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quadpatch's picture
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AKG K550 - review

After really enjoying the open back AKG Q701 I thought I would get on well with the new closed back K550, especially after the great reviews but unfortunately this was not the case even though they have some great features. At one point I even thought there could be something wrong with them but that turned out not to be the case. Since then I read about others finding the same issues so I decided to write a review for this headphone now before I start my bulk test of DAC & headphone amplifiers.

http://noblehifi.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/akg-k550-review.html

For anyone interested in this headphone, I hope you find the review useful and entertaining :).

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RE: AKG K550 - review

There's a lot of detail in this review, but in the end I couldn't get a complete picture of how it might sound. There were comments about being veiled, and also about really good detail. Is there any way to summarize a comparison to several of the most popular headphones, like Shure 940, AT M50, Senn 600 etc.?  Is the bass light overall, or just in the ultra lows? Is the midrange colored in any noticeable way? Do the highs sound slightly peaky, or recessed in some areas? I guess I just got lost in the details.

Beyer T1/T90 Jubilee/DT1350, Sennheiser HD-A280, v-moda M100/XS, Beyer A200p/v-moda Verza/Microstreamer DAC/amps, Portaphile Micro/PA2V2 amps.

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RE: AKG K550 - review

Thanks Dale I will try to work on that in the summary. Highs are definitely peaky. The bass is light overall, no the midrange doesn't feel coloured. I wouldn't feel comfortable comparing it to other non reference headphones and I haven't heard the Sure 940's but the other two feel more friendly overall. They certainly don't lack anything as badly as the bass of the K550's. 

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RE: AKG K550 - review

It just seems that with the M50 selling typically for $150 to $160 USD now, and since to my ears the M50 is not veiled nor has any deficiencies that I would consider serious, that any manufacturer who makes a headphone to sell for $300 USD (street price) has to raise the bar well above the M50. The Shure 940 for example can qualify, if you do an effective brightness mod like I did with the 1440, but few purchasers will try that, so in effect it doesn't qualify. Which is probably why so many sellers have dropped the price radically. If I had to rate the kill factor as to what would kill the sales of a new headphone in the $300 range, a lack of bass would be a big factor. Mike at Headfonia has struggled with it trying to maintain a positive review. Amazon has only 12 reviews, 10 of which are 5-star, so I read all of them. The general agreement is the K550 is light in the bass. And mostly the blame seems to be on the lack of clamping force to get a good seal.

Beyer T1/T90 Jubilee/DT1350, Sennheiser HD-A280, v-moda M100/XS, Beyer A200p/v-moda Verza/Microstreamer DAC/amps, Portaphile Micro/PA2V2 amps.

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RE: AKG K550 - review

I re-read the sensational Headfonia review, then read the hundreds of attached comments where the reality set in. If you own the 550, do you think you could bend the headband to increase the clamping and maybe improve the bass that way?

Beyer T1/T90 Jubilee/DT1350, Sennheiser HD-A280, v-moda M100/XS, Beyer A200p/v-moda Verza/Microstreamer DAC/amps, Portaphile Micro/PA2V2 amps.

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RE: AKG K550 - review

I don't think bending the headband is a good idea. Anyone unhappy with the bass should not try this and just flog them on ebay like I plan to do. I will be looking to get the ATH-M50s unless I find anything else better in the mean time but I doubt it. I might try the Sennheiser Amperiors if I can try them.

Anonymous
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RE: AKG K550 - review

I have just purchased the AKG K550 and I have to say that I am very disappointed with the fit, they sound great (although a little more bass would have been good) but I just cannot get over the fact that they feel loose.

I am now looking at sending these back and replace them with Denon AH-D2000's or so I thought, they have now been discontinued and I can't get a pair anywhere :cry:

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RE: AKG K550 - review

I bought the 2000's three weeks ago at the HMV shop in Westfield, West London and they had at least 2 pairs left as they were on the wall display; not sure that helps but there might be a way of getting them

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RE: AKG K550 - review

Ha I saw them in the east London Westfield HMV. They had 1 on display any 1 sealed in a box. £300 marked down to £200.

So much more comfortable than the k550. The bass is quite a bit more punchy on those, a much warmer signature than the AKG but it seems like that might be appreciated.

Anonymous
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RE: AKG K550 - review

Yeah these are pretty sweet, I found some for a really good price at Sonic Electronix

Anonymous
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RE: AKG K550 - review

Thanks chaps, I will on the phone first thing tomorrow I will keep you informed. The AKG are boxed and being sent back tomorrow.

By the sounds of things the Denon's are a better buy?

 

Anonymous
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RE: AKG K550 - review

Thanks chaps, I will on the phone first thing tomorrow I will keep you informed. The AKG are boxed and being sent back tomorrow.

By the sounds of things the Denon's are a better buy?

 

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RE: AKG K550 - review

The only thing that concerns me is that you said the AKGs weren't quite bassy enough whereas I think the Denon will be quite a lot more. I don't think its in a negative way but AKG lovers would. Saying that I like the Q701s even if I acknowledge the lack of bass there also.

Moral of the story is you really need to hear them, can you get yourself over to a big HMV?

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RE: AKG K550 - review

Actually, I should have said they had two pairs boxed on the wall display, so they are still NIB. The way I'd written that post it sounded like they were opened and on display.

Hope you get a pair.

R

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RE: AKG K550 - review

Actually, I should have said they had two pairs boxed on the wall display, so they are still NIB. The way I'd written that post it sounded like they were opened and on display.

Hope you get a pair.

R

Anonymous
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RE: AKG K550 - review

Well chaps, I got a pair from the Coventry store. I tried several beforehand and non in this are had a demo pair.

First impressions....they fit better and they look good, sound wise I like the extra bass but to be honest the AKG's were sharper and gave more detail. I'm hoping after a burning in period this will improve.

quadpatch, your right in that it was not a negative comment concerning the AKG's as they were great, and to be honest if was not for the fit I would have kept them

RoyD, how are you getting on with your Denons?

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