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254 of 268 people found the following review helpful
on 13 January 2013
After wearing my last pair of ill fitting (and expensive) in ear headphones (used in ear for many years) spent ages looking around for a decent pair of over ear headphones that would not make a man of 50+ look like some rather decrepid DJ. After trying many in store and looking at the net I found a review for these on 'What Hi-fi' which gave them their Product of the Year. At around the £75 mark I decided, after looking at pairs over £300, they were probably worth a shot without finding a pair to try on cost alone and hoped they would be half decent.

Plugged then in Xmas day, chose a suitably testing track and I was hooked. The frequency range of the headphones is what I find amazing - everything is there and with plenty of umph too. Suddenly, new aspects of music become audible for the first time and the songs can be rediscovered in all of their glory.

The headphones are very confortale even after a good few hours of listening, ideal for my smartphone, come with detachable headphone only lead and seperate headphone / phone lead with mic and a great hard case which the headphone fold rather nattily into. 6.3mm adapter included.

Don't usually write reviews but decided I should as I always find they help me in my decision making. I am sure there would be those that prefer other makes and models: all I know is that these are the best headphones I have ever possessed and for a fraction of what I was going to pay!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 6 September 2013
First of all I have to say that these headphones sound really amazing for their price. They are light and comfortable, but can get a bit warm after longer listening sessions. The carrying case is excellent if you, like me, likes to listen to music on commutes to work/studies and want to be able to throw your headphones in your bag without worrying about them breaking.

It is worth to mention that I listen to all my music with no EQ, which allows me to give a more objective opinion when reviewing headphones.

To be perfectly honest though, they didn't make a good first impression. At the very first listen they sounded quite "canny", with prominent, almost harsh midrange. Treble was slightly rolled off. The bass response was solid but not as good as I expected. I might have had too high expectations on the headphones after reading so many good reviews.

However, after a short burn-in period (apr. 5 hrs) they have mellowed out into a very pleasant and balanced sounding pair of headphones. The midrange has settled in the balance, giving guitars a very warm texture, while snare drums really cut through the mix. Treble pops out more, giving cymbals life and clarity. Most of all, though, the bass has improved immensely. The bass response is perfectly balanced for my listening preferences. Bass guitar sounds focused and punchy, really letting great bass lines shine. I would describe the bass as warm but focused.

Overall I am very happy with these headphones - but they (like all good headphones) require some breaking in before the sound goes from good to great. I have tried headphones at more than twice the cost that didn't sound as good as these do. After 10+ hours of listening they already sound great - I can't wait to hear how they sound after 100+ hrs!
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85 of 95 people found the following review helpful
on 10 January 2013
These headphone are incredible.

Build Quality

The build of these headphones is very good considering the price. Previously I have had many headphones from Sennheiser and I would say these are comparable to the mid-premium ranges in terms of quality. The fit is comfortable for up to an hour or so of listening to music. The case is well made and feels like it's going to protect these for years to come.

Sound Quality

The sound quality is fantastic for on-ear headphones. It is un-coloured and clear. Considering these are not in-ear or over ear, the base is measured and sounds strong but natural. The frequency range is distinct with highs and lows discernible and crackle free. One small criticism would be noise isolation and also wind noise. When on loud public transport these headphones can get slightly drowned out by the background. Also, in strong wind, the headphones have a tenancy to whistle - amplifying the wind noise. If you're going to come up against gale force winds regularly, pick yourself some over the ear headphones instead.


For anyone using an Android phone, I can confirm that on my phone (Samsung Galaxy Nexus), the microphone for hands-free calls works. Also, the play/pause button on the remote works when the phone is unlocked. Volume controls don't work, I think these are just for iOSO devices. Call quality is very good and I found that the recipient can hear you very clearly - apart from in windy conditions.

Final verdict:

For the money, these are a bargain. I've had worse headphones costing twice as much.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 29 March 2015
This is my second pair of AKG K451's. My first pair lasted a good number of years without any degradation of bass or overall sound quality, so to buy another pair was a no-brainer. The build quality of the HEADPHONES THEMSELVES is really second-to-none. They can effortlessly handle a very low bass frequency with little, to no distortion (depending on the source), which considering their compact size is extremely impressive! The noise cancelling on them is equally as impressive. So if we're talking about the headphones themselves, then they are pretty much faultless...

