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AKG K391 NC noise-canceling in-ear headphones with in-line remote and microphone

Big noise-canceling power in a small headphone

Noise-canceling headphones are excellent for travel. So why not get a pair that's small and easy to take anywhere? The AKG K391 NC in-ear headphones feature powerful noise-canceling technology so your music remains uncluttered by outside distractions. Block out airplane engine hum, the din of a crowded airport, the chatterbox sitting beside you, or simple office conversation. The K391 NC headphones ensure that the crisp high-end detail, warm midrange and deep bass aren't eclipsed by external distractions.

Take calls and control music with an in-line remote

When you're on the move, you can't always find your iPhone® quickly enough to take that call when it's buried in a bag. And try fishing it out while juggling multiple suitcases, carry-on bags and a boarding pass. The K391 NC lets you answer calls without even worrying about where your phone is. Just keep your headphones in and press the multi-function button on the in-line remote to answer your phone while the built-in microphone ensures clear call quality. The remote also lets you play and pause music on most portable devices.

Passive listening and easy charging

Worried that the built-in battery will die mid-flight? The music doesn't have to stop. Listen passively with the K391 NC when the noise-canceling circuitry doesn't have enough juice to operate. Recharging is as simple as plugging the noise-canceling module into your computer's USB port with the included cable. Keep it in the supplied felt drawstring carrying bag, along with the airline adapter, which allows you to access in-flight entertainment systems. With its compact design and clear sound, the K391 NC would be a valuable companion for your next trip, even if it's just to the office.

Product Highlights:

  • active noise-canceling circuitry minimizes external distractions
  • in-line remote lets you control music playback on compatible Apple® devices
  • in-line microphone for taking calls on an iPhone®, as well as use with Skype™ and FaceTime®
  • passive or active listening
  • 35 hour battery life with fully charged battery
  • USB charging cable included
  • carrying bag included
  • flight adapter included
  • frequency response: 12-24,000 Hz
  • sensitivity: 107.5 dB (passive), 115 dB (active)
  • impedance: 32 ohms
  • weight: 1.7 oz.
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

AKG K391 NC Reviews

Average Customer Review:

1 Review

Nice Sound in N.C. Mode

Written by: M.D. from New York on February 10, 2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

These in- ear headphones have a great sound quality which matters to me the most. They sound really nice when the noise canceling is on but not when the N.C. is off or runs out of power. [The only brand that masters that is PSB Speakers with their M4U2's; (they still sound incredible in passive mode or without the noise canceling being on) ]. The AKG 391 have a solid build quality compared to other in-ear headphones and they're definitely look nice. They also have a deep clean bass, which most in-ear headphones don't have. If sound quality matters to you as it is to me, give them a try.

Pros: Sound quality when noise canceling is on, build quality, looks.

Cons: They say you can still use them when you run out of power but so does its life; basically, you'll only want to use them in noise canceling mode in order to get a full sound. Other than that, they're nice. One of the best earbuds I've used by far. The only in-ear headphones that I'll put above these are called RBH EP1 or EP2. The RBH sound like you have around-ear headphones on. They sound fantastic and the bass in them is so deep but they're not N.C. They sound almost like my PSB M4U2's.

Hands-on research

What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Silver in-ear noise canceling headphones with attached 44" cord (terminated into the noise-canceling module with 3.5mm minijack)
  • 19.5" USB cable (Type A USB on one end and Mini-B 2.0 USB on other end)
  • Two 19.5" audio cables (each with 3.5mm plugs on both ends)
  • Airline adapter
  • Pair of medium silicone ear tips (installed)
  • Pair of small silicone ear tips
  • Pair of large silicone ear tips
  • Cloth storage pouch
  • Owner's Manual
  • Warranty Card
  • Attention! sheet
  • Environmental declaration

Features and Specs

Fit Style In-ear/Earbud
Earcup Type Closed
Noise-canceling Yes
Bluetooth No
Frequency Response 12-24k Hz
Sensitivity 107.5 +115 dB
Impedance 32 Ohms
Weight 1.7 ounces
Cord Length 65"
Airline Adapter Included Yes
iPod Control Yes
Volume Control No
Built-in Microphone Yes
Parts Warranty 1 Year
Labor Warranty 1 Year

Product Research


Overview: The AKG K391 NC in-ear headphones are equipped with Active Noise Cancellation through a small in-line module. The headphones also have an in-line single-button remote/microphone to control your phone calls and music playback. The headphones and accessories can be stored in the supplied soft cloth pouch.

Active Noise Cancellation: Each ear bud contains a tiny microphone that picks up ambient noise. This noise is then canceled by an exact, but opposite, waveform. All you hear is the music or audio that comes from your smartphone. The ANC function can be turned on or off via a switch on the in-line module.

Power Requirements: The Active Noise Cancellation function is powered by a rechargeable battery located in the in-line module. The battery charges in about 1-2 hours via USB through the supplied cable. A fully-charged battery gives you approximately 35 hours of noise canceling performance.

Ear Buds: The K391 NC's ear buds have a closed back design to keep out unwanted noise.  They have an elegant brushed aluminum finish, and come with three sizes of ear tips so you can achieve a good fit.

Cables: The headphones have a 44" cable from the ear buds to the Noise Canceling module. Two different 19" cables are included for different smartphone modules. The cables are made of 99.99% oxygen-free copper for best signal transfer. An airline adapter (single female 3.5mm-to-dual male 3.5mm) is included to allow you to use the headphones for in-flight entertainment.

Compatibility Note: The K391 NC headphones are compatible with the majority of smartphone manufacturers. Most Apple, Samsung (from Galaxy S2), LG, HTC, Sony, Motorola, and Blackberry models will use the cable with the silver plugs. Some manufacturers, such as Nokia, require a different pin assignment, so many of their models will use the cable with the black plugs. Not all manufacturers provide support for the microphone and/or call answer button. Full compatibility with the button is only guaranteed with Apple devices.


  • Frequency Range: 12 Hz - 24 kHz
  • Sensitivity: 107.5 dB SPL/V (passive); 115 dB SPL/V (active)
  • Driver Impedance: 32 ohms
  • Maximum Input Power: 500 mW

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.

Product reviews from the Crutchfield Labs

Less noise, more music

Written by Ralph Graves, Staff Writer - Creative, on 1/22/2013 11:47:00 AM

If you're comfortable wearing in-ear headphones, the AKG K391 NC noise-canceling headphones might make a great traveling companion. In the Labs I tested them with our various ambient sound files played through speakers — airplane cabin, lawnmower, busy office. The K391s did a good job taking the edge off the unwanted noise. And when I played music through them, they were even more effective in blocking the ambient noise.

The K391s reproduced my music with clarity and detail. I heard a little more depth than I expect with in-ear headphones, which was a nice surprise. And the bass had real presence without overpowering the mix.

One thing to remember: because these are in-ear headphones, the effectiveness of their noise-insolation and noise reduction functions are dependant on proper placement. I initially just stuck them in my ears for a quick test and wasn't especially happy with the noise isolation. Then I tried them with different earbud sleeves that fit my ear canals better. With a tighter seal, the K391's performance improved dramatically (see the first two paragraphs).

What are the Labs?