Welcome to my review of the AKG K182 headphones. These are part of AKG’s pro line of headphones that are designed to be a budget friendly option for anyone interested in a pair of studio headphones they can use for things like mixing or monitoring.
And while these do an excellent job in this regard, there are some applications where these aren’t the ideal choice such as using these casually for more portable use or for longer listening sessions, which I’ll cover in this review as well.
Now currently these cost just under $100, but you can click below to see the current lowest price.
Included with these headphones is a 3m long cable, a carrying pouch and a ¼” gold plated adapter. The detachable cable is a nice quality cable, that’s fairly memory free but while the length is great for studio use, it’s not as ideal for portable use as the extra length can get in the way.
Also, I found the gold-plated straight jack is difficult to make a solid connection with an iphone. Even when the case isn’t getting in the way, I still had to fiddle with it just about every time to get a good connection. And then I had to be careful that nothing moved like the phone or cable to disrupt the connection. Now connection to a computer or other audio source was fine, so it’s something to keep in mind if you’re intending to use this with your iPhone.
DESIGN & BUILD QUALITY
The K182 has a nice clean look and design. It’s a larger sized headphone that easily fits over your ears. It’s a mostly hardened plastic build that has just a touch of aluminum around the earcups.
The earcups have plenty of horizontal pivot as they can lay flat and fold inwards which is a great feature for portable use or to just be able to get a more comfortable fit. The synthetic leather earpads are soft, thick and feel very comfortable. You will get some heat build up and they can get sweaty if you’re using these for longer listening sessions or in a warmer climate.
When you put these on, they have a solid and firm clamp but not so much so that it causes any discomfort. The benefit is you get a nice seal and you can move your head all around without these falling off.
The earpads are very comfortable so there isn’t any discomfort around the ears or jaw line. There’s also enough room inside the earcups so that you don’t feel like you’re ears are being squished at all.
The headband unfortunately has just a small bit of padding underneath. And so, I found it starts to get pretty uncomfortable on the top of your head, underneath the headband. I started to notice this about 30 minutes after wearing these and then after about an hour, I definitely needed to give my head a break.
Now if you don’t get hot spots or discomfort on the top of your head from wearing headphones, then these probably won’t be a problem either, because initially, they’re very comfortable feeling to wear. But otherwise that’s something you’ll want to keep in mind if you’d like to be able to comfortably wear these for several hours at a time.
Then regarding sound quality, the K182 really delivers. Overall, the sound signature is fairly neutral with a slight emphasis in the bass and treble region.
There’s a nice kick in the mid-bass and although the bass comes across as the most noticeable part of the sound signature, it’s not overpowering either. So while there’s certainly enough bass for more contemporary genres of music like EDM and so forth, it’s not too much so that it gets in the way of the other frequencies. It would be nice if the bass were a little tighter and cleaner, but it’s still a relatively clean presentation.
Regarding the mids, they’re the most neutral aspect of the overall sound. And in this regard, vocals fall back just a bit compared to the bass and treble which are slightly more forward sounding. But there’s good detail and clarity to the mids, with vocals and guitars all sounding quite natural.
Then moving up to the treble, you get a slightly elevated lower treble which brings a bit of extra clarity and energy to the listening experience. And this is actually quite helpful when using these for monitoring as you’ll have an easier time locating any harsh sounding frequencies. However, there isn’t much treble extension, which does lead to a slightly compressed sound, but you also don’t have any problems with sibilance or listening fatigue.
So even though the K182 is a fairly neutral headphone, it’s still a musical and fun sounding headphone that sounds great with all genres, but contemporary genres in particular have a nice impactful response to them. And while the tuning works great for casual listening, it also lends itself really well towards monitoring.
Now even though the K182 is a solid choice, especially when you’re using them for what they’re designed for, here’s a few things to keep in mind to help decide if you might want to go with something else. .
First, if you’re planning on using these as a portable headphone, say to use with your smartphone. Then you may prefer a headphone that includes a shorter cable, designed for this purpose. While the included cable is detachable and a nice quality cable, the additional length that’s helpful for studio use, can be annoying when you’re trying to use these headphones on the go with your smartphone or other portable digital player.
On a similar note, if you’re planning on using these with an iPhone, you’ll probably find it difficult to get a solid connection. So while it’s no problem connecting these AKG headphones to something like your computer, amplifier or other audio source, trying to connect to an iPhone can be consistently problematic.
And finally, if you’re planning on wearing these for hours at a time or if you’re sensitive to getting hotspots on the top of your head from wearing headphones, then may want to go with a headphone that has a more comfortable headband and better weight distribution for the top of your head. While these are very comfortable to wear initially, they can get uncomfortable underneath the headband after about 60 minutes of use.
But otherwise, if you don’t think the comfort will be an issue and if you’re using these headphones for what they’re designed for, then these are a very nice choice. Because as a studio headphone, they’re excellent.
And in particular, if you’re doing any monitoring that includes synthesizers or electronic drums, then that’s where these truly excel. And with the slight emphasis in the bass and treble frequencies, these are also a fun and musical headphone that also works great for casual listening.