The AKG K92 sits at the top of the pile in the entry-level series from a company that has an excellent reputation for studio headphones. It’s aggressively costed and features a unique look, but is it up to the job in a studio setting? Not quite, but it’s still a viable budget choice for some applications.
These headphones feature attractive styling and a price tag that is very approachable. But with that lower cost does come a drop in refinement compared to other AKG offerings. Take a look at the quick highlights below before we dive into the full review.
The AKG K92 has several excellent features but equally some frustrating elements. Considering its low price point, it is hard to be overly critical, and for some people, these will be an ideal low-cost alternative to other studio headphones.
The AKG K92 is marketed as a pair of studio monitoring headphones, and in some tasks, these headphones are capable enough to be a valuable addition to a studio setting, but in others, it falls short of the mark.
The most significant issue is the lack of neutrality throughout the frequency response. These headphones have an oddly tuned response that, while relatively enjoyable, lacks the accuracy required to make it a workhorse set of headphones for music production and editing.
The low end is chunky and offers good extension and rumble. Fans of bass-heavy genres like EDM and Hip-Hop will enjoy this increased emphasis, but if you are producing that style of music, you’ll need to be aware of its exaggerated response.
The mid-range was quite good for headphones in this price range. Vocals translate well, and instrumental sections are also respectable. The more simplistic the composition, the better these fare. With complex pieces, things are a little muddier than I would like but not horrible.
Easy to drive and lightweight headphones.
The top-end is relatively bright, which is quite common for AKG headphones. It isn’t inherently too sharp, but there are noticeable dips and peaks that throw out the overall balance.
Dimensionality in the soundstage is noticeably cramped, resulting from the closed-back design. I have had the pleasure of working with closed-back cans with impressively broad soundstage delivery, but those cans are often triple the price of these, so I can’t be too harsh on the AKG K92.
My assessment might seem a little harsh, but I’ve had such excellent experiences with other AKG headphones that these don’t meet my expectations from AKG and studio headphones in general. But that is not to say you should write these off completely.
These headphones are best suited for general use and are viable for recording sessions and light monitoring work. But if you need critical listening capabilities, you’ll have to spend more and look at other choices.
There is a lot to like with the approach AKG has taken with the K92. These are lightweight and agile, which results in an airy and pleasant feel on your head despite the rather bulky appearance.
The adjustable headband does an excellent job adapting to your head, and the strap is comfortable without any pressure points. While some padding would be nice, it isn’t necessary, and I had no trouble wearing these for extended periods.
Excellent padding but a little shallow.
The ear cups offer a decent amount of padding that feels good, enveloping your ears. The ear cups themselves offer plenty of room to capture your ears entirely. But my main issue here is the relatively shallow depth on offer. There is a high chance your ears will touch the drivers’ fabric coating—something I’ve never enjoyed.
Heat build-up is not too bad considering these are closed-back headphones and quite impressive, considering these do offer respectable isolation and low bleed. But if you want more breathability, you’ll need to look at open or semi-open options.
Overall the AKG K92 headphones offer a comfortable and relaxed fit that is well-suited for longer listening sessions, and if the depth were a little larger, these would be near perfect in this category.
The AKG K92 offers a familiar and iconic look that will be instantly recognizable to anyone familiar with AKG headphones. The large self-adjusting headband and chunky ear cups are a hallmark of AKG cans.
The use of gold accents will prove divisive. Some will find that these add much-needed character, while others might find these a little tacky. I’m no design expert, but in my eyes, the execution here is pretty good.
The gold trims merge well with the rest of the black components, and the restrained logo styling completes an eye-catching yet functional design.
The AKG K92 headphones feature a hard-wired cable.
Looking beyond aesthetics, there are some notable design decisions that are worth mentioning. The most obvious is the hard-wired cable. I always prefer detachable cables, but I also recognize that this feature is uncommon at this price point.
If you damage this cable, you’ll have to buy a new set of cans. But I’m happy to see no exposed wires on the unit, which can be another potential point of failure.
The impedance is low at just 32 ohms making these an excellent choice for lower-powered devices like smartphones. But unfortunately, these do not collapse, making them a sub-par option for travel.
