AKG K550 Review

| May 13, 2012 | 1 Comment


(update: now also available in white)

Price: $299 (MSRP $349)
Wear style: Over-ear (Closed back)

In Short: A new titan in the sub-$400 category. The K550 is balanced, fun, comfortable, and isolates well.

Quick Review:

Starting with visual appeal, the K550 is stunning. The black and grey shading to complement the sleek edges and contours gives it a real classy look that makes other headphones in the price range look like baby toys.

Build quality and comfort are great but people with small heads may need to curve the headband inward to achieve a tighter clamp and proper seal.

Onto what matters most, the K550 looks just as good as it sounds. It is fully closed so the soundstage takes a hit in favor of good isolation from outside noise. The bass of the K550 is strong and tight, along the lines of a D2000 which is considered pretty powerful in the bass department. For a closed headphone, the mids are clean, spacious, and just a pleasure to listen to. Treble is a relative weakness of the K550, which is a complete 180 compared to the AKG K701 which is bass-shy but very clear and sparkly in the treble. High treble notes on the K550 lack some liveliness and and might be considered thin at times. Treble is not bad by any means, it just more laid back than other headphones.

Now that Denon has discontinued the D2000, the K550 might just be the successor in terms of most highly recommended headphone at the price. It will be interesting to see how Denon rebuttals.

Specs:

Features Swivel cups
Driver type 50mm Dynamic
Impedance 32 Ω
Sensitivity 114dB SPL/V
Frequency Response 12 – 28,000 Hz
Cable 10ft (3m) with straight plug
Warranty 2 years
Included accessories 1/4″ screw-on adapter,
Weight 305g

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Category: Over-ear, Reviews

Comments (1)

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  1. Gilles dac Artés says:

    I bought them for about 115$ at sale in Norway. They should serve as an indoor alternative… But the sound is so good (particularly with iPhone6&FiiiO E11) that I’m taking the 10″ cable and huge clocks for a walk quite often. My B&W P7s sounds muddy and to dark at the E11, but perform much better with E17 (or a stack of both amps). AKG K550 sound perfect with E11, but a bit piercing with only the E17. Best of all they sound at my semi-tube home pre/headset-amp/Dac (Argon HA-2. They’re abso extraordinary good phones for the very cheap price I paid for them! All my friends are tired of testing my endless phones and rigs, but even compares with $500 headsets, they have all shouted out that the 550s are the best head-fi experience they’ve got- EVER! I’m very curious about making them balanced with quite expensive cables. Read about someone who did it which great results. The only downside is the lack of opportunity to change cables (but I’m going to make that upgrade soon after my favorites are recabeled and balanced- Pioneer Monitor 10s 1977-model). They’ve got even 7mm wider drivers than 550, and will be the best indoor phones when mr. FixIt is ready…

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