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Crutchfield

AKG K 490 NC

Noise-canceling headphones

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  • AKG K 490 NC

    Front

  • AKG K 490 NC

    Closeup detail of earcup

  • AKG K 490 NC

    Folded for storage

  • AKG K 490 NC

    Included carrying case

  • AKG K 490 NC

    Power switch and LED power indicator

  • AKG K 490 NC

    Side view

 

Our take on the AKG K 490 NC

by Dave Bar
AKG
folding design

The compact folding design makes it easy to take these headphones with you everywhere.

Out-of-this-world noise reduction at a down-to-earth price

AKG's K 490 NC ultra-compact folding headphones pack a surprising sonic punch — delivering your music with warmth, clarity, and deep, rich bass. But what you won't hear is the din of a noisy environment around you. That's because these featherweights feature AKG's highly effective noise-canceling circuitry. Their soft, on-ear cushions and padded headband provide comfort for extended listening sessions, and give you blissful peace and quiet while you travel.

Enjoy your music wherever you roam

The K 490 NC's built-in rechargeable battery provides up to 40 hours of noise-canceling operation per charge. You can charge up using the supplied USB charging cable and one of your computer's USB ports. AKG's patented folding design allows these 'phones to collapse down to a super-compact size for easy travel. They'll connect to virtually any portable audio device with a mini headphone jack, plus you get an airline adapter, so you can plug into in-flight entertainment systems and block out engine roar. A handy carrying case stores the headphones along with all the included accessories.

From our staff review of the AKG K 490 NC

"The '490 headphones have me thinking that on-ear is going to be my "go-to" style for cardio at the gym. And I liked them just as well working at my desk. These are comfortable, good sounding headphones that deliver spacious sound to the music you want to hear and a decent blocking out the noise you don't. "

— Marshall, Crutchfield A/V Writer


Highlights:

  • lightweight, on-ear design with active noise canceling
  • compact and portable with 3D-Axis2 folding mechanism for easy storage and portability
  • built-in rechargeable battery (can be charged via connection to a PC or USB charger)
  • music playback with or without noise canceling
  • frequency range: 20-20,000 Hz
  • impedance: 32 ohms
  • sensitivity: 117 dB
  • 56" detachable single-sided headphone cord with stereo mini plug
  • USB charging cable included
  • airline adapter and carrying case included
  • weight: 5.3 oz. (without cable)
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
 

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Features and Specs
General
Fit Style
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On-ear
Earcup Type
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Closed
Noise-canceling
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Yes
Bluetooth
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No
Frequency Response
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20-20k Hz
Sensitivity
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117 dB
Impedance
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32 Ohms
Weight
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5.3 ounces
Cord Length
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56"
Airline Adapter Included
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Yes
iPod Control
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No
Volume Control
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No
Built-in Microphone
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No
Parts Warranty
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1 Year
Labor Warranty
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1 Year
Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Noise-cancelling on-ear headphones
  • 56" Headphone cable (terminated by a male 2.5mm connector on one end and a male 3.5mm connector on other end)
  • 59" Charging cable (terminated by a male 2.5mm connector on one end and a male USB type-A connector on other end)
  • Airplane adapter
  • Carrying pouch
  • Owner's Manual
  • "Attention!" booklet
  • Warranty Card

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 open the box, verify contents, 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.

Features

Active Noise Cancellation: The AKG K490 NC on-ear headphones feature effective active noise cancellation to attenuate ambient noise; keeping even quiet passages clearly audible. The headphones can also be used in passive mode, without noise cancellation.

Battery Powered: The K490 NC on-ear headphones utilize a built-in rechargeable battery for active noise cancellation. The battery can be recharged by connecting the headphones to a free USB (type-A) port on your computer, via the included charging cable. The charging process usually takes approximately 1.5 to 3 hours. A fully charged battery can last up to 40 hours.

Closed Back, Dynamic Drivers: The AKG on-ear headphones feature closed-back, dynamic drivers for ultra-linear audio and wide-spectrum sound even at high listening levels.

Comfortable Fit: The K490 NC on-ear headphones feature a lightweight design, super-soft ear-cups, and adjustable soft-padded headband to provide a comfortable fit.

Headphone Cable: The AKG on-ear headphones utilize a single-sided 99.99% oxygen-free cable (OFC) terminated by a gold-plated 3.5mm connector for maximum signal transfer and sound quality. The cable is detachable. An airline adapter is also included.

3D-Axis Folding Design: The K490 NC headphones feature a unique 3D-Axis folding mechanism for ease of handling, storing, and transporting.

Carrying Pouch: The AKG on-ear headphones comes supplied with a soft carrying pouch to protect the headphones during storage and transport.

 

Product reviews from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

AKG K 490 NC Review

AKG K 490 NC Review

by Marshall Chase
4/18/2012
 
AKG K 490 NC Review

I took the noise-canceling AKG K 490 NC headphones to the gym and elsewhere to put them to the test. They passed admirably.

