AKG K240 studio as the name implies is being sold as a studio headphone. At its price point, I wouldn’t hesitate to call it a budget studio headphone as there are more expensive ones in the market for this type of application. Having said that, the AKG K240 has a sound signature that I personally find quite pleasing.
Bass is quite strong and a little loose I would say but it doesn’t really bleed into the mids. As a matter of fact, I find the mids quite coherent sounding before it slightly tapers off around the upper midrange area. A lot of times when the bass is strong, the mids are badly affected in that it makes it sound ‘cupped’ or even veiled. This was not the case with this headphone in my listening tests.
Treble is kind of sparkly but suffers from peaks and notches which is reflected by its frequency response graph. A quick comparison with the DT880 and the Hifiman HE400i reveals imaging issues where it sounds piercing at times especially if you’re listening in high volume. Still not as thin and piercing as a Superlux HD 668B or 681 which is a good thing.
As a semi-open headphone, I do find the soundstage to be decent although it obviously falls in comparison with open headphones. I tend to think AKG (open) headphones sound airy and it isn’t different for this one despite its price tag.
Headphone can be driven easily at 55 ohms although I did my listening tests with it being plugged into my desktop via Aune T1 SE DAC/Amp.
At its price point of close to $100 or so, even less street-wise, I don’t have any issues recommending the K240 for those looking at a studio headphone that’s not too expensive. It has good enough characteristics for studio monitoring but is also decent enough for just plain music listening.
If you’re coming from say a Grado SR60 or a Sennheiser Momentum on-ear, I wouldn’t consider the K240 a step up as it’s more of just a different type of headphone that is not necessarily better in the sound department than those two.
If you haven’t owned an open-back headphone before and want to have a taste of it without spending lots of money, the K240 Studio would be at the very least a decent headphone to consider.
Shout out to AKG Philippines for sending us this headphone for review.