March 27, 2017

AKG, the audio giant which is recently acquired by Samsung and SONY are the top audio brands and have carved a great reputation for themselves in the world of audio. Extremely popular among music enthusiasts and audiophiles, both these brands continue to present the best to their loyal farans. 

Today, we have the two very popular over-ear headphones from these two brands. The K92 from AKG and the MDR-XB950AP from SONY. While the K92  delivers a more balanced audio, the XB950AP presents you with enhanced bass. 

This is not going to be a very tough choice as both these Over-ears cater to a varied set of audience. Read on for a detailed comparison between the two.
 
CUTTING THE LONG STORY SHORT

"The AKG K92 is a great headphone to be used indoors and studios. At this price point, it invariably gives you more than you can ask for. 

If you are very much into bass heavy music, and love that thumping sound on and around everytime, then you would love the XB950AP."

-Raghav Somani

AKG K92


Headphone-Zone-AKG-K92
ENTRY-LEVEL STUDIO MONITOR HEADPHONES
Sony MDR-XB950AP


Headphone Zone Sony-MDR-XB950AP
PORTABLE HEADPHONES WITH ENHANCED BASS

 


DESIGN: AKG K92 vs SONY-MDR-XB950AP

Headphone-Zone-AKG-K92
Headphone-Zone-Sony-MDR-XB950AP

AKG, the audio brand has always presented to us great sounding studio headphones, minus all that fancy design. The AKG K92 does not stray too far away from the brand's usual range of functional headphones. This pair of over-ears gives you the ladder to high-end sound, without ripping your pocket apart.

The AKG K92 sports a classic studio headphones design. One glance at these, and it quickly strikes, these are clearly not meant to be worn on the streets. The large circum-aural headphones are gigantic, and you should back off if sleek is what you prefer. 

Engineered entirely from plastic, we do not think that this pair looks cheap or flashy. Unlike most headphones, these Over-ears feature an unconventional headband. We love the fact that AKG has substituted the commonly padded headband with soft fabric that gently sits above your head.  The actual frame of metal above, hold the headphones together, lending enough sturdiness and does not put the weight of the headphones on your head as well. 

AKG has not gone overboard with branding. All you see is the brand's logo imprinted on the back of each earcup. Neat design details such as the texture on the ear cups and little flourishes make these over-ears look worth much more than their price. 

If you are looking for mic and remote, the AKG K92 does not feature it. However, considering that these over-ears are studio monitors headphones, we did not wish for it either. 
STURDY AND DURABLE BUILD VS FOLD-ABLE AND PORTABLE DESIGN 

SONY, the consumer electronic band has always outdone themselves with their products and displaying utmost style in the best budget possible. With the release of the XB950BT, the brand delivers you your desired bass and a fashion statement you can't ignore.

The XB950AP displays an amalgam of metal and Plastic. The exterior traits of these over-ears are noteworthy and only goes on to lend these over-ears a luxurious look and feel. Although built of plastic, its joints and braces are extremely durable and sturdy. The headband is engineered from metal and retains all the solidity. 

SONY has not done much about the branding either, with SONY's logos placed over each ear cups and MDR-XB950 written in smaller fonts over the joints.

The MDR-XB950BT is built with portability and convenience in mind, thus portrays a detachable chord, with an all compatible remote + mic. This makes them highly desirable for people who love to listen to their music over long commutes.


USABILITY: AKG K92 vs SONY-MDR-XB950AP

Headphone-Zone-AKG-K92
Headphone-Zone-Sony-MDR-XB950AP

When it comes to comfort and usability, the AKG 92 offers the best comfort among headphones in this price category. The large earcups house large earpads that can engulf largest of the ears. The synthetic leather used to wrap the earpads is of high quality too, thus, the comfort found with these in-ears is something you will love the most.

Although closed-back, noise isolation is decent and nothing to write home about.

The headband also aids in making these in-ears extremely comfortable. The fabric headband gently cradles your crown, making long listening hours a real pleasure.

