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AKG K 550 (Factory Refurbished)

Around-the-ear headphones

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  • AKG K 550 (Factory Refurbished)

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  • AKG K 550 (Factory Refurbished)

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  • AKG K 550 (Factory Refurbished)

    Miniplug with full-size adapter

  • AKG K 550 (Factory Refurbished)

    Side view

Item #: 039K550Z
 

Review Summary

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Our take on the AKG K 550 (Factory Refurbished)

by David Brown
AKG

AKG quality more affordable than ever

If the AKG K 550 headphones have piqued your interest but not yet spurred a purchase, the time is right to strike. AKG now offers a factory-refurbished version of these popular audiophile headphones. They're backed by AKG's one-year warranty, offering performance and peace of mind.

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

See more info on this item

Highlights:

  • around-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: 13.3 oz.
  • 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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Around-the-Ear
Earcup Type
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Closed
Noise-canceling
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No
Bluetooth
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No
Frequency Response
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12-28k Hz
Sensitivity
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114 dB
Impedance
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32 Ohms
Weight
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13.3 ounces
Cord Length
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108"
Airline Adapter Included
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No
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

  • Refurbished over-the-ear headphones with attached 9' audio cable terminated by a male 3.5mm miniplug
  • Screw-on 3.5mm-to-1/4" Adapter
  • "Attention!" sheet regarding listening at high volume levels

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

Refurbished: The AKG K550-Z is a refurbished version of the K550 headphones. They do not come in the original packaging, but are packaged in a plain brown box.

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

 

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

Quick impressions from the Lab

Comment by Woody Sherman A/V Writer,

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.

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AKG K 550 (Factory Refurbished) Reviews

Average Customer Review:

11 people say:

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5 out of 5

AKG K 550

Written By FB, MA on Friday, January 17, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Great set of earphones. Comfortable with terrific sound. I purchased factory refurbs and I couldn"t be more pleased. Great product, great price. What is there to find fault with.
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4 out of 5

Worth the sale price. Happy with purchase but not too impressed with s

Written By wmf, Anchorage, Alaska on Wednesday, January 01, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I've had Shure SE535's for five years that were the top of the line for that brand at the time. I thought the sound quality was fantastic. When spending a lot of money buying a high quality pair of headphones, I figured in-ear would be most versatile. Now I want to expand my methods of listening to music, and I had to decide whether or not I I consider myself an audiophile and if I really do value the benefits of spending tons of money on additional audio equipment. I decided yes I definitely do, and I eventually plan on getting the crème de la crème à la Edgar (Audeze) but that won't be for some time. Since the Audeze were going to be open headphones I thought I would look at closed headphones. Aesthetics are important to me, and that is the main reason why I checked these AKG K 550's out. They were over $300 when I first saw them, and while most of the reviews were positive, I thought it would have made better sense for me to put that money towards the Audeze's or really anything else. Then Crutchfield had refurbished pairs listed for $199 that kept going out of stock. I still didn't feel like jumping on them at that price and waited to see if any additional sales might come up, since black friday/cyber monday was around the corner. They were actually $169 a few days before then so I figured the price would get better but it didn't and I was disappointed. Then a few weeks later I checked again, saw they were $139 and bought them. (Ran out of characters, continued below)
Pros:
Looks, Comfort, Sale Price. The experience of purchasing from Crutchfield was fantastic and I would definitely do it again. They are much less "fatiguing" to listen to than my Shure SE535's.
Cons:
Sounds slightly "tinny". A little harsh on the ears at times and not very full, even compared to my five year old in-ear Shure SE535's. When listening to them, too often I'm thinking "this could sound a lot better", but that could be because I'm not using an amp, they are refurbished, and/or perhaps they need to be "broken in" as I've heard many headphones need to be.
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4 out of 5

A true bargin

Written By Scott B, Magalia CA on Saturday, December 21, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Upgraded from 20 yr. old Sennheiser HD490 on ear phones, quite an improvement. These are a well built, great sounding set of headphones and with the refurbished price they can't be beat!
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4 out of 5

A Step Up.

