When it comes to professional studio headphones, it is often a perception that expensive headphones perform better than the cheaper ones. AKG is a brand that constantly strives to use their best technologies into action irrespective of whether their headphone is premium labeled or within the economic range. They have a significant number of headphone offerings that vary in price, style, features, and functions to cater to different types of consumer needs. Needless to say, they do a pretty good job in segregating these headphones according to different production applications which makes the selection very easy for the consumers. Before we take you to our AKG K240 Review section, let us first learn more about mixing and mastering.
What Is AKG K240, Why Is It Good for Mixing and Mastering?
AKG K240 Studio headphones are one of those audio gears that describe the studio standards in an affordable way. These headphones are the direct descendants of the vintage AKG K240 that first came into existence in 1974. Although this modern version inherits the retro type of design from the classic K240, AKG K240 Studio headphones showcase the present-day sound to meet today’s studio needs like mixing and monitoring applications.
K240 is a fantastic offering from AKG if you are looking for a pair of inexpensive audiophile headphones for analytical listening and monitoring. Along with a solid caliber to withstand the test of time, this audio gear features a semi-open back, over-ear design with super-efficient drivers for a phenomenal listening experience. Like many other headphones from this brand, AKG K240 studio headphones present the industry standards in several ways.
While these may not be the best monitoring pair out there, at a price level this low, these are quite reliable with extensive ability to please the sound professionals and audio enthusiasts that have a home studio setup. This is the main reason why you will definitely find AKG K240 Studio headphones in several studios or production venues across the world. In fact, this headphone has received much appreciation and encouraging AKG K240 reviews from different editing engineers, sound enthusiasts, and professional headphone reviewers for their incredible performance. You will know more about what these headphones can do in our AKG K240 review a little later.
Before that, for those who are new to these production terminologies, let’s have a quick overview of what mixing and monitoring actually are, so you know what the AKG K240 studio headphones are meant for.
General Idea About Mixing and Mastering
Complete music production involves a lot of different stages and techniques and a good headphone is an essential arsenal to achieve the desired results. Both sound mixing and monitoring are the final levels of the production project and make what is known as “post-production”. The post-production work starts with ‘sound mixing’ and ends with ‘Mastering’.
‘Sound Mixing’, as the name implies, involves the mixing of different recordings or soundtracks to cover the gaps and flaws in the audio content. This involves an artistic blending of the sounds in such a way that the final recording sounds well-balanced, pleasing, and presentable to the audience. The audio engineers use various types of digital tools and techniques in this process like using the equalization software, adjusting the sound levels, panning, or some other time-related tweaking like delaying, reverberation effects, etc. So, in simple terms, it is editing the music to sound better.
Mastering, on the other hand, is the final stage of the post-production process, which is done after completing mixing. After mastering, your music, or album is ready to be released to the world. In mastering, the sound engineer gives final touches to the soundtrack to enhance the sound. This involves further adjustments to the sound levels, sound monitoring that involves checking for pops or other unwanted noise that may affect the recording and strike the audience’s ears and needs to be edited or removed.
Many people think that mixing and mastering are pretty much the same things, but there is a significant difference between the two. Once you are done with the mixing process, you listen and review the entire piece of music or soundtrack one more time as a mixdown. While doing this you keep a keen ear on every little thing in the track to see if there are any further improvements needed before the piece is given a ‘good-to-go status. The final result of this post-production process is an aesthetically pleasing sound that people love to groove on.
So, now that you have a fair idea about what mixing and mastering is, you probably have an idea about the AKG K240 Studio headphones’ contribution to the production world.
Who are AKG K240 Headphones Good for?
Being one of the best budget headphones offering a studio-grade sound, this pair is great for budget-conscious sound engineers and critical listeners. The YouTubers and podcasters may find AKG K240 headphones pretty useful because of their neutral and natural sound presentation, especially, their crisp mid-range. Using this will help the vocal presentation be clean and prominent which is beneficial for digital streaming.
The semi-open back design makes it a good choice among audio enthusiasts or musicians who like to have the qualities of both open and closed-back headphones. This helps them keep a track of their work periodically. The sound reproduction from these headphones offers them a good mix of fuller yet natural sound with excellent detailing.
AKG K240 headphones are suitable for professionals who have just entered the industry or have a home-based not-so-high end studio set up that needs a budget-friendly yet efficient headphone addition. Casual users who are not bass heads and enjoy listening to a life-like sound with more detailing and less coloration can use this pair to enjoy their favorite tracks.