However, the quality severely drops from there. The headphone cable is another story entirely! Without a doubt, the WORST headphone cable I have ever experienced on a pair of headphones! I have honestly lost count of the number of replacement cables I have had to buy for these headphones over the years that I have owned both pairs. I know I have had at least five replacement cables! Just to also clarify, I am very careful with my headphones and often ensure that my headphone cables are tucked away safely to avoid snagging etc, but these cables are pathetically weak and poorly made. I do not know what AKG are thinking to let down such award winning headphones with such an inferior cable?! A thin, weak and delicate cable only made worse with equally thin, delicate (bendy) connectors. It's no surprise at all that with time and usage, the wires inside eventually degrade to the point that one of the headphones will lose sound completely. This is unacceptable and you shouldn't have to keep buying replacement cables during the lifetime of a pair of headphones. It's really disappointing to score these headphones so low, because with a better quality cable I would rate these as a 6 out of 5 without any hesitation. Having experienced far too many degraded cables (as a result of their devastatingly poor, weak design), I think these headphones deserve the two stars until AKG wake up to their customers and use some of their success to produce far more capable and better made cables. A real shame...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 7 June 2014
In need of some new headphones, and loving the depth of sound that came from the freebie iPhone 5 ones with a low budget, I'd left my options quite closed, and accepted the fact I was never going to be able to stretch to the 'Beats' pricetag to get some decent headphones.

I head over to Stuff magazines site to dream and found these beauties sat at number one, way above some Bose's, Beats and Sennheiser's... I'd never heard of AKG, but do take the reviews on Stuff seriously.

At their price tag which was WELL under that of all its lower ranked competitors, I bought on a whim.

WOW! Really wasn't expecting such good quality from a whim, 'cheapish' purchase.

Sound quality is stunning... the range of frequencies/tones you get from these quite small headphones is incredible. The bass is deep and punchy whist keeping the top tones crisp and audible.

I like my music bass heavy, so switching the EQ on to my preferred setting; and in all honesty expecting them to start lacking or crackling being so small; I was pleasantly surprised to hear that they just keep giving. Retaining full audible quality right across the board up to the maximum level I would want to listen to music at.
Music is great, but so is voice (as they can double up as an iPhone headset), whilst driving at 70mph down the road, i could still hear everything my caller was saying, without having to ramp up the volume to full.

The also give the impression of noise cancelling, due to the immersion of sound you get from them, not sure if this is to do with some sort of seal around your ear with the soft cushions, but in the office all background noise (keyboards and telephones) is null and void, and I often miss the tannoy thing that is quite loud.

Putting them side by side to some older Bose QuietComforts; yes the QC's give a very different noise cancelling effect, a much more active feeling (obviously) but the sound quality of the AKG's - for me, with the subtle 'passive' noise cancelling was a winner for me.

The added extras are great too, the double 'wire' they give you is a welcome bonus and I've now found myself always using the in line mic lead and using it as my hands free device.
As some others have mentioned, this ONLY works with iDevices and not android or other devices, but as I'm all i'deviced up - this is not an issue for me.

The case is sturdy and strong, but still a lightweight and manageable size slotting into my laptop bag without causing a bulge, their folding ability is really good and they pack down to a nice small size. (I did notice that they took a week or so of in and out every day for them to mould to the case properly, they would pop out as I closed the case, but no longer do this).

Their overall build quality is pretty good, it would have been nice for them to feel a little more substantial - in the sense that the plastic used feels a little cheap, but its light so I guess that is why. The overall look is great, the cushions on the earpieces are thick and soft, and the cushion on the headband is a welcome touch.
I've not noticed that the exit of the wire from the left earphone affects me much, but I can see how it would if wearing a thick coat or scarf.

The headband extension is quite a good length, and with a reasonably large head, I don't have to use the full extension it offers. They are on the slightly looser side when it comes to their spring/grip - but this is good as they are easily wearable for a 8 hours straight without feeling any pressure or soreness on my ears.

