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Best AKG headphones 2019: AKG headphones for every budget

Best AKG headphones Buying Guide: Welcome to What Hi-fi?'s round-up of the best AKG headphones you can buy in 2019.

AKG's bumper crop of in-ear, on-ear, wireless and noise-cancelling headphones can be overwhelming. A number of them are acoustically impressive – but which is the right pair for you?

To help you get straight to the good stuff, we've tested a number of AKG headphones and listed our top picks below. Each one comes highly recommended - you just need to decide which is best for you.

Whether you want to splash the cash on deluxe, studio-quality over-ears, or fancy a pair of premium yet portable in-ears, AKG has something to offer. Want to block out ambient noise during a busy commute or flight? Opt for a pair of noise-cancellers and you'll be swathed in solitude.

Read on to find the best pairs we've reviewed recently. And with Black Friday around the corner, it's a good time to be keeping an eye out for bargains. There really is a pair for every budget – all you have to do is unbox and enjoy them. 

Best headphones 2019: in-ear, on-ear, over-ear

Best AKG headphones 2019

(Image credit: AKG)

1. AKG Y50

Affordable? Check. Stylish? Check. Excellent sound quality? Check.

SPECIFICATIONS

Type: On-ear | Wireless: No | Noise-cancelling: No | Battery life: N/A | Inline mic/remote: Yes | Weight: 191g

Reasons to Buy

Rhythmic, clear and detailed
Time well
Dynamic and punchy
Well-built

Reasons to Avoid

Sources might require extra volume
Ears get warm

These hugely impressive wired headphones are five-time What Hi-Fi? Award-winers. Excelling in sound and style, they're blessed with aluminium ear cups, soft leather ear pads and dynamic sound on a grand scale. Thrilling levels of detail and near-flawless balance would be enough to set them apart from the competition. But factor in the sub-£100 price point, not to mention the portable design, and the Y50s are true show-stoppers.

Read the full review: AKG Y50 

Best AKG headphones 2019

(Image credit: AKG)

2. AKG Y500 Wireless

Crowd-pleasing AKG headphones with the bonus of Bluetooth.

SPECIFICATIONS

Type: On-ear | Wireless: Yes | Noise-cancelling: No | Battery life: 33 hours | Inline mic/remote: Yes | Weight: 230g

Reasons to Buy

Clear, detailed and refined sound
Smooth presentation
Excellent build and design

Reasons to Avoid

Delivery could be more energetic

Scoring highly across all categories, these impressive wireless headphones are durable and stylish. They're small enough to squeeze into a pocket, yet sound spacious, rhythmic and detailed. A button on the ear cup connects you to your smartphone's voice assistant, and when you slip them off, the Y500s automatically pause music. Rich in features, strong on battery life and easy to control, the Y500s are great all-rounders. 

Read the full review: AKG Y500 Wireless

Best AKG headphones 2019

(Image credit: AKG)

3. AKG K92

Detailed yet balanced studio-style cans from AKG.

SPECIFICATIONS

Type: Over-ear | Wireless: No | Noise-cancelling: No | Battery life: N/A | Inline mic/remote: No | Weight: 200g

If you're on a tight budget but don't want to compromise on sound quality in the home, these rich, detailed over-ear headphones are the answer to your audio prayers. The springy, self-adjusting headband sits lightly and comfortably, and the cushioning is superb. A 3m cable with 6.3mm adaptor makes them ideal for use with your home hi-fi. As we said in our original review, 'AKG has struck gold' – happily, that lustre hasn't faded.

Read the full review: AKG K92

Best AKG headphones 2019

(Image credit: AKG)

4. AKG N40

Customisable in-ear headphones make the most of high-quality tracks.

SPECIFICATIONS

Type: In-ear | Wireless: No | Noise-cancelling: No | Battery life: N/A | Inline mic/remote: Yes | Weight: 22g

Reasons to Buy

Excellent build
Comfortable as in-ears
Capable of stunning sound

Reasons to Avoid

Perform best with a serious source
Swappable filters seem unnecessary

Tailored for hi-res audio, these premium earphones – recipients of a 2018 What Hi-Fi? Award – impress with their snug fit and spacious, authoritative sound. The USP here is that a choice of filters can be swapped in and out depending on whether you want to bump up the bass or treble. Over-ear hooks keep the buds securely in place, and you get a choice of two cables: one plain and one with a mic and three-button remote. To fully realise the N40s full hi-res potential, you'll want to plug them into a portable DAC. A bit of a faff on a casual commute – but the reward will be a stunning listening experience.

Read the full review: AKG N40

Best AKG headphones 2019

5. AKG Y50BT

Bluetooth cans that sound sensational for the money.

SPECIFICATIONS

Type: On-ear | Wireless: Yes | Noise-cancelling: No | Battery life: 20 hours | Inline mic/remote: Yes | Weight: 213g

Reasons to Buy

Impressive clarity, detail and dynamics
Easy to use
Comfortable

Reasons to Avoid

Nothing at this price

It's rare to find a pair of Bluetooth headphones that match their wired counterparts for performance, but the Y50BTs rise to that challenge. They're the wireless version of the Y50s that sit at number one in this list. They have the dynamic power to shift effortlessly between frequencies which makes them seriously entertaining.

The 20 hour battery life is very respectable, but you can use them with a wire when they run out of juice. Intuitive ear cup controls are the cherry on a attractively-priced cake. All in all, these are high-quality cord-cutters.

Read the full review: AKG Y50BT

Best AKG headphones 2019

6. AKG N60NC Wireless

Stylish, compact Bluetooth noise-cancellers with long battery life.

