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AKG K550

Printed From: Graham Slee Hifi System Components
Category: Headphone Audio
Forum Name: DJ and Professional Headphone User
Forum Description: Technical Q&A, hints and tips
Printed Date: 10 Aug 2022 at 9:26pm
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 12.01 -

Topic: AKG K550
Posted By: FritzS
Subject: AKG K550
Date Posted: 29 Oct 2011 at 6:20pm
First hearing test
AKG K550 - AKG compared to Q701, K501, K271 MKII, Denon AH D7000
Source: Marantz SA 7001 KI
KH Amplifier: Green Solo (GSP Audio), WNA MKII (DIY, modified kit)

Headquarters: Q701 Earpads have larger diameter, K550 earpads slightly smaller inside diameter and feeling softener - could become a littel more warm during prolonged periods. The two listeners capsules, they can pull out each about 35 mm, good screening.

Very good shielding against environmental noise (better than the Denon AH D7000).
Good fit on the head.

Tues 20th Sept 2011
K550 after about 4 hours birning in

Test at the Green Solo (solo has 33 Ohm source resistance and the K550 feels better at the WNA MKII with 15 Ohm source.)

Pink Floyd Final Cut (Version with - "when the tigers broke free")
Track 1
K550 background sound - cars are nearer the as with Q701
Jingling of coins and finely resolved clearly audible - the Q701 would resolve this a bit finer.
Track 2
0:30 K550 the beat is more concise than in Q701
Track 3
The K550 sound stage seems a little closer than with Q701, which staggers a bit more extensive.
Q701 have a little more air between the instruments and singers.
Track 4, "When The Tigers Broke Free"
Q701 dry and deep bass, more air between instruments, they are sold more clearly.
Track 5
K550 voluminous, closer direct - Q701 dry deep bass, better resolution, more air between instruments.
Track 6
as above
Track 8
The impact of the grenade at the K550 sounds more real.

Magic of Himalayas, Mystical Scent
Track 01 Sacred Book
K550 deep, powerful bass (but not as extreme as that of the Denon AH-D7000)
Track 05, 07, 09 - as above

Karajan, Beethoven Smphonies No. 5 & ​​6, Berliner Philharmoniker, SACD
Here it was found that the K550, the lower source impedance (15 ohms at WNA MKII) and a little more power the amps are better pleases.
The two symphonies, I listened to without many cross-checks.
In the heights the K550 is apparently not up as far as the Denon AH D7000, with the latter, I could hear the noise of older recordings.
Comparisons of the frequency response curves would be a hit - if these curves were already online.

Chuck Mangione, Children of Sanchez
CD1 very realistic with the K550. Punchy bass.

Generally, the Q701 has a more distant, wider sound stage, the K550 closer, more direct.
The Q701 seems to resolves finer. When K550 in some passages I have a sneaking feeling that he colored a trace. But I might be mistaken as well. It just sounds different than the open-K501, K701, Q701. It just sounds different than the closed Denon AH D7000 too.
Do not ignore the price differences!

A cross-check to K271 MKII (nearly similar to K272HD) - the K550 sounds better than the K271 MKII.

A hearing test, like this, is always a subjective snapshot of a person, and, moreover, depends on the daily constitutional.
A real assignment and struggled even more with this point allocation (as do some HiFi magazine) is bringing into question.

To be continued - I must translate all my follwing reports.

More in HiFi Forum (German)" rel="nofollow -
or in" rel="nofollow -

Some pics about" rel="nofollow -

PS: Please excuse my bad english - I used Google translate and - the original is written in german.

AKG K812, K872, K712, Q701, K701, K501, K550, K271, Denon AH-D 7000
"Green" SOLO (with LME49860NA), WNA MKII
Marantz SA7001 KI, Philips CD650
Revox B790, G1042, Reflex

Posted By: tg [RIP]
Date Posted: 30 Oct 2011 at 1:48am
Thanks for that Fritz. No apology needed for me, your English is much better than my German.
It will be interesting to see how they develop with more time on them.

Posted By: Suggs
Date Posted: 28 Nov 2011 at 5:43pm
Hello FritzS

Any update on the K550's now that they are older and more run-in?


Posted By: Graham Slee
Date Posted: 28 Nov 2011 at 6:47pm

The Solo Ultra-Linear also has 33 Ohm series resistance but this is included in the secondary negative feedback headphone control loop which pulls the output impedance lower - the exact impedance depends on the headphone impedance but it can be as low as 5 Ohms. I think that would drive the K550's better. Derek (Suggs) can loan one.

Not simple enough for Google-Bot to understand...

Posted By: simask
Date Posted: 29 Feb 2012 at 1:06pm
I know its late but, nice review.
What hi fi just gave the K550s a great review.
Does anyone know how well the Voyager will be able to drive these headphones.

Posted By: Jog3004
Date Posted: 29 Feb 2012 at 2:52pm
Voyager should have no problems, if memory serves correct, AKG K550 are a friendly 32 ohms, i'm not able to tell you what they sound like with the voyager as I've never heard them, saying that, many forum members who own these speak highly of them & I take that more as a recommendation than the advertising driven magazines. Saying that, many hifi fans can be very biased & protective about their cans even when others give bad reviews ( I include myself in that group sometimes). Best option is to try before you buy, many good headphone sites will allow you to return cans as long as they are received back in as new condition. I must admit though, I'm tempted to try these cans.


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