With over 70 years of audio engineering experience and over 1500 patents in audio acoustic engineering to its name, AKG is a big-hitter in the audio world. Despite being bought up by Samsung back in 2017, the company hasn’t stopped producing great-sounding audio equipment – it’s just that you’ll now also find it built into Samsung products like the Galaxy S20.
The latest in a long line of headphones manufactured by AKG is the new AKG Y400, a more fashion-focused, budget-friendly option than most of the AKG range. The first thing you’ll notice about the Y400 range are the vibrant colours on offer, including Black, Pink, Green, Blue and Rose Gold, and the high-gloss finish gives the headphones a noticeable sheen.
The on-ear cans are also much smaller and daintier than many headphones on the market, and that translates to a much lighter pair of headphones, weighing only 170g. To enhance that even further, AKG designed the Y400s to fold down, allowing them to be tucked away in a little carry case when not in use.
But despite the lightweight dimensions and budget-friendly £109 price tag, the Y400 are pretty smart; like Apple’s AirPods and Razer’s Opus headphones, the Y400s feature the ability to automatically pause when removed from your head, and automatically resume when put back on.
There’s also an Ambient Aware mode that uses the built-in microphones to filter through sounds of the environment around you, keeping you aware when you’re out and about listening to tunes.
Being primarily wireless in nature, battery life is an important area, and with a combination of a 20-hour battery life and fast-charging that provides 4 hours of use in 10 minutes, the Y400 range has that covered.
Most importantly, AKG claims that the small dimensions and affordable price doesn’t compromise on the premium audio experience that AKG strives to offer. The company claims that the Y400s deliver smooth tones, exceptional detail and deep bass – of course, it’s hard to say for sure without going ears-on, but it’s an interesting claim for a relatively cheap pair of cans.
If you want something a little more high-end, the (also new) AKG Y600NC over-ear headphones might be more tempting. At £199 they’re still not bank-breaking, especially when you consider the inclusion of Active Noise Cancellation to quieten your commute to work and bring peace on long flights, larger 40mm drivers for an improved audio experience, intuitive touch-based volume controls and a longer 25-hour battery life.
You do lose the slim dimensions and lightweight design though, with AKG’s new premium cans weighing in at almost double the Y400 at 322g, but that’s a worthy trade-off for some.
Both the AKG Y400 and AKG Y600NC are both available to buy from the Samsung website today, with the cans set to come to retailers including Amazon, Currys and Argos in the coming days. For more headphone inspiration, take a look at the best headphones, and our pick of the best wireless headphones too.