AKG Acoustics K 272 HD

An amazing, balanced pair of hi-fi headphones

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews
  • Buy Now
AKG Acoustics K 272 HD
  • AKG Acoustics K 272 HD
  • AKG Acoustics K 272 HD
  • AKG Acoustics K 272 HD
  • Expert Rating

    4.25 / 5

Pros

  • Balanced and even sound, transparency exposes every hidden instrument

Cons

  • Transparency exposes every hidden flaw

Bottom Line

These headphones are fantastic for listening to high-quality audio. They're balanced, even, and reproduce all frequencies admirably. Their only stumbling point is that they're too good at exposing the inadequacies of compressed MP3s and poor recordings.

Would you buy this?

AKG's K 272 HD headphones are a great choice if you want sound with a neutral, natural character. They're quite comfortable, block out a decent amount of background noise and sound great, despite exposing every flaw within music.

Models like the K 272 HD sit in a difficult part of the market — below high-end, amplifier-driven headphones like AKG's own K701, but leagues ahead of even the highest-quality models from more mainstream companies like Logitech and Creative (Creative's Aurvana X-Fi Noise-Cancelling Headphones headphones spring to mind).

This part of the market is hotly contested, confronting consumers with difficult choices. However, there are some decisions you can make that will narrow down the field. Generally headphones are offered in either a closed or open style, each with its own advantages. Open headphones have a wider, more expansive sound, but closed headphones block out background noise and offer a tighter fit.

The K 272 HD headphones are closed, and they sit over the ear. This circum-aural style keeps the drivers in close proximity to the listener's ears, delivering a more balanced, even sound.

With an exceedingly flat frequency response all the way from 16 to 26,000Hz, these headphones are versatile enough to suit any musical style. They can sometimes sound a little analytical and expose the flaws within music, but if you've got a high quality collection of music and a good source to play it from this isn't a problem.

Treble is exceedingly clear and flawless, but isn't pronounced over other frequencies. While listening to The Presets, cymbal crashes and electronic notes sounded measured and composed without being harsh or overly bright. One advantage of the analytical nature of these headphones is that listeners can pick out backing instruments and musical elements that would otherwise be muffled or veiled. We noticed this in Portishead's latest album, with sweet reverberating strings suddenly becoming clear and prominent.

Bass from the headphones is incredibly quick and tight, although it doesn't seem to extend as low as the 16Hz roll-off might suggest. There's no real resonance here, which can leave the headphones sounding slightly empty if you don't know what to expect. Bass has a kick but it doesn't linger very long, so if you're used to deep, slowly-decaying subwoofer bass you may be left a little wanting. You can, at least, remind yourself that this is a more realistic reproduction of music.

Mid-range is equally well-composed, with male vocals sounding spectacularly clean. One flaw — and it's not even a real flaw — is that these headphones are able to pick out every imperfection. If you're going to be listening to low-quality music or streaming internet radio, prepare to sit in agony; unless the source you're listening to is perfect you'll notice compression effects and distortion.

Instrument placement and soundstage is an area where we enjoyed the transparency of the K 272 HD headphones. We were able to pick out individual instruments in binaural orchestra recordings, giving the headphones a remarkably three-dimensional sound.

AKG's K 272 HD headphones are accompanied by the K 142 HD, K 172 HD, and K 242 HD models, each offering a different style and aesthetic — closed, open, over-ear and on-ear — for the listener.

If you want a set of headphones to listen to your ultra-high-quality audio collection on — music with a huge variety of instruments, requiring a perfectly balanced frequency range — you can count on these headphones. Don't sully them with anything less than the best, however. They'll show up every flaw in your compressed MP3s.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?