AKG is well respected among ordinary as well as enthusiast users. We were looking for a good pair of headphones that would accompany us on our road trips but is suitable for home use also. After looking around at a number of headphones, we decided to purchase the AKG K81-DJ. At a price of €50, these headphones promise very good quality. We will find out in this review if this promise is met.
- AKG K81-DJ Headphones
While the AKG K81-DJ headphones are intended primarily for DJ use, they are in fact also suitable for most situations, and can be used for informal parties right up to large-scale events. After all, amateur and semi-professional DJs need dependable equipment as well. The closed-back provides optimum isolation from ambient noise. The K81-DJ will take heavy use, and their high SPL capability ensures excellent sound quality. Finally, wearing comfort is as excellent as their powerful low end and accurate response.
Their distinguishing features include:
- 3D-Axis folding mechanism for ease of handling and good user comfort. Folded down into a thin package, the K-81 DJ are ready for use anytime
- High sound pressure level: High SPL capability for any type of event in any environment. Legendary AKG sound quality
- Closed-back earphones: Isolating ear cups attenuate ambient noise, keeping even quiet passages clearly audible
- Maximum ruggedness
- Adjustable headband
- Specifically designed for use at small clubs and parties
- 3D-Axis folding mechanism
- High sound pressure level
- Closed-back earphones
2. The Package
The retail package is small and "simple". The headphones can be found online at the retail price of €50~55 (+shipping). While the price range is not that high, we still had a lot of expectations for the AKG K81-DJ.
To sum it up, the retail package includes:
- 1 pair of AKG K81-DJ headphones
- 1x carrying bag
- 1x 3/4" to 1/2" adaptor
Several photos of the headphones:
Each earphone can be closed and adjusted so that they can be used either for both ears or just one, according to your needs:
The most interesting part of the 3D-Axis folding mechanism is that both earphones can be folded and make this headset truly portable and easy to carry:
3. Performance - Conclusion
After unpacking the headphones, I could wait to try them out. My first impression was rather "negative". There was too much pressure over my ears. Ouch, that hurt. But after a few minutes it got better as my ears started to get used to the high volume pressure that AKG K81-DJ advertises, especially for bass frequencies. Ok, that was expected since these headphones are meant to be used by DJs.
I started to look for other user comments and "strangely", I saw the same comments, at least when it comes to comfort:
- Clamping pressure is a problem that can be solved with the following method "... To loosen them you must place the left and right ear pieces together, and then with the ear pieces between your palms, squeeze the headband together like tongs. Do this gently, and repeat until they are comfortable...". Another idea is to use your desktop PC case and leaving them to stretch out a bit
- The leather pads make your ears get a bit hot after sometime. Others use them for workouts quite happily.
In my opinion, while the headphones are light weight, comfort could be an issue with many users. But that's enough about comfort. Let's now move on to the sound quality. I don't claim to be an expert, but this is what I found:
- Smooth, nice bass punch and nice mids and highs. I found when listening to the radio that there was too much bass, especially when listening to the human voice
- Thy respond very well to EQing and repositioning them over your ears can reduce/increase the bass
- Isolation with these headphones is superb. You won't hear external noise, no matter what
- Also good for portable use, and there's a long cable
Concluding this review, I have to say that you need to try any headphones before buying them, even if they are only €50. The AKG K81-DJ have proved to be very popular among enthusiast users, for their versatility and sound quality. On the other hand, I find them not very comfortable, especially after using them for a long period of time. Maybe it's a matter of personal taste, but I would like something much more comfortable, even at the expense of lesser sound quality. Nevertheless, a good choice for DJs, as these headphones do an excellent job of isolating external sounds and are at the same time, very affordable.