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Jomox 9th January 2012 12:43 AM

AKG K240 Studio MKII
I've been using one of the latest versions of the K240 Studio MKII for a little while now (55 ohm version with gold highlights) I find them to be good for reference checking and they do a pretty good job of putting mixes together also.

Overall I find their sound to be quite flat and neutral, there's no hype anywhere in the spectrum everything is just nicely balanced. Their sound is a little dull due to how flat they sound, some people very much like this, others not. But due to their laid back sort of sound with quite flat response I can use them for hours on end at quite high output levels and get no fatigue at all.

They are quite detailed overall, I can hear most flaw's in mixes, but I find it a bit hard to detect all clicking with these, these clicks are often not heard very well or at all on these, which you can clearly hear on a decent set of monitors or more detailed headphones. The sound stage and stereo imaging is excellent though.

I'd say the mid range lacks a bit detail and it's hard to use these to check for harsh mid range frequencies, this being the case across the spectrum, they are quite detail as said above but they don't present everything perfectly such as more detailed headphones do.

The build quality is overall good, they can seem a little flimsy but they are solid and they are extremely comfy to wear, you can wear them for hours, you don't get any sweat from these after long use.

After getting use to how they present things I've actually done a couple of good mixes with them, to find I only need to do minor tweaks on the monitors to fix some things.

I am only powering them by the EMU 1820m headphone amp, which is not high end, it lacks a bit of low end and overall output, though it is quite clean, but a higher end headphone amp can give a different view on these headphones.

If you want bass, mid or top heavy headphones with an aggressive sound and extreme detail these are not for you, but if you're after a set of headphones with a quite flat response, laid back sound that are very comfy and give no fatigue at all then you may well get on with the K240S MKII.

Quick edit in response to the 3rd view. It's quite confusing with the models but the qold plated version I have is a MK II Studio version. The box clearly says MKII Studio and with the gold highlighted version on the box. These are the ones made in Austria, I believe the others are made in China and are suppose to be of lesser quality. If you get the ones made in Austria you get much better build quality and I think sound also which would explain why peoples experiences with these differ as we are using different versions of them. (These have been around for years so there have been a few different updates)

doug hazelrigg 11th January 2012 09:33 PM

I used these for years because they were unhyped. The problem was that they're not built very sturdily -- I had to replace them once or twice a year. Others tell me I must have not been using them correctly, but far more have concurred with my experience. I'd still be using them if they didn't fall apart so easily

Sim 13th January 2012 02:13 AM

Just to point out the picture in the review is wrong the picture is of the AKG K240 Studio this is the K240 mk2

My review is of the k240 studio's. I bought these about 5 years ago and they are still going strong. One upgrade I would recommend is a decent cable made from Van damme like mine with good connects. The stock cable is a joke I got through 4 until I bought a better cable luckily i got them all on guarantee as the cost more than the cost to make a good cable yourself.

These headphones are super comforatable you forget their n you head. Mine are starting to show wear in the leather pads but i'd they have probably 5-10 years left in them. And i've shoved in a rucksack they're be dropped thrown and all sorts they're tough little fella's. I didn't have problem once, one of the internal wires to a speaker disconnected so I soldered back on problem solved. So ye the wirings cheap but the rest is fine.

Now the sound is well pretty seeing as I bough them new for £84. I believe they have a new speaker in them now which is slightly more hyped i think this is the third time they're changed it. Anyway they're semi-open so don't expect to track with these alone as leakage can be an issue. My speaker amp died on my and I had not choice but to mix an album on them. Luckily I'm used to them after all i've had them for 5 years. It was unusually to mix on headphones but they held out well. It's hard because they don't portray reverbs the same as speakers, and the low end can be tricky. Their not to bad to work on for long hours but they do get fatiguing after maybe 3-5 hours continuous use. I would say the are anything but flat they're never been known for that they definately have like a bass boost and treble boost it's just not that extreme like other headphones. It kind lacks hi mid detail and low end detail but the low mids and high seems well defined. The highs can get a little fuzzy or sizzly and I think this is what leads to fatigue.

Anyway I think they sound good for the price but they lack in the reliability department nothing a new cable can't sort. I'm sure there's some worthy competitors to choose from.

maticomp 27th February 2012 10:47 PM

I have very mixed feelings about my K240. I love them for how comfortable they are, which was one of the causes of why I had problems with them.

