AKG Y50 On-Ear Headphones: Minimalism at its Finest [Review]

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AKG is a brand that I’ve honestly never heard of before but a quick look at their history shows that they’ve actually been around for more than 60+ years and have been used by music professionals all around the world. Akustische und Kino-Geräte Gesellschaft mbH – shortened to AKG in 1965, creates some of the world’s most innovative headphones, producing the ultimate in sonic accuracy for recording professionals, audiophiles and anyone with a passion for music, decade after decade. All that innovation is not only available to professionals now, but also to consumers. One of their newest consumer products is that of the AKG Y50 On-Ear headphones featuring a lightweight design that is both portable and eye catching, while also delivering a personalized listening experience.

STYLE

The AKG Y50 is a lifestyle product created to compliment your own personal style. It really shows as the AKG Y50 has quite an eye catching design. This is mainly due to the large AKG logo displayed on each of the ear cup outer plates. I’ll talk a bit more about that later. For the purpose of this review, I’ll be looking at the AKG Y50 in the Teal color.

These headphones are a bit different from what I’m accustomed to seeing with on-ear headphones. They don’t have large headbands like you would normally see. Instead, these are quite skinny and thin. The headbands themselves are made of metal that is both flexible and strong. The band is accompanied by padded leatherette to help with comfort on the top of your head. It’s not a very large pad, but it’s just enough considering how small the band is to begin with. It’s a very minimalistic, modern design that seems to work well and looks pretty good. The top of the band features the AKG logo in white while the sides of the band have a sizing scale printed on so you can size each side properly.

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The ends of the band do feature plastic, black in color which seems to compliment the teal color quite nicely. There’s no over done decorations on these. They are just plane black and again, very minimalistic. This portion of the headphones also features a 3D hinge mechanism which allows the ear cups to contour to the shape of your head and ears better. They also make storage much easier as you can fold these up for easier transport with the included pouch.

Now it’s the ear cups here that probably will get the most attention. On the inside, there are padded, again with a very soft and plush leatherette. These are on-ear units but because these are so soft with almost cloud-like cushioning, you barely even feel them on your ears. I want to almost say that these are the most comfortable on-ear headphones I’ve ever used. That’s not the attention grabbing design element however. It’s the outside of the ear cups that will get people staring. Depending on what color you get, the outer plate will be this color along with a huge AKG logo right in the middle. It’s a little overwhelming at first, but it actually doesn’t look that bad. I really like how it looks and it’s something quite different from what you’d normally see. The outer plate is also made of metal so it has a very high end look to it.

FEATURES

The AKG Y50 is a wired headphone that features 40mm drivers. The rear of the ear cups are completely sealed so you can hear more of your music and less of the outside world. For the most part, they just seem like ordinary headphones. There is an inline remote that is compatible with iOS and Android devices and allows for some basic music control. You can play and pause music, advance or go back a track, and pick up phone calls.

  • Signature AKG-quality sound with enriched bass performance AKG sound originates from powerful, 40mm drivers delivering an enhanced, punched-up bass response with minimal disturbance from the outside world thanks to their bleed-resistant design.
  • On-ear headphone with closed ear-cup design for reduced ambient noise. Removing those external sounds you’d rather not hear allows for a distraction-free environment with which to fully concentrate on the acoustics you’d prefer to hear – as it should be.
  • Long-lasting, comfortable fit with rugged, lightweight design Headphones may sound great but unless they’re comfortable, they won’t wear well over time. The AKG Y50s lightweight construction and closed ear-cup design are engineered to feel like they’re barely there – yet provide you with a listening experience to fit your discerning tastes like a glove.
  • Detachable, 1.2m cable with inline, one-button remote/mic for complete hands-free accessibility Keep connected for work or for play while you choose between taking a call or riffing on a favorite tune – all without skipping a beat. Compatible with most smartphones, AKG Y50s address your on-the-go lifestyle but leave the decisions of what to do next up to you.
  • 3D-Axis folding mechanism and pouch for easy storage and safe transport AKG Y50s adhere to your on-the-go lifestyle, designed to fold down neatly for safe storage in a compact, protected pouch. This keeps them safe when you’re not using them – but ready to come into play whenever you need to take them with you.
  • 4 cool color options with emphasis on smart, tasteful design and AKG branding The AKG brand is something you can be proud to wear as they represent the very best in sound quality, making an overall statement that speaks highly of your personal taste and standards. There’s no reason why something that sounds so good shouldn’t look the part – so choose the color and overall look that best complements your personal style.

EXPERIENCE

I’ll start off with my physical experience of the AKG Y50. These headphones are really light in comparison to others I’ve tried. It’s probably because of how thin and skinny the headband is or the minimal amount of material used, but these things are so light that it makes wearing them for long periods of time, very comfortable. Not only that, the cushioning on the ear cups is very good and doesn’t hurt my ears at all. It probably also helps that the headphones aren’t very tight like others can be which cause unnecessary pressure on the ears.

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As for storage, these fold up to a very reasonable size for transport. You can either fold them up flat or stack the ear cups and the whole package comes with a nice little carrying pouch. If you like wearing the headphones around your neck instead, you can do that too. What’s neat is that you can detach the cable from the headphones so they aren’t just hanging around.

Since AKG is known for their sound quality, especially with professionals, you’d expect the sound on these to be very good, right? The answer to that is a simple, yes. These AKG Y50’s are excellent. You can here distinct highs, mids, and lows producing a sound that is very clean and distortion free, even at the highest volume. Again, going through my usual list of music genres, everything sounds great on them. I especially love listening to music that features real instruments and the Y50 reproduces these sounds brilliantly. They make music sound as if they were being played right in front of you in the real world, and that’s what I usually look for in a good audio system. As for bass response, this is pretty decent as well. Bass for the most part is deep enough and you do get a slight thump, but it might not be as deep as some may like. For me though, they sounded great and provided just enough bass for the type of music I usually listen to.

What else is good is that because of the way the ear cups are designed, they do a very good job of passively blocking out the outside sounds so there’s nothing distracting you from your music. Also, with on-ear headphones, you’d expect a lot of sound leakage, like some other brands, but surprisingly, the Y50 keeps much of the sound in.

FINAL THOUGHTS

I really like the AKG Y50, everything from its stylish good looks to the way it sounds. I like the fact that the Y50 is so light and compact, but still has that feeling of quality, thanks in part to its generous use of metal with the band and ear cup covers. I like how compact the overall package is and that it comes with its own carrying pouch if you want to put it away somewhere. The detachable cable is also a nice touch and keep the cable out of the way if you are just carrying it around your neck.

Sound wise, I’m impressed with the overall quality it delivers when listening to all my favorite genres. Live music is produced impressively, though bass response isn’t quite as deep as some may like. I had no problem with it as I don’t really like heavy, heavy bass. It provided just enough thump for me and what I listen to.

Overall, I’m impressed with what AKG did here with the Y50. They are very stylish and eye catching, but also sounds great. It’s great mix of style and function and those looking for something different should give AKG a look. Their history alone in professional arena should warrant consideration as this isn’t just some new company that sprouted up over night, and it shows with the quality of their build and the quality of the sound.

The AKG Y50 is available in 4 different color options – Black, Teal, Red, and Yellow.