All in all a highly recommended product, I would buy again if required, and will buy again if I loose these or they break.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 19 August 2014
Bought as a present for my husband - I could not have worn them as they are too tight for me - just as well his head is a bit smaller than mine! The sound quality is excellent and there is not too much leakage either. Good value for money if your head is on the smaller side.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Loads of people have recommended these headphones to me, they are No.1 on plenty of Tech top 10 headphone lists too, as a result I took the plunge after breaking my fantastic wireless Sennheisers (It must be said these are less than half the price of the sennheisers). Anyway, Amazon shipped these promptly, they come in good packaging with a carry case which was a nice touch, the build quality is good and straight out of the box the impressions are good. I have a big head, these fit because they are extendable, it takes me a while to get them comfy though, they certainly are not as comfy as much more expensive headphones but thats expected I guess. That said they are not bad, I have them on now after about 2 hours and they are fine if a little hot. Sound quality is good across a range of music genres, I find them a touch bassy if im honest, not terribly but a touch more than I would normally have them. The cable is not particularly long either at 1.2 m (sounds long but if your p.c is on the floor it doesnt give you much moving room). Overall a 4/5 for me as they are perfectly fine and clearly excellent value. But you can get better if you go for more expensive sennheisers. Which probably doesnt surprise anyone. Id buy these again, great value.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 24 July 2013
Well-designed by this respected Austrian audio equipment manufacturer but, like many low-cost items, made in the People's Republic of China. Although they are closed back cans, they are small and do not completely cover ears. Consequently, external noise is not totally excluded and, at high levels, your music could possibly annoy fellow rail or aircraft passengers.

Despite being bass-heavy with a rolled off treble, they possess a fairly detailed mid-range and are a steal at £50, standing head and shoulders above most of the competition up to £70/90 and with a custom-moulded zip-up case and extra 3m cable.

Nevertheless, when connected to my HTC One, incoming callers were not able to hear me and the in-line remote controls did not function except to pause and restart play. Reluctantly, I returned them for a refund.

In a nutshell, perfect for non-critical use on the move as they will not break the bank if lost or stolen but only if used with an iphone/ipod. If, like me, you're an android user, look elsewhere for full functionality.
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101 of 118 people found the following review helpful
on 6 November 2012
I thought that I would add my tuppenny worth seeing as there are so few reviews for this product. I was a bit hesitant about buying these because of the lack of reviews but as they seem to be a newer version of the K450's which are very highly rated, I took the plunge.

I specified Superfi as the supplier because the default supplier when you click BUY on Amazon (caraudiosecurityuk) seems to have supplied some fake K450's according to some Amazon reviews.

My review is very subjective because I have not compared them to anything except freebies and the original Sennheiser PX200's which I was never happy with after buying them based on a What HI-FI review about 7 years ago... Golden Rule No. 1 - if you are serious about it, always, always, always listen to audio equipment before you buy! However, that is not practical where I live so I took a chance. Over the years I have spent a lot of money on hi-fi so consider myself a bit of an audiophile but these have been bought for travel/portability so I won't judge them based on home use.

They look good and build quality seems fine while they come with a substantial (if rather large) traveling case. Using the alternative iPhone cord with my HTC smart phone, the mic works and I can pause/play but not change the volume remotely. They seem slightly heavy for their size which adds to the quality feel.

I have had a quick listen with different types of music including classical and soundwise, plugged into my portable devices at home, they are much better than my PX200's. There is definitely too much bass lift but this will probably be beneficial on the plane and can be taken out with an equaliser. Otherwise, the sound without equalisation is fairly smooth. I would say the sound is good, rather than excellent. I am not, "..hearing instruments that I never heard before." but would expect to be spending £100-£150 on some bigger phones to be happy at home. The sound may improve after a few hours burn-in so I will try to remember to report back. Also, as they sit on your ear, positioning is important for sound quality and comfort. The most comfortable position may not be the best for sound. There is quite a lot of pressure from the headband to keep them in place which is less comfortable for me on one ear.

Summing up: Look good, nice build quality, no good for jogging, they press quite hard on the ears, not 'flat' sounding but for on the move and with personal equalisation, should do a good job.

Headphones are a very personal choice but I would recommend these.


Ok, it's now 2 weeks after I received these and my first reiew. I have a lot more things to add...

My first review was written within minutes of opening the box and I hadn't given these a sufficient audition and... I nearly sent them back! I should say that I am a critical listener, my current hi-fi having set me back about 10 grand. I like realism and a natural sound. I want to close my eyes and be in the studio with the musicians. I know that you cannot achieve anything close to audiophile performance for under £100 but as What Hifi's headphones of the year, they should be fairly good. I bought these as a 'cheap' travel pair although I still have not tried them on the move, resulting in a more critical evaluation at home.

