in the field. But I think I'll avoid the brand from here on in.

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