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Product: AKG Pro Audio K92
Type: Closed Circumaural Headphones
Preferred Use: Home/Studio/Stage
Cheapest Place to Buy: Amazon.com
Warranty: 2 Year Warranty
AKG Pro Audio K92, Overview
As a general rule of thumb, for most products out there we as people tend to have the same belief, the more expensive it is the better the quality should be. The headphone industry is probably more susceptible to this line of thought than any other with the general thought process being if you want great headphones, you’ve got to be willing to pay more.
AKG is one of the few companies out there that have been willing to buck this trend from time to time and is probably the most successful at doing so. With the budget AKG Pro Audio K92 Closed-Back Headphones for professional mixing and mastering, AKG has made a solid attempt at sticking it to all the audiophile snobs out there, me included.
Comfort and Design
The gold trim on the otherwise all black headphones immediately catches the eye, and personally I feel it adds a unique and classy touch to these headphones, although it’s fair to say I’ve heard some disagreements with that assessment.
The circumaural (over the ear) design of these headphones mean they’re supposed to sit on your head and cover your ears, which they manage to do by using large earcups. This fact is supposed to mean your ears are comfortable throughout the time you’re using the K92’s, however for some reason AKG decided to mess this up a bit with a near flat design inside the ear-cups. This design flaw meant the inside of the earcups was slightly pressed against my ears, detracting from the otherwise fairly comfortable feel of the leatherette ear-cushions and the lightweight feel of the headphones.
However the large earcups mean these aren’t the most portable headphones in the business. In fact it would be fair to say they are unusually bulky even for a pair of professional monitor headphones, so forget about using them while out and about unless of course you enjoy looking like you’re about to let out a dub-step mix on the streets then by all means go for it. For the more appearance conscious folk out there, the K92’s are more appropriate for in-studio use, on-stage, in your home, on your desk at work, or even on long journey’s (plane rides, train rides, etc).
The headband is self-adjusted and usually that would be a bad thing but the K92’s are designed in such a way that the pressure from the headband is felt on your head and not against your ears. I did feel like they had a clampy feel to them the first few times I used them, but that went away with time.
The 3 m non-removable cable connects to the left ear-cup and is thick enough not to tangle, a useful feature if you’re going to be moving around on stage or in the studio.
The price tag on the K92’s is their major selling point, but does this mean we should be worried about their build quality? Not really.
The cheap plastic used on the headphones means they have a fragile feel to them, but unless you’re throwing them around and are abusing them, you don’t need to worry at all. This is because the headphones are so lightweight that there is hardly any weight if they should fall to the ground. That doesn’t mean of course you can keep letting them fall onto the ground, but you get the picture.
Furthermore, the cable connection to the left ear-cup seems quite sturdy enough and isn’t liable to break at any given moment.
What these headphones lack in premium build quality AKG quite clearly made up for with the sound. In fact I think it’s fair to say they probably felt this was the most important area to focus on.
The K92’s are equipped with 40 mm drivers that have a frequency response of 16Hz to 22kHz, which is better than one would expect in this price range.
The sound itself is crisp and clear, with well rounded mids and highs. The bass is not enhanced and as such may feel lacking for ‘bass-heads’, however this is exactly what you want when mastering a track as it provides authentic feedback. The lack of enhancement doesn’t in any way mean poor bass. On the contrary the bass hits just when it should, with the drums from my favorite track hitting with just the right amount of snap.
Listening to The Weeknd’s album Starboy is a very satisfying experience. From the two Daft Punk collaborations ‘Starboy‘ and ‘I Feel It Coming‘, to ‘Party Monster‘, the K92 handles these songs with great authority and a lot of smoothness.
This brings me to the point that the K92 is a very easy (read, smooth) listening pair of cans. They don’t sound super exciting nor do they sound boring. And sibilance is nowhere to be found! However, if you’re looking for a more lively sound in the same budget, the Superlux HD661 is a good alternative.
There is almost zero distortion on the different sounds, which is almost unheard of for headphones in this price range. The slight distortion there is stems from the sometimes suppressed soundstage, which means the different instruments almost sound as if they’re coming from the same area, this is most prominent when listening to complex live music.
The voices on the various tracks always sounded expressive and nuanced, leaving little room for complaints in their definition.
The dynamics of the K92’s are well rounded considering their price point and even the most acoustically complex songs didn’t sound muddled in any way.
The isolation on these cans is fairly good and almost completely managed to close out unwanted sounds without me having to play my music at the highest setting and although some high sounds managed to penetrate that ‘isolation’ we seem to crave while working, it’s to be expected with any non-noise cancelling headphones in the business.
Overall the K92’s did succeed in avoiding some of the pitfalls that are the downfall of so many budget option headphones out there. They’re not flimsy, don’t have a liable-to-break-at-any-moment body, nor do they sacrifice some degree of comfort.
The sound quality is superb for this price and you’d be hard pressed to find better sounding headphones for two figures let alone for $60.
All things considered, while the AKG K92’s are certainly not the best headphones in the game (that would be a miraculous feat given how much they cost), they are among the best budget headphones you could ever find.
And if you aren’t willing to bow to the snobbery of having the latest and most expensive headphones in town then you can do no better than these headphones in terms of value for your money.
As always, if you have any questions, shoot me a comment!
EXTRA: AKG Y50 review
The AKG K92 is a golden opportunity for the value conscious listener looking for a smooth and relaxing sound without sibilance.