Before you even open the box, the bright, taxi cab yellow paint and large "AKG" logo send a strong message to anyone around you: these are loud in more ways than one. You won't need to check your credit score to buy these either. At $135.94 (£79, AU$144), you'll have more scratch to spend on your Ableton Live License.
The Y50's are just the next iteration of AKG's colorful lifestyle headphones, aimed toward the audiophile on the go. If you like the loud appearance, then I'm sure you will enjoy the booming sound and impressive audio quality from these on-ear headphones.
They're perfect for any entry-level DJ, too. Offering a 3.5-6.3mm headphone adapter, you'll be able to unplug from your smart device and go right into your mixer or home studio.
The studio-quality range also gives you the ease of mind that your premix will be accurate to what's going to come out of the speakers when you're playing your next show at your cousin's wedding.
I've never been a fan of on-ear headphone sets. Nine times out of 10, they feel claustrophobic and restrictive. The Y50, however, aren't like most on-ear headphones. It has a quite comfortable, leather-covered memory foam cushion, that put very little strain or unwanted pressure on my ears. The only bit of unwanted pressure I felt was from the headband, which lacked the same level of padding as the earpieces. After having the headphones on for a few hours, I noticed a bit of strain on the top of my head, which required me to take them off.
Another issue I had with the Y50's, was their inability to collapse and fold smaller than the span of the headband, making them difficult to travel with unless they're worn around your neck. The standard adjustable band helps you lock in a solid fit, while the "3D Axis Folding mechanism" hugs your ears and provides a comfortable seal.
First up on the playlist is a punchy, deep bass, rap song by A$AP Rocky. I could feel the bass, though it wasn't overwhelming. The treble and vocals clipped a little bit throughout the song. For the most part they are still crystal clear and provide an expansive range, though.
The next song is a singer songwriter, a selection that's softer on the bass and focuses heavily on the treble and mid-tones of the acoustic guitar and vocals. The closed back of the Y50 provides some passive noise cancellation, reducing all surrounding noise in a hectic office.
The noise reduction was so effective, I even started to notice sounds on this album I haven't heard before, like the musician breathing between verses and the chirping of crickets in the background on the track. With solid power and clarity, the AKG Y50 outperformed my initial expectations.
Compared to the Beats Studio Wireless headset the AKG Y50's offer a strong sound for a fraction of the price – $136 (about £80, AU$145) for the Y50's compared to $379 (about £222, AU$404) for the Beats. The Beats Studio Wireless are definitely a much more immersive audio experience, with an over-ear style and active noise canceling, compared to the AKG Y50's weak passive noise cancellation. But for nearly a quarter of the price, the Y50's aren't a bad alternative if you're on a budget.
Out of the box, the AKG Y50's come with a detachable 2.5 to 3.5mm headset jack, which includes a universal remote for any of your smart devices. The Y50's also come with a 3.5 to 6.3mm adapter for those who are aspiring basement DJ's or want to use these headphones with a wider range of professional audio equipment. AKG also provides a sleek, black neoprene travel bag, so you don't scuff up your colorful head candy.
The AKG Y50's boast a surprisingly clean sound for a moderate price. They come in a variety of color options to fit anyone's lifestyle, and provide a taste of the professional audio sound without having to pay the full studio price. If you can afford higher-end headphones, your money is better spent somewhere else. But, if you can't pony up $400 at the drop of a hat, the AKG Y50s are about as good as you're going to get.