Before we get into the AKG K240 vs. K240 MKII Comparison, 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.
In my time with them, I didn’t have any issues but I didn’t use them everyday and I didn’t have them for a long time. I ended up selling them and I kind of regret it now. I really loved the sound!
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 Soundstage, 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. I did not have any issues in my time with them.
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.
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 mandatory. How to choose a headphone amp!
With 91dB of Sensitivity, they will really need a lot of power from said amp to reach peak loudness too. Plugged into a source with no amp will leave you frowning and wondering where your money went. Learn more:What is Sensitivity in Headphones?
An overall great choice for many different entry level to mid level open back models is the FiiO E10K. Check out my official FiiO E10K Review too! It provides a total of 200mW of power, and does power my HD600’s pretty well. Keep in mind though that those have a 97dB Sensitivity. They need less power to reach optimal levels; around 20mW. The K240’s are going to need around 79-80mW. Huge difference!
Because of this, I would invest in something more beefy for these. An amp like the Objective 2 from JDS Labs is a perfect desktop solution that will serve you well for a long time. It provides a ton of power into all Impedance levels, and it’s sound is completely neutral and clean.
You can see why it’s so valuable. It will work with virtually any headphone!
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:
Guitar tracking and Mixing
Not as good for:
When I had them, I mostly listened to Prog Metal/Jazz Infusion (like Chon/Plini), some Rock, Indie Pop, etc. They will do well with most genres!
A pretty great set of cans for mixing/reference. They do well in a lot of applications, but the build quality is very sub-par. They feel like something you’d find in your local Wal-Mart, but the sound is just so good. They are also known to be rather uncomfortable for small eared folk, and aren’t nearly loud enough with out an amp.
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 flimsy, but they are studio legends. Extremely flat and accurate sound, no sibilance, and a fantastic mid-range. Bass heads look elsewhere. These are more than anemic in the bass. It’s LIGHT. This is probably the leanest bass response I’ve probably ever heard. Still, if you can get past it, you’ll find they’re an incredible value and will serve you well for a long time. 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.