AKG K81 DJ Headphone Reviews

Manufacturer AKG Model K81 DJ
Headphone Type Closed Supraaural Headband Type Single
Weight (g) 150 Driver Type Dynamic
Enclosure Material Plastic Isolation (dB) 10
Impedance (ohms) 32 Cable Length (cm) 250
Frequency Response (Hz) 16 - 24  
Connector 3.5mm Street Price US$55
Buy from Amazon.com  
Average reviewer scores
Bass Extension 6.0 Bass Impact 6.0
Bass Quality 4.8 Mids Quality 5.4
Highs Quality 5.8 Soundstage 4.6
Detail 4.8 Portability 6.8
Isolation 6.8 Comfort 4.4
Durability 7.6 Improvement With Amplification 5.4
Value for Money 7.2    
Overall Score 5.4 Total Reviews 5

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Reviews by our members

Review by Senior Member nickchen on 22 Feb 08  02:02
Individual review
Bass Extension6
Bass Impact5
Bass Quality4
Mids Quality4
Highs Quality6
Detail4
Comfort4
Durability9
Value9

The K81 may be a huge step coming from KSC75/PP/PX100, but you soon detect its flaws, as properly described in the other reviews.

However, I keep the K81 as portable workhorse and still feel quite content with this little redneck. Things aren't very audiophile, but you get a smooth and somewhat coherent presentation coupled with an almost tank-like indestructability.

Allover, I wasn't too impressed by its main contenders HD25-1 and ES7, which cost almost 3 times as much. Yes, they are technically superior to the K81 and provide better resolution, but you need dead silent circumstances to benefit from such virtues. The Senn mids are even more recessed than the K81 mids, and the ES7 is so forward and agressive that I had severe fatigue issues.

My advice: Couple the K81 with the MS1, so you have one isolation monster and one musical monster for the go.

Review by Senior Member qazwsx on 04 Aug 07  22:14
Individual review
Bass Extension5
Bass Impact7
Bass Quality5
Mids Quality5
Highs Quality6
Detail4
Comfort4
Durability7
Value6

The K81DJ's are a pretty decent set for the money. They serve good purpose for the hip-hop fan or a DJ. Bass has a lot of impact, but only rarely becomes boomy, could be a positive or negative aspect depending on what you are looking for. Mids are smooth, although recession and slight boxy-ness ruins them. Highs are decent, but with a slight lack in detail. Soundstage is acceptable, but there are cans with better. Portability is okay, isolation is killer. Comfort seems to depend, a lot of people seem to complain about comfort, I think they are just a little sung. Here's a comfort tip: soak the pads in warm water for about 30 secs to a minute and they'll be really comfy. [But don't forget to dry them! ;) ] My comfort rating is based on stock. Good value for a bass leaning can under $100.

Review by Senior Member chunkage on 24 Jun 07  07:10
Individual review
Bass Extension7
Bass Impact6
Bass Quality4
Mids Quality6
Highs Quality6
Detail6
Comfort4
Durability8
Value5

These closed portables may sound good, but they're also one of the best-looking and -feeling Beyers. Although only medium-sized, this turns out to be one of their major virtues.

- The K81DJ as a punchy, rich sound with a solid bass presence. Some have attempted various mods to tone down the bass, but tonal change is going to be very subtle at best. For this reason, the phones are best at pop genres, and less so with classical and instrumentals. it's a lively sound, albeit without much "sparkle."

- These fold into a ball much like the Sony V6 (their main compettion), and fit nicely into backpacks. Their handsome pleather, drawstring bag is also like the V6's. You'll find that tthe AKGs don't allow you to mold the plastic/metal spine as you might with other phones (like the Audio-Technica E7C).

- One can listen comfortably for up to about one hour; after that, the hard plastic may bite into your ears a bit. This never occurs with the the V6, and to less of an extent with the E7C. It may be possible to pad the inside of the ear pad with soft polyethelyne strips to increase comfort.

- These are DJ phones, which explains the very long cable. This cable may prove annoyiing for ordinary portable stereo use.

Review by Senior Member slwiser on 14 Aug 06  07:28
Individual review
Bass Extension6
Bass Impact7
Bass Quality6
Mids Quality7
Highs Quality6
Detail5
Comfort4
Durability7
Value8

Great headphones for someone just starting into our hobby.

It is even possible that you will not need to go any further than these great little phones what are possibly one of the best values today.

I really enjoy them being closed and having the bass line it does. Their mid frequencies are patient AKG with pleasant extension on the high side.

They appear very durable.

Review by Senior Member JMCIII on 15 Jun 06  14:27
Individual review
Bass Extension6
Bass Impact5
Bass Quality5
Mids Quality5
Highs Quality5
Detail5
Comfort6
Durability7
Value8

Given that there are not a lot of quality closed-back portable headphones available, the AKG K-81DJ's still stand out as an excellent set of headphones. They offer better than expected isolation, are reasonably comfortable (some tweaking with the headband is said to work wonders for those who find them annoying), and enough sonic quality to make them listenable for more then just travel. One tweak that works wonders (and is easily reversable should you decide is isn't worth it) is the removing of the pad between the grill of the speaker and your ears. I found that once removed, the bass - which is too prominent until the cans have been broken in for about 40 hours or so, and even then is still a bit overwhelming - becomes better integrated with the rest of the sonic spectrum.

Don't expect rivals to the upper end AKG's or Sennheisers, but for a cost (under $70) they have few rivals.

AKG K81 DJ