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on 28 September 2013
I needed some headphones for use on the train and in the office. I already have a pair of beloved Sennheiser HD560 Ovation II's which cost nearly 2 weeks wages back when I was 19.

Twenty years on I still know why the Sennheisers changed what I thought about headphones, they are outstanding. But they are huge and clumsy and being open backed, leak sound so badly they are nowhere near suitable for office use.

So I just bought the AKG's. I was attracted to K452's as they are the android compatible update to the K451 which has received some very positive reviews. Closed back and highly portable and at £60 a reasonable price for “good” headphones.
Overall I am really impressed, they are very comfortable, have a pleasant sound, convincing bass and barely leak at all even at moderate listening levels. The nice travel case and replaceable lead (there is even a spare lead with no remote included) give the impression they will last a while.

Considering the “fashion” headphones at this price point and how terrible they sound in comparison ( yes I did try some Beats Audio cans for a laugh ), I think these are very good value.

Some compromise had to be made though...There would be something very wrong if a pair of highly portable closed can travel headphones could compete with my beloved Sennheisers. But by golly the AKG's have a good stab at it. It's probably fair to say though that they aren't challenging enough to be a serious listening headphone.
Their character is completely different and perhaps somehow more neutral although there is a definite warmness which makes them very easy to listen to but might annoy some listeners.

However I think for my intended application this is not necessarily undesirable and the absence of any significant leakage up to pretty reasonable listening levels combined with a nice level of isolation (you'll hear train announcements enough to pull them off but background chatter is significantly muted.) make them the ideal commute/office headphone.
The replaceable leads, Android compatible remote nice travel case and built in mic are all welcome additions. Though the owner is left to figure out for themselves how to drive the one button remote which I think is unfortunate.

I deliberately tried some tracks I know can be challenging for headphone listening
Notes below:

Pristeen – Julian Cope

AKG's not as bright as the Sennheisers....very slight boxiness but only noticeable in direct comparison. Much easier to drive and go very loud on any source.

Alphabet St - Prince

The Sennheisers are ruthlessly accurate...every artefact of the recording has a pink hi-lighter drawn round it. Great when you have have great source material but they aren't very kind to mp3's. Moving to the same song on a vinyl source (the lovesexy album has to go down as one of the biggest digital remastering disasters ever) and the Sennheisers open up and sing into your ears in a way the AKG's could only aspire to.

AKG's are punchier at bass but a fair bit warmer and not as much detail comes through.

Ghosts and stuff – Deadmau5

This is actually more listen-able on the AKG's, there is a pace that is lacking on the Sennheisers and weaknesses in the recording are smoothed. The bass is more convincing (surprising for the smaller cans),

Track 4 – LFO

Asking anything other than a club system to properly render this track is a big ask, the Sennheisers completely lost their way....AKG's pump along happily trying to breathe bass which is so convincing here I had to actually take them off at one point to be sure I hadn't left my speakers connected.

BYOB – System of a Down

AKG's had me happily listening..Sennheisers open the track up maybe a bit too far but also make me wish I had a copy of this to hand at higher than 192kb bit rate.

Give up, remix (from the fixed EP) – NIN

AKG's do a good job but Sennheisers turn the track into the complete assault on your senses it should be.

Mad about You – Hooverphonic

The warm punchy nature of the AKG's actually pull this track together though some vocal detail is lost

Los Chicharrons / Chicharrons n Boogaloo

The roughness of the mastering on this track makes it actually quite hard to enjoy on the overtly revealing Sennheisers...AKG's had me hopping around the room.
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on 26 May 2014
AKG k 452

I spent a fair while looking for a decent pair of headphones for the daily commute - really hankered after some Bose noise isolators to hush my journey but couldn't justify the £300+ price tag.

The previous AKG model got a LOT of good reviews on here, the AKG K 452 seem identical apart from the inclusion of an inline microphone for mobile calls.

It's something I've rarely used but it does work very well, as the headphones do offer a decent amount of noise isolation when worn - you don't get anywhere near Bose levels, but you need to take them off to hear clearly, even if the music has stopped. So, if annoying people on the train by making loud and lengthy phone calls is your style - this makes it even easier and totally hands-free.

