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AKG K3003i Reference Class In-Ear Headphones

4.4 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews
| 13 answered questions
About the Product
  • Reference class sound in the world's smallest 3-way system
  • Hybrid technology. One dynamic and two balanced armature drivers
  • Brushed stainless steel housing
  • AKG offers a two-year warranty on valid purchases from authroized dealers
  • Genuine leather travel case
This item’s packaging will indicate what is inside and cannot be hidden.

Frequently Bought Together

  • AKG K3003i Reference Class In-Ear Headphones
  • +
  • Astell&Kern AK120 Mastering Quality Sound Portable Dual DAC Hi-Fi Audio System
  • +
  • Shure SE846-CL Sound Isolating Earphones with Quad High Definition MicroDrivers and True Subwoofer
Total price: $2,497.00
Buy the selected items together

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Product Description

The wait is over. Introducing the first reference sound in-ear headphones from AKG. Crafted in Vienna from the finest materials, the K3003s have three sound tuning filters to give today's audio connoisseur complete control. With their reference sound and true 3-way design, these high-end headphones will have you experiencing your music in luxurious style

Product Details

For warranty information about this product, please click here [PDF]
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 9.1 x 2.6 inches ; 0.3 ounces
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • ASIN: B005LTWXK0
  • Item model number: K3003i
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
  • For warranty information about this product, please click here [PDF]

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From the Manufacturer


Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By David T. Foster on January 20, 2014
If you're seriously considering these price is likely not a big issue for you. So I will leave the question of value aside. Let me just talk build quality and audio.

BUILD QUALITY
I share the same concerns as some of the other reviews in terms of the cords. For something so precisely engineered on the inside I'm a bit surprised at the lack of strain relief on the cords at the earbud end. I fear that one good jerk (as happens with headphones when you step on the cord or catch it on something) might pull the cord right out. I don't know ... the assembly of cables just feels a little flimsy.

Also the little audio adapter cable that allows you to use it with a straight stereo jack -- when I was unpacking stuff out of the box (which btw all the packaging is very nicely done) there was a little rubbery plastic sleeve on the tip of the adapter cable. When I tried to remove it, it was on there so tight that the barrel housing actually came apart. I mean literally the housing pull right off the tip/cable joint. That's when I noticed that the barrel housing assembly is not threaded. It is just a pressure fit. I'm just stunned by that. Who thought that was a good idea? I managed to reassemble it -- which wasn't easy because it's very small -- but feel they should replace it since it's liable to come apart again. I have been trying to get in touch with AKG customer support and it is not easy to get a live person on the phone. So I'm frustrated with this.

In regard to the location of manufacture -- on the headphones it actually says "DESIGNED in Austria." Mine do NOT say made in Austria. So in your mind you want to picture these fine German engineers assembling these. But they are probably made in China at some Foxcon facility.
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Originally written August 2012 (The K3003 is not my personal set but a loaned set for review):

Before jumping into the sound, I want to make a few comments on build and accessories, which I feel are important to discuss, due to how they may affect the sound and/or durability of the product.

Accessories include 3 pair of stock single flange tips that are very comfortable and well made with a good combination of thickness and flexibility. My only issue with them is that I require a bit deeper insertion due to the shape of the housings and tip length; I can't quite reach optimal positioning. I had some extra Meelec triple flange (trips) tips lying around and these solved the fit issue. Achieving optimum fit smoothed the treble out, improving its tone and realism, while tightening up the low end a fair amount. Another benefit was the expansion of soundstage from left to right and improving imaging. I would like to see AKG offer some dual and triple flange tips of the same quality of their single flanges as the changes I heard in sound were significant for me.

Other accessories include screw on swappable filters (bass, treble and reference). The bass filter is basically useless. It really muddies up the sound, wrecks clarity and timbre and just plain sounds bad. The treble filter offers a very nice analytical sound that is very reminiscent of the Audio Technica CK10 and is overall more neutral. The reference filter, which is my preference, slightly pulls back on the treble presence, while adding a very satisfying bass presence. The build quality of the housings and filters are excellent and beautifully crafted. I love the smart screw-in mechanism of the filters. The housings are surprisingly small and tastefully minimalistic in overall design.
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The AKG K3003I is a pretty amazing piece of audio gear. As far as universal fit IEMs go, it's comparable with the FitEar ToGo 334 and the Sennheiser IE800s (I own both) but slightly more revealing. Imaging and soundstage are fantastic. Works well without benefit of headphone amp (compelling sound straight from iPod/iPhone)

In a different league than Westone 4, Schure 535 and Sennheiser IE80s but not by 2x (i.e., law of diminishing returns: price vs performance.)

The downside? Price, cabling (seems delicate/not user-replaceable) and therefore IEMs that you might not want to use in a mobile context for fear of breakage.
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Verified Purchase
I've owned the AKG's for a little over a year now...the more I use the better they sound. The bass is spot on as are the midrange and treble.....Would I buy these again? Definately.

November 2015...I now owened 14 months and the whole volume control piece broke off. I contacted Amazon and they replaced even though they were out of warranty. They are not that well made so be careful.
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I have owned JH13, UE11, W3, IE7, IE800, PK1, B&O A8 (mic version), SONY xba 40i, Custom Dynamic IE monitor. 3 of which are custom IEM, and the rest are universal IEMs.

This pair of headphones are probably the most most realistic and unbelievable ones. The sound is just live like. I even like to purchase another pair just for the purpose of collection.

If you had the budget, and if you had enough budget, get them.
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My gear
AKG K812, AKG K712, Philips X2, Audeze LCD-2 with Fazor, AKG K3003i and Fiio Ex1
Burson Conductor SL 9018/ Chord Mojo/ Fiio X3 2nd Gen/ Fiio E17k (2nd Gen)
Music - Flac files (16/24 bit up to 192k)

Well I spend lot of time and money in my hifi journey started with Sony SRS X9. Today I have settled with Chord Mojo-> AKG K812 and Fiio X3/Mojo-> AKG K3003i.

For me K3003i sound better than everything except AKG K812 due to sound stage etc. I generally does not miss K812 when I am listening to K3003i. However I sometimes find K3003i bit too bright and fatiguing. Ear tips does not fit well to my ear so I have fit Fiio EX1 tips. May be I should look for something else. Isolation is not bad

Great IEMs.
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