That said, let’s move on to the next section that will provide you with a detailed AKG K240 review including what kind of product this is, its quality, performance benefits, and drawbacks, AKG K240 frequency response, and more. Without further delay let’s get started…
AKG K240 Review: AKG K240 Frequency Response, Build Quality, Significant Features, Acoustic Performance, Pros, and Cons
AKG K240 headphones are a simple monitoring pair that is not overloaded with too many technologies yet packs some incredibly amazing and useful features that a sound engineer expects of a great pair of headphones. One of the well-established headphones, this one has been in the market for over 20 years now and is still holding strong. This sure gives you an idea of why K240 has been a top choice of several professionals and studios. In fact, many casual listeners like this pair of headphones for its pleasant sound signature- even though the flat frequency preference for music is much of an acquired taste.
Given that the price is so competitive, where you can pick up these headphones for just $118.00 from Amazon, let’s see what AKG K240 studio headphones hold in reserve for us.
AKG K240 Specs
|Over-ear (circumaural), Semi-open earcups
|9.8 inches, Detachable
|AKG K240 frequency response
|15 Hz to 25000 Hz
|AKG patented Varimotion single dynamic XXL drivers
|Max power output
|Passive noise isolation
|235 g (excluding cable)
|3.5mm stereo plug cable with, 6.3 mm screw-on adapter
|Replaceable ear pads
What Can You Expect in the Box?
The headphone isn’t accompanied by a huge pack of accessories but you will get the basic ones that are needed to connect it. You will get AKG K240 studio headphones, one 3.5 mm audio cable, one 6.3 mm screw adapter, and the user manual.
While the earpads are easy to replace, unfortunately, you do not get spare ones with this pack. However, there are many sellers who offer K240 replacement earpads that are available in various e-commerce portals like Amazon, Walmart, Sweetwater, etc. Here’s one from Amazon that has a great rating for quality.
AKG K240 Review: Design, Build, and Comfort
One of the significant benefits of buying headphones from this brand is that you can take your concern about the headphone’s durability off your head. Thanks to AKG’s quality standards, this headphone is quite hard-wearing and is made to last for years. So, the brand boasts of it being a one-time investment that will last for years when it comes to AKG K240 Studio headphones’ endurance. This claim from the brand is backed by several AKG K240 reviews from its users which clearly show that the company means what it says.
When it comes to the looks, the headphone will take you to the old world era giving you a nostalgic feeling if the retrograde aesthetics please you. The entire headphone is black with gold accents giving it a nice visual. Mostly made of plastic the headphone promises a lightweight design and superior comfort. Many people may question the K240’s studio handling capability because of the plastic construction. The fact is, even though there is hardly any sign of metal, the quality is a high class which will not easily get damaged or spoiled.
Can I Adjust Its Size?
The ear cups are held together with a suspended frame that goes above the head while reinforcing the headphone further. It also acts as the adjustment slider for the headband that helps you customize the size and fitting as per the size of your head. The frame also has two small accentuated discs that have “L” and “R” markings on each side to differentiate between the right and the left ear cup.
Coming to the headband, it is a flat flexible suspended strap that sits comfortably on the head without exerting excessive pressure on the head. Depending on the size of the head, the strap adjusts itself. The ear cups are round and large enough to go around the ears without hurting them. They are cushioned with soft pleather ear padding with memory foam stuffing inside, which offers a high level of comfort even for those who have bigger ears. While the entire design looks pretty big and bulky, the whole idea behind the all-plastic construction is to keep it extremely lightweight, and the company has succeeded in doing that.
One of the best things about AKG K240 Studio headphones is that it is glasses-friendly. This means that if you are someone who needs to wear glasses constantly, then these headphones will be easy to use with no pain at all. The clamping force of the headphone is low to moderate to accommodate long listening sessions.
Is the Headphone Breathable?
AKG K240 Studio headphones have semi-open back ear cups that avoid any kind of pressure or heat build-up. Other than that the headphone’s ear cups do not really create a tight seal because of the low clamping force so there are gaps from where the air can easily pass through. This setup increases the breathability of the earcups ensuring that you do not break into a sweat or feel uncomfortable during the warm days of the ear.
Can You Fold AKG K240 Studio Headphones to a Compact Form?
Sadly, the headphone doesn’t have a foldable design which means that even though it is lightweight, it occupies a significantly large space. Therefore, it is not a portable option at all that you can simply pack into the backpack and take it along anywhere you want to.
This strategic design of the headphone is meant to serve two specific purposes, and it does due diligence there – tough build to last long even in the most demanding studio environment along with prolonged use without a sign of discomfort. With long-term use, you may find the ear cups giving up or the cable getting worn out which is common with every headphone. The good news is, their replaceable design enables you to change them easily, and you can keep using the headphone without the need to invest in a new one. Saves you a lot of money right?
AKG K240 Review: Features
AKG K240 Studio headphones are straightforward with no high-fidelity features like active noise canceling, wireless option, or even waterproofing capability that you usually get in the high-end headphones. These are not the headphone’s focus area at all. K240 is made to focus on studio projects only so what it provides instead, in place of fancy features is a wired connection for excellent sound quality. Speaking of waterproofing, you might also want to check out our take on waterproof swimming headphones from here.
