AKG HEARO 999 Audiosphere II with Headphone Reviews

Manufacturer AKG Model HEARO 999 Audiosphere II with
Headphone Type Wireless / Bluetooth Headband Type Single
Weight (g) 350 Driver Type Dynamic
Enclosure Material Plastic Isolation (dB) 10
Impedance (ohms) 0 Cable Length (cm) 0
Frequency Response (Hz) 20 - 24000  
Connector 6.5mm Street Price US$449
Buy from Amazon.com  
Average reviewer scores
Bass Extension 7.0 Bass Impact 7.0
Bass Quality 7.0 Mids Quality 8.0
Highs Quality 7.0 Soundstage 7.0
Detail 8.0 Portability 5.0
Isolation 2.0 Comfort 5.0
Durability 6.0 Improvement With Amplification 5.0
Value for Money 8.0    
Overall Score 6.8 Total Reviews 1

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Reviews by our members

Review by Member CanCan on 04 Jan 08  22:30
Individual review
Bass Extension7
Bass Impact7
Bass Quality7
Mids Quality8
Highs Quality7

The headphones are reviewed on their separate entry. You get one headphone with the basic setup. It all comes in a nice padded hardcase for transport. What separates this from most wireless surround headphones is the system vrsatility and flexibility. You get a really good headamp for hardwired headphones that will drive the most inefficient haedphones to ear busting levels. I use this system more for stereo music reproduction in the Direct mode than in the DSP modes. The IVA and DSP capability makes it very useful for watching movies, and if you only want 2-speaker simulated surround sound in Vmax mode, then this may be your best bet as it kills a lot of birds with one stone.

This system is good enough to be used in professional mastering studios, and it is. www.eroc.de will show you one installation that uses it. AKG claims sound quality similar to hardwired headphones, and it sounds as good as my K601 and DT880 driven through a good headamp. The normal closeout prices these days run from $600 to $800. It has recently been discontinued, but there is no equivalent replacement in the AKG line. Evidently, it is being cleared out mainly in North America and several cheaper consumer RF surround systems are being sold in Europe such as the HEARO 787, K930 AFC and K940 AFC. None of the other units have the headamp and control flexibility of the HEARO 999 Audiosphere II.

I am amazed at the sound quality. While the surround mode sound quality is adequate as far as convincing you the sound is coming from the video monitor, where these headphones shine is standard stereo mode. There is enough coverage to use throughout a normal sized house. The transmitter is in my living room and I can listen at the far corner of my basement, out in my detached garage or anywhere in my front yard. I strongly suggest getting an extra headset if using for extended listening periods. A depleted headset is recharged well before the one in use is also depleted. Sennheiser wireless headphones can take twice as long to recharge as their runtime. They have a proprietary battery that costs $18, but the HEARO 999 uses two NiMH AAA cells that cost $9.99 at Radio Shack or other retailers, and for half that price if bought in quantity. If you don't want an extra headphone, then it's fairly quick and easy to change out the two NiMH AAA cells for fresh ones when depleted.

You need to take the time to learn how all the surround and effects controls work in order to get full benefit from the unit. By adding a switchbox, you can make the HEARO 999 your audio/video preamp, but it will handle a single analog input and two digital inputs as it is. You will probably want to use your digital output if your player has one as the DAC in the HEARO 999 is of fairly high quality. Digital to analog conversion is accomplished in the headset at 20-bit resolution. Surround processing is done in the transmitter at 24-bit resolution.

I can't believe that other users had never reviewed this great wireless headphone system. Because of the HEARO 999, my DT880 and K601 are getting a minority of use these days. I only listen to my loudspeakers when I am really in a relaxed mood. The HEARO 999 blows away my Polk RT-5 mini-monitor home theater speakers as far a sound quality goes. I hear things in movies that I never heard before, especially low level details. Unless your loudspeakers cost over $3000, the HEARO 999 headset will easily reveal more inner detail. The loudspeaker-room interaction is more evident than ever before as A-B comparisons are made. This is probably the best and most flexible reference monitor system you can get for under $1000, especially if you already own a top quality hardwired headphone for using in the headamp.

Since the system operates at 914 MHz in the USA, there may be cutting out when a wireless phone using the 900 MHz band is used in the transmitter vicinity. When operated at the limits of its reliable reception range, something like a computer that radiates considerable high frequency noise can upset the headset reception, especially when moving your head around, so keep it as far as possible from the headset. There is never any cutting out when used in the same room as the transmitter no matter how fast you move your head.

AKG HEARO 999 Audiosphere II with
AKG HEARO 999 Audiosphere II with