Written By SEESERIES, Warner Robins. Georgia on Saturday, December 21, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
A huge step up in sound quality from my previous headphones. Great sound stage improvement as well. I like them. But you get what you pay for.
Pros:
Great Construction, Great Stereo Imaging
Cons:
You get what you pay for in terms of sound quality
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4 out of 5

Not snug enough on the ears!

Written By bt, Zionsville, IN on Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
This is my first pair of over-the-ear cans in this price range. I was super pleased with the quality of the sound. But, I've returned them due to the fact that these headphones don't fit snugly enough to 1) provide enough sound isolation, and 2) provide full bass extension. If I pushed lightly on each can, the overall sound quality was vastly improved. I guess I've got a narrow skull, because I had the headband adjusted to the "tightest" fit.
Pros:
Solid build quality, pleasing sound quality.
Cons:
Improper fit for me led to a compromised performance.
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3 out of 5

Too bright for my taste.

Written By Nandor, New York on Friday, September 20, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I own a Beyerdynamic DT880 600ohms headphone which I like a lot. It is considered to be on the bright side in terms a of sound character so I'm used to listening bright sounding headphone. The AKG K 550 however is way too bright for my taste. It may be the right headphone if it used with a mellow sounding tube headphone amp or a dark or flat sounding portable mp3 player.
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5 out of 5

AKG K 550 (Factory Refurbished)

Written By JD, Cape Cod MA on Wednesday, September 04, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
A terrific value and great overall performance. On a warm day they were somewhat warm but nothing to complain about. The sound quality is excellent and the build quality is the best I have seen in the market. These are worth the purchase, particularly the refurbished ones. They have a very secure feel. The quality of these headphones leads me to try other AKG products.
Pros:
Build Quality, sound quality and value received. The cord length perfect and quality is exemplary.
Cons:
slightly warm
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5 out of 5

Crazy Good

Written By Tom J, Centennial, CO on Monday, May 20, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I just got the AKG K 550s last week and was a little worried about the "Factory Refurbished" tag associated with them. I quickly laid that worry aside. These are absolutely incredible to say the least. The clean & natural sound, the quality of construction, the look, the fit and comfort on my large head all have left me with nothing but positive things to say. I spend a lot of time restoring and recording old vinyls to digital audio and needed good headphones that I could be comfortable wearing for long periods of time without annoying my wife or others with what I was listening to. These really fit the bill. They also sound great being powered just by my I-POD Classic...although I may invest in a portable headphone amp just for some added kick (they do quite well all by themselves. I'm just addicted to gadgets).
Pros:
Everything about them screams Comfort & Quality!
Cons:
I have not found anything that I don't like about them! Maybe someone with a smaller head might have fit problems.
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Love These!!

Written By C. Callinsky, Bristol, VA on Thursday, March 14, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I've used many sets of headphones over the years. I've had some of the most expensive headphones available over my little ears. I am a music freak. I cannot get into all my wild adventures that pertain to my music adventures, but I will tell you that when it comes to audio quality I am not easily impressed. I really love these headphones.
Pros:
I love that they are not tight on my head. The fit is wonderful. When headphones are too tight they give me a headache. I like them snug but not tight. I love the low ohm because they sound great with things like Kindles/iPods. I was surprised with the reproduction of the low frequencies. They far surpassed my expectations. The clarity is outstanding. I have an above average home stereo system, but I've heard stuff in some of my music that I didn't know was there; I had never heard it before
Cons:
I'm a little worried about the Refurbish part of the deal. I just hope that I don't have any problems with them because it was a substantial deal of money for me...but I LOVE my music.
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

4.5 stars

Written By Hoos4Headphones, Charlottesville, VA on Saturday, May 05, 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
6 out of 6 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

game changer

Written By mmbeats, Charleston,wv on Sunday, 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.
4 out of 4 people found this helpful
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For a more in-depth review and enhanced detailed information on the AKG K 550 (Factory Refurbished), please visit the Crutchfield website product page (/ISEO-rccbcspd/p_039K550Z/AKG-K-550-Factory-Refurbished.html ).