Customer Reviews: AKG Q460 Mini On Ear Headphones, Quincy Jones Signature Line
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on January 14, 2013
I was wondering why there were so many 2 star and 3 star reviews on this model. Where I live (Germany), there are places where you could test-listen 30~40 headphones at once. I tested 30 headphones for 2 hours, and this one was hands-down winner for portable source devices. Everything was perfekt: sound stage, comfort, clarity, highs, mid-range, lows, you name it. I tested against products many times more expensive than this one (Sennheiser, Dr. Dre, Denon, B&W, B&O, etc.). It's easy on any device with 125 db sensitivity. Without a headphone amp, it sounds great with I-Pod, Lumia and Galaxy S3, and heavenly with the venerable Astell & Kern AK100. See my review for this one here: Astell&Kern AK100 Mastering Quality Sound (MQS) Portable System The best thing about this headset is comfort -- easily the most comfortable set on the head, with no listening fatigue.

So I ordered one from eBay. I was surprised when it arrived -- the sound was totally different! Packaging was identical. Appearance was identical. But the sound was different. Highs were absent. It was all bass. So I looked closer. The cable was not as easy to put in -- the turning mechanism was not as smooth, and turned only about 70 degrees instead of full 90. Head size adjustment part has overall rough feel, as if cheaply made. There was a warranty card, but the paper used was not top quality and fine prints were very difficult to read, as if printed with a cheap inkjet printer.

After further research on the Internet, I discovered there were incredible number of fake Q460 and even more K450 around. See, for instance, the picture explanations and reviews by HHAH here. AKG K450 Premium Foldable Headphone

I could not return the unit since I bought from overseas. So I ended up buying a "real" one from a department store nearby. My advice: do not buy this excellent headset from eBay. Buy it only from authorized dealers, department stores, or Amazon Inc. Otherwise, you will end up giving it a two star!
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on July 3, 2012
If you are someone that doesn't sweat the small stuff then you will love this headphone. The overall look and quality of the materials seem very good. They come with a nice case and choice of cabling as well as a few adapters for phones and larger amplifiers. The sound is very "consumer" and bass friendly... but i will talk about that in a bit.

My biggest problem OUT OF THE BOX is that one of the circular Q symbols is misaligned, off-center, and peeling off!!! As i said, the rest of the build is great but this one piece really annoys, concerns, and angers me. So much so that I will be retuning this set :( I really don't want to though. Another small gripe is that the cable is stiff to pull out but locks fairly well... I don't have to discuss how awesome the lime green cable looks and feels so that is all good. Strain reliefs are well made but the hole to insert the cable is a bit too small or oddly shaped. The cable issue i can look past though.

Finally on to the consumer sound... I have owned many a pair of headphones in the past and currently own the (excellent) AKG k240 and Shure se215. Both are great sounding products. I have also tried many sennhieser and akg products, as well as the Vmoda M80 and phiaton ms400. Overall, i would say the sound is very similar to the Phiatons and Sennheiser HD 239. It has a heavy emphasis on bass to the point that it mess up the vocals considerably. However it performs great with hip hop, some dubstep, and house music, It fails considerably with any rock or alternative (a large part of my library). Granted, much of "todays" music will play fine on this set but expect no sparkle in the highs at all. I can, however, live with the sound signature as I tend to opt for rap or electronic music while on the go. Not very recommended for home use at all. Furthermore, the headphones play LOUD and distort with an amp so it is better straight out of an iPod or laptop rather than my FiiO E7.

This may all sound negative but there are many positives to this set of headphones. The bass heavy sound appeals to many people (me included) and makes music a bit more engaging. Soundstage is less than average for this type of headphone but i will let that slide as they do not leak terribly. They are very portable and the case included is simply amazing. The look and overall portability may convince me to keep this set but i cannot look past the broken panel OUT OF THE BOX! Another great last benefit is that they clamp the perfect amount. Great for staying on the head while walking or working out. The pads are comfortable and fit decently well for the size of the headphone itself. They are a headphone I'd be proud to own... that little defect makes me very mad though. I would like to note that the broken panel does not in any way affect the sound of the cans.

All things considered, I would recommend this headphone for any type of portable application. if you are going for neutral or Hi-Fi, steer clear, but if you want a fun sounding and cool headphone, you got your match here.
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VINE VOICEon 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.
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on December 30, 2010
I am not what you would consider a professional musician by any means. However, I have spent my fair share of time in the studio and have a degree in electronic media. After 2 weeks with these, my memory cannot recollect having heard headphones this good in...well, ever.

