We test the AKG Quincy Jones Q460 headphones. Which Omy.sg is giving out to three lucky winners in the special voting contest! Yeah, that’s me there in my yellow Scoot shirt. Do take a look at what the bloggers have written and vote your favourite. Some of them are very enlightening.
So anyway, we continue with the AKG headphone reviews. I thought the Q460 were really comfy with good sound, great for home use. I let hubby test them on the road. Here’s what he had to say:
Very comfortable from the get go. The sponge gave a nice seal, while letting in some external sound. The ever-useful remote also makes a big difference, although for some unfortunate reason, it kept snagging on my shirt collar. Nonetheless, I quite enjoyed standing out from the Dr Dre Beats-toting crowd with this pair of Quincys and its signature lime green cord.
MY FIRST COMMUTE WITH IT:
The light seal over the ears meant that some ambient noise from my surroundings got in, making it a bit harder to hear quieter tracks on a train going over an intersection, or on a noisy bus – often the case on my daily journeys.
Comfort – these phones wear oh so well, like they are barely there. Right cord length, and the ‘phones fold up into a neat, compact package for storage on the go. But really, my biggest like was the….
Creamy, buttery bass that cuts through, and quite frankly, the best bass sound of all three AKG models I tested on this shootout. I really put this one through its low end paces, using my favourite reference tracks from the dark slinky funk of Alanis Morissette’s “You Oughta Know”, to Flea on “Aeroplane”, the Roots “Wake Up Everybody”, even to bass-heavy rock tracks by Japanese bands, such as “Melissa” by Porno Graffitti. This Quincy delivered in spades in the low frequencies, and made this bassman very happy with its rich sound.
Where the Q460 came up a little short was, I felt, on quieter, more subtle tracks which could not compete with the invasion of environmental noise around me. Also, I felt it lacked the detail and clarity of the Q350 in-ear phones. I might add that the Q460’s tendency to let sound in works both ways as it can be audible to those around you, especially on louder tracks, with a noticeable bleed. If, like me, you prefer to listen to your music without “sharing” it with other passengers around you, who may not enjoy another round of Dokken, Tesla or Motley Crue, then this could be a problem. Of course, you could hit the lower volume button on the remote, but then again, that would run counter to the spirit of 80s Big Hair Metal, no?
WOULD I BUY THIS:
On balance, this is another great set from AKG, worthy of its famous namesake, with a rich sound, good looks and easy wearing.
Warning: Please do not try these earphones, unless you want to ruin listening enjoyment with other earphones. I am trying to erase the magic and go back to my regular earbuds.
These are da bomb – these S$1,599 AKG K3003 earphones, which omy.sg and AKG introduced to a group of bloggers (I only know about earphones because of hubby who plays and writes music, otherwise would be happy with Apple default buds). Yes, there’s a voting contest too, where you can win the Quincy Jones Q460 headphones (pictured right).
I gave my first impressions on the K3003 earlier. This is hubby’s more detailed take.
(By the way, the K3003 is all sold out! Can you believe it?!? New stock will arrive end month or early next).
We popped into Stereo at Orchard ION to check out the K3003 by AKG. Due diligence: these are high-end, expensive in-earphones. I didn’t have the chance to try it on an actual commute, but I did have to contend with an IT roadshow going on just outside the shop, anchored by a very LOUD emcee!
The in-ears had an elegant silver finish on the housing, an an appropriately long thick, black anti-kink cord. For the price, I was expecting something more … flamboyant, but honestly, with earphones of this sort of quality and price, its understated elegance, and focus on performance made total sense. So: was it worth the money? Would I be able to hear the angels singing?!
These AKGs deliver 3 sound experiences off the bat. They come with three different filters that you have to fit onto the earpiece, and each delivers a unique sound (neutral, bass, treble). Here’s what they offer:
- Default: a neutral, “true” sound that is very balanced and faithful to the original recording. I ran acoustic tracks by Jose Gonzalez and even quieter numbers by Janis Joplin and Stevie Nicks through this one, and they came up sounding full, wide and clean.
