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published: Jun-27-2018, updated: Apr-7-2019

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NO SMOOTHING is applied to the shown plots. Most measurement sites have some smoothing applied which ‘irons flat’ sharp peaks and ‘wiggles’. I do not use smoothing because some info about sound quality is lost when plots are smoothed.

Aside from a small correction of the microphone itself also some correction in the lowest frequencies is applied to the plots to compensate for the perceived loss of bass when using headphones. This is described HERE in more detail.
A ‘horizontal‘ frequency response curve on the shown frequency response plots on this website thus indicates a perceived ‘flat’ tonal signature.

ALL measurements are made with a good SEAL on a flatbed measurement rig.
The shape of your head, bone structure, pad size, pad ‘softness,  (compliance), hair or no hair and or wearing glasses may (drastically) change the frequency response of some headphones, so… your personal experience may differ substantially from these plots.

Frequency response (tonal balance) is the most sound-determining aspect of headphones. A horizontal line shows audible neutral response in the plots on this website. Deviations in different severities at different frequency bands have an effect on the sound character.
The bigger the deviation the stronger the effect.

Below an aid to help determining the sound character of headphones with relation to the frequency response.


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The AKG K92 is one of the cheaper full sized over ear headphones in the AKG line up.
It looks quite decent in black with matt-gold accents. There are 2 models ‘below’ it, the K72 and K52 so the K92 is the ‘top model’ in this line and said to be the best sounding of these 3 models.  The MSRP is around $ 49.-.

Below the AKG sales pitch:
Mix and master your tracks with uninhibited clarity with the AKG K92 over-ear, closed back headphones. Professional-grade 40mm drivers reveal even the subtlest nuances, so you can be confident your mix will translate accurately on any system. Whether you’re fine-tuning track levels within the mix or mastering the final product, the self-adjusting headband and lightweight design will provide hours of comfort. Designed by the company whose mics and headphones have helped create some of the world’s most iconic recordings, the durable K92 is a serious headphone that delivers great sound in the studio and beyond.

There are some glowing and  positive reviews out there.
The K92 does look nice and quite ‘serious’. The gold accents give it sort-of a ‘flagship’ appeal.
Comfort is quite good. Lightweight and the self adjusting headband has more than enough range for most head sizes and works well. The pleather (fake leather) pads have large openings, 60mm diameter, but a small depth of just 18mm. The cable is a bit microphonic, meaning mechanically conducted sounds when the cable is touched are audible, and way too long for portable usage and non-replaceable.
For studio and desktop usage the cable is of a good length.
Mechanically the construction is decent and can even be called good for this price range.

The K92 is quite efficient and plays loud from portable sources. No extra amplifier is needed.


Type: over ear, closed
Usage: studio usage, home and portable
Driver type: dynamic
Pads: replaceable, pleather pads
Inner pad dimensions: diameter = 60mm, depth = 18mm
Collapsable: No.
Cable entry: single sided (Left)
Cable: fixed,  3m. with 3.5mm TRS jack and 6.3mm adapter.
Driver size: 40mm
Nom. power rating: 0.2W
Nom. voltage:  2.5 Vrms
Nom. current:  80 mA
Max. S.P.L.  121 dB
Impedance: 32 Ω
Efficiency: 98 dB/1mW  (113 dB SPL/V)
Isolation: Good
Weight: 200 g.
Clamping force: low/medium
Accessories: 6.3mm TRS adapter

Sound description:

There is a discrepancy, so to speak, between the claimed performance and the (by me) perceived performance.
AKG claims: uninhibited clarity ….  reveal even the subtlest nuances, so you can be confident your mix will translate accurately on any system ….  delivers great sound in the studio and beyond….  authoritative, extended low-frequency response that gives definition to kick drums and bass guitars. At the same time, the detailed yet precisely balanced high-frequency response reveals the nuance in vocals, guitars and acoustic instruments. Provides reference-monitor accuracy

Well… Indeed the extended low-frequency response is there (when the seal is good), but that’s about the only part of the sales pitch that is true.
For those looking for realistic sound and or reference-monitor accuracy really should look elsewhere and forget these headphones exist.
Low bass to lower mids is there and on the proper level. Not the greatest quality and ‘compressed’ sounding, as in the opposite of a dynamic and open sound.
The mids are muffled and are completely devoid of any clarity or presence. And not just slightly but totally. Clarity/presence is not there at all.
The treble is just a ‘sizzle’ type of highs popping out above the mids. Not great quality at all but not coarse sounding it does have a softness to it.
Just not detailed and lacking dynamics.
The K92 is just a muddy puddle of warm / bassy sound with no clarity and some sizzle treble up top.
So definitely NOT reference-monitor accuracyuninhibited clarityreveals even the subtlest nuances… detailed yet precisely balanced highs.
None of this.


