AKG K553 Pro

Discussion in 'Headphone Measurements' started by ultrabike, May 30, 2016.

  1. ultrabike

    ultrabike Measurbator - Admin

    Staff Member Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2015
    Likes Received:
    6,958
    Dislikes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Irvine CA
    I believe these are among the current AKG offerings targeting Pro audio and the general public. Lite in weight, sturdy, and with swivel cups these seem well designed and good looking while retaining the AKG style. These are close sealed cans, as expected from a Pro audio headphone.

    One difference between these and the K501s is that the K553 do not require tons of power to drive, which means they will not suck the life out of your phone or portable player.

    Again, these are very nice looking cans. Batman and Catwoman (or The Cat or whatever) would definitively wear these.

    [​IMG]

    So these are a bit lively, but surprisingly open for a closed can. Bass is not lean (like the K501 sounded to me), nor over done. Just right. Mids are pretty well done as well. These are IMO among the best closed dynamic cans I've heard. The cup area is smaller than with the K501s, so having big ears may be problematic for some. That said, I find them pretty comfy and love how they sound. I'm kind of surprised. AKG pulled IMO a great set of cans here.

    Anyhow. They go for $200, which IMO is a little high, but not too bad. The ATH M50x go for $150 or so (sometimes less), but I do like the K553s better. Measurements:

    Frequency Response:

    K553_fr.png

    Distortion Right

    K553_dist_right.png

    Distortion Left

    K553_dist_left.png

    CSD Right

    K553_csd_right.png

    CSD Left

    K553_csd_left.png
     
    JBoogie, Deep Funk and sah like this.
  2. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

    Friend Contributor
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    3,019
    Dislikes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Winnipeg
    Do you happen to have measurements of the K550/551 to compare against? I also seem to recall the 550 having rather large production variances, so I'm hoping that's been tightened up with the 553.
     
    JBoogie likes this.
  3. ultrabike

    ultrabike Measurbator - Admin

    Staff Member Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2015
    Likes Received:
    6,958
    Dislikes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Irvine CA
    Unfortunately I don't have measurements on those. Here are some K501 vs K553 measurements though.

    K553_v_K501.png

    Again, these are definitively lively, and are not perfect. But pretty good IMO.

    There may be some variations. But I haven't heard/measure enough of these to say.
     
    Deep Funk likes this.
  4. Dreyka

    Dreyka Acquaintance

    Banned
    Joined:
    May 5, 2016
    Likes Received:
    38
    Dislikes Received:
    22
    Trophy Points:
    18
  5. MF_Kitten

    MF_Kitten Almost "Made"

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2016
    Likes Received:
    123
    Dislikes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    43
    I believe the only changes are a slight treble tweak somewhere, and a readjusted bass (more sub lows).
     
  6. AStupidHippo

    AStupidHippo Rando

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2016
    Likes Received:
    0
    Dislikes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    6
    How hard are these to drive? Will they work well without a dac/amp?
     
  7. Deep Funk

    Deep Funk Deep thoughts - Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    6,191
    Dislikes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Below the North Sea, close to Amsterdam
    Home Page:
    I might put these on my short list...
     
  8. ultrabike

    ultrabike Measurbator - Admin

    Staff Member Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2015
    Likes Received:
    6,958
    Dislikes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Irvine CA
    They should work w/o an amp right of a smart phone.
     
    AStupidHippo likes this.
  9. tyan

    tyan Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2015
    Likes Received:
    7
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    Norway
    I use a pair of K551's for DAW work, but one gripe I have with them (and I see that hasn't changed on the 553) is the thin headband polstering. It tends to leave a dent in my head. Ofcourse my head isn't covered by much hair. o_O It does soften a bit after a while...
     
  10. JBoogie

    JBoogie Rando

    Joined:
    May 31, 2016
    Likes Received:
    11
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    3
    K55x are all easy to drive out of portable devices. I am one of the lucky ones that has never had any issues with the seal, Love this akg line! if you do have issues with seal you can tweak the pads to change fit,they are really easy to remove/reinstall. once you pull off the pad, roll the lip that held it on the ring up over the hard plastic ring. Once rolled over the plastic ring the foam is exposed, you can add bit of cotton to the foam(top side that makes contact with face) to make it more rounded.

