AKG K 390 review: AKG K 390

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CNET Editors' Rating

3 stars Good

Average User Rating

5 stars 1 user review
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Durable, understated design offers both passive sound isolation and active noise cancellation; noise-cancellation module looks sleek and has a built-in shirt clip; sound quality is solid with or without noise cancelling activated; earphones include a mute function and an integrated mic and call-answer button.

The Bad Noise-cancellation module is bulky and heavy; earbuds may not be totally secure and comfortable for all users; bass response suffers slightly with noise cancellation turned on.

The Bottom Line The AKG K 390 earphones offer a sleek-looking design and two types of noise-hushing capability, but the inconvenient noise-cancelling module may put off some people

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AKG has been in the business of making personal and professional audio equipment since the 1940s, so one might rightfully expect top-notch quality from the company's line of headphones and earphones. The AKG K 390 noise-cancelling earphones feature a double whammy of passive sound isolation and active noise cancellation, making them a tempting option for commuters and frequent fliers. But, at £80, these earphones aren't cheap, and buyers should be wary of potential fit issues, as comfort is key for any extended-wear scenario.

Sleek but hefty
The K390 earphones have a sleek, understated design with matte black and shiny gunmetal plastic comprising the earpieces, cable and noise-cancellation module. The earbuds are slightly larger than average and feature an external port (for more air flow, we assume) and a reinforced cable connection for durability. Like the earbuds, the sound apertures are on the large side, which caused us some discomfort during testing, no matter which eartips we used.

About halfway down the cord descending from the right earpiece, you'll find the integrated mic and call-answer button -- a handy feature for music-phone users. This first segment of cable measures about 46cm long before joining with the noise-cancellation unit.

There's no getting around the fact that the noise-cancellation module is rather hefty, both in size and weight. But AKG has built in a shirt clip so the earbuds aren't pulled out of your ears by the weight. The module measures about 76 by 25 by 13mm, so it's definitely not inconspicuous.

The noise-cancellation unit is rather weighty but the built-in shirt clip helps ensure that it won't pull the earpieces out of your lugholes

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Where to Buy

AKG K 390

Part Number: CNETAKG K 390

Typical Price: £80.00

See manufacturer website for availability.