Review: AKG K 340 in-canal headphones

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Mid- and high-end headphones are everywhere these days. AKG, previously known for recording and broadcast equipment, just added to the bunch by outing a slew of headphones, including these totally acceptable $119 K 340 in-canal buds. I’ve spent some good listening time with them, and I have to say that they are solid performers once you get over the somewhat awkward design.

These AKG in-canal headphones aren’t the only set I’m testing. I also have the portable K 450 and the pair should feel privileged as for the first time in years, I actually have a DVD player hooked up in my home in order to test these with a 5.1 analog audio stream. I could have just as easily hooked these two up to an iPhone and called them decent, but I was hoping that with the AKG nameplate, they could do better than a portable device. I was right.[PSGallery=ard4iwlrfe]

I would describe the sound of the AKG K340’s as full, but accurate. They aren’t bass heavy, but you also don’t get blown out by the treble. They are very satisfying.

Everything from John Legend to a fantastic rip of the Beatles to Gorillaz sound great. Now, I’ll caution that if you’re looking for a bumping set of headphones, these will not rattle your teeth. What they will do though is hang out comfortably in the mid-range and occasionally surprise you with confident lows and clean highs. I’m good with that.

The only thing is that I don’t dig the physical design. They are very large and awkward. Plus, it took me a while to find the left and right channel label. (it’s on the inside, down by the wire in about a 4 point font) I didn’t find the set all that comfortable though. Even with the smaller set of rubber tips, I still feel like my ear canal is being stretched. I’ve never had that issue before.

But everyone’s ears are different. You may find that they feel great in your ears. I can tell you that they sound great, which is really what you wanted to know anyway. Just make sure that you find a retailer like Amazon with a fair return policy if you don’t like the way these $119 earphones feel. I would totally recommend them on the basis of sound alone, though.

$119 @ Amazon

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