Zit Seng's Blog

A Singaporean's technology and lifestyle blog

AKG Q460

The AKG Q460 is the second of three models in the AKG Quincy Jones Signature Line of headphones. It is a smart-looking lightweight on-the-ear headphone that joins the Q350 (my review here) and the Q701 to be endorsed by Quincy Jones.

Thanks to Omy.sg, IMS Marketing and AKG, I was provided with this pair of Q460 headphones for review. This is my third AKG headphone review, after the Q350 andK518LE. There is also the flagship K3003, the review of which I’ve saved for the last, although I’ve been already shared my first impressions here.

We’ll find out in this review if the Q460 headphones live up to the reputation of the legend whose name it bears.

Like the Q350, the Q460 is packaged inside a nice cardboard box, with a clear plastic window letting you have a peak at the Q460 in it. A photo of Quincy Jones is featured on the front of the box. Apart from the white colour version you see here, the Q460 is also available in green and black colours.

The Q460 comes with plenty of things inside the box. That was the first thing that came across my mind when I pulled out the contents, particularly when I saw the wires and connecting accessories. You get:

  • The headphone itself
  • A semi-hard carrying case
  • 1 m long detachable headphone wire with iPhone-compatible mic and remote
  • 60 cm long detachable headphone wire (without mic and remote)
  • 3.5 mm to 6.3 mm adapter
  • 3.5 mm to 2.5 mm adapter (with a short wire)
  • Several pieces of printed materials, including warranty and a brochure on the Quincy Jones Signature Line

It looks like plenty of things because, well, headphone wires are usually not detachable, and you get a selection of wires with and without iPhone-compatible mic and remote. Furthermore, it isn’t common to find a 3.5 mm to 2.5 mm adapter. Most headphone jacks are 3.5 mm, the 2.5 mm appeared with some mobile phones at one time but they didn’t seem to catch on.

The semi-hard carrying case is a nice touch. It’s covered in fabric material. Inside, there are two mesh pockets on one side. You can keep a small music player in one of the pockets, and whichever of the two detachable wire you prefer in the other. The Q460 headphones are designed to fit into the other side. As you can see from the photo, the Q460 can be folded into a pretty compact form. There are depressions on the side of the carrying case to fit the folded Q460 perfectly. It’s pretty convenient for carrying both your headphone and music player together.

Comfort and Fit

The Q460 fits quite comfortably over my head and onto my ears. As you might recall from my review of the K518LE, I was a little apprehensive if this tight grip was a signature feature AKG headphones. Fortunately, it isn’t. At least not with the Q460 anyway.

The Q460’s ear cups are smaller than average, so they aren’t going to cover the ears very well. As a result, isolation against outside noise isn’t all that great. The ear cups are pretty maneuverable, so they are quite easy to put on, and put on right.

The cushions on the ear cups are soft, very comfortable. Combined with a not-too-tight grip, these are the type of headphones that you can wear for hours and hours on end and drown yourself in your music bliss.

The wires are too short! Okay, the one with the iPhone-compatible mic and remote measure 1 m, a length that I feel is just barely sufficient. I would have preferred more slack. But if you choose to go with the wire without the mic and remote, that one measures only 60 cm long. That’s just far too short to attach it to a gadget carried, say, in your pant’s pockets.

I like the idea of detachable wires. I assume that AKG will sell replacements, reasonably priced, so you don’t have to throw a whole set of headphones away simply because of a problem with the wires.

Sound Quality

I was sadly disappointed with the sound quality. Perhaps I held too much expectations given its endorsement by Quincy Jones. But everyone hears sound differently, and each of us have different preferences, so certainly you may feel differently from me about the Q460.

The Q460’s bass doesn’t impress. Although I don’t consider myself a bass head, I do like to hear a strong tight accurate bass. Given the right source material, I think the Q460 might deliver decent bass, but overall, this is not its strong point.

The midrange, on the other hand, is unusually strong. There’s a lot of punch to vocals, delivered with clarity and assertiveness. Vocals are important, but I felt that they were overbearing.

Soundstage on the Q460 felt narrow, but I’ll concede that there is overall balance and clarity in its sound.

As you will find out in a later part of my series on Ultimate Listening – In Search of the Best Headphones, we all have different preferences in the say we want to hear our music. Try out the Q460 yourself. You might pretty much disagree with me.

Conclusion

The Q460 is a good-looking, lightweight, compact-sized headphone. The detachable wires with option for having the inline iPhone-compatible mic and remote, or not, is a nice touch.

I’m not a fan with the sound, but your mileage may vary.

The Q460 retails $219.90, and you can find them at retail shops such as Stereo.

Pros:

  • Lightweight, can be folded into very compact-size for portability
  • Comfortable to wear
  • Detachable wires, option to have mic and remote, or not

Cons:

  • Wires are too short, particularly if you choose to go with the wire without mic/remote
  • Isolation isn’t great

This post was originally written as part of my participation in Omy.sg’s K3003 / The Sound of Luxury blog. I’m now reposting some of those posts, with some minor edits, on my own blog.

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