- Rich bass: I played a Motown track, “Rescue Me” by the singer Fontella Bass and featuring the dance-tremor inducing basslines of James Jamerson, who together with his Detroit bandmates, were responsible for hundreds of incredible hits, including “My Girl”, “Bernadette”, “For Once In My Life” and more. Motown tracks, however digitally remastered, are notoriously hard to reproduce because of the limitations of recording technology in the 1960s. On lesser earphones, one can feel the bass is barely there. Whoa, on these, it was like sitting next to Jamerson – that rich, powerful, demanding Fender Precision bass working away at chromatic runs, ostinatos and glisses. I was a happy Mr Camemberu!!! Camemberu herself was bobbing away to the sounds of Michael Jackson.
- Treble emphasis: this third filter really works well on vocals and guitar-driven songs or solos. Crystalline highs, and amazing clarity. For the first time ever, I could hear the buzzing of the strings on Jose Gonzalez’s fretboard as he sang, Carlos Jobim-like, on “Crosses”.
The earbuds sat oh-so-comfortably, and once I got a snug fit, they shut out that annoying emcee and the sounds of the hustle and bustle around me. Even when Camemberu and the knowledgeable and affable sound specialist at Stereo were chatting right next to me, I could barely hear them through the amazing seal. And, of course, the earphones come with the signature, unobtrusive AKG remote.
The fact that you can enjoy three different listening experiences, just perfect for the fussy audiophile who needs to experience a song as it should be.
Versatile, rich, clear and sweet. (See above)
WOULD I BUY THIS:
Yes. In my dreams!
Go. Check out and test the AKG K3003 at Stereo outlets at ION Orchard (#B4-23/24) or Plaza Singapura (#04-06). Don’t let me influence your expectations though. Judge it for yourself.
They have an amazing variety of earphones. Hey, here are the AKGs, including the Quincy Jones line! These are great too, but the K3003 are matchless. I wish I had S$1,599 to spare but even if so, I sorely need a new DSLR or better lens more.
Remember to vote in the contest cos three people will win the really cool Quincy Jones Q460 headphones!facebook comments (
When I first held these AKG K3003 earphones, they felt like precious gems. Yes, very beautiful S$1,599 gems. But it was only when I put them to my ears that I realised how priceless they are. It was like stepping through a portal into a magical realm, where you can still see things happening around you but you’re in a crisp sonic cocoon. So cool it was, I couldn’t help putting them on and taking them off a few times, just to experience that transformation. The sound is seriously clean and with incredible detail.
The K3003 are the world’s smallest three-way reference class earphones. It comes with three pairs of sound filters for neutral reference, high boost and bass boost.
They are painstakingly handmade in Austria. Each earphone housing is finely chiseled from one piece of brushed stainless steel, so it’s a solid piece that won’t break at the seams (because there are none). Inside the housing is a work of mad precision and audio engineering excellence. It’s a masterpiece with features and performance that have wowed some reviewers who have admitted it’s one of the best. See it unboxed here.
Check out what other local bloggers have to say on the OMY.sg K3003 microsite, and then go have a listen for yourself at Stereo outlets at ION Orchard (#B4-23/24) or Plaza Singapura (#04-06). One of us will get to win this, and voting starts tomorrow! What an amazing Christmas present it will be!
Hubby will also give me his take on the K3003 later on. I am also going to do a giveaway of one of the three AKG ear/headphone sets (with warranty intact) that I received. I’ll be putting up the reviews soon (first one here). So watch out for that!facebook comments (
I have a secret to share with you today -
a TECHNO fan!!!
Songs like Moonlight Shadow, Drive Me Crazy, Crazy Baby, Butterfly, Superhero Lover, Amor Infinitus and other tunes by Cascada, Groove Coverage or Masterboy never fail to put a smile on my face. I’ve never been to Sparks and have only been to Music Underground once, before it closed down.
I guess I’m more of a closet techno lover?
Those who have sat in my car before would know though – some of you even ask me to turn off my techno music! Hmph!
I discovered techno during my secondary school days and I remember it was the Anthems that kept me going when I studied late into the night for my ‘O’ levels. Hey, these head-bopping fast-paced tunes were part of the process to scoring my 6 points (L1R5) for ‘O’ levels!
I lost my CDs of techno so I went on YouTube to search for the videos so I can listen to them as I work. I work from home and my door’s usually open, so my parents complained about the music being too “noisy and loud”.
Listen with my new AKG headsets!
I whipped out my AKG K518 LE, Q 350 and Q 460 and tried them all – you know what? Techno has never sounded so good before. The sound quality from AKG is just superb – I felt like I was in a world of my own!
