The time has never been more ‘right’ for semi-audiophiles; I’m talking about the people who are dedicated enough to get an iPod and avoid using the .mp3 file format, but who aren’t really keen on spending $500+ on headphones. One of the companies that have been carefully steering away from what’s trendy, specializing in HQ audio is AKG – a brand name that offers relatively affordable equipment that is often found standing right next to other expensive studio recording equipment.
A nice pair of AKG in-ear headphones will knock your socks off without breaking the bank.
Samsung Tuned by AKG
Have you ever received a pair of free headphones with a mobile device that was even halfway decent? Chances are that you haven’t, and if you have, chances are that you are a proud owner of a Galaxy S8.
Back in 2016, Samsung has bought Harman, a company AKG is currently under. They have since made a smart move to include “Samsung Earphones Tuned by AKG” for every Galaxy S8 purchase. Now what’s so cool about this pair of in-ears is that they include a revolutionary headphone jack that allows the user to use them without an adapter. With a retail price of $99, these in-ears are more than awesome.
Of course, “tuned” by AKG mostly refers to the sound quality, and the boys at AKG have, as always, excelled in this department.
Nothing says ‘sleek’ as a matte finish, which is exactly what the N30s have on their faceplate, along with an embossed AKG logo. On their sides, there’s a polished metal exterior and the ear tips are compatible with different sleeve sizes that are angled to point right into your ear canal. Although sleek, comfy and pleasant to look at, this design offers nothing revolutionary, which people are rarely actually looking for in earbuds.
Now let’s deal with the actual specs. As you move down the cable, you’ll find an inline remote that features music playback and call controls. In terms of audio, well, the AKG N30s are your beginner’s studio quality in-ear headphones – the studio quality sound may not be something that you’re used to, but trust us, you’ll quickly learn to love it; some headphones are bassy, others offer smooth mids, while others are trebly, but studio quality headphones treat every EQ frequency equally, bringing you accurate studio quality. The AKG N30s are a perfect place for you to start your studio-quality headphone voyage.
Where studio quality headphones offer excellent sound quality, taking it a step further would be purchasing professional in-ear monitors, and we chose the AKG IP2s as representative here – in a nutshell, they offer pro-grade audio quality and noise isolation, all in a low-profile package!
First of all, these in-ears feature a plain and basic design – two bulbous monitors attached to a skinny wire. Although they have nice design touches, protective sleeves where the wires are soldered to connections and a 3.5mm connector in each earbud, they are still pretty basic – which is the entire point, actually.
Sound-wise, these monitors are loud and offer minimal distortion, making them perfect for live use (if you are a musician) and other situations. Low distortion on an extremely high maximum volume? That’s just something else. Unlike many other monitors, the IP2s offer booming lows, meaning that they are perfect for tracks that are heavy on the bass, yet that bass-light tracks will be sonically represented accurately – this is perhaps our favorite feature when it comes to these AKG monitors.
Whether you’re looking for a cheap solution for quality headphones, studio-grade quality, or kickass bassy monitors, these three models will get you what you need. AKG is a company that doesn’t fool around!