Published on September 12th, 2016 | by Greg0
AKG’s N60 NC: Sharp, Wired, Noise-Canceling
There aren’t many companies out there that have won a Grammy award, and even fewer audio brands. But in 2010, today’s firm was given the award (trivia note: the only other Technical winner that year was none other than Thomas Edison). Long-time manufacturers of a variety of professional solutions like microphones and aviation headsets, they also bring that experience into their consumer line. You may not need reference monitors, but it’s nice to know that the same engineering backs your headphones.
The AKG N60 NCs are on-ear noise-canceling headphones aimed straight at taking on any of the other big names in the category. On-ears are lighter and easier to travel with than over-ear sets, though it comes at a cost- typically they are a bit less comfortable and offering reduced isolation. These, though, use leather and memory foam on the cups instead of substitutes, making them quite cozy even over longer listening sessions. The headband isn’t padded, instead made from a bulkier plastic, but each cup folds in and then rotates flat for portability, in or out of the included neoprene case.
These aren’t wireless though and offer no Bluetooth functionality, which you should definitely keep in mind. The trade-off is better battery life, up to 30 hours of getting rid of external sounds and the ability to use the headphones as normal even if your batteries do run dry. Cables are handily removable, and there is a universal one-button remote and microphone for use with smartphones and tablets (though no volume controls). A USB cable is in the box as well for recharging. The overall aesthetic is classy without being old-school and modern without being edgy, and it matched the sound signature as well- never booming or boosted-bass-heavy, instead offering clean mids and clear highs. As you might expect considering the legacy, it sounds better, a little richer and more energetic, than most NC models on the market.
The noise cancellation technology in the AKG N60 NC on-ear headphones is top-notch, comparable or superior to most of the competition. It eliminated most repetitive and background noises, like the squealing and grinding of trains to the whirring of airplanes, and at most a slight hiss could be heard during periods of low volume. We’ve always liked AKG gear in the past, and it’s part of the Harmon family (along with JBL). They tend to create products that have stood up to some serious testing and time; these come with a two-year warranty. They’re available only in black, and are a better bet for those with smaller heads, but the AKG N60 NCs are available now, online and in stores. Expect to spend around $249.95.