AKG K 99 HEADPHONES
Recommend this product?
If you are in the market for an inexpensive pair of headphones, that is both reasonably priced, and that can deliver the type of sound that you might be expecting from a set of headphones that can cost up to twice as much, then I urge you to consider the AKG K 99 Headphones. Read on and see if these headphones have some of the sonic characteristics that you might be looking for the next time that you are considering auditioning a set of inexpensive headphones.
The AKG K 99 Headphones have a list price of $85.99, but they can be readily had for about $57.00 from some of the larger Internet retailers, as well as from some of the better national musical instrument chain stores. At a price of $57.00, the AKG K 99 Headphones are a real bargain for all that they can deliver. These headphones are far from top of the line, but they do sound quite good, and the price is surprisingly reasonable, especially when one considers that they actually sound relatively good.
Let me describe some of the features of the AKG K 99 Headphones. These headphones have an "around the ear, semi-open design." As you might have surmised from this description, headphones that have a semi-open design straddle the fence between a closed-back and a fully open design. There are of course both pros and cons to this type of design. The cons are that sound leakage does occur, thus these headphones are not really suitable for use during live broadcasts or for situations in a recording studio where one is listening to a backing track and there is a live open microphone. These headphones could be used in certain studio recording situations, such as when a musician is playing an electric guitar that is plugged directly into a studio console, as compared to say when a musician is recording an acoustic guitar with a live microphone, while simultaneously listening to a backing track.
There are some pros to using a set of headphones with a semi-open design, like the AKG K 99 headphones. Perhaps the best thing about a semi-open design is that it offers a low level of distortion as well as an excellent low end frequency response. However, that does not mean that the AKG K 99 Headphones offer a "sweetened" response. The term "sweetening," when it is used to describe the sound that one is hearing in a set of headphones, refers to the process of accentuating certain frequencies to make the music that one is listening to sound better. This could for example mean enhancing the bass or the high frequencies in some cases. However, when one wants to use headphones for studio reference or monitoring purposes, a person would want to use a set of headphones with a "flat" or unsweetened response, as this would permit for more accurate adjustment of the levels of the instruments and voices, etc., both for the purposes of adjusting the tones, as well as the volume levels of the tracks. The AKG K 99 Headphones are not sweetened, and provide a flat and uncolored sonic soundscape. Personally, this is the way I like my headphones to be. However, people who crave an artificially enhanced bass or highs, might be disappointed. However, artificially enhancing certain frequencies can of course also be easily accomplished or compensated for by raising the bass or highs on your stereo receiver, MP3 Player, or the like.
The AKG K 99 Headphones have a frequency response of 18 Hz. to 22,000 Hz. Some readers might be wondering what the point of this extended frequency response is, when after all, a healthy normal human being usually can only hear sounds that range from 20 Hz. to 20,000 Hz. Well, the reason that I prefer headphones that have an extended frequency response, is that this means that the headphones are designed to handle frequencies beyond what one typically hears, without distorting. This is an important point to keep in mind in some cases. Let's say for example you are listening to music through a set of headphones that has a frequency response of 60 Hz. to 15,000 Hz., and the music you are listening to has a wider frequency range, perhaps 30 Hz. to 18,000 Hz. There would then be the potential for the listener to hear distortion, not due to excessive volume, but rather due to the headphones distorting because that are not able to handle the reproduction of the frequencies that they are being asked to reproduce.
The AKG K 99 Headphones are light in weight at just 7.4 ounces, and feel comfortable to wear. They have soft leatherette ear pads that feel comfortable even after extended use. These headphones also have a self-adjusting headband that also permits the headphones to fit comfortably, and snugly on one's head. The cable is just shy of 10 feet long, and is single sided. I prefer single sided cables, as there is less likelihood for tangles to occur, and therefore less likelihood for breakage or damage to the wires. The AKG K 99 Headphones have a stereo mini-plug, but they also come with a quarter inch adapter, so one can use these phones with just about any type of audio device.
The AKG K 99 Headphones have a Sensitivity of 112 dB/mW. O.K., so what does that mean? Headphone sensitivity is measured using 1/1000 of a Watt of power (1mW), and then measuring the sound pressure level (SPL) in dB at the earpiece of the headphones. The AKG K 99 Headphones have a relatively average to above degree or level of sensitivity for headphones in this category. The AKG K 99 Headphones have an Impedance of 32 Ohms. This means that they would be considered to be low impedance headphones. There are both positives and negatives to having low impedance headphones. On the negative side, low impedance headphones are more susceptible to potential damage and to burning out because their voice coils have a lower level of resistance. In most cases however, this does not really present much of an issue for the average user. The positives are that, if all things are kept equal, low impedance headphones will sound louder than high impedance headphones. That is because low impedance headphones are in general more efficient at converting electrical energy into sound. Thus, they may use less energy when plugged into a portable listening device, which can potentially mean longer battery life.
Well how do the AKG K 99 Headphones sound? I was pleased to hear the very clear sound that these headphones delivered. The bass was clear, accurate, tight, and undistorted. The highs were smooth and not harsh or abrasive. The midrange sounds also appeared to be very accurately portrayed as well. The overall sounds and levels of the instruments and the vocals appeared to be accurate, clear, and uncolored. In short, these headphones appeared to give a very accurate sonic reproduction, especially when one considers their modest price.
O.K., so who would the AKG K 99 Headphones be suitable for? I would feel comfortable in recommending the AKG K 99 Headphones to a person who is starting out in a home studio, and who is on a tight budget, and who needs a set of headphones that they can use to arrive at a relatively reliable and accurate idea of the levels of the sounds that they are hearing in their mix when they are recording or mixing their musical tracks. Obviously, no reasonable person would ever solely rely on using headphones alone for serious mix down purposes, but the AKG K 99 Headphones could certainly be helpful in adjusting and setting sound levels, especially when doing so late at night. The AKG K 99 Headphones would also be good to consider for a person who would like to upgrade their listening pleasure when using their portable music listening device, or for casual listening to music on a home stereo system.
Well I would like to thank you for taking the time to read my review, but now if you will excuse me, I must get back to practicing my guitar. Good luck, and good listening.
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