The K518 LE (LE as in Limited Edition) are closed-back earphones that have ear cups which really shut you off from the rest of the world and leave you to your music.
It fit my ears perfectly, but I had to remove the big earring I have at the top of my ear as it started to hurt slightly.
I remember it was only 8am in the morning one day and I was already on my AKG 518 LE, but I was bobbing my head to the beats and with my eyes closed I could almost transport myself into the night on the dancefloor… I didn’t even hear my mum calling me for breakfast! (Nope, the volume wasn’t even at half.)
Here are some of my techno favourites – they sounded fabulous with the AKG 518 LE; I felt like I was in a club!
One thing I like about the AKG 518 LE is how it can be “compressed” and packed easily so I can carry it around in my handbag. It has this unique 3D-axis folding mechanism that makes it really easy to pack it up instead of having to hook it round the neck. Do note that it doesn’t fold flat though.
Mine comes in purple, but you can choose from six other colours:
The closest to pink is the red one but I only had purple and white to choose from – so that makes purple the closest to pink then. *laughs*
Alright, back to my head-shaking techno beats…
The AKG K518LE is available at S$139.90 – You can give it a try at STEREO outlets first, any day from 11am to 930pm:
2 Orchard Turn
68 Orchard Road
Support me on the official AKG K3003 – Sound of Luxury blog!
> Appreciating sound better with AKG
|Stylish and sophisticated.|
|I’m using the AKG Q460 in black.|
|Doesn’t it look like one BIG SMILEY FACE?!?!?|
|This headset only weighs 120 grams! (without cables attached)|
Before I head into reviews of the sound quality, I’m gonna show you some of my likes and unsatisfactories(ehhh no such word, but you get what I mean ya?) with the headphone.
I’ve been listening to songs with the K518 for hours to test it’s quality, just like what AKG boasted about the K518 on it’s packaging, Fat bass, bass levels seems to be risen with this headphone without causing any interference to other levels.
Download the track I’ve mixed for testing bass levels.
Track 1 :
- Bass track lowered by 5decibels
- very very very low bass track heard thru-out with my old headphone.
- AKG518 plays it like as though the bass track wasn’t modified.
- Normalized levels
- AKG K518 pushes the bass harder
- Other tracks unaffected
The AKG K518LE is available at an approximate retail price of s$139.90,
You can also try it out at STEREO outlets in Singapore, opening hours from 11am to 9:30pm
2 Orchard Turn #B4-23/24
68 Orchard Road #04-06
Well, the verdict?
- Rich sound quality just as promised
- Gives just about any genre of songs an extra bass kick without compromising other sound levels.
- Too small for me, I won’t recommended anyone wearing L-sized or bigger helmets, it’s really tight for people with heads my size.
- Split cables
I had the opportune few moments to try out AKG’s latest flagship in-ear monitors, the K3003, a couple of days ago. There is definitely an air of exclusivity and elegance surrounding the K3003, starting the moment you unbox it. It’s like opening a jewel box. There is no bling in the gray box itself, but the K3003’s stainless-steel shell almost seems to be sparkling, and the whole packaging certainly exudes a sense of premium quality.
Now, there are in-ear monitors, with varying performance and quality, to suit every budget. The K3003 doesn’t come cheap, and clearly it’s targeted at the more affluent music listeners willing to invest in top quality audio products to satisfy their listening pleasure.
The K3003 is a true 3-way design, one driver each for high, mid and low frequencies. Each bud comprises two balanced armature drivers and one dynamic driver, encased in a tiny brushed stainless-steel cylinder case, and capped off with interchangeable acoustic filters to suit your listening preferences. Six pairs (two each for small, medium and large) of slightly translucent white hypoallergenic ear sleeves are included.
The 1.2m long wire that come with the K3003 is, quite uniquely, made from two types of material. The bottom end, from the connector to the Y-junction, is made with a fabric material, while the other portion from the Y-junction to the buds are made with a silicone material. I would personally have preferred to have the fabric material all the way. The wire is free from microphonics, and it is largely tangle-free. The wires are not, unfortunately, removable.
I did not listen to the K3003 long enough, and not in the best conditions, to speak about its audio qualities. I shall have to do this in another post. But here’s my casual first impressions, playing off a Cowon J3 player. The K3003 does not disappoint, performing with impressive crystal clarity and brightness, especially in the mids and highs. Bass extension is excellent, although I would have loved to have more punch (not that it is lacking, it’s just my preference). For a universal in-ear monitor, the K3003 is superb.