 
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AKG K 490 NC Reviews

Average Customer Review:

13 people say:

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4 out of 5

great small noise canceling headphones

Written By Dean W, North Carolina on Wednesday, October 30, 2013
 
I got these headphones to replace some Beats Solos that had gotten pretty beat up. The sound quality is so much better on the AKG's. I also like that they are unique. No one has them, and when people ask to try them, they are always impressed. Better balance, enough base to enjoy, but not overwhelming. I looked at several other styles of NC phones, and these are the lightest and easiest to wear. No problem wearing them for hours at a time. Very compact storage for carrying around. Great purchase!
Pros:
size, sound quality, weight
Cons:
cost
2 out of 3 people found this helpful
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3 out of 5

Poor quality

Written By Bryan, Baltimore on Sunday, October 20, 2013
 
Terrible build quality by AKG. Had the upper version of these the 495nc...twice. The headband is very easily broken. Just sent my second pair back to Crutchfield. Sound quality is good and noise canceling is ok, nothing great. Very good idea with the rechargeable battery however not worth the cheap quality of the head band. Broken twice just taking them off my head. Definitely not worth the money. Thanks to Crutchfield for their awesome customer support and taking these headphones back.
Pros:
USB charging, comfort, sound quality
Cons:
Cheaply made, break easily, price
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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1 out of 5

Great headphones, poor execution

Written By Anonymous, Atlanta, GA on Friday, September 20, 2013
 
Great headphones except they break very easily. AKG replaced two pair already and finally sent me the K495NC model which seems to be much sturdier. Hope the K495NC hold up. Would not waste my time buying the K490NC model as the connection from the speaker to the band is made of cheap plastic and breaks very easily. Both times they broke while taking the phones off my head. At least AKG has a good warranty.
Pros:
Sound and NC are very good.
Cons:
Cheap plastic breaks very easily.
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Good value, but can break

Written By PY, Virginia on Monday, September 16, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I really like these headphones. They fold up very compactly, have a nice fabric cord, charge easily with a USB, and have solid noise cancellation that works well on airplanes. With nearby conversations it helps to have both NC on and music as well. One major caveat- like another reviewer, my set broke where the earpiece attaches to the headband, making them unusable. However, the AKG warranty covered it and Crutchfield was very fast with a replacement. I'm still enjoying these headphones, but treating them even more gingerly than before.
Pros:
compact when folded fabric cord solid noise reduction
Cons:
earpiece connection to headband can break
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2 out of 5

Noise canceling weak

Written By KarlL, Northern KY on Monday, August 19, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Nice enough headphones. But for the money, I would have expected noise canceling beyond reducing backround hiss. There was no noticeable reduction in noise from others' speech or music playing. These were bought after reading many glowing online reviews, but I thought they performed substantially less than the price would have led one to expect. I returned mine after a week trying them in various situations. Crutchfield was great to work with, and will continue to have my business.
Pros:
Good sound, comfortable, not off-putting appearance.
Cons:
High price (yes, I think this price is high for headphones even though there are some astronomically priced ones out there), weak noise canceling performance.
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4 out of 5

Great headphones at a reasonable price

Written By Ken, Jefferson City, MO on Tuesday, August 06, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I ordered these headphones for a long airline flight. They really helped block out the ambient noise in the plane, and helped make it a better flight. The sound quality, and noise canceling abilities of this headphone are both very good. I would highly recommend.
Pros:
Good noise canceling & sound quality. Good comfort for extended use.
Cons:
I can't think of anything to complain about...
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4 out of 5

Good cans, small pads

Written By AlexB, Columbia, MO on Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Exceptional osund quality, virtually no hiss when NC is operating. Generally comfortable, although they're on-ear rather than around the ear, so there can be a bit of sound leakage audible to those around you. The charging cord is proprietary, no a normal USB mini or micro, so you might consider ordering a replacement. Similarly the cord between cans and player isn't a standard patch cord but a 2.5/3.5mm cable. That said, when I ordered a replacement charge cord from AKG/Harmon they sent both cords and an extra pouch.
Pros:
Great sound, excellent NC, packs small, no batteries
Cons:
Requires a charge, minor sound leakage, hard-to-replace cords
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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2 out of 5

Sound was great but not a durable design

Written By RonA, Chicago IL on Sunday, April 28, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
These headphones delivered the sound quality and noise cancelling as advertised. I particularly liked the rechargeable feature but the design of the plastic piece that connects the ear cup to the headband is poor. This plastic piece simply snapped while I was wearing it on a flight. The Crutchfield support team was great and facilitated the return and replacement with another brand. Dissapointed with the product but very satisfied with Crutchfield.
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Amazing Quality

Written By AToughCustomer, Seattle, WA on Monday, February 11, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
The noise redcution and sound quality were even better than I had expected. I was replacing a set of Bose headphones and chose these over Beats by Dre and am I SO gald I did. The sound loss through the headpones is very slight (much better than the Beats) and the sleek design is superior to the bulky ear cups on the Bose units. Crutchfield ahs the best price on these headphones and the quality is worth every penny. So Happy I got these. Great customer service from Crutchfield too!
3 out of 3 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

