The K175 serves as the entry-level option in AKG’s newly unveiled studio headphone series, alongside other models including the K245 and the K275. These closed studio headphones are particularly well suited to monitoring applications, both in the studio and in live situations. What’s more, a low impedance of 32 Ohm ensures convincing sound performance when used with mobile devices. Finally, the folding design ensures these headphones travel well.
Portability is further enhanced by a detachable connection cable (mini jack to mini DIN), allowing the headphones be folded and stored discreetly in the supplied bag. From a technical standpoint, things seem promising. There are two 40 millimetre drivers providing a full frequency response range from 18 to 26 kHz, with a sensitivity level of 114 dB.
The K175 makes an instant aesthetic impression after unpacking. It’s truly a beautiful looking piece of hardware. It’s not just the elegant shape and contours that strike the right note, but the material choice and functionality of the headphones also impress. In keeping with tradition, AKG showcases its signatures with the fixed-length headband. Unlike other manufacturers, size adjustment is achieved by gliding the headband along metal elements. The folding joints of the headphones are also magnetic, which certainly makes life easier. What’s unusual here is that the vertical point of rotation is located at the rear of the earpieces, rather than the folding joints. Again, these elements are made of metal which feels fantastic to the touch. These headphones, thanks to their highly functional flexibility, are ideal for use in the DJ booth.
Even though closed, on-ear headphones tend to be less comfortable than other options due to their design, I have to commend the K175 for comfort levels. The headband lies comfortably over the skull, while the earpieces sit snugly over the ears and provide adequate shielding. When worn for longer periods, however, they become somewhat noticeable and deliver a slight degree of pressure.
Do the K175 sound as good as they look? In my experience, the answer is a resounding yes. Basically, these headphones do their job as far as covering sound across the entire audible spectrum is concerned. There’s slightly less attention paid to bass than there is to treble. This is quite surprising, as AKG has conventionally focused more on the highs when it comes to tonal balancing. However, since the X67 series, the engineers from the manufacturer seem to be focusing more on the lower end. Compared to competitor models from the likes of Phonon and Beyerdynamic, the slightly low treble becomes very clear, resulting in a narrower sound. What’s more, the mids tend to push themselves rather forcefully into the foreground, affecting the overall sound quality. The K175 takes a rather calm and restrained approach to transient reproduction, combining lively character with calm composure. As monitoring headphones used in noisy environments, this is not necessarily a bad thing, as long sessions that are rich in high frequencies and detail can cause fatigue and be exhausting for the ears. However, I wouldn’t call the K175 a studio monitor on the go, as the advertising copy claims.
The AKG K175 is appealing to both the eye and to the touch, serving as a high-quality headphone that’s also incredibly easy to travel with. Sound is satisfying, reproducing music across the entire acoustic range. However, when it comes to linearity and frequency response, things are somewhat lacking and underwhelming. These headphones lack the required transparency and responsiveness, falling short of several other competitor models available within this price range.
Measurement ResultsMore measurement results
- Ear couplingOn-ear
- Transducer principledynamic
- Frequency response (headphones)18 - 26.000 Hz
- Impedance42,1 ohms
- Sound pressure level (SPL)100,09 dB
- Pressure averaged from big and small head602,5 g
- Weight with cable311 g
- Weight without cable247 g
- Cable length500 cm
What's in the box
- Coiled cable (5m)
- Carrying pouch