AKG's new wireless, noise-cancelling headphones get a rotating volume control

AKG's new wireless, noise-cancelling headphones get a rotating volume control
(Image credit: AKG)

Samsung (who bought AKG as part of its Harman acquisition back in 2016) has today launched a new line-up of wireless AKG headphones, the Y600 NC and Y400.

Both come equipped with AKG’s Ambient Aware and new Talk Thru technologies and feature long battery life and support USB-C quick-charge. They can even pause/play music automatically when you take them off and put them back on. Yes, a lot has changed in a few years.

So let's kick off with the AKG Y600 NC, which sports both Bluetooth connectivity and active noise-cancelling.

Alongside that useful automatic play/pause feature, this model also boasts 25 hours of Bluetooth battery life and quick charging over USB-C, which provides an extra four hours of playback from just a 10-minute charge.

Added to the skillset for 2020 is Talk Thru: audio tech that aims to eliminate intrusive echoes and should mean you can have an actual, real-life conversation while wearing them.

The AKG app for Android and iOS is another addition, which can be used to select the Ambient Aware level and customise a built-in equaliser.

Arguably, the most eye-catching new feature of the AKG Y600 NCs is the rotating earcup for controlling volume.

The AKG Y600 NC headphones are available in three colours (Black, Gold and Silver).

(Image credit: AKG / Samsung)

The AKG Y400 on-ears (above) are lighter (170g) and are actually described as "mini headphones". The earcups rotate and fold nicely, so they can fit in the supplied pouch.

They look quite similar to five-star AKG Y500 wireless on-ears, but here you get many of the Y600 NC's features, such as Talk Thru, Ambient Aware, automatic play/pause and USB-C quick charge. Battery life is 20 hours. 

You have to make do without active noise cancelling and the rotating volume control, but considering AKG's track record when it comes to headphones at this level, there's still plenty to get excited about.

The AKG Y400 headphones are available in five colours, (Black, Blue, Green, Pink and Rose Gold) and are on sale now at Samsung, Currys, Amazon and John Lewis, among others. 

The AKG Y600 NC is priced at £199 with the AKG Y400s costing £109. When we know pricing and availability for the US and Australia, we'll let you know.


Best wireless headphones 2020

Best wireless noise-cancelling headphones 2020

See all our AKG reviews

Becky has been a full-time staff writer at What Hi-Fi? since March 2019. Prior to gaining her MA in Journalism in 2018, she freelanced as an arts critic alongside a 20-year career as a professional dancer and aerialist – any love of dance is of course tethered to a love of music. Becky has previously contributed to Stuff, FourFourTwo, This is Cabaret and The Stage. When not writing, she dances, spins in the air, drinks coffee, watches football or surfs in Cornwall with her other half – a football writer whose talent knows no bounds.