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With a street price of $99, features like a detachable cable & replaceable ear pads are usually a luxury, but they’re standard here on the new AKG K182 closed-back studio monitor headphones. With all the adjustable pivot points they fit any size head, they fold up nicely, and don’t take up a lot of space in a messenger bag. Consider these a nice step up from the K92s.
With a closed-back and over ear design, unwanted noise is kept out, while each ear has a 50mm speaker. There is plenty of dynamic range with a 10Hz-28 KHz frequency response, and the sound quality lives up to AKG’s reputation, and doesn’t disappoint in any way. After long listening sessions there’s no ear fatigue, and with no strange noise cancelling/boost/EQ adjustment, they’re great for reference: what you hear is what you get, no extra “coloring” of the sound.
AKG highlights the best applications for these as electronic drums, keyboards, studio monitoring and home recording. A set of these work great in these applications, sure, but they’re good enough to track pretty much anything. They’re ultra-comfortable, fairly lightweight, and have excellent clarity and plenty of low-end (more than the K92s).
[RELATED: read more studio monitor headphone reviews from Performer Magazine.]
The only real negative is the cable. It’s great to see a detachable cable becoming a standard feature, even on inexpensive headphones. However, the cable for the K182s has a mini XLR to connect at the headset, and a TRS 1/8″ end (a threaded 1/4″ adapter is included) to plug into a sound source. This unusual configuration might be tough to find at a local electronics store, compared to say, a cable that has 1/8″ TRS at both ends.
It also has a secure locking feature to keep it from getting pulled out inadvertently. The included cable is 9.8 feet (3 meters) long. AKG claims these headphones are a great choice for mobile devices, but the cable length seems way too long for this application, at least in our opinion. That said, they’re a nice upgrade over the $59 AKG K92 headphones, and really can do some heavy lifting in a studio situation, or just for pure listening enjoyment.
Editor’s note — we asked AKG about this, and here’s what they had to say about the cable:
The main benefit of the mini XLR connector is that is has a decent locking mechanism compared to standard 1/8” connectors. There are proprietary 1/8” plugs with locks on the market, but those cables are even harder to find. We’ve used the mini XLR for years and it is a very common plug in the professional industry. Replacement cables are available from HARMAN as well as a lot of online shops (Sweetwater, Amazon or ebay, just to mention a few).
Since so much of today’s production work is happening on the go, we designed the K182 for use with a device such as an iPad or iMac while musicians are on the road. Although we’re happy if you love it so much you use it for casual listening as well, in that case – as you noticed – you may want to use a shorter cable.
Priced right, great sound, great for tracking.
Cable is slightly long, and might be tough to find a replacement on the road.