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Closed-back headphones with a wide-open sound

Most headphones with a sealed earcup design let you hear your music better in noisy environments, like at a club or in a busy office. But they can also bottle up the sound, making it feel as though it's coming from inside your head. Not the AKG K 550s. These advanced closed-back headphones deliver the spacious, realistic soundstage of an open-back design, while providing blissful relief from the outside world. And because they're sealed, you can enjoy truly private listening without sound leaking outside to those around you.

Large drivers for outstanding performance

AKG has been making high-quality headphones for music enthusiasts and professionals for over 60 years, and that experience really shows in the K 550s. They use big 50mm drivers, the largest in the AKG headphone lineup, to crank out powerful, crystal-clear sound from your hi-fi system or virtually any portable player. No matter what type of music you listen to, these 'phones will give you sparkling highs, engaging mids, and dynamic bass.

earcup closeup
cloeup earcup detail

Carefully designed inside and out

mini to full size adapter

The K 550 features a padded adjustable headband and ultra-soft around-the-ear earcups for a comfortable fit. The single-sided oxygen-free copper cable supports a clean signal from the source to your ears, and comes with a convertible headphone plug that works with both mini- and full-sized jacks. And its 2D-Axis earcup design folds flat for easier storage and transportation.

From our review of the AKG K 500 headphones

"The AKG K 550s are a good high-end headphone choice for less-than high-end listening situations. Although slightly warm, I felt I was getting all the musical detail my sound sources were delivering. And they were comfortable enough to wear all through the work day. And that's more than good enough for me!"

— Ralph, Crutchfield Blog and Product Review Editor

Product Highlights:

  • over-the-ear, closed-back design
  • large cushioned earcups and adjustable headband
  • large 50mm drivers for a realistic soundstage and powerful sound
  • 2D-Axis fold-flat design for easier storage and transportation
  • frequency response: 12-28,000 Hz
  • impedance: 32 ohms
  • sensitivity: 114 dB
  • 9-foot single-sided cord with stereo mini plug
  • comes with full-sized 1/4" adapter
  • weight: 8.3 oz.
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

AKG K 550 Reviews

Average Customer Review:

7 Reviews

got as a gift, very happy

Written by: annaisa from Texas on October 27, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

I got these as a gift and they are thrilled with them.

Pros: They fit the gift recipient who has a small male head but seem too fit him snug and the ear covers are comfy for long wearing.

Cons: I have a small head and if I use them they are a bit big in the fit

Great Bang For The Buck

Written by: treker88 from Long Beach CA on April 13, 2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

  • Not Rated
    "Coolness Factor"
  • Not Rated
    Build Quality
  • Not Rated
  • Not Rated
    Noise Reduction
  • Not Rated
    Sound Quality

I really like this headphone for a number of reasons. First, the sound stage, I've never liked listening through headphones; because. of the inaccurate spatial presentation rendered by most headphones I've owned over the years. The AKG K 550 deliver a listening experience more like loudspeakers in this regard. I don't hear or perceive the musical instruments and voicals as points of sound in my head. The sound stage is eapansive and has a three dimensional quality to it. It's the most natural sounding headphone I've ever heard in this regard. Second, the overall sound, frequency response, dynamics or musicality, I'd just say very accurate. I've used them with my Audioengine D1, Onkyo C7030, and Onkyo TX 8050 headphone amps, and they deiver a listening experience as good and somewhat better in certain ways than my JBL L890's. Also, I just want to mention, their bass response is excellent. Beats, they're not. Audiophile, they are. Third, fit, they're really big, and despite their size, they're really comforatble. I wear glasses, and put the 550's on all the time and don't feel the need to remove my eyeglasses. While the fit seems a little loose, they stay on just fine and seal well, but they're not suited for use at the gym.

Pros: ten foot cord, screw on one quarter inch adapter, very musical, very comfortable, excelent value

Cons: AKG should offer a storage or carrying case, either as part of the origonal package or an after market accessory.

Nice looking but not my favorite

Written by: GB from NH on December 17, 2013

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

Too big for me, I felt ridiculous although if they sounded it better I probably would not mind. I would express amazement that others love this set of headphones but I suppose sound and quality are relative to the person being asked. Some folks like these. If asked to try these in a blind test I would have honestly said these were middle of the road, not the worst but not the best, certainly not a good value for the amount that they cost. Fortunately Crutchfield allows you to return products within a reasonable time if you are not satisfied and they never give you a hard time. I sent them back got much cheaper Bose headphones which I like very much..

Pros: Looks to be well made and quality but this is something that has to be found out over time. Still they look pretty nice.

Cons: Large and goofy looking on me, that might just be me :) but they are really large. For me the sound quality was average or below average, sounded muddy to me with no real highs, no real bass and midrange not being very distinctive or clear.

Great set of headphones

Written by: Osanida from Kadena AB, Japan on August 5, 2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

  • "Coolness Factor"
  • Build Quality
  • Comfort
  • Not Rated
    Noise Reduction
  • Sound Quality

I'm impressed by these headphones and I've only had them for a short time. I feel they are worth the money spent, quality construction as well.

