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For instrumentalists who want to hear a bit more of the outside ambient environment, open backed versions make sense, compared to the “lock out” type feel of closed back headphones.
AKG started with 30mm transducers with their Varimotion diaphragm for the internals, and the leatherette ear pads are replaceable. The head strap is quite comfortable and adjustable for long sessions. Included is a detachable 10’ straight cable and a 16’ coiled cable.
There’s less coloring overall with these than other models we’ve tested in the price range, and for mixing applications where it’s not intense, like an ambient soundtrack or more natural sounding instruments, they’re great. It’s a nice and yes, “open” sounding. Along with a head strap that doesn’t feel like it’s a helmet, it makes for a more comfortable experience. Tracking wise, if you’re in a room with another player or instrument, and have the tendency of pulling one side off of an ear to “hear” the room better, you might find that habit going away. The balance of the room vs signal is quite nice overall, and provides a unique experience vs. typical closed-back monitors. Using these as a personal monitoring for an amp modeler is also nice, with no issues of audio fatigue even during long sessions and practice.▼ Article continues below ▼
A great application of these is having a mix playing back in the room, over the monitors at a louder than normal volume, while listening through the headphones. The listener gets the room’s thump, against the more direct approach directly in the ears. It can help nail down what’s a room issue or a mix issue. And the more tools in your arsenal, the better.
Overall, they’re a nice and comfortable set of headphones that are great for mixing, tracking and playback, and they won’t destroy your budget. If you have a set of closed back headphones, great. But a set of these brings in a whole new experience that’s useful and musical for the serious user.
Super comfortable, great natural sound.