AKG unveils new Y-Series headphones

AKG has unveiled its new Y-Series headphone range, which marks the latest addition to its lifestyle collection.

The seven-strong range is part of the company’s efforts to renew its offering – which until now predominantly consisted of the reputable K Series.

The Y-Series includes three in-ear and four on-ear models ranging from £10 to £130, all of which are expected to hit UK and European shelves by the end of this month.

AKG used the official Y-Series launch in Berlin to shout about the mid-ranging Y50 on-ears (pictured), which will retail at £80. Their head-turning design comes in four colours (teal, yellow, red and black) and features aluminium earcups, leather ear pads, and a stainless steel headband.

In line with the rest of the range’s on-ear models, the Y50s have a closed-back design; fold flat thanks to a 3D-axis mechanism; and come with a detachable in-line mic and remote cable for use with a smartphone. The on-ear models also have 40mm drivers.

Next down in the range’s on-ear models are the smaller-cupped Y40s, which continue the Series’ colourful theme. Available in blue, yellow and black, they cost £70.

The model has a wireless version, the Y45BT, that features aptX Bluetooth with NFC for one-touch pairing. They claim to have 8 hours of cable-free use, though a detachable cable is supplied for direct listening when the battery runs out. They come in two colours this time – white with a beige trim and black with a white trim – and are priced at £130.

The Y55DJs are the range-toppers at £100 and the largest model in the Y-Series. Available in blue, red, black and white, they are entry-level DJ headphones, which AKG claim to have been built to DJ specs and designed to produce an enriched bass.

The Y-Series’ in-ear models have a semi-open design, and start with the Y10s (available in white, teal or brown for £10). Next up are the Y15 earbuds, which come with a carrying pouch and are available in black, white or iris (blue) for £17. The higher-tiered Y16s – available in standard black of white for £25 – also have a carrying pouch included, and feature a one-button mic and remote control for use with smartphones.

And that’s the lot. We’ll be getting review samples of the Y-Series headphones soon, so keep a look out for our verdicts.

During a fifteen-minute hands-on demo with the Y50s, they were comfortable to wear thanks to thick spongy earpads and a well-cushioned headband, and produced a clear, punchy sound – though we only heard bassy pop music and, of course, we’ll put them through more rigorous testing in our upcoming review.

In the meantime, we’ll be keeping you up-to-date with the latest news on AKG’s developing collection as the Y-Series isn’t the only thing brewing in its pot. A higher-end, technology-driven headphone collection, called the N Series, is set to launch next year, with first looks perhaps as early as CES.

Becky Roberts

Becky is the managing editor of What Hi-Fi? and, since her recent move to Melbourne, also the editor of Australian Hi-Fi magazine. During her 10 years in the hi-fi industry, she has been fortunate enough to travel the world to report on the biggest and most exciting brands in hi-fi and consumer tech (and has had the jetlag and hangovers to remember them by). In her spare time, Becky can often be found running, watching Liverpool FC and horror movies, and hunting for gluten-free cake.