AKG is a well known player in the headphones industry. Their AKG K52 are easily among the most capable studio headphones under $50. While no one expected a bad product from AKG, we weren't expecting something this good either. Let's get a closer look and show you what these offer.
AKG has always been a brand that placed comfort above aesthetics. With that said, they do know how to make a good looking pair of headphones as well. The design of AKG K52 is more a utilitarian one without a doubt. We are looking at massive ear cups mounted on a pretty simple headband. Instead of loading the headband with a bunch of plastics and padding, AKG went with two metal rails.
The actual headband that comes in contact with your head, slides up and down these rails. This system makes it easy to adjust the headband while decreasing weight and increasing overall comfort. Overall, a simple but great solution. Build quality is good all things considered. They did use that cheap plastic, but it's used in a way that makes it look and feel good. The only real gripe we have with AKG K52 is the thin cable.
When you open the box, the first thing you notice is how much headphone real estate you got at a bargain price. The cups, and the drivers, are massive compared to what other brands offer in this price range. It appears that AKG used the same dimensions as they did on some of their more expensive models. Cool thing about that is that you can swap out the stock pads, which are decent but not great, for something a bit more comfortable.
In terms of specs, these are rated for 32 Ohm impedance and offer some 110db SPL/V. Again, fairly decent for this price range. Cable, which we complained about earlier doesn't inspire much confidence but ultimately works. It's fixed to the headphones, but you do get some 9 feet of it. As usual, AKG includes a 1/4″ jack in the box.
Performance wise, AKG K52 pushes the boundaries of affordable class of headphones. We are talking better than expected transparency and no noticeable bias. Are they flat as a pane of glass? Nope, but they are flatter than most available alternatives. Any imperfections are easily ironed out with a good EQ config. In terms of home studio monitoring, AKG K52 will give you a glimpse into your mix that you are looking for. Thanks to their pretty simple design and versatile headband, you won't be experiencing user fatigue even after prolonged periods of use.
Ear pads might become an issue after a while, though. As we said before, chances are you can swap these out for a much better pair it the situation becomes dire. Overall, AKG K52 ticks all the right boxes when it comes to performance practical value in a home studio.
Bar the cable, AKG K52 have shown to be a truly impressive affordable set. They offer the right kind of performance packed into a simple, but ultimately efficient chassis. At this price, you will be hard pressed to find something that does a significantly better job than these headphones do.