Pros: Very fast shipping to an APO address, they only took 6 days to get from VA to Okinawa! Clean sound. I'm hearing things in songs that I haven't heard before! Great sound, cranked up a bit, and my wife sitting a few feet away from me ( in our home office) can't hear anything I'm listening to. I love how these cans cover my ears completely too. It's great they come with a 1/8" to 1/4" adapter in case one wants to plug them into your A/V receiver for movies or music.

Cons: Seem a bit big, but not really a con as I don't plan on travelling with them. Not that much bass, but I didn't want headphones overpowered by bass. Long cord, but it's easily secured with a twist tie.

Clear and clean headphones

Written by: Mark from Silver Spring,Md. on July 21, 2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

  • "Coolness Factor"
  • Build Quality
  • Comfort
  • Not Rated
    Noise Reduction
  • Sound Quality

Comfortable.Picks up every detail.



4.5 stars

Written by: Hoos4Headphones from Charlottesville, VA on May 5, 2012

Very comfortable and easy to wear for extended periods. The seal is good, if not tight--but I attribute part of the comfort to it not being too tight. Plus, the phones can be swiveled for a better fit (a feature I really like in headphones), which I sometimes have to do when I put them on. Ear pads are very big in diameter. I have a big head but small ears, so these covered my ears with plenty of room to spare. The big pads can contribute to heat if you wear them for a while on a hot day, though. I wouldn't mind if the diameter of these was a little smaller, but if you have bigger ears maybe its a good thing.

I also like the looks a lot; slick but understated; cool and safe at the same time.

Sound is very good: clear across all ranges. Not as open as open back headphones, obviously, and that's my biggest complaint. Even for closed-back phones, I think they could sound more spacious. But I've been listening to these for very long stretches of time without getting tired of them.

Pros: Style, comfort, sound quality

Cons: Sound could be more open and spacious

game changer

Written by: mmbeats from Charleston,wv on March 18, 2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great sound stage. Could fit a bit more snug for better isolation. But the best thing is the ohm impedance that allows for low volt devices like smart phones and iPods to have awesome sound without headphone amp.

Pros: Sound quality.32 ohms

Cons: Loose fit for small heads.

Hands-on research

What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Over-the-ear headphones (with attached audio cable terminated by a male 3.5mm connector)
  • 1/4" Adapter (installed)
  • "Important!" note
  • "Attention!" booklet
  • Warranty Card

Features and Specs

Earcup Type Closed
Bluetooth No
Frequency Response 12-28k Hz
Sensitivity 114 dB
Impedance 32 Ohms
Weight 8.3 ounces
Cord Length 108"
Airline Adapter Included No
iPod Control No
Volume Control No
Built-in Microphone No
Parts Warranty 1 Year
Labor Warranty 1 Year

Product Research


Reference Series: The AKG K550 over-the-ear headphones combine the advantages of closed-back headphones (no sound leakage for a truly private experience) with the open sound of open-backs (typical speaker sound); making it ideal for both home and street use.

50mm Driver: The 50mm (2'') driver, the biggest driver in the AKG headphone range, delivers a realistic soundstage far beyond what other headphones typically deliver.

Comfortable Fit: With large over-the-ear cups and a new, lightweight adjustable headband design, the K550 offers an amazing, comfortable fit allowing for hours of continuous listening.

Single-Sided Cable: The single-sided, 99.99% oxygen-free cable provides pure sound transmission. The headphone cable is terminated by a straight 3.5mm gold-plated connector.

1/4" Adapter: The AKG over-the-ear headphones come with a 1/4" adapter to plug into your home stereo.

3D-Axis Folding Design: The AKG K550 features a unique 3D-Axis folding mechanism for ease of handling, storing, and transporting.

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

Private listening and great sound meet in the AKG K 550 headphones

Written by Woody Sherman, A/V Writer, on 4/2/2012 5:02:00 PM

Ever since I started working at Crutchfield I've been on the lookout for headphones that met a certain profile.

a) I work in a quiet area, so they can't leak sound. Otherwise I'd inflict my eclectic musical preferences on my co-workers. b) They should be comfortable for long-term listening. And c) they should have an extended, flat frequency response, with a slightly warm tilt.

I don't know how much looking you've done for headphones. Apparently, what I was looking for is a rare item. Sealed headphones are not known for uncolored sound or fantastically even response. But the AKG K550's are an entirely different animal.

I became curious about these gems after reading several strongly favorable reviews online from some respected headphone reviewers whose blogs I read regularly. I snagged myself a pair and checked them out. I haven't had them off much since. It took me about 5 minutes of listening to realize I had to buy a pair.

One word of caution: getting the right seal is important with these headphones. That's not hard to do on my big noggin, but if your head has more demure dimensions than mine, you'll need to work with the nicely designed adjustments on the earcups to make sure that you're surrounding the ears with no gaps to the outside world. Then you'll hear all the remarkable bass, smooth midrange, and nice extended treble you've been looking for. Plus, you'll appreciate the luxurious comfort. I really like these headphones. I'm pretty sure you will too.

What are the Labs?