I was in the market for new headphones and when I heard that Quincy Jones was releasing a pair, I had to check em out. Then when I heard they were better than the Dre Beats, I definitely knew I had to get a pair. The only thing is that I was debating whether to purchase the Q460's or the 701's. Having purchased the 460's, I dont know if I will go forward with the 701's or not. These are that good. And as was mentioned in an earlier review, the sound quality seems to be getting better the more I listen to them. I went back and listened to some Isley Brothers, Stevie Wonder, Earth Wind and Fire, and whatever else I could find from that timeframe. Man, I heard things I've never noticed in those recordings before, both good and bad. It felt like the music was being played to me live from my ipod, and that is about the best compliment I can give. I dont know how the Q701's can possibly be better than these, but I intend to purchase them as well, although they may not be needed. The base thumps, but doesnt pound (although I havent run any old-school Miami bass through them yet). The snares are crisp, high hats ping and resonate accurately. Just a fantastic soundstage. I plan to watch a movie on my iMac soon through these to see how the surround sound plays out. They are really comfortable to wear and shut out most outside sound. I couldnt hear myself singing and I only had my volume up halfway. I actually had to pull one headphone away from my ear to make sure I wasnt just lip-syncing!!

The unique foldup design and the case are well designed. My only gripe is that the chord is really short. The default chord is like 2 feet and the iPhone-specific chord is maybe 4 feet. Coming out the back of my computer, I cant even lean back in the chair without running out of cable. I dont know if they make an extender specifically for these or if a regular extender will compromise the sound quality is some way, but its definitely something to think about if your sound is computer-based. These headphones I think are obviously made for use with portable devices but would not be frowned on in any studio in the world.

This is the first review I've ever written on Amazon, but these headphones spoke to me. Its awesome getting lost in music again like I havent really been able to do since I was a teenager.
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VINE VOICEon December 27, 2010
I love these headphones.

I'm not an expert on high-end audio/headphones, but I think I know good sound when I hear it, and these seem to be really good phones. Within the first 24 hours I had them, I was running around plugging them into anything that had a headphone jack -- I tried them with my iPod Shuffle, my stereo, my computer, my portable DVD player, and I gave them over to a friend who had a smartphone (and yes, the volume and play/pause functions worked) and the sound they put out was great to his ears (and he's a working musician). I tried them with 70's soul, 80's new wave, current hits, old classic rock etc and for the most part, the sound was sharp and in some cases, nearly revelatory -I was hearing nice detail in songs I'd heard a million times, and very good bass. One thing I did notice was that these headphones seemed to pull back the curtain on whether a track was even well-produced/mixed or not in the first place - some old stuff sounded a bit flat/muddy and unbalanced, and I suspect it's the production and not the headphones. I tested these with various test-songs/discs I usually use to check speakers, etc: Dire Straits "Brothers In Arms" (full digital, well engineered), the Cars' "Since You're Gone" (for the left-right clicking and drum track), some Gamble & Huff Philly stuff (great percussion, strings & warmth), Garbage and Lady Gaga (which are all very well produced). And Dio's "Holy Diver" and "Rainbow in the Dark" (heavy, man) kicked - both sounded really, really good. Actually, everything i've mentioned here sounded great. If bass/low-end is what you want, these might very well be your headphones; if not, and you have an equalizer, don't let that stop you: you can tweak your sound to your liking.

As far as style, these are very well designed - nice cushion on the top piece (which rests on your head); the phones themselves are cushioned and feel quite comfortable on the ears - while I wouldn't say they're noise-cancelling, they fit so snugly that you won't have to worry about too much outside noise (I plan to take these on my next plane ride); the phones fold-flat and fit into a nice small rigid case (which can accommodate the extra cables & jack adaptors that come with the headphones). My iPod touch even fit in the same case. My only complaint: I wish the cables were a bit longer, as I needed an extension cable to plug into my home stereo, but that's a minor complaint: these phones are likely geared toward the iPod/smartphone/computer user (there are a lot of specs/suggestions on the packaging as to their use, but they'll work with computers/dvd, etc too), in which case, the cables that are included will be more than adequate to the task. You'll never go back to your earbuds after using these phones. Great product, very impressive.
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VINE VOICEon December 23, 2010
These little headphones deliver powerful sound, plenty of volume and a good strong bass in a compact package. I played a variety of music from rock to classical and while I was pleased with their initial performance, I had some minor reservations. The notes were not quite as clear and distinct as I would have liked and I detected some muddiness. Believing that the headphones would benefit from an extended break-in period, I began the process. They're several hours into it at this point and already the balance has improved and the sound is cleaner than before. I have no doubt that they will only continue to get better.

