Professional headphones for £25? That's a remarkable claim. Find out why we recommend these headphones anyway in our AKG K77 review
By Dave Stevenson
At a Glance
Dull, uninspiring design is offset by low weight and very good sound quality – the AKG K77 headphones are a very good bargain
AKG’s K77s are circumaural, which means they completely enclose the wearer’s ears. This, in concert with their closed backs, mean plenty of potential for strident, thumping bass. AKG also markets these
headphones as being suitable for “professional use” – quite the claim for a pair of £25 headphones. Also see: 6 best budget headphones
They don’t make a strong first impression. The synthetic grey ear cushions aren’t exactly plush, and the blue plastic casing on the closed backs of the earpieces is equally utilitarian. The 190g weight is low, but on such a large pair of headphones the build quality is a little unimpressive. Beauty may only be skin deep, but we couldn’t help but wish the K77’s offered a look that matched the high end marketing claims.
You do at least get a very practical amount of cabling: the 2.5 metre wire is only bettered by Sennheiser’s three metre effort, and the AKG cable is the thicker of the two, which makes it less prone to tangling and – potentially – more resilient to being run over by office chairs or kinked in a bag. There’s also a 1/4in phono adapter to pop on the end of the cable in the event you’ve got high-end stereo equipment. Travellers should note that AKG’s money hasn’t been frittered away on extras – there’s no inline remote control or carry case.
Pop the headphones on and press play and you’ll begin to forget the looks and scarce accessories: these sound impressive for a sub-£30 pair of headphones. The soundstage is wide with detailed bass and reasonably dynamic treble. If we had a complaint it would be that bass is clearly the priority, which is great for pop music, but means more subtle acoustic music is a little less impressive. Still, there’s detailed sound across the board, rock music is handled with attack, and the faintly limited treble is easily corrected by anyone with access to a graphic equaliser.
Better yet, despite the uninspiring looks and choice of materials, the K77’s are comfortable. Adjustability doesn’t come via a clicky ladder mechanism but by a traditional flexible headband, with a cage above it providing structural support and somewhere for the stereo cable to run. The result – in concert with the low weight – is a pair of headphones you can wear for hours. Fashionistas might not like them, but there’s plenty here for the unselfconscious.