Our Verdict 
Product of the Year, Awards 2013. Not only do they look good, they’re excellent sonically, too
For 
Crisp vocals
Fun, authoritative sound
Compact
Smartphone-friendly
Great design
Against 
Nothing at this price
Reviewed on

AKG has managed to do what Hollywood repeatedly fails at: making a decent sequel.

It already had a winner on its hands with the K450s, a 2011 Product of the Year, and now it’s done it again with the AKG K451 - which has won a Product of the Year accolade for two years in succession. This year they're even cheaper than last year, at just £50, so it's no surprise they hold on to their crown.

Video review

Design and build

They tick all the boxes a pair of headphones designed for portables should. The earpieces are slim, sturdy and adjustable, and of a hefty construction, while the soft earcups twist and fold inwards making the K 451s compact and easy to carry in your bag (a carry case is also supplied).

Smartphone users will rejoice at the inclusion of an additional cable that has volume controls and an in-line mic. 

We took the K451s for a stroll around town. Their lightweight build is comfortable, while a snug fit around your ears and head ensures they stay put.

 

MORE: See all our 2013 Award winners

More after the break

Sound quality

The K451s are, musically, simply exceptional. They’re forgiving with lower-bitrate material, too. 

Play a ripped-from-CD Where is Everybody? by Nine Inch Nails and the thumping beats and distorted basslines are delivered with plenty of bite, and the K451s do a great job of separating all the parts. 

They go loud easily too, with that innate weight and authority keeping the synths in check.

The K451s’ deftness with vocals is best illustrated with the likes of the highly amusing BBC Radio 4 series Cabin Pressure – all the important nuances are conveyed with clarity and crisp detail.

Verdict

Their agility and timing makes the K451s an enthusiastic-sounding pair of headphones, and every bit the successful update to our previous Award winners, the K450s. 

That character, combined with their excellent build and compact size, makes them a must-audition pair of cans. And now they're even more affordable.

MORE: Best over-ear headphones 2014

 

See all our headphone Best Buys

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Breakdown 
Design
Sound quality

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