AKG K52 review | What Hi-Fi?

For a while now, AKG has been the king of inexpensive headphones. From the AKG K451 to the AKG Y50 (£50), the remaining 5 years have seen the company pick up a string of What Hi-Fi? Awards.

The AKG K52 over-ears are the most recent budget headphones to win us over. At £30, the K52s take a seat at the least expensive finish of a brand new line, adopted carefully by the K72 (£40) and the K92 (£50).

Price-wise, the nearest festival would seem to come back from inside of – the Award-winning Y50s. But they're an absolutely other proposition.

Whereas the Y50s are a conveyable on-ear pair, the K52s are designed for home use. They don’t fold up, nor are there any in-line far flung controls.

MORE: AKG Y50 review

Build and comfort

The over-ear design is strangely gentle. Despite its low value, no a part of the headphones’ construction feels poorly made. They really feel durable, too, which is a rare thing for this kind of budget price.

The AKG K52 headphones have a steel frame that is strong however stays lightweight. The scarf isn’t adjustable; instead there’s a versatile, cushioned band that springs into place around your head.

There’s quite a lot of give, but even with the large earcups the headphones keep firmly put in your head.

The AKG's earcups enclose the ears fully. The plentiful padding around them is cushy, and it doesn’t make your ears heat over long sessions of listening.

They clamp down in your head firmly, however now not an excessive amount of – simply enough to make sure the headphones don’t fall off.

There's a 2.5m cable that leads to a three.5mm plug, however don’t concern about being limited to the use of the headphones together with your pc or smartphone, they arrive with a 6.3mm adapter so you'll plug them directly into your hi-fi gadget as smartly.

MORE: Best on-ear headphones 2016


We start taking note of the AKG K52s and need to double test that those aren’t open-backed headphones. They’re probably the most airy-sounding closed-backs we’ve heard at this price.

There’s a great deal of house for the piano notes in Birdy’s Shelter to flourish. Notes hit solidly, with sufficient detail and harmonies to keep you engaged.

You can listen a great deal of nuances in her making a song, from the lilts to the way her voice traces when hitting the prime notes.

The headphones are so lightly balanced that lets listen to them for hours without ever getting tired. There are not any shiny edges or booming basslines.

The funky, rocking vibe of Lenny Kravitz’s Are You Gonna Go My Way comes across during the AKG K52s. The drums are energetic and hit with snappy timing.

Guitars sound crunchy and have a nice amount of weight and muscle underpinning each strum. The tools don’t overcrowd the vocals, both.

The rhythm is agile and stuffed with power. There may well be more to the way the K52s handles dynamics, nevertheless it’s enjoyable enough.

The form of basslines and edges of notes are clean and taut in Sbtrkt’s Wildfire, and there’s a remarkable quantity of regulate for the price.

MORE: Best headphone deals: in-ear, over-ear, wireless and more

Sure, in absolute terms, there could be extra subtlety in every aspect of the performance, but we have to impulsively remind ourselves that the K52s simplest value £30.

We battle to consider some other headphones at this price that perform so maturely.

The AKG Y50s aren’t a precise comparison, but in case you’re curious: the K52s are a larger, clearer sound with a extra articulate presentation.

The Y50s naturally sound more closed-in and ahead – they’re a punchy pair. But they cost £20 more than the K52s.

MORE: Best budget headphones


We’ve yet to review the AKG K52s pricier siblings, the K72 and K92, so with only a tenner between the 3 pairs in this vary, we will be able to’t crown the K52s as the most efficient value-for-money headphones bar none just yet. But they’re certain to return lovely close.

The £17 Sennheiser HD201 headphones stunned us but for just £30, these AKGs are much more impressive. The sound quality is well beyond what you’d be expecting for this worth – it’s stress-free, easy to listen to, and there’s quite a few clarity, element and agility.

If you realize you’ll be wearing the headphones indoors more than out, and are on a strict price range, the AKG K52s are one of the highest recommendations we’ve made.

MORE: Best headphones 2016

See all our AKG reviews

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