Below the frequency response of the K92 (Left, Right)FR K92

Channel matching is quite good. The frequency response shows a neutral-ish tonal response from 10Hz to 600Hz with a small ‘upper bass’ bump which indeed gives definition to kick drums and bass guitars, But is not of good quality. From 600Hz to 5kHz (the mids and upper mids see illustration below) the output drops … a lot !https://diyaudioheaven.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/graph-bass.png

The upper mids are 20dB too low… that is about 4x less upper mids than the lower mids/bass.
From 5kHz a very sharp rise to 6kHz (where the sibilance area is see the sound characterisation above this review) and then drops down 25dB again at 20kHz.


Seal can be an issue with closed-back headphones. Breaking the seal (improper fit on the head, glasses, hairs) usually means a loss of (sub)bass. The K92 is not different than most other closed headphones in this aspect.
Perfect seal, with a very small ‘leakage’ by thin armed glasses, with thick armed glasses and when the headphones are lifted just slightly.seal lossA good seal is very important. Wearing glasses may reduce the low end considerably.

output resistance / damping-factor / impedance

As this is a dynamic headphone the frequency response might be amplifier output resistance dependent when certain higher output resistance amplifiers are used.
To test this the headphone is measured via a low impedance amplifier (0.2Ω) and a high impedance amplifier (120Ω).
On a higher output resistance amplifier the output level will be considerably lower. To compensate for this the amplifier is cranked up to the same level (13.5dB at 1kHz) as the low impedance amplifier. This way the plots are overlay-ed and it is easier to show the tonal balance differences.120 OhmThe headphone does not react to higher output resistances other than in level. There is hardly any difference. The output resistance of the used source/amplifier has NO practical influence on the sound and the impedance of this headphone is quite ‘flat’.

Below the distortion plots of the K92. (only right channel shown). The distortion products are shown in dB.

DIST K92 L percentThe distortion in the bass area is as can be expected from small (40mm) drivers in this price range. Below 200Hz the 2nd harmonic and 3rd harmonic (indicates compressed, clipping alike behaviour) distortion is reaching audible levels (1%). The spike around 4kHz is reaching 4% but as the overall output there is 20dB below the mids the audibilty of that peak is not as bad as the plot suggests.
From 200Hz up the distortion levels are decent (aside from the 4kHz spike)

Note: The 2nd harmonic distortion between 200Hz and 3kHz is most likely lower than the 0.2% shown in the plots. This is due to the limit of the measurement rig which is reached.

Below the CSD of the K92 (Left and Right channel are superimposed)CSD K92No upper mids anywhere and a massive resonanceat 6.5kHz. That is about the only part of the treble range you will hear as directly above that peak the level drops down again.

Below the spectrum plot of the LK92 (Left channel).spectr K92 LLingering bass and lower mids. Not the trademarks of high quality bass reproduction.

By lack of oscilloscope shots (not even going to bother) below a step response plot of the K92. (Left channel)step R K92
The initial rise doesn’t reach the 0dB line at all. It remains about 12dB below the mids . Bass extension is good as indicated by the just slightly downwards sloping horizontal trace. The enormous ‘bounce’ which rings on is the 6kHz resonance. The slowly rising everage risong of the signal shows the lack of ‘attack’ and ‘presence’


Save yourself the trouble and buy a Superlux HD688 or Takstar Pro 82 instead.
This way you will at least get very good sound quality for an affordable price.
These are not recommended… for anything.. unless you really hate clarity and realsitic sound and just want bass and some treble sizzle.
When looking for ‘hifi’ or ‘reference’ sound … well these are very far from it.
The price and fancy looks are the only thing it has going for it.

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