This headphone is easily the best portable supra-aural headphone sub $100 I’ve ever heard. I’d take it over the Beyer DT1350 and the Sennheiser HD25 series any day, no questions. Of course, it’s not as clear as either, but I find them more interesting and fun to use. There is a serious problem in the headphone world with branding and marketing headphones as something they are not. Thankfully, AKG branded these headphones properly.
Have you ever sat in a mixing studio for 12 hours a day for months on end? Have you had to stand up for 2-4 hours at a live music event as a DJ? Well, I have. I’ve raised my fists into the air and shouted at headphone designers for neigh ten years about the lack of common sense when it comes to how the drivers were tuned and the overall presentation qualities your “studio monitor” or “DJ” headphone offers. Nobody wants to sit in a congested studio room for that long and listen to a snappy and extremely fatiguing headphone. Well, nobody who knows what they are doing anyway.
As a former DJ, I am happy with the fact that Tiesto seems to have had a hand in the tuning process. He is an authentic DJ and knows what it is like to have that bass and upper area pound your ears for hours on end. These are headphones for real DJ’s, yet also would work very nicely for certain types of audio engineers.
The low end of the K-67 is buttery, silky smooth with moderate weight. Prior to this review, I thought the Noontec Zoro had the best overall bass experience in the sub $100 on ear price tier. That remains partially true, it has the most bass now, but is very outclassed in clarity and texturing by the K-67. You get a typical AKG House Flavor to the presentation on the low end, gently colored and not natural, but not overly colored either.
AKG seems to always play it safe with their low end and this headphone is no different. I find it neither lacking or overabundant in quantity, however in terms of quality I have never come across another supra-aural headphone with clarity on the low end that can match this in this price tier. What really makes me happy is the general softness and lack of impact all of the Tiesto headphones offer on the Lowly areas of the sonic spectrum. DJ’s and Studio Mixers will be happy with this. Excellent Bass Quality that is physically forgiving and not lacking? Yes, please!
The Mid Range of the headphone has very solid body and weight to it, very full sounding. Not amazing in clarity, but the presentation and physical locale of the mids is nothing short of beautiful. It is intimate, forward and shockingly it has no upper midrange nasal tendencies. It remains forgiving throughout. Sibilant vocal tracks that I try to avoid with my Denon D-7000, DT1350 and Philips M1 are far less painful on this K-67. Forward mids presented in a non fatiguing way is a rare quality in this price tier.
The Upper frequency range is relaxed and free of slam, bite and physical bitterness. This is a common trait in all three headphones in this Tiesto family. Have you ever heard a sub $100 on ear headphone with pleasant highs? No? Well, here is one. Now, the overall clarity is average, nothing special so if you are a treble head trying to purchase a headphone under $100, you might want to look elsewhere. It may be too soft and forgiving for you and too lack luster in terms of clarity. The highs are still good, but they lack brightness and flare, that sparkle and glorious sheen the K-267’s offer that treble enthusiasts often desire. This is how studio engineers would want it. If you haven’t noticed, the entire gist of this lineup is to provide a non fatiguing experience. I find the upper region on this headphone better and more enjoyable than the K-167.
All three of these headphone sound very open and spacious for their price tags. I’ve never heard any other portables like this, and I’ve owned most of them. The Philips M1, the Beyer DT1350, the Sennheiser HD25 mark II…none of them come close to the airy feel and natural presentation this headphone offers. Stellar. It is very intimate and doesn’t extend far in width, it is certainly more of a taller than wide, forward and mildly deep experience.
As for comfort, I could do with a bit less clamp as I am extremely sensitive to on ear headphones. My lobes just can’t handle on ear headphones for more than a few minutes. I would have preferred to see a Phiaton MS400 style headband used on all three of these Tiesto’s, something more pliable and with larger on earpads that are super plush and comfy. I’d rate them average in comfort, but the build quality is solid. They fold, I don’t see a need for it even as a DJ. I’d rather keep them slung over my neck, so the option to fold them inward on themselves is needless and only adds to the potential to scratch the cups.
Bonus: This headphone goes on sale often for $80 and can be purchased used for $65 or so often. Incredible deal.
Click next page for the K-167 review