Although the sound is of paramount consideration, another reason to love these AKG mini headphones is their comfort. Because they're small and light (4.2 oz.), you barely know you're wearing them and unlike earbuds, even after hours of wear, they never become annoying.

They're presented in an attractive molded case designed to keep everything in one place and protect the headphones from damage when not in use. They come with two detachable cords of different lengths, nice because they're easily replaceable if they should fray or break.

I'm very happy with these headphones and am officially retiring my earbuds.
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VINE VOICEon December 21, 2010
I love the portability of these headphones! They come with a nice little pouch that is easy to tote around- maybe not as easy to carry around as earbuds but frankly I can't stand the tiny earbuds. The portability does mean that the actual ear piece is smaller than the larger headphones and thus both less comfortable and not as well equipped to block out other sounds (but again, FAR superior to earbuds!).

The wire connecting the earphones to whatever device you are using is rather short unless you use the one designed primarily for the iphone. While the longer wire does contain controls for volume control, play, and pause, sadly only the play and pause work when connecting to my Droid phone.

Perhaps the most pleasantly surprising aspect of the AKG Q460s is the actual quality of the sound. The sound quality is exceptional for such small headphones. We have a Sennheiser HD280 and the AKG Q460s compare quite nicely. The bass is better than in my Sennheiser headphones although the sound is more open on the Sennheisers. I actually didn't expect to enjoy using the AKG Q460s as much as I do but intend to use these for when I'm on the go and need something portable but with a nice sound (again, unlike those dreadful earbuds).

Edited to add: I have now tried these earphones with an ipod Touch and I have to say the sound is even more awesome when used with the ipod Touch. All of the controls work when using an ipod Touch. I still prefer headphones that block out other sounds (like my Sennheisers) but these little headphones could almost convince me to change my mind about that!
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on September 9, 2012
Let me start by saying that I have very picky ears & being a musician, I have very high expectations from high-end headphones. I've used AKG products for years, but more in Microphones than headphones. I also want to mention that I also own a pair of Beats Studio to use during my frequent flights, and for home music listening, as well as a pair of Shure studio monitoring headphones for studio recording. I had also owned a pair of Bose QC15 & an old pair of over-ears with which I was very satisfied but the sound lacked bass in some music genres. So I needed a more portable pair on the go and I'm not a fan of earbuds (although the only earphones I appreciate are the iBeats with changeable noise-isolating buds).

During my search for the perfect-sounding, high-end-like, portable headphones to use with my iPod/iPhone (a standard 32 ohm device, playing 256 Kbps AAC), I tried at least 50 different pairs from different manufacturers, always using the same tracks (using a range of genres to cover most music frequencies. I used: Dance, Electronic, Jazz, Alternative, Rock, Pop, Country, Classical). Some of the pairs I've tried included: Klipsch Premium One, Bose OE2i, Sennheiser HD 239, Beats Solo HD, Bowers & Wilkins P5 & P3, Harman Kardon Bluetooth wireless, Bose AE2i, AKG DJ closed-back, Monster Inspiration, Skullcandy Aviator, and many others but these were the ones I could have bought instead of the AKG Mini.

Why the AKG Mini Q460 won?
- Frequency Response from 11 Hz - 29.5 KHz (you won't find that important piece of information on the product description. Only found in the manual & product box with a clear audible proof!!). If you don't know what these figures mean, simply know that a standard pair of headphones has a range of 20 Hz - 20 KHz. Having a bigger range means hearing more details in sound as well as delivering better sound throughout different music genres. The range for higher-end sets is 15-25. So the AKG's range is clearly my far greater, thus providing superb sound fidelity!
- Loudest sound output with low noise, decent Bass & Mid-range thanks to its 40mm drive (usually found in larger-sized headphones).
- Best external noise isolation thanks to its closed-back design & 40mm drive (not to be confused with active noise-cancellation found in the Monster pair). Once on, you won't hear anything around you unless it's overly loud. Won't isolate a plane's or subway's noise but you'll still listen pleasantly to your music.
- Most comfortable (the only one I didn't take off after over 4 constant hours of listening. They get softer within the first week of use)
- Smallest headphone size (for great portability) without compromising sound quality.
- Lightest of all I've tried so hanging them around my neck for hours of walking doesn't hurt or add any weight. They also don't add much weight to my handbag!
- Most importantly: The ONLY pair that gave me the most DETAILED sound in ALL music genres that I've tried.
- Best $90 value (compared to others that cost as much as $300).
- And YES, it sounded better than the B&W P5!! (AKG was louder, more comfortable, & more detailed. P5 failed at Electronic, Dance, and Country).
- Build quality although the B&W were also very good. But I didn't expect such a quality for a $90 priced pair. I have the black pair.
- Finally, my trust in AKG quality of their products (although I also had good trust in B&W, Bose, Harman Kardon & Sennheiser).

