Top positive review
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Five Stars For Audio But Minor Problems Penalize By One Star
on May 25, 2011
This headset has become the answer to my long quest for a high quality sound in a small, on ear headset. Based upon the acoustic accuracy as perceived with my ears which have many years of listening experience with a focus on blues, jazz, vocals, opera, classical, rock n' roll, folk, acoustic, ballads, C&W, Cajun, Tejano and more, I rate these headphones as a 5 star audio product. I compared them to Sennheiser 280 Pro, various Bose headsets, Bowers and Wilkins, Dr. Dre, Bang and Olufsen Form and others. I was amazed at how much musical clarity, range, brilliance, bass and presence the AKG Q460 provides compared to the other headsets I compared. It is important when testing these using an iPod Classic 160 GB - my music source in this case - to select the EQ, or equalizer, setting that is most pleasing to your own ears. The form factor of the Q460 makes them easy to carry, comfortable to wear indoors or outdoors (except for wind noise). I found they exclude enough external sound so that I can enjoy my music while someone is listening to a nearby television set. When I first tried this headset, I was blown away by the range of sound that came through clear and crisp. For example, bell tones, fingers on guitar strings, background talk between musicians, and I also experience the full side to side breadth of the sound spectrum across the recording studio or live stage. Very enjoyable and not expected in this price range. The cord is a super design and it can be disconnected from the headset and is strain relieved and well made. The ear pieces feel comfortable and are much preferred for bus and plane travel compared to ear buds. Quincy Jones must have approved this headset personally and he is a stickler for the quality of his arrangements and of his recordings - which span some sixty plus years and 27 Grammy awards. I have enjoyed his 4 CD Musical Biography on the Q460s. So, all in all, a great headset, but why did I have to take away one star from my 5 star rating?
The biggest reason is that the in line control on the long cord corrupted some of my music. This - I expect occurred when I was fast forwarding to the next song. Perhaps I accidently clicked the control an extra time, but whatever I did, there is no excuse for a product to corrupt the data in the iPod. The buttons on the control are tiny and my fingers are big so I may have hit two buttons at once. See photos. But, the end result was that a number of songs would play for a few seconds and then skip to the next song all by themselves. I had to delete and reload some 40 pieces of music to my iTunes library and to my iPod. Fortunately, I caught this early. If anyone can explain this, I will be glad to modify this review. I do not know the exact cause but it seems to be related to the long cord's integral control. The male plug also is different than that on the normal ipod headset as it has one extra insulated section. I cleaned up my corrupted iTunes files, stopped using the in line control, place the iPod on "lock" when inserting and removing the male plug and the problem seems to have gone away. Be very cautious before you invest in one of these headsets for use with an iPod Classic as AKG does not list them for iPod Classic use. In fairness, many iPod Classic users have complained on line about a similar song skipping problem, but have not blamed it on their headset.
The second reason for the loss of a star is that the warranty that I received is not good in the USA or Canada. Amazon or the seller should so state in its advertisement that this is a "gray market" product if that is in fact the case.
Some people have noted that the ear piece can come loose when adjusted. I found it is necessary to grip the headset by the slider and the steel backed band and not by the ear piece in order not to stress the swivel joint which can break if you put too much force on it.
I did not run any tests with an iPhone or other phone. The headset comes with a six inch phone adaptor cable. It also comes with a short cable which I found less useful and a long cable which is excellent except for the switch (which you do not have to use at all), but be careful if you loan out your iPod Classic and headset. If someone plays around with the switch, your music collection will suffer.
PRICE ALERT! Since the product is made in China - a low cost manufacturing country - I would have expected a lower price even though it is designed in Austria. I was right! To my chagrin, I purchased my AKG Q460 Headset from Amazon direct on April 2, 2011 for $151.47. Now, lucky buyers may pay $119 or less direct from AKG via Harman Kardon with free shipping too.
How low will it go? All in all a great small profile headset well worth your time to consider.