The headband is very comfortable, does not press, push, twist, or attack your head in any way, making them easy to wear for many hours a day, what I've been happily doing. Above it there are two arched "rails" keeping the headphones together and - it seems - being responsible for a cabling leading from one earpad to the other. The build quality seems sturdy, but it really isn't. Because of that elastic design, it is easy to twist the headphones. Mine developed connectivity problems between two earpads after less than a year of use, which - unfortunately - was not caused by a malfunctioning replacable cable, but by internal cabling in the headphones.

For that matter I enjoy more sturdy constructions such as Sennheisers more, as it is almost impossible to bend anything with cables inside, considering their shell.

When it comes to the sound, I simply love them. They are not hyped. Not really flat either, no cans can be in this price range. Highs and lows are slighlty pronounced, but with no really noticeable and/or irritating boost. I consider them as "flat enough" for my purposes, which makes them ideal both for mix check, and casual listening. I'm not a HiFi guy, and if there are no sweets in the mix, I don't want them in my ears either, and this cans do exactly that. The mid-range could be a bit more detailed, but there is enough detail that it is much easier to hear mix flaws with them than with unsatisfactory monitors. Having said that, they really profit from a decent headphone amp. Running them from an integrated soundcard output of my laptop for casual listening revealed how big a difference this can make. And I never used them with anything special, just headphone output of a Focusrite interface.

To sum up, I love how this headphones perform and how comfortable they are to wear. I hate that they failed on me mechanically within a year of use - none of my Sennheiser cans did for many years. Maybe only a single pair was faulty, we'll see.

mahasandi 28th February 2012 04:53 AM

Having owned different iterations of this headphone I can say it is not a bad set of cans.

However if compared to the AKG 701 these are not as detailed and have less definition is the bass and low mids.
If compared to the 240df they are more colored and again the bass is pleasing in comparison to the df but not as tight and clear.

from jomox
"Overall I find their sound to be quite flat and neutral, there's no hype anywhere in the spectrum everything is just nicely balanced. Their sound is a little dull due to how flat they sound, some people very much like this, others not. But due to their laid back sort of sound with quite flat response I can use them for hours on end at quite high output levels and get no fatigue at all."

I agree they are not fatiguing but they are also not that inspiring.
Perhaps this is a philisophical point but I dont think that nuetral has to mean dull. I think sometimes if you referencing things that are flat and dul sounding your bound to cater towards that or at least not heaar opportunities for magic and mix into them.
I think monitors and cans have to be flat but can still have an ability to convey when something is really working.
That said these are in a price range and will give a reference.

and from maticomp
I consider them as "flat enough" for my purposes, which makes them ideal both for mix check, and casual listening. I'm not a HiFi guy, and if there are no sweets in the mix, I don't want them in my ears either, and this cans do exactly that. The mid-range could be a bit more detailed, but there is enough detail that it is much easier to hear mix flaws with them than with unsatisfactory monitors.

So i think detail is what you need to hear in a reference can to mix into it or to hear it in the first place so you can highlight or perserve it.

jimmymio 28th February 2012 09:13 PM

I've owned a pair of the K240 (not the mkII) for over 10 years. Never had a problem. They sound really good and as others mentioned they are very comfortable.
I recently bought a pair of AT ATH-M50 and i like the sound with these even a little more but they tend to be uncomfortable after awhile.
But I would recommend either of these.

estebanco 28th February 2012 10:51 PM

AKG K240 Headphones
I've had these headphones for 4 years now and couldn't get by without them. IMHO a good pair of open-back cans is a must. The detail is incredible, they're really helpful in judging reverb and other effects while mixing. As far as headphones go, the low end is pretty believable as well.

The headphones come with both a straight and telephone style cables that connect to the headphones in mini-XLR, and I personally switch between them, I like having a shorter telephone cable without all the excess if I'm on the move.

They also come with both leather and velvet ear pads, and I'll say that after a couple years, my leather ear pads have cracked and crumbled, which is disappointing. You can buy replacement ones, but you shouldn't have to.

That aside, I'm really happy with my K240s and am not looking to replace them anytime soon. I will be looking for closed cans to track drums and guitars with, keep in mind these are open back and don't cancel outer noise much at all.

Mohab Ramadan 8th September 2013 05:56 PM

First thoughts
Just got AKG K240 Mark II studio headphones from Berlin/ right now.

I make Classical, Orchestral, Rock, Soundtrack and various genres.

First thoughts: Very balanced, almost no colour at all; just pure frequency spectrum. Sweet on highs, incredibly detailed mids and lows are balanced -imo- some prefer emphasis on the bass but no unnecessary in my case.