AKG K 490 NC

Written By RonM, Maui on Tuesday, February 05, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Purchased these after reading technical reviews. Overall I am satisfied with the product, but a part of me wonders if the Bose headphones would have been as good, with better comfort.
Pros:
Noise canceling and overall sound quality is very good. I work at home and it cancels out the screaming kids next door! I like the fabric cord and the USB charging instead of batteries.
Cons:
Too bad these are not over the ear headphones. The on-ear pressure gets uncomfortable after a while. The carry pouch could be better. It is too small for the headphones, cords and charging adapter (not included).
4 out of 4 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Great sound and noise cancelling headphones

Written By PGS, California on Thursday, August 30, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I'm extremely happy with these headphones! When I was researching headphones, I was looking for both great sound and noise cancelling. I've often found that you have to sacrifice sound quality for the noise cancelling feature, but these headphones have a good balance of both. I recently used them on a 5 hour flight and found them to be more comfortable than over the ear NC headphones like the Bose ones. The AKG's feel good in your hands, not flimsy at all. Sound quality is good and bass is tight but not booming, although there were certain classic rock songs that I thought sounded a bit empty or muted with the NC off. I love the fact that they are USB powered as I am too lazy and forgetful to remember to bring batteries all the time. I also like the fully detachable cloth cord - the material is high quality and you don't have to worry about getting it caught on something and snapping. My only real complaint about these headphones is when you fold them up for storage. They fold very compactly, but when closed, the earpieces push against each other a little more than I'd like. I don't think it will cause any issues long-term, but I just wish there was a little more separation between them when folded down. All in all, I highly recommend these to anyone looking for a versatile set of NC headphones. They definitely have more "WOW" factor than Bose and Beats headphones and the sound is much better too.
6 out of 6 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Very Satisfied

Written By Chauncey, NC on Thursday, August 23, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Considered a lot of other options, but these ultimately seem to be best overall value. Very, very happy with the sound. I've had Klipsch on ear headphones and Shure earbuds, and I prefer the sound of the AKGs over both of those. To my ears, they are simply full and natural. The bass does not dominate, but I never feel that it is lacking - at all. Build quality appears to be outstanding. I love how they fold and the size is perfect in my opinion. Styling is classic and cool without being obnoxious. Size is very important to me and these hit the sweet spot - they don't overwhelm your head so that you look like an alien, but the sound is still very large. Comfort is very good, but I find my ears need a break every two hours or so. Of course, I can say that about every pair of headphones I've owned. But padding is extremely soft and it's easy to get a good seal that will not leak noise out or in. This is my first pair of noise canceling phones and I've been very pleased with the results. Exceptional difference on planes, but also was surprised how well it cancels out the sound of the fan in my bedroom. Perhaps more importantly I genuinely can not tell a difference in sound quality when NC is on or off. And I try to all the time! These just sound great in either mode. And honestly - a USB rechargeable battery? YES!! Who wants to travel with AAA Duracells? The cables are great, the pouch is nice enough and really just very happy with these.
Pros:
Excellent sound, fit, size, USB rechargeable battery, sound, rechargeable battery, sound, rechargeable battery!!!, style, comfort, noise canceling, compact
Cons:
None that I can tell. If my ears were shaped differently I'd probably never take them off.
4 out of 4 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

AKG Noise Cancelling Headphones

Written By TR, San Francisco, CA on Monday, August 13, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Five hour flights with these on my head are absolutely easy. No discomfort, no sweating like with the over-the-ear headsets, and good sound quality to boot. I am a 57 year old who toasted his hearing playing rock and roll in the 70's, so I would not know if they are studio-quality nor do I care. I just needed something for long flights and these are perfect. A twelve hour travel day did not challenge the battery life, but if it had recharging is easy enough with lots of USB options. For the money, these are the best bet for a great travel headset!
Pros:
More than decent noise suppression/cancelling, comfortable, detachable (easily replaceable) cord, stow in a relatively small space, good build and materials quality, sound great, battery life, recharge options!
Cons:
I have no idea what a "Coolness Factor" might be, but I can't imagine anyone can look cool with a set of headphones on their head.
8 out of 8 people found this helpful
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1 question already asked

Is ther a separate cable for re-charging via USB port? [ Ron  Dec 18, 2013 ]
7 answers
  • Yes, there is. [ JACOB   Dec 26, 2013 ]
  • Yes [ Dennis   Dec 20, 2013 ]
  • Yes. Don't understand why Crutchfield couldn't answer. Great product. I listen to music while doing tractor work. [ FRANK W   Dec 19, 2013 ]
  • Yes, there is a separate USB cable for charging into the same phone jack input as the sound source. So you can not charge and listen at the same time (not a good thing). [ DUANE   Dec 19, 2013 ]
  • Yes. There are two cables, one for recharging - USB, one for sound. [ ANDREAS   Dec 19, 2013 ]
  • Yes. [ RANDALL W   Dec 19, 2013 ]
  • Yes [ RICHARD   Dec 19, 2013 ]

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For a more in-depth review and enhanced detailed information on the AKG K 490 NC, please visit the Crutchfield website product page (/ISEO-rccbcspd/p_039K490NC/AKG-K-490-NC.html ).