Sonically they do take a while to run in, mine have quite definitely opened up over three months - becoming clearer across the mid and top end. They were disappointingly muddy when first used - which was heightened by a very heavy bass response - which is still present but lessened by the top end becoming more prominent.

Should volume be required, the AKG has stacks of it - I've yet to use it all. The spill seems very small, I don't want fellow passengers to critique my eclectic musical taste and they are effective at preventing that.

I find the sound coloured and way too bassy, if you listen to a lot of electronic music for example, you may like that aspect but across a range of music they are simply too bass heavy for my taste, almost as if there is a 'bass boost' button switched on.
With the volume cranked up further the sound becomes much more balanced, and though as a musician, I'm used to high volumes, I find that to achieve a more balanced sound mix, the levels quickly become too loud for comfort.

They're comfortable to wear, with incredibly soft pads, although because they are not fitting over your ear, rather resting on the more sensitive, middle section of your ear, they do make their presence known after an hour or so.

The headphones collapse on themselves and fit into a smallish, smart little zipped case, which fits into a bag or large pocket of a coat and offers decent protection.

I'm pleased with them but would prefer over-ear noise isolators when I can afford them.

All headphones have 'their own' sound but these are distinctively artificial in the bass department. They've not had hours and hours of use as yet, so they may open up more but my advice is, if you have the opportunity, listen to a pair first, if you are at all fussy about sound balance.

Pros: great build quality, little spill, plenty of volume

Cons: artificially heavy on the bass, small ear pads do eventually become uncomfortable to wear
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on 13 February 2014
I was looking for some headphones for my commute, as I listen to music on my way to work and on my way home. I first ordered the Philips Citiscape Uptown, as I thought around the ear headphones should block outside noise better and it wouldn't leak. While this was mostly true, I didn't like how bulky they were and they weren't comfortable enough to be worn for more than 20-30 minutes. So I ended up going for these, having read good reviews about sound quality and I thought they looked nice.

Even though they don't show it, they are really comfortable and I have worn them for more than an hour without any discomfort. The sound is really good and the bass is strong but not overpowering. I mostly listen to rock and the K452's do a great job at rendering this kind of music. I haven't tried the button control yet, because I've only recently purchased an Android phone, but this feature is not necessarily very important for me. The carrying case and the spare cable are a great addition and I've found it very useful to fold the headphones and store them in the case at the end of my commute, so that's pretty handy.

So if you're looking for good headphones at a great price, look no further.
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on 10 December 2014
I'm a biased person who loves AKG headphones. So maybe you shouldn't listen to me. BUT, bass sound is really good, although there are some people who says that it's too bassy which I don't agree. It's very comfy as well. I can use it for more than 4 hours while studying. One of the best headphones that I've ever used.
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VINE VOICEon 31 December 2014
Nicely presented box, quality storage case (though a struggle to fit in with detachable leads supplied, despite pockets for them!). The headphones feel well made with no obvious weak points. They fold and swivel to take up minimum room. They were smaller than expected, but not a disappointment.

The two removable cables (both simple and inline control versions) are a bonus too, clicking in on one side and making for a comfortable listen. With extended sessions, though, you’ll feel like a rest from them!

Initially I wasn’t overwhelmed with the sound quality, quite muddy, but they seemed to settle down after a bit of a run in. Attached to an iPad Air playing streamed FLAC files the bass is tight, accurate and punchy (only really used to this with inner ear ‘phones!). Treble is crisp and not harsh. They seem to be accurate and not exaggerated, which is ideal. Voices are clear and it is easy to just relax with these and just enjoy your music. An Android phone was also clear and punchy with the inline play/pause working fine.

Listened to acoustic male and female singers and also rock and all sounded very good. Not the last word in hi-fi sound, I think clarity could be a little better, but very good for the £50 or so they are going for normally. I don’t think you would find better for the money and the bass, in particular, was a nice surprise. The compact / folding aspect is a useful feature making them very good for travellers.
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on 11 January 2015
These are great headphones. I've always been a fan of AKG since buying my first set of K241's for use in the studio.
Now, whilst these aren't any good for using in the studio, they're great for entertainment purposes.
The low end is full, rich but not overpowering with the high end being present and clean. The mids take a bit of a beating because of this, but hey, they're designed to make your music sound loud and full of energy, not be flat.
These are now my go-to headphones for when i'm listening to music on my laptop.