Isolation is okay long as you're not tracking. Very light, barely felt it on my head. Soundstage is not the best but it's better than most high-end closed back headphones (obviously, because they're semi-open.)

Used them straight out of the box, no headphone preamp yet. Connected to my laptop directly, no audio interfaces. The 55 Ohms are at an okay volume, they need very bit of amplification for those who like excessively high hearing volumes.

Tested with: Beethoven's Symphony No.5, Chopin's Funeral March, Lindsey Stirling, Metallica, Buckethead, Eminem and some bass-full rap --SOLID performance. It did -unexpectedly- well with House/Trance. You needn't hear oomph-ed bass if you're mixing in the studio, you know. These are made for studio purpose and getting good/balanced results out.

Pros: perfect for studio use.
Cons: build quality is not solid but acceptable if you're not The Hulk.

P.S. you WILL hear things you've never heard in your best music before.

After a while, I discovered they do A LOT BETTER with a headphone preamp.

jameson 17th January 2014 03:03 AM

I hate these headphones.
To be perfectly clear, this review is for these: K240 Studio | Suche | AKG , and is not for these, which appear to be much nicer: K240 MKII | Suche | AKG .

Wow. I can only begin to describe what a terrible product this is. I have owned them for a little over a year.

Firstly, you can't record with them really, as they're open-backed, and so sound will bleed into your microphone(s).

Second, I have not found a headphone amp yet that can power these loud enough so you can actually here things out of them when other stuff is happening.

I suppose you could evaluate them as a pure consumer good -- say someone wanted to listen to music with them on the bus. However, everyone around you would be annoyed, because sound leaks out of them by design. So you can't even really use them like "regular" headphones.

Most importantly -- and this is what /really/ irks me, is the absolutely terrible construction. These are like Walmart grade. Actually, Walmart sells a lot nicer things.

Routinely, I have had to open up the cans, and re-solder the leads into the speakers. Since the cups can wiggle around so much, the connections pull out eventually. And it's not like I have been tough on these things: literally, they sit on a shelf (because they're not useful for anything.) On the occasions that I absolutely need them for something, I carefully take them off the shelf, and plug them in.

As a last comment, THEY ARE $100 *ING DOLLARS! There are so many much higher quality headphones on the market. For example, I bought a pair of Sennheiser HD 280 Pro's (go for about the same amount) and they are just so, so much better.

The only redeeming things I can say about them I guess is this:

(1) They are lightweight (because they're made almost entirely out of flimsy plastic.)

(2) They are fairly colorless / transparent, making them ~suitable for mixing, if you don't have anything better.

jeffroz 31st January 2016 12:39 AM

I picked up a pair of these on Amazon and have been using them to listen to music as well as when I practice piano at night. They have a great flat even sound.

I purchased them with recording/mixing in mind as well since they are partially open headphones.

Great headphones for the price!

philsaudio 11th February 2016 08:39 PM

There are many models of this headphone. Mine are the 300 ohm version and I have had them for over 30 years.

They sound as good now as they did 30 years ago.

They hold up to constant use for over 30 years. The earpads are good as new.

The original 1/4" plug and wire is on them. I use these to bridge my live room headphone mixes because they are lower in volume that the ones the players wear and constantly plug and unplug them .

I had to fix a broken wire in the earpiece once because someone stood up while standing on the cord. Good as new.

Well worth whatever I paid for them.

jml designs 1st March 2016 07:43 PM

The k240 Studio 55 ohm headphones are a great bang for your buck for colorless referencing. When I worked at Electric Lady this is all anyone ever used in the studio so I said, well if it's good enough for them it's good enough for me. Being a hybrid semi-open back design, they perform on both sides of the glass sufficiently, so to speak. However...

I can't get over the poor response of the midrange and low end. 20-20k or better is great, but is it true response? To me, after hearing cans like the stax, the HD600's & 800's, K701's and 702's etc I can never go back. For another hundred bucks you can get a WORLD of difference with the 701's (eBay, $185!). Especially guys like me in a 3rd floor walkup in NYC where I can't mix at night on my monitors, the k701's have been a lifesaver (good headphone amp like the little dot plus the 701's is just killer). I think anyone who says you simply can't mix in headphones doesn't understand what is happening with drivers, balanced XLR headphone amps and phase software. It's a new digital era of possibilities and for me, the k240's are fine for tracking but I wouldn't consider them a contender for mixing for too much is lost and muddied in the mix with the k240's. But like everything and anything, to each his/her own :)