AKG K551 Review: Headphones for Audiophile Nomad
Design 8
Features 7
Performance 8

With the K551, AKG offers a nomadic version of its K550 headset. A remote control 3 buttons and in addition a microphone. Is it sufficient?

Summary 7.7 good

AKG K551

  • Pros: The AKG K551 mobile headset has a very solid construction and excellent comfort with its wide headphones. The closed design offers good passive noise reduction, and the sound signature is very well adjusted, perfect for classic and acoustic pieces.
  • Cons: We will regret the lack of bass despite the good insulation. In short, the headphones are not suitable for all musical genres. Also, no carrying case is proposed, and the arch is not foldable, not so nomadic than it claims!
  • Briefly: The K551 is the nomadic version of the classic K550 model that is intended for hi-fi use. We appreciate particularly its sound performances that are well opened, but we regret its lack of portability and low bass.

Characteristics:

  • Circum-Aural
  • Loudspeakers 50mm
  • Folding flat
  • Micro and Remote for iOS

AKG K551 Review

For a few years now, it is not a surprise to see more people opting for headphones originally intended for use in the studio, for their daily use in the street or transport. I came across a person with a Sennheiser HD 650 in the subway. Where is the world going?

Anyways, it seems that AKG also wants to get into this breach by offering a more nomadic version of its AKG K550. The differences? A remote control with three more buttons on the cable. Yes, that’s all.

AKG K551 Review

Design and Features

Compared to other models of headphones specifically designed for portable use such as the Bowers & Wilkins P5 or the Sennheiser Momentum, the AKG K551’s hi-fi origins are particularly visible. We recognize this touch in the design of the headset, with its large circular earphones of supra-aural design. By putting this pair on your ears, you clearly state one thing: you are an audiophile, and your headphone is not there to follow the latest trend in fashion.

The headphones are available in two colors, a white version with a turquoise blue cord and a black and silver version with a black cable. In both designs, the cable is relatively short (about 1 meter), and if you are looking for a version more suitable for listening at home, you will only be referred to the K550 version which is cheaper.

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The construction quality of the AKG is particularly good and seems very solid. The headphones can swivel and fold flat, but we regret the lack of a carrying case. A small addition offered by many competitors which allow you to protect your headset well in a bag while on the move. The headband is, of course, adjustable and allows to regulate its position on the head to obtain the best possible insulation (and trust me, it isolates well once in place!).

The manufacturer has also worked well on the side of comfort, the pads are soft, and the headband is sufficiently padded and does not press too much on the head. The headset proposes all the same and should not move. Weight level, count about 315g, which is relatively light for a headset of this scale.

 

PerformanceAKG K551 design review

The sound signature of the AKG K551 is rather neutral, with a very well balanced sound between different tones, to achieve these performances, the headphones consist of transducers of 50mm, larger than many competitors like the Bose OE2 or the Beats Studio. Supposedly, this brings a more precise and accurate sound, but also a more open stage feel.

The basses are well transcribed but rather dry, and for nomadic headphones that are supposed to be used elsewhere than at home, it is not necessarily the right choice. We would have appreciated a little more presence on this side, without going into excess as many competitors do (Beats, Soul, SMS Audio, you hear me?)

On the vocals side, it is clean and detailed, but where the headphones reveal its real strength is in the treble. No distortion and the result on acoustic or classical tracks is truly exceptional.

One of the peculiarities of the sound signature chosen for the K551 is the deep and open stage impression. Sometimes you would feel you have open headphones on your head, with the benefits of passive insulation.

To put it simply, we will recommend this model of AKG if you are rather on classic musical styles. For hip-hop and pop lovers, why not look at a Beyerdynamic Custom One Pro instead?

Conclusion

With the AKG K551, the manufacturer goes into the market of nomad headphones for audiophiles. A relatively recent market for audio enthusiasts wishing to enjoy good performance even during their travels. The Sennheiser Momentum could also be included in this category, and it’s probably better with its more mobility-oriented design than the headphones being reviewed here.

The K551 are nevertheless great headphones, although if we intend to use it quietly at home, the K550 will be more affordable and equally effective.

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