AKG Reference Class 3-Way Headphones

AKG Reference Class 3-Way Headphones Add to MyBests
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    Expert Review

    The K3003i is designed for music lovers, pure and simple. It has the kind of sound that wows at first listen, sports the technical capacity to impress even a seasoned audiophile, and is designed to be as universal and user-friendly as possible. The K3003i sports a very conventional straight-barrel design, making it the first choice for those who want their music to sound its best on the go with minimal hassle. The built-in Apple-compatible mic and remote make it ideal for those looking to squeeze the best sound out of their iPod or iPhone.


    The K3003i's sound is best described as exciting and engaging. It utilizes a hybrid driver design, using a traditional dynamic driver for bass frequencies, and employing separate balanced armatures for each the midrange and high frequencies. Its bass sports resolution and texture far outclassing normal earphones, and has a kind of visceral, tactile punch that can only be produced by a dynamic driver; this is perhaps the end-all be-all earphone for lovers of modern bass-heavy music. However, the bass of the K3003i is well controlled and never bleeds into the rest of the spectrum, giving it a wide genre bandwidth and very versatile sound suitable for nearly any genre. The treble response is emphasized, well-extended and very detailed, giving the K3003i its signature liveliness, and its midrange is extraordinarily clear; while occasionally taking a back seat to the powerful bass and sparkling treble, it never fails to impress with ample clarity and detail.
    The K3003i features an adjustable filter system, offering configurations dubbed Reference, Treble Boost, and Bass boost. To be fair, the K3003i does not offer a replaceable cable, a feature that many consumers have come to expect on earphones costing upwards of $200. This leaves the buyer at some risk, and should certainly be considered when deciding if the hefty price tag is worth the risk. But those with the wallet and/or nerve for such a premium earphone will not be disappointed by the excitement and pure listening pleasure the K3003i is capable of delivering.Rating: 5/5

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