Welcome to Shiny Shiny’s headphone week 2010. Everyday for the next fortnight I’ll be reviewing a different set of headphones eventually culminating in the definitive league of personal audio. Catchy right?
Day 4: AKG K240
Literally the loudest buds we’ve ever heard.
The AKG K340s are simple looking set of buds. A nice rubberised kind of brace holds the buds themselves, which are a sort of boltgun silver with a simple silicone insert for the ear.
The quality of the cable isn’t quite what we’d expect for a pair of buds of this price and it fails to measure up to rivals like the Scosche IDR655m. The connections at the base of the phones and 35mm jack feel slightly flimsy, though as to whether they’d break through just general ware and tear, I doubt it.
Probably the nicest thing about the design of the K340s is the volume slider on the cable. This allows for quick adjustment of well, the volume, between absolute silence and a noise loud enough to spook cattle.
The fit is fine and the phones come bundled with a plethora of variant sized silicone inserts for you to dilly and dally with until you decide the first one fitted best.
The build quality again, leaves a tad to be desired for a pair of £50 headphones.
Everything about them says £35, apart from the hardcase — which is a quality addition.
I mean, they’re not going to break anytime soon, but with most £50 phones, especially buds, the build quality tends to air a little more on the robust side. If someone told you these phones were £20ers you’d believe them.
Until you put them in you ear holes.
The sound performance of the K340s is impressive. They cope admirably with trilling treble and actually provide a truer bass performance than I thought it possible for a pair of buds.
The mid performance is also strong but can seem a tad flat in more down tempo songs.
The sound isolation the K 340s provide is exemplary, once they’re in your ear you won’t hear a peep from the outside world unless you’ve got the volume turned down to some intolerably low EU safety level.
They sound best when listening to balls out heavy rock and folk, though do a fine job with just about everything.
They have a rather bizarre quality of making music sound sort of live, which sounds a ridiculous thing to say, but if you listened to them you’d understand.
I’ve had them shoved in my ears for a week solidly now, and though my cans still take pride of place while in the homestead these bad lads have served me well in and out of office.
Build Quality: 2.5/5
Value for money: 2.5/5
Overall: 12/20 — If you’re a bit of a purist and prefer the sound of your buds to all else — these are well-worth the £49 but if you’re going be putting them through some serious strain we reckon there are more robust units that, don’t sound quite as good, but will last you far longer.
Day 1: The Trooper by Nixon
Day 2: Scosche IDR655m
Day 3: The Jabra.