When it comes to headphones, one of the many companies you can rely on is AKG. The Austrian-based company released their very first headphones product back in the 1950s and later introduced the first dynamic cardioid microphone. It is pretty amazing that their first headphones product was called the K120. Even today, AKG has the K series intact with the AKG K495NC still serving as one of the company’s most popular products. Announced back in 2012, these headphones measure up well to the current competition and you should be able to find it at cheaper prices.
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About the AKG K495NC
As evidenced by the “NC” suffix, the K495NC is a noise-cancelling pair of headphones and it falls under the over-ear category. It only comes in black and the padding is made of black leather. The earpieces themselves are made of brushed metal so it is definitely for the crowd seeking for something formal, minimalistic and/or professional looking. A light adapter is included in the package along with a premium carrying case.
The K495NC is a pretty comfortable pair of headphones primarily thanks to the adequate padding on the headband. It weighs a little bit more than 8 ounces but the build quality isn’t sacrificed and it really shouldn’t be as it launched at $350. The earcups feel soft and plushy too, making the AKG K495NC a pretty good choice for extended listening. Adjusting the headband isn’t the smoothest experience but it works.
This is where the K495NC starts to stand out a bit more. Rather than going with the traditional collapsible design approach, the AKG K495NC uses its own 3D-axis folding mechanism that enables the earcups to swivel in both directions. Flattening the headphones is straighter to the point as a result and you should be able to cram these headphones in tighter pockets all without worrying of damaging the pair. Like just about all modern pairs of headphones in this price range, you can remove the standard 3.5-inch cable and substitute it for a longer one. The two included cables measure 4 feet and 6.5 feet respectably.
There are several pairs of headphones that sound noticeably better than the K495NC but the purpose of getting an AKG K495NC is its noise cancelling feature. It is actually pretty easy to use with the on and off switch being located in a convenient spot. All you have to do is rotate the ring on the left ear cup and you are good to go until the battery runs out. There is even a small green LED light that lights up noise cancelling is active. The battery should last nearly 2 days straight and you can easily charge it through USB. There are no replaceable batteries to worry about with the K495NC. If you do have a powerbank or solar panel, you should be able to charge the headphones’ internal battery the same way you charge a typical smartphone or gadget. It is worth noting though that the AKG K495NC will continue to play back audio even after the battery dies unlike some other noise cancelling headphones.
The closed-loop approach to noise-cancelling works pretty well. Those leather earpads help make a tight seal so you can get some decent noise cancellation even with the functionality switched off. When switched on, the ambient noise melts away and when outdoors, you might hear slight hints of street noises and loud vocals. If you are sick of all the aircraft or train noises the noise canceling of the AKG K495NC should serve you well so be sure to keep an eye out for the battery.
The treble and midrange sound very natural making it a pretty decent pair of headphones for listening to classic music. It performs less favorably with modern tracks that tend to crank up the bass. Of course, there are some fans that prefer light bass so the K495NC could be a perfect fit. If you are not after the noise cancelling technology, you could find better sounding pairs of headphones at slightly cheaper prices.
• Very good noise cancellation tech.
• Continuous to work even if the battery fully drains.
• Can be charged through USB.
• Travel-friendly and pretty comfortable.
• Price discounted in most online stores
• Not exactly for bass lovers.
• Not-so-smooth headband adjustment.
• No other colors other than black.
The AKG K-495NC is still a pretty good noise cancelling headphones choice since you are less likely to find it priced at the $399 price tag. Just be sure you need the noise cancellation because the overall audio quality could use a couple of improvements. Perhaps the best thing about the K-495NC is how it strikes a nice balance between comfort and durability. Plus, the size is just right for traveling. Trying before buying is recommended if you ever encounter the AKG K-495NC in stores.