The three acoustic filters provided let you choose from neutral reference, bass boost and high boost. I personally don’t like my music tainted. However, just to test if the bass boost filter would satisfy my preference for a punchier bass, I gave that a shot. It does give the bass more support, overall warmth, but at the cost of slightly muted highs.
AKG says this is the world’s smallest true 3-way reference quality earphones. It’s definitely tiny, the smallest I’ve seen. They are also reportedly individually hand-made, and each set is uniquely identified by a serial number. Hence the air of exclusivity around it.
Other accessories included in the box are a nice leather pouch for carrying the K3003 around, a cleaning cloth and a flight adapter.
Oh, did I mention the price? It’s a cool $1599.
If you’re interested to audition the K3003, head down to Stereo’s outlets at Plaza Singapura (#04-06) or Ion Orchard (#B4-23/24).facebook comments (
This AKG series of posts is dedicated to my hubby without whose support this blog would not exist. He loves music (playing, composing and recording) as much as I do food, so I knew I had to get him this fabulous listening gear. It’s from him that I learned seriously good earphones/headphones can make a difference. We’ve tried so many brands, and initially, my eyes popped out at some of the prices. I had a friend recently complain that her S$38 earphones were lousy. She’s right. Gizmodo explains why you can’t get decent earphones for less than US$100.
Well, thanks to Omy.sg, AKG and IMS Marketing, we have three AKG headsets to test, and one grand K3003 to visit in-store. AKG is owned by Harman, which also owns JBL, Mark Levinson and many other audio brands.
First up, the Q350 in-ear buds from the Quincy Jones Signature line. Quincy Jones, man! I’m sold on the endorsement alone! But it’s also nice to know that part of the proceeds from every headphone sold goes to the Quincy Jones Musiq Consortium for educating kids about music.
So here it goes – hubby’s take on the Q 350…
With great earphones come great responsibility – to ROCK!
Starting a shootout of AKG headphones to take with me on the morning commute. The winner will obviously be making many trips with me for the next few years.
What I look for in “commute ears”:
- Good sound that shuts out the noise of traffic, trains and people but not to the point that I can only hear my breathing and swallowing!
- Handles the wide variety of music and styles that I enjoy
- MUST have good bass response, I’m a bassist in a rock band. Yes, I’m biased. Bass in your face!!!
- Must not get in the way or snag on bag straps, pockets, train doors, other passengers and so on
- I’m 1.85m tall, so the cord should be of the right length to connect with my iPhone in my pocket. I’ve had bad luck with many Japanese brands that often come with both a short cord as well as one that’s several metres in length – too long for use without having to loop or wrap it up.
- Comfort: because a long commute can sometimes become an even longer one, thanks to perennial “slight delays” on the MRT, and overloaded SBS buses. The phones will have to sit well in my ears for the duration of my rides.
- A remote is a major bonus!
This morning, it’s the Q 350.
- Super-light. Initially uncomfortable in the ear, but they grew on me, and I did not experience any discomfort at all after getting used to having them in my ears.
- That signature lime green cord is not for everyone, but today, with so many colours and varieties for earphones, it’s not a big issue.
- Had the “new cord” effect, where it was kinked from being in the packaging. This should wear out after more use. At 1m, it was the right length.
My first commute with it:
I plugged the Q 350s into my iPhone, on both a quiet bus as well as a long MRT ride, which was much noisier. The journey took about one hour. I prefer to listen to tracks with no equaliser setting on, as I enjoy getting a more “true” feel of the recording.
Getting the “seal” in the ears just right is crucial, and once I managed this, I was able to retreat to my “private sound chamber” but it left me able to hear a bit of what was happening around me, which is important for safety. I’ve used in-ears which sealed my ears so tight I could hear the echo of my “breathing, which is a little unsettling.
The black remote. A little small if you have big hands, and it took some getting used to, but I got the hang of it mid-way through the ride. Double-tap to forward track, triple-click to back up to the previous track, and volume controls at either end. Meant I could keep my phone in its pocket, which is a blessing because the “sardine can” MRT can be unforgiving to a big guy who likes to explore around his playlists. Also, it means I can pick up calls when they come through (works brilliantly).
