The Buyer's Guide

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88 Global Score
An all-around great product that's among the best in its category. You'll almost certainly be happy.
88

An all-around great product that's among the best in its category. You'll almost certainly be happy.

How we score

The Engadget Score is a unique ranking of products based on extensive independent research and analysis by our expert editorial and research teams. The Global Score is arrived at only after curating hundreds, sometimes thousands of weighted data points (such as critic and user reviews).

News

"The claim that the AKG K550 are closed headphones that sound like open ones is right on the money. If wonderfully open and wide sound is among your top priorities, you won’t find a better closed pair at the price for the job."
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88 Global Score
An all-around great product that's among the best in its category. You'll almost certainly be happy.
88

An all-around great product that's among the best in its category. You'll almost certainly be happy.

How we score

The Engadget Score is a unique ranking of products based on extensive independent research and analysis by our expert editorial and research teams. The Global Score is arrived at only after curating hundreds, sometimes thousands of weighted data points (such as critic and user reviews).

Scores

Engadget

Not yet scored
 

User Reviews

90
Ron89
First of all, this piece of art is built for home enjoyment. Its every design...read more
90
smkelly
I won a pair of AKG K240 MKIIs which I absolutely love. However, they are only...read more
100
farangfrog
Very well defined sound across the spectrum with outstanding spatialization....read more
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Score Breakdown

 
93
Average user Score
 
90
Ron89
04.24.14
First of all, this piece of art is built for home enjoyment. Its every design simply lacks of the consideration for mobility(gigantic ear cup, extremely long and thick cable, loosely binding headband, etc.). So if you're looking for a headphone of mobile use, this is probably not for you. K551 might be a good choice, but I don't know. The most impressive feature(at least to me) of this headphone is its crispy clarity and wide sound stage. Listen to instrumental music with is is sheer enjoyment. However, It's neutral presentation, if not tinged with a bit cold feeling, along the not strengthened bass punching(it's not lacking, per se, but I won't be satisfied with it when listening to Rock or even some Folk music), makes it less potent to listen to a potion of genre. I'm not using any amplifier, and only driving it with my mac book pro. So I don't know how much it will benefit from it. The design of this piece is very comfortable. I can wear it for hours without feeling a thing around my ear, even with my glasses on(which is very impressive, indeed). Though the headband binds very loose, which add extra scores to its comfort, you don't have to worry too much about it falling down as long as you sit upright(it might fall, however, if you're using some other posture or even only shaking your head...). One thing bothering me a little bit is that the cloth in the ear cup touches the edge of my ear. And it does feel hurt when wearing it for too long(due to the rubbing when the cloth is slightly vibrating? I don't know). Overall it's a great piece of headphone. And I enjoy using it very much.
 
90
smkelly
08.20.13
I won a pair of AKG K240 MKIIs which I absolutely love. However, they are only semi-closed. I wanted something closed to use at work without having to worry about the sound leakage. Plus, the headband on the K240s was a bit odd looking to wear in the office. After doing some research, I grabbed a pair of K550s and they are fantastic.The sound quality is wonderful, and I'm told gets better after many hours of break-in. They are quite comfortable after a few hours of being broken in. They do not leak any sound unless the volume gets pretty high. Overall, they are great.The only thing I'd like to see added is a detachable cable so I can replace it if it gets damaged.
 
100
farangfrog
03.28.13
Very well defined sound across the spectrum with outstanding spatialization. The headphone is very comfortable to wear and the closed cup design provides reasonable sound isolation. The overall build feels very durable. It's quite bulky, so these are headphones geared more towards home listening than on the road.
 
90
internalogic
05.15.12
I am really pleased with these cans. Subtle design - no overblown logos and pointless bright trim and flash. It's about time someone offered serious sealed headphones - good for environments where noise leakage would be a problem - with good sensitivity for use with a lower power device like a portable audio player or phone. That's what the K550 is: perfect for use with your i-device, etc.These are not muddy bass boosters. Lots of crisp detail, good presence / stage, relatively "open" sounding for a closed design, thanks to the oversized (and super comfy) pads and drivers.Depending on what you're accustomed to, these headphones have the potential to reveal a lot of detail in your music you didn't notice before. Glad to see a real audio company make a product for portable music... I give these a 9/10 overall. 10/10 would have a detachable cable and a slightly more adjustable fit to achieve better isolation.