    If you dont have nice seal you miss all the sub bass, my fav part of the sound sig
     
    AStupidHippo likes this.
  11. MF_Kitten

    MF_Kitten Almost "Made"

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2016
    Likes Received:
    123
    Dislikes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    43
    They really do sound good. Pad changes all mess it up though, as ONLY the stock pads will be able to keep the low end. It's kinda like the t50rp in that regard, where the distance from the driver messes up the tone.
     
  12. donunus

    donunus Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2015
    Likes Received:
    122
    Dislikes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Philippines
    I wonder if anyone has compared the k553 mk2 to these.
     
  13. Deep Funk

    Deep Funk Deep thoughts - Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    6,191
    Dislikes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Below the North Sea, close to Amsterdam
    Home Page:
    After Changstar the popularity of the AKG K55x-line waned. Some people here might have a version of this headphone but there have hardly been any updates.

    Do you have a version of this AKG headphone? If so, does it sound good?
     
  14. donunus

    donunus Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2015
    Likes Received:
    122
    Dislikes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Philippines
    I've tried a k553 at an audio show and I actually thought it was better than some 800 dollar beyers :D It was a quick listen but still at least I enjoyed my time with them over many other cans plugged into the same amp whatever it was.
     
    zobel likes this.
  15. donunus

    donunus Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2015
    Likes Received:
    122
    Dislikes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Philippines
    Are there any other cans under 1000 dollars these days with this type of bass extension combined with the openness of the sound here that may be great for classical music listening? Hopefully something easy to drive since I will mostly be using these with my ipad pro when I'm going around places. I use the ipad pro for the occasional photo editing when I am out and about taking photos.

    Looks like I may have to get a pair of these or the new one (mkii) with the removable cable.
     
  16. sacredgates

    sacredgates Audio-Technica's high priest

    Contributor
    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2015
    Likes Received:
    208
    Dislikes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Black Forest Germany
    Home Page:
    I´ve got the 550 which I got really cheap like 80€ open box offer few years ago. They are banned now for TV use only. It is not a bad headphone, but they seem to have something a little artificial regarding timbre, it is kind of a bit pasticky if that makes sense... It keeps me from using them for serious music listening. Maybe the K553 is better in that regard?
     
  17. donunus

    donunus Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2015
    Likes Received:
    122
    Dislikes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Philippines
    I read somewhere that the k553 is a little different than the k550 in that it has 3db or so more bass and a more focused midrange with less peaks all the way to the highs.
     
    zobel likes this.
  18. Lyer25

    Lyer25 Too sensitive for SBAF

    Friend
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2017
    Likes Received:
    2,025
    Dislikes Received:
    21
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Pasig, Philippines
    I had a K550 I got as a trade in (plus cash) for my old K242HDs from a local dealer after the latter kept dying (headband and drivers). Thought it was a pretty good upgrade, but this was back in 2012 or 2013 when all I had to drive em was a Fiio porta-amp.

    The bass was nowhere near what ultrabike measured, I felt it was more in line with the mids and had okay extension. I'm not too treble sensitive so the slight zing didn't bother me (unit to unit variation meant it's likely I got lucky on the draw). Headspace was surprising from a closed can, and the imaging made it great for larger orchestra and video games.

    I kept it on as a gaming can for a few years after I moved on to the DT880 for music, until the AKGs eventually gave up the ghost and had to be scrapped.

    If the K553s sound anything like the measurements they might be a bit fatiguing to me at higher volumes.
     
  19. Deep Funk

    Deep Funk Deep thoughts - Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    6,191
    Dislikes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Below the North Sea, close to Amsterdam
    Home Page:
    Try a Brainwavz HM5 or a good Beyerdynamic DT1350 (yes good ones are amazing). Consider these alternatives especially since both of these headphones have a good enough midrange to work with instrumental music and sub-bass that works with Trance, Funk and Classical.

    The HM5 has an extra advantage with detachable cable options and many ear pad versions for the sound you like.
     
  20. donunus

    donunus Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2015
    Likes Received:
    122
    Dislikes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Philippines
    I tried the HM5's Russian twin, forgot the model now and it was a little plasticky and shouty in the upper mids.
     
    zobel likes this.

Share This Page