AKG K240 Studio headphones review: what are they?
A classic semi-open headphone design aimed at demanding studio professionals, the AKG K240 Studio is derived from the original K240. headphones which first appeared in the 1970s. It’s a popular, almost iconic design that has more than stood the test of time, and a pair of K240s seem to have found their way into a lot of studios professionals over the past few decades.
Visually, the K240 Studio you can buy today is a mix of retro and modern design elements. The unique and familiar design of the self-adjusting double headband headband, while practical, isn’t necessarily for everyone, giving these cans a bit of a 70s era look. In an effort to balance that, the classic all-black design of our review sample featured yellow cough drop accents in the center of the earcups, giving the cans a more modern edge. Circular gold metallic trim surrounds the earcup vents, and there’s a large gold AKG logo on the headband for easy orientation, aided by gold L/R indicator labels located on the adjustment points on either side of the headband .
The supplied accessories are rather minimal – you get a standard screw-on 3.5 to 6.3mm adaptor, but there’s only one 3m-long straight cable in the box. It’s detachable and very sturdy, but if you’re not a fan of long cables due to how they can get in the way in some cases, there’s no shorter alternative included. However, the cable locks securely into the left earcup, and replacement cables are available to order from AKG’s website. On the portability front, we wouldn’t say the K240 was a particularly portable design. Its rather chunky profile and lightweight, outwardly flimsy look made us think twice about slipping it into our laptop bag, especially since, unlike many other headphones in this price range, it doesn’t There is no protective case or pouch of any kind included in the package.
AKG K240 Studio headphones review: performance and verdict
In terms of comfort, the K240 Studio obtains very good results. The clamping force is light, as are the boxes themselves, making them easy to live with for long periods of listening, especially if you wear glasses. The self-adjusting headband – an AKG design feature – adds its weight, or rather lack thereof, to the equation, almost automatically conforming to the size and shape of the wearer’s head.
This rather ingenious system works by using the top of your head to push up on the inner part of the headband, which in turn stretches loops of elastic attached to the ends of the inner saddle as you pull the ear cups into position. . on your ears. While the rubber bands seem capable of handling the task, we’re not sure how they’d cope with repeated heavy use in the studio. We don’t know if these are replaceable, so longevity might be a question mark here.
Like most semi-open headphones, the isolation from your surroundings isn’t great – the earcups block out virtually no noise, as they’re vented through the back, allowing air, and therefore sound, to pass through. This contrasts with the more traditional closed-back design of studio headphones, where the earcup is a sealed unit that reduces sound leaking in or out. The not-so-great isolation here, then, is more of an inherent flaw in the design of this particular type of helmet, and certainly not a downside unique to the K240s themselves.
In our testing, the K240’s semi-open design meant everyone in the immediate vicinity could clearly hear what we were listening to, so it’s not for you if you intend to use them on crowded trains , in a quiet office environment or when recording with microphones.
As for the overall sound of the K240, we found them to be detailed, spacious and natural sounding. We couldn’t fault the overall clarity, with plenty of discernible detail at either end of the spectrum and a smile-inducing soundstage.
However, we were a little disappointed to find them not very loud and lacking a bit of “oomph”. It’s all there, it all just sounded a bit distant – at just 55 ohms impedance, you’d expect them to be louder, more present and punchier. Listening to our test playlist, the transient response was decent, but we just didn’t feel particularly engaged with the music, and with very little sub-bass boost, we had to drive our computer’s outputs. stronger than usual test to get to that stench- face, head stage.
Used with a digital piano, the semi-open design’s lack of isolation meant we had to crank up the volume of the instrument to drown out the thud of our fingers on the keys, which meant other people in the room could easily hear what we were playing. For the same reason, if you’re looking for a set of bobbins to use with an electronic drum kit, it might be best to look elsewhere, as the sound of sticks hitting the pads will be almost as audible as passing drum sounds. . the cans.
Samson SR850 (opens in a new tab)
Great sounding and extremely economical semi-open on-ear headphones for audiophiles and studio professionals.
Grado SR80e (opens in a new tab)
A compact, fully open on-ear headphone that sits on your ears, rather than around them, delivering warm, rich and detailed sound.
On the plus side though, this design gives you a more realistic perception of space – you feel like the sound is coming from outside your head, as opposed to the internalizing effect that most closed cans. If open sound is what you prefer, the K240 delivers that in spades – we often had to pull them out to check we had them plugged in!
So to sum up, whether to check the stereo image of your mix or enjoy natural, detailed sound when listening to bass-independent music at a moderate level in a quiet environment, the K240 Studio can absolutely shine, in especially considering the low price. . For almost everything else, we recommend almost everything else.
AKG K240 Studio headphones review: Specifications
- Type: Dynamic, semi-open, circumaural
- Response frequency: 15-25,000Hz
- Impedance: 55 ohm
- Weight without cable: 240g
- Cable: 3m, straight, detachable
- Contact: AKG (opens in a new tab)