AKG Acoustics K review: AKG Acoustics K

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3 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Comfortable over-the-ear headphones; sounds swell with portables.

The Bad Ho-hum sound at home; excessively long cable may frustrate portable users.

The Bottom Line AKG's midpriced K 101 headphones are better on the road than at home.

6.3 Overall

Editor's note: We have changed the rating in this review to reflect recent changes in our rating scale. Click here to find out more.

The AKG Acoustics K 101 is an extremely lightweight and comfortable headphone set. It features AKG's famous self-adjusting headband, which provides automatic adjustment for the user's ears and head, and the padded, leatherette ear cushions add a further touch of luxury. The K 101's lengthy cable is terminated with a gold-plated 1/8-inch minijack plug and ships with a screw-on 1/4-inch adapter. The K 101 headphones list for $60 and include a two-year parts-and-labor warranty.

So far, so good, but things took a downturn when we evaluated the K 101's sonics. At home it was rather hollow--the sound was slightly aggressive and strident for our tastes. Bass on our Moby CDs was lightweight, and while the less expensive AKG Acoustics K 71's sound wasn't nearly as detailed, we preferred its more laid-back tonal balance. The K 101's affinity for DVDs was hit or miss, and we were always too aware that the sound felt trapped between our ears.

We were happier with the K 101 when we plugged it into our iPod--together they mustered fairly high volumes and good bass power and definition. Unfortunately, the K 101's 10-foot long cable was a nuisance when we were on the go.

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