SPECIFICATIONS

Type: On-ear | Wireless: Yes | Noise-cancelling: Yes | Battery life: 15 hours | Inline mic/remote: Yes | Weight: 200g

Reasons to Buy

Great noise cancellation
Comfy build
Solid bass
Clear midrange and treble

Reasons to Avoid

Nothing of note

Bluetooth, noise-cancelling and brilliant audio quality come together in this slick, stylish (and not to forget, Award-winning) package. Despite their compact size, the N60NC Wireless headphones do a solid job of cutting out ambient noise such as cars and jet engines.

Inside your bubble of silence, you'll find plenty of precision, detail and drive – plus a good thump of bass. They can be used with a wire, but with 15 hours of playback (Bluetooth and noise cancelling), that shouldn't be necessary. Small enough to secrete in a jacket pocket, these striking cans are great on-the-go.

Read the full review: AKG N60NC Wireless

7. AKG N60NC

Great sound, great noise-cancelling tech, perfect for your travels.

SPECIFICATIONS

Type: On-ear | Wireless: No | Noise-cancelling: Yes | Battery life: 30 hours | Inline mic/remote: Yes | Weight: 150g

Reasons to Buy

Clear, punchy sound
Sonically balanced
Effective noise-cancellation
Very portable

Reasons to Avoid

Nothing

There's very little between these wired N60NCs and their wireless counterparts (above). That's a good thing, though. Both perform with panache, serving up superb noise-cancelling and an open, musical sound stage. They're great travel buddies, too, with   collapsible headband that ups the portability factor. 

Excellent battery life - 30 hours with active noise-cancelling – is should be plenty for a long haul flight. Trimmed with aluminium and leather details, these classy cans are some of the best noise-cancellers we've seen.

Read the full review: AKG N60NC

Best AKG headphones 2019

8. AKG K72

All-day comfort and sparkling sound from these AKG over-ears.

SPECIFICATIONS

Type: Over-ear | Wireless: No | Noise-cancelling: No | Battery life: N/A | Inline mic/remote: No | Weight: 500g

Reasons to Buy

Excellent value
Very comfortable

Reasons to Avoid

Coloured, boxy mids

Studio-style headphones for under £50? That's a big ask, but AKG has nailed it with the K72s. They're some of the comfiest budget headphones we've tested, but the main attraction is the sound, which is spacious, sophisticated and bassy enough to make the most of a explosion-packed movie soundtrack. In the box, you get a high-quality 3m cable for use with a stereo amplifier. That's a not-so-subtle hint that they're not really designed for 'portable' use. Still, given the sub-£40 price, the K72s are unbeatable value for money and ideal for home listening sessions.

Read the full review: AKG K72

Best AKG headphones 2019

(Image credit: AKG)

9. AKG K52

Impressive clarity and detail for less than £30. Bargain.

SPECIFICATIONS

Type: Over-ear | Wireless: No | Noise-cancelling: No | Battery life: N/A | Inline mic/remote: No | Weight: 200g

Reasons to Buy

Open, airy presentation
Agile and rhythmic
Durable and comfortable

Reasons to Avoid

Nothing at this price

If you appreciate life's simple pleasures, you'll be won over by the pared-down K52's – comfortable, budget headphones don't get much better.  Given the £30 price, they're fantastically constructed and surprisingly expensive-looking. The solid metal frame is nice and light, and the cushioned headband cradles your head.  Timing is snappy, and there's a remarkable amount of balance and agility on show. For those on a budget, these are a no-brainer. That said, if you can afford to stretch your budget by £15, consider upgrading to the more polished K72s (above).

Read the full review: AKG K52 

Best AKG headphones 2019

10. AKG N20

Powerful, bassy in-ear headphones with aluminium flourishes.

SPECIFICATIONS

Type: In-ear | Wireless: No | Noise-cancelling: No | Battery life: N/A | Inline mic/remote: Yes | Weight: 18g

Reasons to Buy

Excellent mid and treble detail

Reasons to Avoid

Very keen bass
Would flourish with greater airiness

These sounded more expensive than the £100 they cost when we first heard them, and the price has only gone down since then. Small - but hardworking - 7mm drivers deliver a level of precision that's comparable with a pair of budget over-ear headphones. AKG hasn't skimped on the bass, either. It might be a little too enthusiastic at times, but it certainly won't spoil your fun. Supplied with a tangle-free fabric cable and an inline remote, these classy in-ears are superb value for money.

Read the full review: AKG N20

Best AKG headphones 2019

(Image credit: AKG)

11. AKG N700NC

Impressive over-ear noise-cancellers from AKG.

SPECIFICATIONS

Type: Over-ear | Wireless: Yes | Noise-cancelling: Yes | Battery life: 23 hours | Inline mic/remote: Yes | Weight: 261g

Reasons to Buy

Solid design
Rich, controlled sound
Good detail and weight

Reasons to Avoid

Sound lacks subtlety
Not the last word in timing
Noise cancelling is bettered

AKG's premium, wireless and noise-cancelling headphones are solid performers. Hinged for portability, they deliver effortless timing and a healthy dose of musicality, making them an easy, elegant listen. Battery life is 23 hours with Bluetooth and noise-cancelling on, rising to 36 hours if you switch to a wired connection. Noise-cancelling is good, but not quite as effective as a pair of Sony WH-1000XM3s or Bose QuietComfort 35 IIs. Need to eavesdrop on the outside world? AKG's handy Ambient Aware button lowers the volume and the noise-cancelling. While the NC700NCs aren't class-leaders, they do offer a solid performance at a good price.

Read the full review: AKG N700NC