Well, I’m a bassist so a good solid bass fundamental is important to me. This is probably the best bass response I’ve had with in-ear pieces for the longest time. The bass does not sound “coloured” or “beefed up”, so I was able to enjoy a range of bass tones from the bassists on the track I was listening to, from James Jamerson on Motown tracks, to Sting, Stuart Zehnder of Jamiroquai and Mark King of Level 42.
Curiously, I could really pick up the individual tone differences of basses on the recordings because the sound was reproduced very faithfully – I could for example, tell the difference in tone if a bassist was using a Fender Jazz, Precision or a bass of another make, because the sound was really clear. If you’re a techno or trancehead, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed either if you want that eardrum tickling bass. Listening to Jamiroquai’s “Love Foolosophy” and the Michael Jackson/Quincy Jones-produced “Billie Jean”, it was like being in my own private dance club, with a good solid thump coming through.
The earphones also standout on turning out vocals and discerning guitar tracks. I checked out a range of tunes on the commute, from acoustic guitar-based songs by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young (e.g. Guinevere) to Crosses by Jose Gonzalez as well as more Nashville/country-inflected numbers, such as Shimmer by Shawn Mullins. On these tracks, I was hearing overtones, vocal effects and other artifacts I have not heard before when listening to the SAME tunes on some other entry- to mid-level earphones I’ve used in the past.
Would I buy this:
Well, earphones are like Forrest Gump’s cocoa-based boxed confectionery – you never know what you’re gonna get. At S$159.90, it is on the pricey side but, well, having used it, I would say that it is worth the price. It blows many similarly-priced phones out of the water, and a couple of more expensive ones, as well.
At the age of 8, I asked Mummy if she could get me that big black shiny instrument that produces a melodious sound when I banged hard on the black and white keys.At the age of 11, my primary school teacher, Mrs.Chng discovered that there was another musical instrumental embedded right in my throat. It was God-send from the Heavens.My musical journey started right there.Singing and being on stage has really transformed me from this shy and timid girl who only stares at her toes in a lift with stranger to someone who doesn’t mind embarrassing herself infront of anyone.
I didn’t had a vocal trainer then. Instead, I had to rely solely on listening to songs sang by my all-time favourite singers such as Stefanie Sun, Jay Chou, Stevie Wonder and Craig David. Sometimes I wish I had a better mp3 player or headsets to fully immerse myself into the music without any noise or interruptions.
When I was much younger, I used to watch how Daddy creates a wonderful stereo sound experience by locking himself in an enclosed room and listens to Kenny G’s music blasting from his loud speakers. He would jerk his knees to the rhythm as he lie confortably on the couch with his eyes closed. I would sit beside him and cheekily imitate his knee-jerking actions.
But I guess I could achieve this personal audio experience with AKG headsets too. It acts like two big loud speakers attached to your ears.The best thing is that its portable which means you don’t have to drag two hi-fi loud speakers with you to everywhere you go!
AKG is a widely recognised Austrian brand for their superior microphones and other audio equippment.AKG headsets are widely used by music artistes such as Frank Sinatra, Quincy Jones and even Stevie Wonders!Don’t be surprise to see singers like Aerosmith,the Rolling stones and Kanye West jamming in the recording studios with AKG headsets.
I’m using the AKG K518 LE (Fuchsia).
An intimate sound experience.
Anywhere and anytime.
It’s just me against the music.
It comes with a carry case so that you stash this cool headsets into your bag.
The core of the headband is supported by the strip of metal which adds strength and sturdiness to the headset. This lightweight headset has soft earpads to cushion your ears.It also has a secure fit but it might be too tight for some.
Nice comfy soft ear cups for your ears to rest on.
The isolating ear cups gives you that private music experience.
AKG K518 LE Limited Edition
( Available in 7 colors)
It’s a great headset that blocks out noise beautifully, channelling clear and rich sounds to the ears.
-Unique AKG 3D-axis folding mechanism for easy storage
- Fat bass
-High output sound level
- Compatible with all iphones and ipods
Designed and engineered in Austria.
Retail Price : SDG $139.00
At this price, I would consider it to be a decent headset which provides a balanced audio.
Available in these local stores.
The AKG K518 headset, in my opinion, is suited for DJs or anyone who listens to techno,rap or rock songs as the headset produces a rich and deep bass. If you are listening to songs by Mariah Carey or Whitney Houston, the loud instrumentals or background music could overpower their soulful voices. For me, this is a great headset if you are working out in the gym or jogging in the park.
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