I set the equalisation to flat on my high-end laptop and flicked thru a bunch of mp3s (ripped at 192 VBR using Exact Audio Copy)) on iTunes - mostly rock, blues and accoustic. The sound was extremely bass heavy and muddy in the higher ranges. So for 2 weeks I have been burning them in for 10 hrs a day with a variety of music plus the utility (white/pink noise plus frequency sweeps) and I am relieved to say that they have now redeemed themselves. I guess that I am out of touch with 'consumer' headphones which seemed to be aimed at sounding good for non-critical listeners rather than audiophiles. Bass extension seems to be all that matters.

Rummaging through my drawers I discovered that I had more portable earphones than I thought... 12 year old Koss PortaPros (one earpiece detached but still functioning), Sennheiser PX200's , the original Bose In-Ears, Sennheiser in-ears (not sure which). To summarise in ascending order of sound merit:

PX200 - Just awful. These had a What Hifi award too and I have hardly used them
Bose In-Ear - just ok, but not really hi-fi
Sennheiser in ear - better but not outstanding
Koss PortaPro - Great value for money with a better, more refined and open sound but with an extended bass which doesn't go as low as the AKGs due to open-back design
AKG501 - best of the bunch but only after 2 weeks burn in...

To begin with, the AKGs were extremely bass heavy with muddy mids/highs. Two weeks burn-in seems to have improved everything. Now I would say slightly muddy mids and highs with an over-pronounced, but tight, deep bass resulting in a laid back and entertaining (rather than audiophile) sound if you can throttle back the bass. The damage seems to be at 125Hz. Cutting this by 3 small notches and increasing the 62 Hz by 1 small notch on my laptop equalizer seems to balance this out considerably.

I have also listened with similar results on my Creative Zen, iPod 3G, Sony CD Discman and driving through the headphone socket on a Harman Kardon hi-fi amp using the laptop/Sony Discman as source. With mp3s, a big amp didn't make much much difference so I don't think these a need a portable headphone amp. They seem easy to drive with most devices. I could hear the improvement over mp3 with the CD sources but it wasn't significant enough at this level of headphone.

I would give the AKGs 5 stars at the Amazon price if the sound was anything close to a flat bass response. Not that I use it now, but my Sony CD Discman only has a 3 position bass booster so it would be impossible to use it with these headphones.

If you are a bass-head who doesn't care about getting close to the original sound then these will be a high quality solution. For anyone else, make sure that your device has equalisation facilities.

On the subject of sound leakage. There is not much at normal listening levels although it gets worse if you crank them up. I would wear them on a plane but not sitting next to somebody in a quiet library.

I think that, soundwise, the Koss PortaPros are far, far better value for money at £21 (if they are not the fakes) and it seems that the only difference between the AKG451 and AKG450 (at £41) is an extra cable with contol and mic for an iPhone.

***** FINAL UPDATE *****

What a relief! After 3 weeks of overnight burn-in, the sound has got better and better. It is more integrated and balanced and with less bass exaggeration. I can now listen to some music with the equalisation flat. I have pushed up my rating to 5 stars and my only reservations are that they get a little warm on the ears which is to be expected with this type and the flimsy cables, which have not let me down as yet and can also be replaced. You just wonder how many times you can accidentally jerk or catch it on something which is pretty much unavoidable in normal use.

**** ADDENDUM *****

8-9 months into ownership and with very light use, the pin that connects the left earpiece to the headband broke. It was returned to the supplier, Superfi, who were very quick to send a brand new replacement after assessing the breakage. A big thumbs up to Superfi.
Although it is very subjective, the new phones without burn-in sound as good to me as the pair I sent back. I am wondering if any of the components have changed...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 2 April 2015
These came highly recommended by a friend and I tried them for a couple of days but had to return them.

Sound quality - for my music tastes (Rock to rap to blues to classical to soundtracks etc), I found these a little too bass-heavy with not enough clarity in the trebles. Great if you like your bass but I need something with more clarity in the trebles and a more neutral sound overall.

Comfort - very light but I found these uncomfortable on my ears after an hour or so. This may be a problem that affects a lot of on-ear headphones but I need a pair that I can wear for long-ish periods.

I can see why so many people like these, and I wanted these to be the pair for me (especially at the excellent size and price) but I had to return them, especially in light of the comfort aspect.

I've now ordered the Sennheiser Momentum on ears and hope to have more luck with them.
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