The audiophiles choice.
The AKG K242 HDs are sexy set of phones. Not exactly the type you’d wear on the bus, but nevertheless there is something undeniably attractive about them.
With the broad headband and huge round cups there is something pleasingly retro about them. The plastics are nicely textured and the cups themselves are joyously soft and luxurious. Yes, I said luxurious, and I mean it too.
They have an uncanny ability to feel substantial without being hefty, though I should make it absolutely plain, these are not out-and-about headphones. They’re not small and neither are they easy to stow in a bag, because that’s not what they’ve been designed for. They’ve been designed with something quite, quite different in mind: Sound quality.
The build quality leaves little to be desired. The AKGs are a thoroughly sturdy set of cans. We just can’t spot a weak spot.
All the normal “at risk” areas, the chord, the headband, the phone attachments, are all meticulously designed to avoid and cope with stress.
The cups are perfectly comfortable for very extended listening sessions, which you will be indulging in, trust me.
The plastics are a high quality and we can’t see them cracking without some intense and specific punishment.
The sounds quality of the AKGs is exceptional. There is a common problem with larger, home audio and DJ cans, in that they think “quality sound” means “detestably pervasive bass”. Now, if you’re the kind of person that’s got a Scarface canvas and big red leatherette corner sofa in your living room and think music sounds best with huge bass, these aren’t the phones for you.
These are, I’m going to say it, the most balanced set of headphones I’ve ever listened to. The mids and bass are perfectly balanced while the treble trills out perfectly. They’re also incredibly versatile. Most headphones perform best with one type of music, whether it’s dance or rock or acoustic or acid jazz, it’s generally something.
The thing is I have yet to find a genre of music that these phones don’t seem to gobble up and spit out better than you’ve ever heard it before.
With some very minor EQ twiddling these phones don’t sound like the entry-level, high-end phones their price would suggest, they sound like a pair of really serious high high-end phones.
Build Quality: 4/5
Value for money: 3.5/5
Overall: 16/20 — If you want them, get them.
Day 1: The Trooper by Nixon
Day 2: Scosche IDR655m
Day 3: The Jabra.