AKG Acoustics K 301 Closed Headphones

4.5/5 (2 Reviews)

Product Description

Low-cost headphones for all around use with a well-balanced tonal response.

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Reviews 1 - 2 (2 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Phil Canard a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: November 30, 2007

Bottom Line:   
I got the K301 XTRA with XXL Varimotion drivers on a closeout. This was the last version of the K301, not the original version. Overall, the sound is better than the Grado SR60 that it replaced. Midrange is more clear and highs are smooth without exaggeration. There is a slight midbass hump, because it was designed to be used with cheap electronics that have weak bass output, like iPods and computers. It works very well on my computer. Slightly less volume than the SR60, but the tonal balance and clarity is noticeably improved. I would also prefer the K301 XTRA to the Grado SR200 on most music, especially vocals. AKG cans have a magic way with midrange, and it is very easy to separate vocalists and instruments. It's almost like having an acoustic magnifying glass when it comes to midrange frerquencies. The K530 is the replacement for the K301 XTRA and is selling now in Europe and Asia. Do not buy a similarly priced Sennheiser or Grado headphone before checking out AKG, especially if your main interest is in the midrange and vocalists.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2006

Price Paid:    $69.00

Purchased At:   eBay

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Kow K a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: January 1, 2002

Bottom Line:   
This is a comparative review of AKG K300, Grado SR225 and Sennheiser HD590 (plus HD433). Note: I'm assuming that K301, current model, has no functional difference from K300, so was I told from the guy I got K300 from. But I can't be really sure about this. Sorry if I'm mistaken. Where else could I post this review now that there is no entry for K300???

My first "hi-end" headphones were HD433. They cost $40 or so on eBay when I got them. With them, I got very excited to see what a big improvement headphones can make in my portable audio systems and decided to go further to get better headphones. I then got HD590, SR225, and just recently K300. Of course, no comparison of HD433 with other three makes sense. So, I won't mention HD433 below.

Let me begin with their prices: HD590 and SR225 were sold at almost the same price (around $160) on eBay when I got them two months ago. I got K300 for $50 just a few days ago. But, evcen without the price factor taking into consideration, my preference goes to K300. How come??? you may wonder. Let me explain in three other factors: (1) comfortability, (2) outlook, and (3) sound, the most important factor.

How about their comfortability? HD590 and K300 are in good competition; both are very light and well-designed to give you a nice fitness. SR225 is far behind them. Actually, SR225 sucks in this respect.

How about their looks? HD590 and K300 are in good competition, too. My taste says that HD590 is a little bit grotesque; they look like an object you often see in a B-class SF movie. SR225 is far behind, and sucks in this respect, too. (Incidentally, why are European companies so good at industorial design? Or rather, why do American companies refuse to "learn" basics of design from them???)

How about their sound qualities? In a nutshell, K300 is the best exactly because it is really well balanced, giving a good blend of nice features of HD590 and SR225, I believe.

HD590 is a very nice headphones and so is SR225. Both would be rated at least 4/4 if I didn't know K300. But, to me, HD590 sounds too opaque to enjoy music even if it gives very warm, smooth tonality with a very wide soundstage. Actually, I prefer SR225 in binary comparison with HD590. SR225 sounds more clear, accurate, and natural, even if it suffers a little bit from too much harshness, brightness, and aggressiveness. Also, SR225's soundstage is not so wide. Rather, it gives you the impression that you're very close to musicians.

I recognize that the sound of K300 is kind of muffled: it is far from clear, and I can easily imagine that some people would say their sound is "lifeless". Grado fans are tend to say this, I suspect. Also, the quality is different from warm that is one nice features of Senn sounds. K300 sounds somewhat "dried out".

Still, K300's separation is outstanding: no comparison with any other headphones (and even speakers) I've never gave a listen to. K300 is the only output device with which I can easily recognize four instruments, in a string quartet, playing independently. Also, K300 gives a pretty wide soundstage.

I'm not sure, but I suspect that K300 could be so designed as to enhance normal listener's ability of sounds. I say this because I had the impression that they made me hear most "difficult" sounds, maybe at expense of the fidelity in "easier" sounds. I recognized highs are missing in K300's performance. This is either for good or bad, though. To me, it was good, so good that I decided to sell my SR225 immediately when I listened to K300. I got so excited with K300 that I listened many of my favorite CD's to rediscover them. As they breaking in, they are sounding better and better.

A few things I want to complain about K300: first, it's regrettable that their fitting isn't adjustable: they are too loose for me. By the way, I like their L-R symmetrical design because I can flip them around. Second, they sound a little bit too quiet at least until they get broken in. Third, they sound so nice that you may want to get a headphone amp for them ... But wait. You have extra $120 or so if you've already decided to buy either SR225 or HD590 !!!

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2000

Price Paid:    $60.00

Purchased At:   eBay auction

Reviews 1 - 2 (2 Reviews Total)

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