When comparing AKG K81 DJ vs Shure SRH440, the Slant community recommends AKG K81 DJ for most people. In the question“What are the best headphones?” AKG K81 DJ is ranked 68th while Shure SRH440 is ranked 79th. The most important reason people chose AKG K81 DJ is:
Despite the compact size. the bass is full, has great impact, deep extension yet is not loose. The low end also has a natural quality to it that makes these headphones great for music that is performed using real instruments. The mids are slightly recessed, but also have a natural tone. The highs are the most recessed or rolled-off, but the detail and airiness of the music is not totally absent. This quality helps give the sound a smooth and pleasing tonality.
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Pro Full bass with adequate levels of mids and highs
Despite the compact size. the bass is full, has great impact, deep extension yet is not loose. The low end also has a natural quality to it that makes these headphones great for music that is performed using real instruments.
The mids are slightly recessed, but also have a natural tone. The highs are the most recessed or rolled-off, but the detail and airiness of the music is not totally absent. This quality helps give the sound a smooth and pleasing tonality.
Pro Ear cups can swivel facing outwards
The K81 can be used “DJ style”, wherein only one ear cup is in contact with the head. The cups have a smooth swivel action so they can be rotated to face outwards. A user can choose to hold one ear cup up to his or her ear while flipping switches or turning knobs on the mix board with the other hand.
Pro Easy to travel with
While these are already quite compact, the ear cups can be folded into the headband to reduce their size even further. This makes them easy to stuff inside a bag and travel with.
Pro Comfortable to wear even with extended use
The clamping force is not too much at all, so acceptable levels of pressure will be applied on the ears. Also, the ear pads are thick with ample pleather padding on the surface. This combination provides adequate cushioning between the ear cups and sides of the head.
Pro Can fit a wide range of head sizes
The aluminum headband itself has some good flex. Combined with the sliding mechanism of the ear cups, K81 can be adjusted to fit a wide range of head sizes. Also notable are the numbered steps on each side of the headband, which allow for accurate and consistent ear cup positioning.
Pro Feels high quality
Although it's mostly made of plastic, the materials don't feel cheap at all. Aside from feeling sturdy, the plastics have a smooth rubber coating which makes them feel premium to the touch. Also, the headband is made out of aluminum which is significantly more durable than an all plastic one.
Pro Reference quality sound which can be fun to listen to
Sound signature is fairly neutral, with slight elevations to the bass, mids and highs.
Bass has a nice fullness to it, with some extra depth which gives the sound a lot of body.
The mids are neutral but slightly forward, making the vocals sound really clear. Aggressive guitars can sound a bit harsh because of this though.
Treble has good extension, and the added peak on the highest frequencies add more sparkle to the sound.
Overall, these headphones can be used both for critical listening and for casual music enjoyment as well.
Pro Superb sound isolation
The closed back, over the ear design blocks out a significant amount of noise, allowing users to easily focus on the audio. Sound leak is also kept to a minimum.
These are great for tracking and monitoring, and are also great choices for use in quiet environments like a library.
Pro Headphone cable is detachable
You can easily remove the cable when these are not in use, making them easy to store. This also makes the cable easy to replace when needed.
Con On-ear design can still be uncomfortable
While the ear pads are thick and give a lot of cushioning, some may still find this to be uncomfortable. Being on-ear, some pressure is applied onto the ears.Those who are sensitive to this may still feel some discomfort, especially when worn for several hours straight.
Con Highs may sound too recessed
People who prefer their music with sparkly highs and utmost clarity likely won't find these headphones to be a good listen.
Con Lengthy cable can be a hassle
The cable is 2.5m which is fairly long. Since it is not detachable and the cable tends to tangle quite easily, it may cause some problems with regular home use or when taking these headphones on the go.
Con Build quality is rather poor
The overall build is quite plasticky, with a lot of rattles. While it is not fragile by any means, the build quality certainly does not inspire confidence.
Con Ear pads are not the most comfortable
Pleather is used on the surface of the ear pads which traps heat and can make the area around the ears warm up fast. Also, while the ear pads are large and soft, they are also quite thin. People with larger ears may experience their ears rubbing against the driver housing, which can get quite uncomfortable.
Con Thin headband padding
There is minimal cushioning on the headband, so the plastic may dig into your head when using the headphones for long periods.