I've been using them for over a month now and the quality seems as good as AKG has ever been (I still have my K241s which are over 10 years old). The cable is detachable and comes with a spare one (including an android compatible remote attached). However, even if you're unlucky enough to lose both of these, the cable is just a standard 3.5mm Jack so can be replaced easily.

The only slight downsides for me personally:
- They're quite small: I have quite a big head. Not MASSIVE, but not small either, and I need them extended to their maximum length to fit my ear. And even then, i need to position the band towards the front of my head so they're positioned correctly. Because of this, i don't find them very comfortable to listen over an extended period of time (2 hours +)
- I didn't use the case it came with as i found it a bit of a nuisance to pack the headphones into. But, i didn't expect a case anyway, so basically.. I'm trying to think of negatives for the sake of it.

Overall, great headphones. Full 5 stars.
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on 27 November 2013
I've always liked the AKG brand. I love their sound signature, which is neutral but not overly clinical and cold. I bought two other AKG headphones before, the Q 701 and AKG K 420. I enjoy using the Q 701 at home for serious listening sessions. When I'm on the computer though, I listen to my Sennheiser Momentums which are also amazing headphones for their price. They are somewhat portable but not that much. So I wanted to buy a pair of headphones which I can carry around easily and can also use to answer calls while listening to music from my phone. AKG K 420s, which are really good for their cheap price, can't do that.

First, I gave Sennheiser Momentum on-ears a try. They sound almost as good as the regular Momentums (85 % as good) but in spite of being smaller, they aren't very portable either. They're not foldable and their case is somewhat big, especially compared to AKG K 452s'. They are marketed as iDevice headphones but some buttons work for Android devices as well. Later, I saw that the new version of the award winning K 451, K 452 was released and now it had support for Android devices as well. That was good news, except the fact that there were no volume buttons. I was attracted by the good price on Amazon and bought the headphones. I've listened to various music genres on them, and right now I'm listening to Good Vibrations by The Beach Boys on lossless quality. I must say they sound amazing for such small headphones at such a low price. The mids and bass are incredible. Treble is good as well but don't expect a bright sound. The headphones have a warm yet exciting sounding, kind of similar to Sennheiser Momentums, and forgiving on recordings with lower quality as they're portable headphones. That said, good recordings on flac format and hi-res files can bring out the true potential of those headphones.

I must also say that the headphones require no burn-in as they sound great out of the box. Time will tell if it's going to sound even more amazing.
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on 19 March 2014
I bought these to replace my old Sennheisers after the cable broke. I chose the model with the Android audio control and microphone so I could make phone calls while using my PC without using the speaker phone. And it works great - I could be heard clearly just as if I was talking into my phone.

The audio quality on these phones is very good for the money, but in my opinion not as fantastic as many reviews suggest. The bass is very good and doesn't suffer at low volumes like many headphones. This, along with the closed-back design makes these ideal for use on the train - you can hear your music without it being too loud, but no one else can. They're very comfortable too.

The only thing I don't like is the stereo image, which I find to be a bit flat. It could do with a bit more fizz. But to put things into perspective I normally use much more expensive headphones (bigger + open back). Even so, if you listen mostly to classical music I would try some other phones before committing to these. If you listen to pop then get these - you can't go wrong for the money.

The travel case is good quality, and the additional cable (without a button/microphone) is a nice touch. It's a shame the cable connection is proprietary, but at least you can change the cable if it breaks - and you get a spare.

I would definitely buy these again.
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on 23 September 2013
AKG have released the follow up to the award winning AKG 450/451s. my old bugbear about the 451s was the lack of ANDROID pohone compatibility. but now with the sound quality of the 451s and the connectivity to Android devices, AKK have opened up a new user base.
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on 14 December 2014
Some reviews say they are a bit fuzzy. I can only think that some users are not fully engaging the audio lead. It is a click and lock system and must be fully engaged and locked. I would highly recommend and I am choosy about headphones. Superb quality,great sound and a bonus is the quality storage case.
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