Recently it seems like there is a slew of new studio headphones hitting the market from V-Moda's M-200 to Audeze's LCD-1 to the many different models of AKGs. Now is a great time to be in the market for studio/reference headphones with so many new models and price points to choose from.
AKG has always been a big name in the headphone space, and one also associated with great bang for the buck. The AKG K275 comes in well below the two hundred dollar mark at an insane $99 MSRP (recent price drop) and is an excellent buy for more budget-conscious producers that are on the road more then they are in the actual studio.
The K275 is the top of the line in AKG's new series aimed at producers and studio junkies, with the others being the K175 and K245. I love you AKG, but you might just have too many skews for your own good here? The price difference between top and bottom is only $40, so why even mess with the other two?
The K275 has a closed-back design that is perfect for sound isolation and mobile monitoring in environments that are not ideal, like hotel rooms or airplanes. Another thing that stands out for this sub $200 price point is the significant 50mm drivers allowing these to be used for DJ monitoring in a pinch as well.
The K275s fold down nicely and can be used easily with any mobile devices for casual listening, thanks to the low impedance (32 Ohms). So if you can only afford one pair of headphones, these will suffice for all tasks - although they might be a little flat for just casual listening.
Design & Accessories: The K275 is a retro-inspired design and looks like a pair of studio headphones with the dual headband and clean design. The headphones come with a detachable 5' coiled cable and carrying pouch to keep them protected while you travel. I'm not a massive fan of pouches, but for the price, they are putting more into the headphones here than the accessories, which makes sense.
The ear cups are your traditional leatherette with a memory foam type material that works well for both sound isolation and comfort. These headphones are only 295 grams, so they easily can handle any marathon sessions or flights to Australia. The headband is also super easy to adjust, and the clamping force is perfect.
The hardware and materials feel very solid and will last for quite a while if you take care of them. Although if you are on the road a lot and stuffing them into your bag, you might want to try a third party hard case if you can find one.
How Do They Sound? One of the first things you will notice is the bass, which really delivers a full range to help you dial in more bottom-heavy productions like Hip Hop, D&B, or Dubstep.
The sound profile of these cans overall is well rounded and will suffice for those producing music across the spectrum - from electronic to more traditional genres. The highs are confident and crisp for the most part, allowing the mids to settle nicely between the bass for a rich, full sound. The only thing you might notice if you are working on music with a lot of bass, is that the treble can get a little thin when that bass starts to rumble.
Summary: If you are a road warrior producer/DJ and always working on music on the go, the K275 is a great choice. The closed-back is essential for working on planes and loud environments, and the fact that they can also function for more casual listening and even DJing is a big plus. The price is hard to beat for this type of performance, and the foldability is clutch, but it does lack adequate protection, so a hard case is recommended if you are hard on headphones.