Just last week, we reviewed the Sennheiser HD650, one of the best headphones money can buy. Of course, you have to be willing to shell out that kind of money to own a pair. Another major headphone manufacturer, with a reputation similar to Sennheiser is AKG. Priced at just under the Rs. 3,000, the new AKG K512 headphones designed to be more affordable than the HD650 and are likely to interest many more buyers.
Design and build quality
The AKG K512 look pretty decent and they’re made primarily of plastic. The structure of the headband and the frame is slightly different from other headphones, though. For example, the flat headband on the top slides out, so it fits your head properly. Most other headphones use a rigid design, but this one moves independent of the two plastic covered bands that hold the two cans of the headphones in place. All of this is perfectly set up. Overall, the headphones feel light but a little flimsy. The compartments that hold the drivers are also made of plastic – the AKG K512 are closed headphones with no openings on the rear. The earpads are made of a synthentic material, so they don’t feel very comfortable. In humid places, you’re likely to get sweaty ears after using it for an hour or two.
Simple design, but build quality could've been better
The cans are somewhat small from the inside, so they just about cover your ears – a slightly larger space inside would’ve been nice. Most headphones have a small opening for the rear, but a larger space inside. This one on the other hand doesn’t, so your ears tend to curl in and this isn’t the most comfortable feeling to have. If you have smaller ears, you won’t have these issues. These are generally a very loose pair of headphones and it’s clear when you first wear them. They tend to move about a bit and don’t fit very snugly around your head.
The AKG K512 are rated to perform over a frequency range of 18 to 20,000 Hz. They are rated to have an impedance of 32 Ohms, like other mainstream headphones. This also means they are easy to drive on pretty much any source device, be it a PMP, a phone, tablet, PC or notebook. There’s a 2.5 metre cable that lets you sit far away from your PC. Unlike the Sennheiser HD650, which used two seperate cables to connect each can, the AKG K512 only uses a single cable. The cable is sturdy and is made of decent quality plastic. The connector on the end isn’t gold plated, but there isn’t any drop in quality that we could notice with these headphones, as compared to those using gold plated connectors.
Non-glad platted connector on the AKG K512
Specifications of the AKG K512
The AKG K512 offers a good amount of noise isolation as compared to most other headphones. This is mainly because your ears fit flat on the inside of the headphones. There is some gap at the bottom of the headphones, though, so some noise is likely to leak out. If you have small ears, then you won’t find this gap and you’re likely to get better noise isolation.
The flexible head-band on the AKG K512
As far as audio performance goes, the AKG K12 does a pretty good job. The tone is more or less natural, but they are clearly a more bright sounding pair of headphones. If you like that extra bit of sparkle in your music and movies, then you’ll like these. If you prefer more warm Grado sound, then you may not like it as much. The AKG K512 have a similar tone as some of the Sennheiser headphones, but with quite a bit of emphasis on the highs. While they may not be the most detailed headphones around, they do sound good. Mids aren’t as thick and prominent as some of the other headphones in the market, while bass is weak in comparison to the highs. There’s no sign of distortion at high volumes. Sound staging is very wide, so they have a bit of a hollow feel to the sound.
AKG K512 – Good value for money
Priced at Rs. 2,990 in India, the AKG K512 is a good value-for-money pair of headphones. We only wish the product was sturdier than it is and would fit my head better. Use of harder, better quality plastic would have made the product stand out. In terms of performance, the AKG K512 surprises us with its above-average audo quality. If you have a budget of around Rs. 3,000 for a pair of headphones, give these a shot.
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