AKG M220 Pro Headphones Reviewed - Audiophile on a Budget?

AKG M220 Pro Headphones

AKG M220 headphones

The AKG M220 headphones are an excellent choice for audiophiles on a budget. They’re also a great choice for anyone who requires a great sounding, comfortable pair of headphones at an affordable price.

They feature amazing sound quality that is flat, accurate, and enjoyable to listen to. They are also lightweight, making them perfect for long listening sessions and watching movies.

Pros: Comfortable; well-made design; amazing sound quality; excellent frequency response.
Cons: The semi-open design, while allowing for a more open soundstage, does allow leakage both to and from the headphones. If you require passive noise isolation, or are working in a quiet area where headphone leakage might bother others, this may not be the best set for you; does not offer additional features such as wireless connectivity, built in mic, or other features.

Specifications

  • Design: Semi-open over ear
  • Driver unit: 30mm dynamic
  • Frequency response: 15 Hz–25 kHz
  • Impedance: 55 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 91 dB/mW
  • Power handling: 200 mW
  • THD: < 0.25%
  • Cable: 9.8 ft (3 m), straight, removable, 99.9% oxygen-free copper
  • Connector: 1/8 in (3.5 mm)

Package Contents

  • AKG M220 headphones
  • 1/8–1/4 in (3.5–6.35 mm) adapter
  • Manufacturer’s 2-year warranty

AKG M220 Comfort

I’ve yet to try an AKG headphone that wasn’t comfortable to wear and the M220 is no exception. The well-padded earpads fit comfortably over your ears and the adjustable headband allows you to easily find the perfect fit.

Once they are on, they are so lightweight you forget you are wearing them.

Durability

The AKG M220 is durable and well made, with quality construction that can stand up to the rigors of daily use—I certainly wouldn’t be afraid to bump or drop them. Most headphone problems come from the cable; as cables get jerked or pulled, shorts or breakage often occurs. Fortunately, the M220 features a detachable cable that can be replaced in seconds if something goes wrong.

AKG M220 Features

AKG M220 side viewThe AKG M220 is not heavy on features. While some models offer a built in mic, wireless connectivity, noise cancelling, and other features, this headphone is made with the primary goal of providing great sound quality and wearing comfort on a budget—and in this, they succeed.

The M220 headphones are a semi-open design, meaning they seek to combine elements of both closed and open backed designs, giving you the best of both worlds. They seem, however, to be closer to open backed designs in that they have an open sound and none of the frequency buildup that sometimes occurs in closed back designs.

They also have the leakage qualities of open backed designs in that sound leaks out and leaks in. This makes them less than ideal for tracking in the studio or working in quiet environments where leakage from your headphones is likely to disturb others.

If you are looking for passive noise isolation that keeps outside noise from entering your headphones, the M220 is not the best choice.

However, if you want the open sound quality and clear soundstage of an open backed design, this model is a great choice. Just don’t expect the M220 to have both the passive noise isolation of a closed back and the open soundstage of an open backed design; it’s much closer to that of an open back design.

How do AKG M220 Sound?

The sound quality of this headphone is impressive, especially considering the low price.

Compared to other headphones I have reviewed, the AKG M220 features a sound quality far beyond its price tag. Since there are no additional features, AKG was able to really focus on great sound while keeping the price tag low.

The sound is best described as flat and audiophile, with clear, clean, and accurate bass that is impressive for the price. The same can be said for the mids which are vivid and unhyped, while retaining plenty of clarity.

I love that the bass doesn’t overpower the mids, nor does it muddy them up. While we tend to focus on the low and high frequencies, most of the music we listen to resides in the midrange. This is why it’s so important for a good pair of audiophile headphones to have an excellent midrange response. In terms of accuracy, the AKG M220s are as accurate as any headphones I have reviewed in this price range.

As with the mids, the highs are well balanced and unhyped, with lots of clarity and crispness that is distinct without being brittle. Even on the most sibilant material, the highs sound smooth and are never harsh.

Some headphones are designed to alter the sound—give you more bass, more highs, etc., while others are made to sound as close as possible to the way the artist intended—the M200 fits into the latter category. There’s no boosting or hyping of any of the frequencies, but this doesn’t mean the frequencies don’t come through powerfully and clearly. It’s just that none of the frequency ranges are turned up louder than the others.

This is my personal preference, as I like to hear music exactly as the artist intended.

I don’t want to say that the M220 is as ruler flat as some of the much more expensive audiophile headphones on the market today. They also don’t have as wide and detailed of a soundstage. Still, for the price, their performance is nothing short of impressive.

Our Verdict on AKG M220 Headphones

If accurate sound quality is your utmost goal and you’re on a budget, the AKG M220 is a great choice.

It really is the perfect audiophile starter headphone. If you want to experience what audiophile is all about and are ready to step up to a nicer headphone, but aren’t ready to spend a lot of money, the M220 comes highly recommended.

If you’re looking for additional features, however, such as wireless connectivity, built in mic, noise reduction, or other bells and whistles, this model isn’t the best choice. But if you want an amazing sounding, comfortable to wear headphone with an accurate frequency response, the AKG M220 is definitely worth a look.

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