Hi friend and Welcome! So you wanted some in depth information on the AKG K240 vs. K240 MKII? Well today I will be giving you exactly that..
So grab a snack, sit back and relax because..
You’ve come to the right place!!
What I will bring you in this review
Normally I would review both headphone separately, but being that these two models are almost identical (with a few differences), I will outline the K240 and then compare it to the K240 MK II towards the end.
What you should know about these first and foremost has to do with the ear-cups. They can become quite fatiguing, hot, and make your ears sweaty after a time. Since these cans are very light, it can be both a strength and a detriment.
For the most part they are very comfortable, but the build quality seems suspect. Being all plastic, they don’t feel particularly durable. Some have noted that they will break down over time, others have had them for years without a problem.
The original model of these was called the AKG 240 Sextett, and came out in 1975. The longevity factor in each of these models overall is quite good when it comes down to it.
If you want to know more about the original K240 Sextett model, click here!
Just be aware that neither the K240 Studio or K240 MK II are actually made in Austria anymore. They are designed in Austria but made in China.
They have a good tonal balance, and a good, true sounding mid-range. The mid-bass is a bit boosted, but overall this is not a bass-heads headphone by any stretch. In fact, the sound signature is quite flat and neutral. There is a deep and clear bass response, but after 40hz it very much rolls off. It has a definite presence and realism to it, without being exaggerated. It’s a bit thin overall below 100hz.
The K240 also has a nice open sound-stage, with a good mid-range. What is Soundstage? They don’t feel overpowering even at high volumes. This is definitely a headphone to wear in an isolated room/studio space. They will leak quite a bit of sound and aren’t really suited for on the go, given that huge cable.
Detachable cable. The mini XLR connector feeds from out of the headphone cup, into your standard 3.5 mm, and comes with a 1/4″ adapter. A lot of people like the XLR aspect to it. What is XLR?
Replaceable components. Pretty much any piece on the AKG K240 can be replaced or modded.
An overall flat and neutral sound signature. Great for mixing, and excel at lower volumes.
Incredible treble detail, some say even better than the Q701.
Good for a lot of different applications and musical genres. More on that in a bit.
Has a nice warmth to it, with a certain “body” and fullness on acoustic guitars and vocals. A certain groove if you will.
A unique sound that many have come to adore. It really starts to open up after the 200 hour burn in mark.
This section is for conflicting viewpoints.
Some say they are comfortable, others can’t stand them. This has to do mainly with the size of the ear-cups. If you have small ears, you’re in business. For larger Ross Perot sized ears, they don’t fare as well.
Not loud enough and don’t do as well without an amp.
Manufacturing quality has suffered over time being that these are now made in China.
All plastic and extremely light. Some have had problems with various pieces breaking off. Overall the set feels cheaply constructed.
The faux leather can make your ears sweaty after prolonged listening sessions.
There have been complaints of one ear crapping out over time.
Bulky, massive cable.
Bad customer support.
Credit to my boy @Metal571. Check him out on Twitter!
To be honest, these are pretty inefficient, and will sound pretty quiet out of your phone, laptop, or mobile device. An amp is highly recommended. How to choose a headphone amp!
An overall great choice for many different entry level to mid level open back models is the FiiO E10K.
Who these headphones benefit?
As mentioned in the Pros section, the K240’s do well in a variety of different instances. I’ve seen them endorsed for:
Not as good for:
A pretty decent set of cans for mixing/reference. They do well in a lot of applications, but the build quality is very sub-par. I wouldn’t feel comfortable owning these for a long period of time. They are also known to be rather uncomfortable for small eared folk, and aren’t nearly loud enough with out an amp according to some.
Similarities & Differences
Sound-wise, these two headphones are pretty much identical.
There are 2 main differences to speak of here:
Choice of cable. The MK II comes with 2 cables, a coiled version and a straight version.
2 included sets of pads. You have the choice of an extra set of regular pads and a nice comfy set of velour pads. ‘MERICA!
I really do like the K240’s, and owned them at one point. The build is a little flimsy though, and it’s what holds them back from being an outright no brainer recommendation. Still, if you can get past it, these have been a studio legend for years. Interested in learning more?
If you are looking for an open, neutral headphone that sounds and performs similar to the 240 but with a better build, go with the Sennheiser HD 558. It’s just an overall amazing buy, without the build quality and comfort issues that the K240’s present. If you’re looking for the total package, the 558 is definitely not to be taken lightly. It is one of the best all around open backed headphones in existence. Interested?
If you’re wanting to stay around a similar price range, are looking for that same neutral, studio reference quality, and don’t mind a closed back headphone, I would go with the Sony MDR V6. What you’re essentially getting is the same type of sound, but with increased durability and much better comfort overall. These things have been an industry standard since the 80’s!
If you are looking for that hard hitting bass, and don’t mind spending the extra dough, my top recommendation for an open backed model would be the Beyerdynamic DT 990. These babies are quite impressive. They have a great sound-stage, are super comfortable, and utilize an amazing build quality (typical of Beyer products).
Finally, do you need a closed back basshead can? The V-Moda Crossfade M100 is my choice. It’s durable, comfortable, and has a hard hitting bass that’s not bloated or boomy. If that wasn’t cool enough, it’s also got a detailed sound signature with loads of accuracy and precision! Who would have thought? Interested in learning more?
Stu is determined to provide the truth about all things audio, and strives to deliver excellent content to you the reader! In his spare time, he likes to fish, paint, play guitar, attend church, take photos, record videos, graphic design, and more. His attention to detail and perfectionist attitude are what allow him to excel, but it can be both a blessing and a hindrance at times.