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AKG K3003i

Reference-Class in-ear headphones

Item #: 039K3003

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Scratch & Dent: $849.99

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Reference-class sound quality you can truly take anywhere

When most audiophiles think of reference-quality headphones, they picture large over-the-ear cans plugged into a living room stereo. AKG blows those preconceptions away with its remarkable K3003i earphones. Don't judge these tiny earbuds by their size — these are top performers, delivering stunning detail and dynamics with powerful bass response thanks to AKG's hybrid driver technology. The K3003i's brushed stainless steel earpieces house three drivers: two balanced armature drivers for incredible clarity, and one dynamic driver to generate deep bass. The result is a superb listening experience you can enjoy anywhere, not just at home.

Choose your own sound signature

AKG 3003 sound-tuning filters

Color-coded sound-tuning filters give you more bass, great treble detail or smooth transparency.

The 3003i features a unique system for fine-tuning these headphones to your own personal specifications. Choose from three color-coded sound-tuning filters: bass boost, for extra power in the low end; reference sound, for transparent performance; or high boost, to bring out even more details in the high frequencies. Just screw the appropriate filter onto the earpiece, replace the ear tip and and listen as your music comes to life.

Yes, it has iPhone® controls too

Though the K3003i will sound great with your home stereo, you may want to take these highly portable earbuds beyond the confines of your living room. That's just what AKG was thinking when they added the in-line remote for use with the iPod® and iPhone. Play and pause your music, skip tracks and adjust the volume, while a built-in mic lets you take calls, assuming you're willing to interrupt a highly-involving listening experience.

Product Highlights:

  • 3-way driver technology combines balanced armature and dynamic drivers to achieve balanced, robust sound
  • brushed stainless steel housing
  • in-line remote with microphone for use with iPod, iPhone and iPad®
  • remote functions: play/pause, next/previous, volume up/down, answer/hang up
  • 3 pairs of personal sound-tuning filters: bass boost, reference sound, and high boost
  • leather carrying case
  • airline adapter
  • 3 pairs of hypoallergenic ear tips for comfortable fit and noise isolation
  • cable length: 47"
  • frequency range: 10-30,000 Hz
  • sensitivity: 125 dB
  • impedance:8 ohms
  • weight: 0.4 oz.
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

AKG K3003i Reviews

Average Customer Review:

3 Reviews


Written by: PDS from Sunnyvale CA on January 23, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

  • "Coolness Factor"
  • Build Quality
  • Comfort
  • Noise Reduction
  • Sound Quality

The sound is balanced, clear, and non fatiguing. As with all high end equipment, it reveals the weaknesses in every other component you use it with. When I listened to music with my iPhone 6 the weaknesses of the DAC and amp of the iPhone were made very obvious. However, listening to music with my Astell&Kern AK100 with these earphones were sublime. The nuances of the music were revealed and the music was a joy to listen to. Is it worth it? Yes, if you love good classical and jazz music. If you listen to rock and rap primarily, don't waste your money.



AKG K3003i is UNREAL

Written by: Jezzafer from New York, NY on November 20, 2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

  • "Coolness Factor"
  • Build Quality
  • Comfort
  • Noise Reduction
  • Sound Quality

Is it crazy to spend over $1,000 on headphones? No, no it is not, provided you are going to buy these. I bought from Crutchfield thinking there was no way they'd be worth the money and I'd be returning them. (I'd been following various audiophile sites for some time, which is how I learned about them.) Wrong! They are superb in every way, most importantly in sound and comfort. Yes, they were pricey (though I scored a great deal here!)...but I don't regret this outlay one bit. The hunt for headphones is not an enjoyable one and I'm so happy mine is finally over. Now I can get on with enjoying my music!

Pros: Soundstage, clarity, comfort, looks

Cons: None


Written by: Contraz from NJ on March 21, 2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

  • "Coolness Factor"
  • Build Quality
  • Comfort
  • Noise Reduction
  • Sound Quality

These in-ear headphones sound outstanding from any source! I have never heard an in-ear headphone sound better than most full sized headphones. I would even say that they are better sounding than the HD-800 from Sennheiser.

Pros: Excellent sound!

Cons: I do not like the case it comes in and I am a little worried about the fact that the cable is not detachable.