The cable is 3 meters long and thicker than most usual cables that we have come across. Although it does make the cord strong and durable, it does restrain easy portability. A big issue, the cable is not detachable, something that is particularly common among monitoring headphones.  

AKG'S BEST IN CLASS COMFORT VS MDR-XB950's DETACHABLE CABLE

When it comes to comfort, SONY has made a pair of headphones that is sure to be appreciated by the masses. 

Although, not much padding is done on the underside, but it isn’t needed at all. What little padding that is there is more than justified for the excellent fit and comfort this headphone offers. But, we have to admit to feeling a bit saddened over the imitation leatherette pads not being authentic, but that sentiment is a worthless one due to the materials used being very good for what they are. The ear pads are excellent imitation leather indeed, but are also yummy in plushness and sink in a great deal. Clamp factor is a no issue and the headphone offers plenty of support.

The XB950AP is verycomfortable and lightweight. It is not only great sounding but intelligently well-built. Itssleek design conforms to any head size, making long music sessions a treat. Also, the Swiveling ear pads allow for easy transportation

When it comes to warranty, the SONY MDR-XB950BT comes with a warranty of 1 year whereas the AKG K92 comes with an astounding 2-year warranty.


SOUND: AKG K92 vs SONY-MDR-XB950AP

Headphone-Zone-AKG-K92
Headphone-Zone-Sony-MDR-XB950AP

When it comes to the sound, the AKG K92 is a detailed and accurate sounding pair of headphones. With the K92, AKG has managed to deliver the basic monitoring tones that are present in higher level studio professional headphones.

The over-ears brilliantly handle different frequencies, while not sounding flabby or poorly controlled. Aiming to deliver a neutral presentation, the bass goes forward with rhythmic bass and is not over-punchy or too loud.

When it comes to the mid-range however, we did feel that it sounded under-saturated and constrained by other tones. The vocals do appear less apparent with particular genres. The soundstage is spectacular, wide and breezy, you do feel like your music is coming from every direction.

Made for basic studio monitoring, you will undoubtedly be hard-pressed to find such good sounding headphones in this price range. 

BALANCED SOUND SIGNATURE VS THE BASS ENHANCED SOUND?

Lower impedance and higher sensitivities are better with lower power devices such as MP3 players or smartphones. The Sony MDR-XB950AP is one such headphone with a slightly lower than average impedance. As such, to avoid damage we do not recommend using it with an amp.

Given the low bass frequencies and closed operating principle, this is a great set of headphones for bass heavy music such as dubstep or EDM. It is designed for today's bass-heavy music, picking up every possible sub bass note. It covers sounds across a wide frequency spectrum of 3Hz to 28kHz (not in the case of passive operation).

The most important feature  of these over-ears is that, even through all powerful bass, the mid and the high range is clear and distinct. Every little tone comes out smooth. The vocal brilliantly stand out even through the strong and crisp frequencies.

Sound leakage does not occur even at the highest volumes, nor does the audio distort. A small complaint and this is sure to bother true audio purist. The sound does rattle when playing bass heavy tones. All being said, the MDR-XB950AP is great when paired with genres like Jazz, Hip-hop and Bollywood. 


Summary


AKG K92

  • Studio Monitoring Balanced Audio
  • Sturdy And Durable Body
  • No Mic & Remote
  • 3 mm Long Cable
  • 2 Year Warranty
SONY-MDR-XB950AP

  • Heavy Bass with Detail 
  • Lightweight Plastic Build
  • Mic and Remote
  • One-sided Detachable Cable
  • 1 Year Warranty

Conclusion


The AKG K92 is the best buy if you want to get your hands on serious studio monitors, wIthout robbing the bank. Delivering crisp and clear balanced audio, these Over-ears are the best you will get at this price budget. 

But if you want a pair of headphones that are bass heavy and portable, with an additional in-line remote and mic, then SONY MDR XB950AP may end your search.

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What is going to be your pick? Let us know in the comments section below.

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