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Old 04-30-2010, 04:00 AM
Pierre Pierre is offline
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Luxembourg
Posts: 240
Default Got my first pair of portables: AKG 518DJs. First impressions.

Well I've been using IEMs for the past year and Senns PMX200 before that (though I don't remember much of them, except that I thought the PMX100 sounded a bit better).

I've been using them to listen to my Sony A729 (MP3s only) without amp.

First impression was that it's well built and looks stealthy? Dunno. Well it's black. Very black. With a bit of metal showing on the headband.

The top of the headband isn't padded, so it adds an uncomfortable pressure point at the top of your head. It could have done with a light padding there...


The headband doesn't stretch a lot, so people with big heads may have issues getting these around.

The cable is of decent quality. There's a sturdy cable guide on it. Not much to say there. It's so nice not to have microphonics!
The plug doesn't feel very inspiring. It's straight, thin, but for now sturdy. But I've seen pics of the K81/518s on here with a different, much sturdier looking plug so I'm guessing they put a different one on EU or more recent models?
Ah yeah, cable is way too long. They should have included a velcro pad on it to quickly coil it, but instead I had to use the small cable tie that came in the package.

The earphones aren't that comfortable for but now, they'll be fine. The cups are well padded and feel nice, though warm up very quickly. I doubt I'd wear these for a few hours at a time like I do my Sennheiser CX500s.

Sound quality... well since I'm new to headphones in general (I don't count Sennheiser HD202... most uncomfortable, over bassy, horrible sounding things I ever had) I didn't quite know what to expect.
I did get A LOT of bass. Holy crap batman. Scary stuff in there, seriously. I re-EQed my player without any Clearbass and keeping the bass EQ sliders at neutral and it's better but... wow. Bass is clear enough in itself

but (there's always a but)

I've only got about two or three hours in them and they feel a little 'veiled' in the lower mids especially. So with the huge bass, some songs feel a little muddy.
Busy metal like Blind Guardian feel a little drowned, though clarity in general is better than I would have expected (I paid less than 50 euros for them brand new so I guess I didn't have such high expectations either )

So they're good, and I'm guessing would be just fine if used... as a DJ phone. But it's definitely not for critical listening or so.
However I like them. They're cheap, well built, and sound 'fun' (though I do want less bass). I'm hoping they'll open up a bit with burn in but we'll see. Soundstage is good but I was expecting better. Then again these are portables...
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