AKG K553 MkII Review | Closed-Back Studio Headphones

🎧  Click to purchase – AKG K553 MkII Closed-Back Studio Headphones

The AKG K553 MkII closed-back studio headphones are designed for mixing, monitoring and mastering, though this is not it’s only application.  One of the major strengths of this headphone is literally how STRONG it has been constructed.  Therefore, they are equally suitable for recreational use while delivering professional studio quality sound.  The ear pads are comfortable and quite large.  If you have a very small head, they might not be as snug as you’d like.  However, if you have a large head or lots of hair, or like to wear your headphones with hats, you’ll find that these are absolutely a perfect fit.  The closed back design contains the majority of the sound within the ear cup however, it is not a perfect seal and outside sounds are still audible to a degree. 

Despite it’s durability and strength, the headphones are actually quite light and only weigh 1.37 pounds.  The headband is made of metal with adjustable numeric gauges on both sides that snap for a very precise fit.  The padding at the top of the headphone is very minimal but doesn’t seem to cause any discomfort.  This is probably due to the massive circular ear pads, spanning about 4 and a quarter inches all the way around.  The padding is soft and leather like, with a squishy give and completely engulfs your ears for an intimate musical experience. 

Another nice feature about the headphones themselves is that they swivel a quarter of a turn in one direction and then and then a full 90 degrees in the opposite direction, allowing the headphones to be placed conveniently and safely on a flat surface.  This feature is also great for storage or travel since in this position they take up less space.  DJ’s will particularly find this feature useful allowing for easy monitoring of upcoming tracks without actually putting the headphones completely on their head. 

In addition to the swivel, the cups also have a range of motion in the opposite direction that helps to conform to the contour of your head.  The inside covering of the speakers themselves are conveniently labeled with a large L and R to insure an accurate stereo representation. 

So all those features are awesome, but how do they actually sound?  The AKG K553 MkII closed-back studio headphones actually have a very unique sonic output compared to other headphones within the same price range.  While most of it’s competitors are focusing on crazy bass and sparkling highs, the K553’s strength actually comes from it’s beautiful mid range.  This isn’t to say that the K553’s don’t have bass or high end range, but rather that the headphones are flat with a special and realistic emphasis on mid frequencies that make vocals, horns and other acoustic instruments come to life like no other. 

With this strength in mind, these headphones are best suited for genres of music that are not heavily bass driven like folk, rock, jazz, classical, salsa and other world music that has a more acoustic texture.  The headphones have a dark and rich tone, however the sound stage is not very wide with more focus being put on the center. 

In terms of price, the AKG K553 MkII headphones sell for $199.99 on the AKG website.  They are however currently available from amazon.com for almost half that price!  There are many suppliers to choose from but it’s hard to beat amazon’s quality control, speed of delivery and ease of return for any reason.  I’ve included the amazon link in the description below and greatly appreciate your support if you decide to purchase through my link, of which I will make a small commission that comes at no additional charge to you. 

To give you a brief history of the lineage, the K553 MkII is the latest addition to the K550 family.  Many improvements have been made in sound quality and design.  The K553’s have more high end than the K550’s.  There has also been a high mid frequency spike correction around the 6k range.  The K553 has both Pro and MkII models.  At the time of this writing, AKG has discontinued the Pro version and has replaced it with the MkII, though Pro models are still widely available and in circulation. 

The main difference between the two is the MkII’s now has a new detachable wire.  This has been heralded as an important improvement increasing it’s professional value as well as preserving the live of the headphones incase of wire damage from wear and tear.  The wire itself is a mini XLR connection and though not very common, is still much better than being directly hardwired to the headphone.  The opposite end of the wire has an eighth inch pin connector and also comes with a quarter inch adapter for easy connection to a wide variety of devices. 

And finally, it’s nice to notice that in addition to these great sonic characteristics is an ascetically pleasing and stylish design that one can wear just as well as a fashion statement.  The all black color is professional and distinguished, matching with any color and acceptable in any situation. 

Well that about wraps it up for this AKG K553 MkII review.  I hope you enjoyed it and learned about it’s unique sound and excellent features.  If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below and I’ll do my best to answer in a timely manner.  Also, I’m always looking for new products to review, so let me know what you’re interested in.   Remember to hit that like button and subscribe if you found this helpful.  Come back soon and thanks for watching!

🎧  Click to purchase – AKG K553 MkII Closed-Back Studio Headphones

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