One of the prominent features of the headphone is that it comes with a detachable cable. Being able to remove the cable increases its durability by saving it from damage due to accidental pulls. The most that can happen is the cable will come off and you can plug it in again. It is also integrated on one side of the headphone for more convenient use so you do not have to deal with it coming in front of you or getting tangled in your fingers or the tools you are using.
Additionally, it connects to the headphone through the mini XLR, and to other audio interfaces like the guitar amp or to a speaker using the 1/4th inch cable adapter provided in the pack. This allows loss-free streaming of audio with superior clarity.
AKG K240 Review: Passive Noise Isolation
Noise isolation can be a crucial factor in your decision-making process about buying a headphone but it is also about your preference. Unfortunately, with K240, owing to their semi-back open design the passive noise isolation ability is mediocre. Although there is some amount of noise isolation and it isn’t as ventilating as the open-ear headphones are, there is quite a bit of outside noise coming in if you use them outdoors or in a noisy surrounding. This is definitely a major drawback with this kind of design.
Other than that, the poor sealing causes a lot of sound leakages so other people can overhear what you are listening to. The good thing is there is no cable noise or any kind of self-noise when you touch or move the headphone.
That said, these headphones aren’t really meant for outdoor use. AKG K240 Studio headphones, as mentioned in their name itself, are to be used in a studio setup for post-production sound editing.
AKG K240 Review: Sound Performance
The headphone has earned numerous positive AKG K240 reviews for its outstanding sonic capability which is near perfect for its price tag. The semi-open profile together with 30 mm extra-large transducer drivers engineered with Varimotion technology is the reason behind the headphones’ amazing sound signature. The sound is pretty much similar to that of its vintage predecessor K240 with no significant upgrade.
The AKG K240 frequency response of 15 Hz to 25 Hz with extension in the bass and treble enables the headset to reproduce the sound with solid precision. With 90 dB sound sensitivity, the AKG K240 Studio headphones can get decently loud even at the mid-volumes. The overall sound representation is neutral with no extra boost at any level.
From the design standpoint, both the ear cups have the exact same number of ventilation windows which ensures that the headphone has the same frequency response. This way you will not feel any variation in the audio output which in turn will help you achieve accurate mixing results. The diaphragm structure’s thin perimeter contributes to exceptionally detailed mid-range and upper levels with a balanced lower range. The mid-range deserves special mention and appreciation with vocals being amazingly clean and prominent and the instruments equally balanced, distinctive, and natural sounding.
Having a semi-open back offers a wider soundstage than any closed-back headphones and a more realistic representation. The placement of the elements is therefore excellent. This not only makes listening more pleasant but is also vital to get accurate results when you are mixing or monitoring sounds.
The only thing that many would notice is that the bass response is weak to an extent that many critical listeners may just feel that they do not exist at all. So in case you want to use these headphones for music, you may need to boost up the lower range for a better experience.
AKG K240 Review: Pros and Cons
AKG K240 Studio headphones come with a lot of advantages for the users but there are a few loopholes that you cannot afford to ignore. While they may not matter to some, these might be a deal-breaker for some buyers which is why it is important for you to know their downsides as well. Here’s a list of the pros and cons that have been made considering various AKG K240 reviews from different trustworthy portals:
- Ergonomic and lightweight design for comfortable all-day wear.
- Suspension style flexible headband for better fitting.
- High-quality construction.
- AKG K240 frequency response offers solid accuracy at all levels.
- Crisp and accurate sound with a natural representation.
- Excellent soundstage.
- Outstanding midrange response that separates vocals and instruments clearly for a lifelike listening.
- Earpads and cables can be replaced at any given time.
- Detachable, one-sided cable for easy usage.
- Clean loss-free sound reproduction.
- Backed by a 2-year warranty which indicates the manufacturer’s confidence in the headphones.
- Affordable pricing makes it open to a wider range of customers.
- Passive noise isolation is sub-par.
- The flat frequency presentation is good for studio projects but may not match everyone’s taste when it comes to other applications.
- The bass is extremely silent that making the lower range sound bland.
- The non-foldable design makes the headphone difficult to carry and store.
Why Is Comfort Important in Headphones? What Are Some of the Ways That You Can Improve Your Comfort Level When Using Headphones?
People use headphones for various reasons. While some people may just need to use them for not more than 30 minutes a day, some professionals who work in the studio, gaming enthusiasts, or others may need to wear their headphones for hours together. No matter what, one of the most crucial factors that they look for when buying a new one is the level of comfort the headphone has. If the headphones keep hurting your ears or make you uncomfortable, all the money that you invest in them is wasted! Even if you try to compromise just because you have already bought them, you should know that long-term use of improperly fitter headphones can cause serious issues including damage to the ears.
