AKG K518 LE Headphone Review
The AKG K518 LE (Limited Edition) Headphone lives up to the qualities you’d expect from a product made by AKG. These cans are pretty stylish with the color accent and the metal inside band. It also delivers outstanding sound quality especially if you’re looking for something that has powerful bass but doesn’t compromise too much on the clarity of the mids and the highs. Add to that the fact that it’s portable (comes with a pouch) and you have a #winning consumer product.
Build and Design
Like what I said earlier the AKG K518 LE look gorgeous! If you happen to go to stores that carry different types of headphones expect the K518 to jump right out of the line-up. As you can see above the K518 is dominantly colored black but it has a single color accent. There are different hues available like white, green, purple, red, orange, and my personal favorite, yellow.
The band is made from hard plastic but there’s an internal metal band at the top with the logo of AKG. The biggest complaint about the K518 is the “clamping force”. This means that the cans can be too tight and you’ll notice this after listening for around 45 minutes. To be perfectly honest I experienced the same thing but I was able to remedy it by stretching out the band. It’s durable enough to withstand prolonged stretching on a biscuit box, lol.
This is a compact on-ear headphone which means that the ear cups aren’t too big to completely cover your entire ear (and more). The ear cups are made from faux leather and they’re quite durable as well. I’ve been abusing this for the last 3 months already and they haven’t shown any signs of wear and tear so kudos AKG for that!
By the way in the photos you’ll notice that I have different wires from what you’ll get if you buy a unit. I had the wires changed because the original wires were a bit thin and flimsy. They say that this has an effect of the sound. For me it was really more of an aesthetic “revision”.
Now let’s get to the meat of the review: how’s the performance of the AKG K518?
This headphone has good natural isolation. This is probably due to the combination of the ear cups and the clamp. You can put this on and play some tracks at decent volume and you won’t get disturbed unless somebody taps you at the shoulder visually gets your attention.
Bass is the reason why I love the AKG K518. As you guys know I have several cans here at home. The reason is that each can has a specific sound signature which is meant for different kinds of genres. The K518 has the bass that I love the most: the punchy, fat, and deep kind. Listening to different tracks by Usher, Lupe Fiasco, Kanye West, and Daft Punk is just a blast on the AKG K518!
Mids and Highs
Initially I wasn’t satisfied with the mids and the highs. Don’t get me wrong — they’re decent but it’s not the kind that I’m used to. This was fixed with a little modification of the cans. Upon the recommendation of a friend from Headphiles we removed the foam inside the cup (just literally pick it out, you can put it back in if you like) and the result was awesome! The mids came to life immediately! Instrument separation became more distinct and the vocals became clearer.
If I were to summarize how the sound signature of the AKG K518 is like, I’d say it’s similar to the coffee that my wife makes for me. It has just enough sugar, just enough cream, and just enough love. 🙂
Pricing and Availability
So now we get to the question everyone dreads: how much is it? The AKG K518 LE retails for Php4,590. In this price range the K518 holds up and even surpasses most in it’s category. You get a good combination of sound, style, and quality for your cash.
The AKG K518 is available in the following stores:
- Digital Hub (Viramall, Market market, Robinsons Ermita and Pioneer)
- Digital Walker (Mall of Asia)
- Beyond the Box (Resorts World and Rockwell)
- Ashop Eastwood
- Beyond the Box
- E-novation (Eton Cyberpod Ortigas)
- Go Gadgets
- JBL Sound Gallery (B3 at Bonifacio High Street)
- JBL Acoustical Space (Cyberzone, Megamall)
- JBL Digital Dreams (Cyberzone, SM North Edsa Annex)
- Mobile 1 Rockwell and parksquare
- Technoholics (BF Homes Paranque)