AKG N5005

High-End In-Ears with Interchangeable Audio Filters

AKG introduce a new top model to their assortment with the N5005, with the name instantly establishing these in-ears rank ahead of previous models like the K3003i, N40 and N20. Of course, we’ve put them to the test to see how they score in terms of sound and function.

Anyone with a budget of a thousand euros to spend on in-ears should first ask themselves what they’re listening demands are. Most likely, you’re listening to music via headphones, even at home. We’re a society constantly on the move, so money that was once spent on floor-standing loudspeakers is now being invested in technology inserted into the ear canal.

With the N5005, you get a lot for your money, at least as far as technical specs are concerned. Inside, there are five drivers: a dynamic 9.2 mm driver and four so-called “Balanced Armature” drivers, which together cover a frequency response of 10 Hz to 40 kHz. An additional highlight is that there are four interchangeable sound filters (bass boost, reference sound, mid-high boost and high boost) with which the frequency response can be adapted to personal preferences. Last but not least, in addition to a more-than-extensive range of earpieces and connection cables, the N5005 also comes with a special cable that has an integrated Bluetooth receiver, so you can use the N5005 either wired or wirelessly.

What’s Included?

The contents of the oversized packaging are, as expected, extensive. In addition to the Bluetooth cable and sound filters previously mentioned, there is also a connection cable with 2.5 mm and 3.5 mm plugs. The cable itself is also noteworthy for its individual strands which are double braided. A total of seven pairs of earmolds provide the perfect fit for almost every ear, with four pairs of silicone earmolds ranging in size from XS to L and a further three pairs in a patented “Spin Fit” design which can be rotated within the ear. A plane adapter, a cleaning tool and a rather chic case with “invisible” zip are also included. I would like to have seen a mini to standard jack adapter included along with this wealth of accessories, but this is not the case. A further highlight is that a metal badge with engraved serial number is also included with the packaging.

Handling

If you have decided on a cable, you then need to connect it to the receivers. The MMCX (Micro-Miniature Coaxial) connector is used for this purpose. Even though it is identical in construction to the N40, for example, the cable and receiver cannot be exchanged, as the dimensions vary slightly. It’s also not possible to turn the N40 into a wireless headset purely by purchasing a Bluetooth adapter. Beyond these differences, things are almost identical. The cable of the N5005 is also placed over the ear and then led downwards behind the earlobe. On the cable itself, there is a hands-free and medial control unit underneath the left earpiece, integrated into the cable. With a switch, you can choose between Android and iOS control and then operate the following functions: louder/quieter, call acceptance, title forward/backward, pause. The Bluetooth receiver is also capable of these functions, but also offers the option of activating Siri/Google voice control. I was pleasantly surprised by the range, which unusually even went through two room walls and loosely reached 10 metres with a direct line of sight in the open field. The speech quality was fine, but below that of the internal speaker of the Samsung S6. This is strange considering that the quality of the music transmission was excellent.

Sound

The effectiveness of the sound filters is astonishing in clarity, with the tonal balance of the N5005 able to be changed by unscrewing the tiny filters, a feature I haven’t experienced before with in-ears that also have filters. That speaks for the exhaustive sound resources that AKG provides. Because the filters can, in principle, only let through and lower what is there. In fact, the mid-high and high-boost filters, in particular, provide a clear increase in presence in the mid-range and treble, with the high-boost filter acting a little too sharply for me. If you find this appealing, you have probably already lost a good part of your hearing function above 12 kHz. The reference sound and bass boost filters are different. Here the N5005 shows how it can sound in the best instances and that’s fantastic. Because the in-ear manages to sound both neutral and balanced at the same time, the sound is vivid and lively. This is exactly the kind of electro-acoustic magic that also distinguishes good studio monitors. This is to enable hours of listening with a largely neutral frequency response (which in principle sounds rather boring) without becoming tiring, but at the same time remains present and agile so that no sound detail escapes you. While the Reference Sound filter is rather brash and powerful, the Bass Boost filter has a pleasant counterweight at the bottom, which makes it a favourite in the filter assortment. Also worth mentioning is the good passive external noise shielding. Once you’ve chosen the right earmolds, a great deal of external noise is removed.

Numinos
2 years ago by Numinos
  • Rating: 4.38
  • Sound
  • Handling
  • Price/Quality
  • Function

I’ll put it this way: if you’re flying business class and urgently need a pair of excellent headphones and you have the budget to spare, the AKG N5005 is the right choice for you. The extensive range of accessories should provide everything you need to adapt it to your needs immediately and flexibly, both in terms of the fit and personal sound preference. Even non-business travellers will find that these AKG in-ears meet the highest sound standards. Whether or not these are worth a thousand euros in your mind is a question every user needs to ask for themselves. In my opinion, the asking price of the AKG N5005 is totally fair when compared to the scope of delivery and function.

Measurement Results

Frequency response:

More measurement results

Technical specifications

  • Ear couplingIn-ear
  • Typeclosed
  • Transducer principle5 Wege: 1x dynamic, 4x Balanced Armature
  • Frequency response (headphones)10 - 40.000 Hz
  • Impedance17,55 ohms
  • Sound pressure level (SPL)109,05 dB
  • Weight without cable11,4 g
  • Cable length115 cm

What's in the box

  • 4 pairs of ear-tips (XS, S, M, L)
  • 3 pairs of spintfit ear-tips
  • 4 exchangeable sound filters for customizable audio
  • detachable twist cable with 3 button remote
  • detachable balanced twist cable (2.5 mm)
  • Bluetooth cable
  • USB charging cable
  • Flight adapter
  • Cleaning brush
  • Travel case

Special features

  • 4 exchangeable sound filters for customizable audio
  • Bluetooth cable
  • Bluetooth version: 4.1
  • Bluetooth profiles: A2DP V1.2, AVRCP V1.4, HFP V1.6, HSP V1.2

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