Isolation is decent, thanks to a solid fit with a good seal. This fit also ensures minimal sound bleeding. Excellent for recording and tracking.
I’ll admit my first impressions of the AKG K92 were not great. Out of the box, these light headphones didn’t inspire confidence, but upon closer inspection, I realized these were a lot more robust than I initially thought.
The frame is plastic and light and can be mistaken for feeling flimsy, but it doesn’t creak or show any weakness once you apply some pressure. While I don’t think these could withstand heavy abuse, they are surprisingly durable.
Lightweight headphones with decent build quality.
The headband strap also has a nice feel to it and doesn’t feel cheap. Likewise, the earcups feature a textured finish that doesn’t attract fingerprints and won’t scratch easily.
The padding on the earcups is pretty good too, and more importantly, fully replaceable, which adds to the potential longevity of these cans. The hard-wired cable is also excellent and doesn’t feel thin and cheap. The gold-plated connecter completes the package.
While these still have the hallmarks of a cheaper set of headphones, I feel that the balance between price and quality is on point.
The AKG K92 headphones are aggressively priced headphones. They might not be the cheapest out there, but at this price point, they are pretty reasonable. Considering the low price point, these don’t come with any extras, and I’m not surprised.
While these are relatively cheap, there is some stiff competition at this price point. Some other studio headphones might be better suited to your needs depending on what tasks you need your headphones to accomplish. But standing on their own and within the AKG lineup, these offer decent value.
I’ve been fairly critical of these headphones in this review, and other industry professionals have equally applied a fair bit of criticism. But once you look at the large number of reviews for these cans, you discover that the vast majority of people are very happy with them. Perhaps we seasoned reviewers are getting a little too stringent and bitter in our later years 🙂
Benefits Of Using Headphones When Recording
Whether you are recording a podcast, instrument, or vocal performance, having a solid pair of headphones can improve your recording experience.
The main benefit is isolation. Blocking out external noise allows you to focus on your recording without distractions. Likewise, any reference material you are listening to will not bleed into your recordings.
Headphones are ideal for recording sessions.
Wearing headphones also gives you greater control to adjust volume levels so that you can hear yourself or backing tracks more clearly. This can help with pitch and timing while also allowing you to adjust your performance as needed.
Headphones like the AKG K92 that excel at isolation and offer high comfort are an excellent choice for these scenarios. The K92 also performs exceptionally well when dealing with a solitary source due to its superb tonal definition for vocals or single-instrument recordings.
I’ve already mentioned that the AKG K92 is ideal for specific tasks, but it might not align with your needs. Below I look at some other budget-focused headphones with different use cases.
PreSonus HD9 Review
The PreSonus HD9 is a little more expensive than the K92 but offers a more robust feel and a classic headphone look that will appeal to people that don’t like the gold accents on the AKG K92.
- Lively and engaging sound profile that handles all genres well.
- Clean and minimalist design and solid build quality.
- Much like the AKG K92, the response is not the most neutral.
Sennheiser HD 25 Light Review
The next set of headphones I’d like to highlight is the Light version of the legendary HD 25. These headphones will appeal to producers that want a more accurate profile.
- Crisp and detailed sound with plenty of punch and respectable neutrality.
- Slim profile and fully replaceable components.
- Some people might find the on-ear design uncomfortable.
Sennheiser HD 25 Light
Shure SRH440A Review
The Shure SRH440A is another low-cost pair of cans that offers impressive performance. The tough build quality will appeal to people who tend to be slightly rough with their headphones.
- An engaging sound that offers good bass and well-defined mids.
- Tough construction and detachable cables.
- The highs are a little bright and might be too harsh for some people.
Should You Buy?
Whether you should pick up the AKG K92 comes down to what you expect from your headphones and how much you like the appearance of these headphones.
For detailed studio work where accuracy is of paramount importance, I would urge you to look elsewhere and likely up your budget a bit. But for recording sessions and casual listening, these are more than capable. They offer a good level of build quality while also providing a unique and eye-catching design. A decent outing from AKG but far from their best work.