Today, we’ll be taking a look at the AKG K240 Studio semi-open back headphones.
These headphones have been something of a staple in the recording world for the past 20 years, but let’s see if they hold to today’s standards in the face of their new competition.
Our verdict on the AKG K240 Studio
All in all, the K240 Studios are an incredible pair of headphones for $70. Their sound signature is fairly neutral, they’re comfortable, and they’ve ultimately stood the test of time.
While they may not be the best studio headphones ever, who can complain over a headphone this good and this cheap.Check availability and current price: SweetwaterAmazon
Power and frequency response
The AKG K240s have a frequency response of 15 Hz – 25 kHz as well as an impedance of 55 ohms – all fairly standard.
As far as their performance is concerned, we have to say that the K240 Studios are not the most accurate headphones. Although the headphones are rather neutral, the bass is a bit exaggerated, and the high end is a bit untamed.
The only area that is nominally flat lies between 1 – 2 kHz. That being said, the midrange is exceptionally smooth for what the graph shows us.
We found the high end to be neither shrill nor sharp, but still a bit fatiguing at higher volumes.
The mid-bass build up adds warmth and body to genres like rock, jazz, and blues. However, if you’re interested in more bass-centric genres such as EDM and hip hop, the bass build up will become muddy and unsatisfying.
Still, despite the minor inconsistencies of their sound reproduction, they perform incredibly well – arguably better than several other headphones in their price range.
These are incredibly durable considering the price. The AKG K240s can take a bit of a beating, and last you years.
The only part of their design with a short-life is the ear pads. This isn’t an incredible problem though, as you can get replacements directly from AKG.
These headphones are remarkably comfortable due to their lightweight and the soft foam padding on the ear cups.
We found that the flexible headband favors larger heads, but not by much.
These weren’t designed for sport, and will fall off your head while running or working out. The detachable cable will also come undone if snagged on any gear or equipment in your studio.
Noise cancellation and isolation
Due to their semi-open design, these don’t make a great option for wearing on your commute or in the presence of others.
Not only will everybody be able to hear what you’re listening to, but you’ll be able to hear everything they’re saying.
The K240s come packaged only with the headphones, an audio cable, and a 1/4″ – 1/8″ adapter.
For those of you who were expecting a carrying pouch or portable case, go buy one separately.
Compared to other headphones
Here are a few alternatives to consider before settling on the AKG K240 Studios.
AKG K240 Studio vs. Audio-Technica ATH-M30x
For the same price, the AKG K240s have a far better performance and are much more comfortable.
However, if you need a cheap pair of headphones with decent passive noise cancellation, the ATH-M30x are your best bet.
AKG K240 Studio vs. Samson SR850
The K240 Studios are better by comparison, as they’re far more neutral. Also considering that they’re merely $20 more expensive, it’s a no-brainer.
AKG K240 Studio vs. Samson SR950
The SR950s are slightly more neutral than the K240 Studios. The high end may seem shrill to some but the low end is far more accurate in comparison.
AKG K240 Studio vs. K240 Mk2
While these headphones are virtually identical, the K240 Mk2 offers an updated design which is more comfortable and durable. However, the frequency response has been left unchanged.
If you’re willing to spend twice as much on a slightly more comfortable pair of headphones, the Mk2s are just that.
Alternatively, check out our picks for the best headphones for music production and the best cheap studio headphones.
Who are the K240 Studios best suited for?
The AKG K240 Studios are best suited for any engineer looking for a budget-friendly headphone option, although they aren’t ideal for tracking due to their semi-open back design.
They also fare well for casual listening purposes, as long as you’re in a quiet environment. Again, the semi-open back design doesn’t lend itself for casual listening through your commute, or in the office due to outside bleed.
- Fairly neutral sound signature.
- Exaggerated low end.
- Fatiguing high end.