It's also worth pointing out that there are no volume controls on the headphone cord, which has a fabric cover to reduce cord noise (that's good). It's a one-button universal remote that allows you to pause and play tracks, answer and end calls, and to skip tracks forward and back. Call quality was decent.
The AKG N60 NC reminds me a little of Beyerdynamic's T51i on-ear headphones. It isn't quite as revealing as the T51i, but it offers clean, well-balanced sound with smooth treble, warm midrange and a tighter bass than the Bose QC25 or QC20, which come across as slightly more laid back (even if Bose did improve the treble response in the QC25 and make it a more exciting headphone).
Whenever you introduce active noise canceling to a headphone, you lose a little bit of sound quality, but the N60 NC succeeds because it comes across sounding more like a passive headphone -- and by that I mean natural and not overly processed.
Because the QC25 is an around-ear headphone, you get a bit better noise isolation from its design. But for an on-ear headphone, the N60 NC's memory-foam-equipped earpads do a decent job sealing out noise even though they rest on your ears, not fully enveloping them.
Typically, an around-ear headphone offers more open spacious sound, but I thought the AKG had a little more depth and richness to it than the QC25 -- the AKG sounds like a bigger headphone than it is.
But the Bose has a small comfort advantage, particularly over longer listening sessions.
As far as other competing models, I also liked the Philips Fidelio NC1, another on-ear noise-canceling headphone. But that model costs more and doesn't perform quite as well overall -- both in terms of noise cancelling and sound. The AKG is a notch up.
A worthy Bose rival
Minor gripes aside, this a well-designed active headphone that's worth considering over the Bose if sound quality is your highest priority in an active noise-canceling headphone.