In short, this pair of headphones did not disappoint me. I did not have any issues with quality after frequent using (had it for almost a month now with daily use & even tossing them inside my bags without the case sometimes). I use it with the in-line mic cable because it works seamlessly with my iPhone & MacBook. The other cable is indeed too short for practical use! Instead, I use it as an audio cable to connect my iPod/iPhone via Aux connection in my car or other speakers (it's a great quality cable that comes in very handy, & I like the lime-green color that stands out so it's not easily lost among other black cables).

If you're checking those headphones right now, do not hesitate! It's an easy buy that's worth all the money and it's already down-priced! Why pay hundreds of dollars for other headphones that don't sound as good? Yes I still love my over-priced Beats Studio but they are not portable & I hate having them on the go, plus they are too heavy when I'm hanging them around my neck! So the AKG are my choice for a portable pair of headphones to take along without compromising high-end sound quality that I would get out of the larger, less-portable sets.

Hope this review helps with your decision...

Update: After a few months of continuous use now, I have to say that they are holding very well. Haven't used the case much and yet they remain sturdily intact despite tossing them in my bag wherever I go. I also have to say that I'm now strongly favoring their sound to my pricey Beats Studio and that is very likely due to the AKG's larger frequency response, considering that both headphones use a 40mm driver. AKG, you did a great job on this one!!! My next comparison will be with a pair of Grados. Keep checking for another update soon.
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on March 31, 2013
As a very satisfied owner of AKG Q701 headphones for home listening, it was pretty much a no-brainer for me to select these Q460 portables for traveling, trips to the fitness center, and public situations (airport waiting areas) where sealed enclosures were necessary for a variety of reasons. I still shopped around a bit both by listening and reading reviews. Excess bass is a problem for me, since I truly appreciate musical accuracy and the incredible balance of soundstage, depth and range the Q701s deliver. The Q460s provide an exceptional representation of balance in a portable format while still delivering ample bass response to most music. But then, I don't listen to bass-heavy musical styles, so that's a consideration.

The positives of the Q460s make this an exceptional value: portability and a convenient carrying case that I always use because it's so well designed; and, they're well constructed and easy to adjust with a detachable cord in two lengths for different use environments. Significantly, these are comfortable headphones that fit neatly over ears with well-designed size (not too large) and cushions that resist moisture (sweat) while providing comfort for longer listening sessions. I never use the iPhone adaptor, so can't address that.

I've used the Q460s for 90 straight days now and have dropped them a couple of times (workout situations) and they've held up nicely. I recommend them highly for durablity and comfort alone, but I bought them primarily for their sound, which -- if you're familiar with AKG's history and reputation -- you can read about in more detail in several other exellent reviews herein.

But don't take my word for it. There are currently several airport vendors featuring the Q460s where you can do a side-by-side listening comparison. Your decision won't be difficult after that.

For outstanding detail through the full range of musical representation, depth and soundstage, the AKG Q460s are a quality choice that represent solid value. Highly recommended.
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on December 12, 2012
I own AKGs previous foldable on-ear's: AKG K 404 Foldable Mini Headphone with Carrying Pouch. After 5 or so years of great use, one of the ear pads fell off, so I have been keen on replacing them.

These seem to be the successor to those. There's padding on the overhead portion that's real nice, and it no longer grabs my hair. These seem to be less adjustable then those, but work fine for me.

As for sound, it's very close if not as good as the K404s. It's been a while, but I'm not as taken back by the sound quality as I was before. Keep in mind I haven't broken them in yet, and this is a very subjective judgement. Still, it's great bass, and strong/medium mids and clear but lower highs.

The case is nice (K404 I had came with a pouch), the different cords are real nice--but they are way too short. Nothing that can't be fixed with an extension, but that seems dopey on $100 headphones. I am using the iPhone compatible cord at the moment, since it's the longest. The other one is hilariously short.

But this is not necessarily a bad thing. If you have a portable audio device and have been wanting a set of headphones that don't force you to shove the excess in your pocket or let it dangle in the way, these are for you.
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