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AKG K181 DJ Closed-Back Headphones Reviews
i did a review on these earlier, about a month after having them.
i've now had them a year and am dissapointed to inform everyone that the structure isn't quite as durable as one might hope.
sound quality is all still there, and they function well enough to use until i buy my next headphones.
the arch is cracking, and the headphone cable split. i must point out that i take good care of these headphones but they do get regular use out and about.
going to have to drop the rating to a 7.
get the HD 25's instead... or some in-ears.
Picked up my pair of K181 DJs in Andorra last week and I have to say, I\'m very pleased with them. Since I\'ve been without my own pair of DJing phones for quite a while now, I\'ve borrowed phones of practically all the popular varieties in this bracket from other DJs, so I\'ve got a fair benchmark to compare them with.
I was origianlly going to go for a set of Sennheiser HD25s but decided to take a chance on the AKGs and I\'m glad I did. First impressions were that the shape and cup-hinging method was similar to the Technics 1210 headphones, allowing for all the classic DJ positions - band over the back of the head, propped on the shoulder etc; however, the cups are a bit smaller than the equivalent Sony and Technics models but cover my (medium-sized) ears better than the HD25s, which also got annoyingly caught on my piercings.
Initially the headband felt a little too tight -I wear glasses and it pressed on them uncomfotably - however, after a bit of gentle band-stretching (by making my PC Tower case \'wear\' the \'phones overnight), they\'re now perfect.
When I first tried the headphones out at home for a measure of sound quality, I was very impressed. Listening to a minimal techno CD with the EQ flat, the sound was crisp and defined as suits the genre, and the bass was tight and precise. Listening to a D&B mix was also a pleasure, the bass was rich and full, but didn\'t feel like it was forcing large amounts of air down your ear canals. I then experimented with boosting the treble and bass EQs on the amplifier and the effect was nothing but pleasurable. Overall I\'d say the clarity and definition of these cans compared to my old pair of Senneiser HD280s is a bit like hearing a favourite tune on a new Funktion One club rig as opposed to an old Turbosound.
I\'ve played out using these phones once so far in a small-ish club, and they\'ve performed as well as I was expecting. No need to drive the headphone volume on the mixer too hard, and when the cups are completely over my ears, sound isolation is excellent. They fold down nice and flat for transport, too. I haven\'t needed to deploy the in-built bass-bost function yet at all, but generally I prefer to leave such things switched off as I don\'t like to colour the sound unnecessarily.
Durability-wise, they feel robust, but only time will tell if the hinge construction will withstand serious gigging.
One minor downside is that the detatchable cable is a little bit short for my liking (I\'d have preferred a curled one, although a curled one is available seperately). ot only that but the mini-XLR jack which although very swish doesn\'t come out of the socket easily enough. When I\'ve got the cable on the Sennheiser HD25s caught, it\'s popped out of the headphone easily, thus, one would assume, protecting the connections from excess stress and prolonging the life of the cable, but the mini-XLR is immovable unless the little button is depressed.
Overall, though, I think at round the £100 mark, these are a very fine set of headphones indeed, and a worthy opponent to the other favourites within the price bracket.
These headphones amaze me. I realised how much my mixing was affected by the headphones i used after i brought these. Flat response for DJ headphones (meaning they could be used for studio use) and always seem to pick out the elements needed for beatmatching. I have used these at all my gigs around the UK (including live sets using Ableton Live) and these headphones have never let me down.
My god they arent cheap but if you went to plasa this year, you'd have seen them everywhere! JBL and Pioneer has these everywhere - i see a new industry standard on the horizon. The thing with adjusting the bass to fit the club may seem a bit gimmicky but it helped when i was right in front of the pioneer dj's when they turned up to do demos on the cdj gear.
Feel really nice, DONT SLIP AT ALL! Any position is good ;) and they dont creak when you rotate them. They are really solid (though they dont really look it) and very comfortable.
Most phones loose out on quality when dealing with high output, these phones do not. I used them mainly with the new Urei mixers and results were v. good!
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