AKG Acoustics K 530

Quality at a reasonable price.

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AKG Acoustics K 530
  • AKG Acoustics K 530
  • AKG Acoustics K 530
  • AKG Acoustics K 530

Pros

  • Highly accurate, comfortable fit

Cons

  • Slightly cheap build quality

Bottom Line

The K 530 headphones perform well when given a clean audio source. They may be a little cheaply built but they are very comfortable and sound great.

Would you buy this?

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AKG’s K 530 open headphones are great for listening to nuances within musical tracks. They’re supremely balanced, but still have the frequency response to punch out lively tracks when amplified.

They’re quite simple looking, with a more modern feel than AKG’s traditionally styled K 272 HD and K701. A clean white shell covers most of the ear-cups, while a slightly drab grey tone is used for the leatherette headband and ear-pads.

The K 530 headphones have the same analytical characteristics as the K 272 HDs. The open design means a lot of outside noise is audible — not so great if you’re working in a high-noise environment. If you’ll be listening to music somewhere where there’s not much ambient noise to interfere, though, open headphones have the advantage of better stereo imaging and overall sound quality over their closed counterparts.

The circum-aural style allows for the drivers within the speakers to remain in close proximity with the user’s ear, which means low volumes will still produce a listenable sound. This, combined with a high sensitivity of 102 dB per mW and a reasonable impedance of 55 Ohms, means these headphones will shine with a personal MP3 player, computer sound card or dedicated headphone amplifier.

The overall sound is warm, with mid-bass being prevalent and obvious. This doesn’t detract from the amount of detail the headphones are able to resolve, though. It’s a very interesting experience to hear intricate detail within female vocals and jazz music while mid-bass is dominating.

Treble is more metered and even than the middle ranges. We think this is definitely a positive point: when treble is dominant with headphones, it’s often quite fatiguing and ill-suited to long listening sessions.

Similarly, bass isn’t overpowering or booming. It can have quite a kick when pushed appropriately — with the headphones able to extend to a reasonably low 17 Hertz — but for most listening purposes it will remain unobtrusive.

The headphones are fantastic in terms of stereo imaging. Thanks to their open nature they have a very expansive soundstage, with music taking on a noticeably three-dimensional feel. This is always a mark of a quality set of headphones.

Again, beware of low quality sources. You will be disappointed if you feed these headphones with a low quality source. Compressed MP3 files will have a canned, two-dimensional feel and you’ll be able to hear every hiss and compression artefact in recordings.

Realistically we’d place them a step below the K 272 HDs in terms of performance, but they’re still a decent entry-point into the realm of high-end headphones. Check them out if you’re a speaker aficionado who is interested in trying out some high quality headphones without breaking the bank.

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