Hands-on research

What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • In-ear headphones with attached 47" cord (3.5mm plug)
  • 6 Pair of slicone ear tips (S/M/L)
  • 6 Sound tuning filters
  • Airline adapter
  • Male 3.5mm to female 3.5mm adapter
  • Polishing cloth
  • Instruction booklet
  • Leather case
  • Warranty Card "Attention"! booklet

Features and Specs

Frequency Response 10-30k Hz
Bluetooth No
Sensitivity 125 dB
Impedance 8 Ohms
Weight 0.4 ounces
Cord Length 47"
Airline Adapter Included Yes
iPod Control Yes
Volume Control Yes
Built-in Microphone Yes
Parts Warranty 1 Year
Labor Warranty 1 Year

Product Research


3-Way Hybrid Technology: The AKG K3003i in-ear earphones set a new benchmark in audio quality. By pioneering the hybrid of one dynamic and two balanced-armature drivers in each earphone, AKG engineers have created perfectly balanced 3-way earphones with ultra low distortion, accurate mids, and crystal-clear highs. The combination of dynamic bass and dual balanced-armature drivers gives the K3003is excellent audio performance as well as matchless mechanical design. Due to the positioning of the speakers (the dynamic driver is behind the dual balanced-armature driver), the K3003i doesn't need any additional frequency switches. The result is less potential interference.

Balanced-Armature Drivers: Balanced armature (BA) drivers present high audio performance and acoustic efficiency for more sound from less power. BA drivers, exquisitely crafted for the K3003is, are distinguished by the outstanding performance on midrange and high-frequency sounds. Due to the diaphragm's high excursion level, the K3003i's dynamic drivers represent good bass quality and support the balanced-armature drivers for reference-quality audio.

Stainless Steel Housing: The housing of the K3003i is chiseled out of one piece of brushed stainless steel. This robust housing not only protects the earphone body from scratches, but also safeguards the K3003i's inner workings from physical damage. The K3003i's stainless-steel housing is robustly durable, timeless in appearance and easy to maintain, and it quickly adapts to your body temperature
for comfortable use indoors or outside.

Personalized Sound: The K3003i earphones provide you with one-of-a-kind personal sound-tuning capabilities. By changing the sound-tuning filters, you can adjust for three precise sound-output preferences directly into your ear. These adjustable, precision-machined mechanical filters allow for bass, mid, or high frequencies to be modulated. To change the filters for your preference simply screw on the filter of your choice (Bass Boost, Reference Sound, or High-Boost)

In-Line Remote + Mic: The AKG K3003i earphones feature and in-line remote + mic that is designed for use with your Apple iPod, iPhone, or iPad. The K3003i's remote control can receive or terminate phone calls, skip and pause music, and control the volume of your sound. And its stainless-steel skin gives the remote long life, endurance, and scratch resistance. Apple device compatibility as of 8/16/2012:

Apple Device Generation Tested Version Audio Remote Microphone
iPod shuffle 1st n/a Y N N
2nd n/a Y N N
3rd n/a Y Y N
4th n/a Y Y N
iPod w/ dock connector 3rd 2.0.2 Y N N
iPod w/ clickwheel & color screen 4th 3.1.1 Y N N
iPod mini 1st 1.4.1 Y N N
2nd 1.4.1 Y N N
iPod video 5th 1.3 Y N N
iPod classic 80GB 1.1.2 Y N N
120GB 2.0.1 Y Y N
160GB 2.0.4 Y Y N
iPod nano 1st 1.3.1 Y N N
2nd 1.1.3 Y N N
3rd 1.1.3 Y N N
4th 1.0.4 Y Y N
5th 1.0.2 Y Y N
6th 1.1 PC Y Y N
iPod touch 1st 2.2.1 Y N N
2nd 4.2.1 Y Y N
3rd 5.1.1 Y Y N
4th 5.1.1 Y Y N
iPhone 2G 3.1.3 Y N N
3G 4.2.1 Y N N
3GS 4.3.5 Y Y Y
4 5.1.1 Y Y Y
4S 5.1.1 Y Y Y
iPad 1 5.1.1 Y Y N
2 5.1.1 Y Y N

Refined Cable Material: The fabric and silicone materials in the K3003i's cable allow tangle-free handling and make it durable enough to deliver your music reliably for a long time.

3.5mm Connector: The K3003i's 3.5mm (1/8") jack plug is plated in rose gold to provide maximum signal transfer with clear and lossless sound. And it's encased in stainless steel to secure a strong, steady connection.

Included Accessories: The K3003i in-ear lifestyle headset comes with several accessories that perfectly match the earphones' stainless-steel casing.

  • Ear Tips: A perfect fit is essential for perfect stabilization and sound quality. To let you fit the K3003i to your ears, its anti-allergic, latex-free ear tips come in three different sizes (s/m/l); two pair each.
  • Audio Adapter Cable: The audio adapter cable establishes the full range of playback opportunities with any kind of audio device. It converts the four-pin connector jack for microphone use into a three-pin connector jack compatible with a variety of devices.
  • Flight Adapter: The stereo-to-dual-mono adapter connects the K3003i to a plane's in-flight entertainment system for full stereo playback. It allows you to take full advantage of your airline's entertainment options.
  • Carrying Case: The genuine leather case, developed exclusively for the K3003i earphones, protects the cable, the remote control and the earphones themselves from scratches and physical damage.

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Customer Q&A