The headphones showcase different styles, features, build quality, and functionality but not every type suits everyone because humans also have unique shapes of the ears and head structure. This is why selecting the right pair as per your comfort is paramount. Having said that, here are a few factors that you need to take into consideration when buying a comfortable pair of headphones.
Selecting the Right Type of Headphones
It is absolutely essential to select the proper pair of headphones that suits your needs and keep your ears from being hurt at the same time. Headphones come in different types like over-ear, on-ear, and in-ear headphones and people have their own personal preference on which of these they want. But generally speaking, the over-ear options are usually more comfortable than the other types and safe too in case you require them to wear for the long listening sessions. You might want to check out what is NFC pairing from here.
The clamping force is how much pressure the ear cup applies to the ears, over the ears, or around the temple region of your face. Too much of this pressure can make you uncomfortable or cause ear fatigue, and too light of it can have the headphones slide off your head. While the only way you can test this is by physically trying it out, these days everyone makes purchases online. So check for the reviews online and see what the users speak of the headphones clamping force to get an idea if this will work for you.
Go for headphones that have soft and dense padding for better comfort. The fabric or the material of the ear pads also play an important role here. Ear padding that has velour material is breathable and softer, therefore, more comfortable than the other types of materials. They are not good at isolating the noise though. So if that is your priority as well, then you need to go for other materials.
Synthetic leather, on the other hand, is also one of the common materials used in-ear padding. They are good at isolating the noise passively but may produce heat when used for long hours of wearing, especially if the headphone is also completely enclosed.
Make sure that the headband is flexible and adjustable. This is important because the compression that the headband applies to the head may give you a headache. Having nice and thick padding on the headband makes it more comfortable and convenient.
Having swiveling or rotating ear cups helps you adjust headphones in a better way. This is also helpful when you need to do single-ear monitoring while mixing and mastering sound. Being able to rotate them gives you a break from wearing the headphone when you do not need to. It is often sometimes possible to adjust the clamping force a bit with movable ear cups by placing them up or down.
Size and Depth of the Ear Cup
This is applicable mainly when you use over-ear-style headphones. Everyone has unique ear anatomy and while some have smaller ears, some people are born with a larger one. Thankfully, you get a lot of aftermarket ear padding with different depths so you can choose according to your comfort. There are headphones that come with really large ear cups, and in different shapes like round, elongated, or hexagonal which also helps in getting what fits you the most.
Use the following tips to make your existing headphones more comfortable –
- Do not rush when wearing your headphones. Wear it slowly and place it the right way before getting started with your work.
- If your ear cups get too hot while using, take breaks in between and let the heat vent out before you wear them again. Alternatively, you can also change the fabric to a breathable one like velour.
- The same goes with the headbands as well. If you feel a need for some extra padding on your headband, there are separate padding available online that will offer additional cushioning.
- If you have already got the headphone and feel that it is too tight on the sides, you can keep the headphone stretched between a pile of books for some time every day. This will loosen it up a bit. Also do not forget to check the return or replacement options before buying, in case you need to do so later.
- If you are bespectacled, not all over-ear headphones may be comfortable for you. If you are in that situation where the headphone presses against the glasses’ frame too tightly, you may want to carve a path along the ear cups to make the frames sit properly instead of exerting pressure.
AKG K240 studio headphones are an affordable workhorse that is designed with a straightforward purpose- mixing and mastering. You will find all the basic attributes in this pair of cans that one requires in order to fulfill this and at great pricing. There are no premium features and AKG doesn’t intend to provide or promise any of it through these, which is one of the best things that people like about K240- does what it is meant to do. You might also want to check out our other review from here: AKG C214 review
While the headphones are great for a home studio or medium-level production projects, you can enjoy listening to different kinds of music genres with these as well. Of course, if you are not a huge fan of heavy bass, only then. But do remember that, they aren’t really meant for outdoor use; so if you need something that you can use on the go, this isn’t the one. No matter what, AKG K240 stands out as a clear winner when it comes to sound, comfort, and design which makes them one of the best in the industry today in its price category.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
Yes, the headphones are a great value for money if you are looking for a headphone that can purely get your studio job done, and you are fine with the kind of flat frequency response that it has. At $118, you will be hard-pressed to find a pair of cans that can offer such a pro-level soundscape for professional use.
No, K240 Studio headphones can be connected by wire only, and they do not have a wireless connectivity option at all. In case you are looking for wireless headphones, there are quite a few that the brand offers one of which is AKG 371BT.
Yes, absolutely. You can easily replace the earpads of these headphones. While the accompanying accessories do not include spare earpads, you will easily get them online on websites like Amazon or Walmart.