R.I.P. K240

Time for some new headphones. I have had these AKG K240 Studio headphones a little over 5 years. They have served me well over many late evening mixing sessions, but recently, the plastic medallion holding the left can together just exploded when I picked them up. I patched it back together as I have with other cracks and separations with carefully sized and placed (NOT! 😛) duct tape, but alas, yesterday I got no sound at all from that side. Someone with more patience than me (and a working knowledge of a soldering iron) could probably get it in working order again, but I think I’m ready to start over.

The only thing I haven’t liked about these phones is the build quality. They have rarely, if ever, left the comfort of the home, but the plastic rings on the outside of the cups cracked fairly early on, and now finally the coups de grace.

However, I have had no complaints about the sound quality. So much has been written about these classics that I can’t really add much. All I’ll say is that these worked great for mixing. Flat response with nothing overemphasized. Mixes made on the K240s traveled pretty well. The only slight quirk is that I often wanted more bass in the nearfield monitors or in the car after getting a mix right in the K240s. So if pushing up to Soundcloud direct from an iPad mix, for example, I would boost the bass just a little to compensate and call it a day. I’m sure there are “better” phones out there costing several times as much, but at $70 now, few would argue the K240s are best bang for the buck going.

So what now? I’ll probably just get another pair soon. I know what these sound like and I know I like them, so why do anything else? The only thing I’ve seen mentioned in the same breath are the Samson SR850 at $50. After 5 years, it’s probably worth a trip to the local Sam Ash for a back-to-back listen before I decide. But I suspect I know what the outcome will be.

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2 thoughts on “R.I.P. K240

  1. AKG usually makes good stuff, I have a few of their mics, and when I used to DJ, we had several full wireless mic setups from AKG as well as Electro-Voice, both handhelds and headsets…

    Sorry to heat that your AKG K240s bit the dust. I have a pair that was given to me back in 1986, and they still work great today. I use them all the time for both tracking and mixing. Recently and for the apst 3-4 months or so I’ve seen a ‘flavor’ of the K240s for sale on Sweetwater for like $29, likely they are not the same as the vintage cans I have, and might not even be up to snuff compared to the ones you had, but I thought that I’d mention it.. I also used to have a pair of the Sony MDR-965z cans and they were sweet, but got stolen a while back and I never replaced them, similar cans from Sony now are like $175… Hope this helps!

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  2. Thanks for the reply Booli. I’m hoping I just got a “lemon” with the build quality of that pair. They still sounded great (well, half of them anyway). I sold them on eBay as a “needs repair” item. After seller fees and shipping, I recouped a whopping $7 and change. 😛 Oh well, hopefully the buyer can indeed get them back in working order. I have found a replacement and I’ll post about that in the near future.

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