AKG’s wireless on-ears Y500 have powerful performance, are equipped with a fast charging, very durable lithium polymer battery and support multipoint connections that can seamlessly be switched between two devices. A 3-button remote with integrated microphone is used for control, while the Ambient Aware function can be used to enhance environmental awareness.
The compact headphones have tilting, swivelling and folding shells, making them space-saving to transport and flexible to adapt. Since the fit is quite loose and the contact pressure is low, these on-ears are also suitable for pressure-sensitive people. The robust mixture of aluminium and plastic weighs in at 220 grams, and this is noticeable when wearing for longer periods of time. For those with narrower heads, the fit is loose which might be a disadvantage, especially on the move, as the headphones can slip off if you make fast or jerky movements.
The manufacturer advertises the battery life of the model as up to 33 hours, and this is achieved in practice. Despite the higher output, the battery actually lasted 40 hours, which is an extremely good result. If the reserves become exhausted, the quick-charge function can be used and after just five minutes of charging it provides a capacity of more than two hours. A full charge with the included USB cable is possible in less than two hours. Alternatively, you can use them wired, as the headphones are equipped with a 2.5 mm audio input. In my opinion, a standard 3.5 mm connection would be more practical and make it easier to change the cable, but the accessories do include a corresponding 2.5 mm to 3.5 mm jack cable, which has a 1-button remote and an integrated microphone.
These on-ears, which support Bluetooth standard 4.2, turn on with a sliding switch on the right side of the headphones; this can also be used for pairing. In combination with various Android and iOS devices, stable ranges of more than ten metres were achieved. If there is a radio connection, the left-hand remote button can be used to start and stop playback, and to answer and end telephone calls, while a sliding button is available for volume control. This can also be used for title selection by holding it in the plus position to jump forward and in the minus position to jump back. Supported language assistants such as Siri or Google Now, on the other hand, can be called up by double-clicking on the button. The control works flawlessly and the speech intelligibility when making telephone calls is also positive, with clear reception on both sides. Seamless switching with multipoint connections is also a good feature, you can switch between a smartphone and tablet at any time when both devices are paired simultaneously and playback is stopped. Since incoming calls are given priority, you can’t miss them even while using your tablet.
In addition to the remote, the Y500 also features sensor-controlled playback with automatic play/stop, which responds reliably and saves battery capacity. If you do not want playback to pause when the handset is put down, you can deactivate the function by holding down the Remote and Ambient Aware buttons simultaneously. However, the automatic playback control is activated again the next time the headphones are switched on, and cannot be switched off permanently.
These Bluetooth headphones have an extended frequency response of 16 to 22,000 Hertz, which is also noticeable in the basses; these are quite deep, rich and represent a formidable bass. In the low-frequency range particularly, there is a lack of precision and the acceleration lacks impulsivity. While vocals and lead-instruments are presented in an appealing way by the mids, the present treble drops noticeably, which is astonishing in view of the spectrum of images offered. The overall sound image appears neither bright nor dark, but there is a soft, slightly warm character and the sound is powerful, especially since the headphones have quite high output with good reserves. Although the AAC format supports a high-quality codec, the sound quality doesn’t completely convince me, as a certain fogging is noticeable, so that the contours of the individual instruments are not clearly discernible. The Y500’s strengths do not lie in their finesse, but rather in their solid, assertive sound.
Ambient Aware Technology
The Ambient Aware mode, which can be (de-) activated at the touch of a button, makes it possible to remove the existing shielding from the outside world by significantly reducing playback and making the environment perceivable. This technology allows you to react selectively to a situation without having to take off the headphones. The playback level is too low for long-term use, since in a noisy environment such as public transport, it is no longer possible to listen to music.
People who prefer loose-fitting headphones will benefit from AKG’s Y500’s impressive battery life, good microphone quality and seamless switching between two paired devices. The remote control of these foldable Bluetooth headphones has good functionality and the Ambient Aware mode offers a situational option for external perception. In terms of sound, the Y500 turns out to be a powerhouse with energetic sound, but more precision with clearer contours would have made them even better.
Measurement ResultsMore measurement results
- Ear couplingOn-ear
- Transducer principledynamic
- Frequency response (headphones)16 - 22.000 Hz
- Impedance34 ohms
- Sound pressure level (SPL)98,45 dB
- Pressure averaged from big and small head404 g
- Weight with cable220 g
- Weight without cable230 g
- Cable length120 cm
What's in the box
- Audio cable with 1-button remote and integrated microphone
- USB charging cable
- Carrying pouch
- BT codecs: AAC, SBC
- BT version: 4.2
- BT profiles: HFP V1.6, A2DP V1.3, AVRCP V1.5