đź”· AKG K553

This is the official thread for the AKG K553. This thread is for discussion and reviews.

  • Over Ear
  • Amp needed
  • Open Back

:red_circle: HifiGuides Amazon link


[Z Reviews]



Does this really need an amp? Want to use this off my phone.

Honestly no, I have this and can run it off my portable player easily. Plus that description looks like a mistake, Z said in his review that this could be pushed by a phone.


I’ve been trying to decide whether to get these or the sivga 006s . Not many have reviewed the sivgas but they sound like cheap well rounded headphones that don’t sound cheap. HD 598cs, M60x or just getting ZMF cowhide leather for my m40xs was also options I’ve been thinking of.

Got the K550 MKIII (detachable wire, not sure about other differences) and they run off a phone although not loud enough for my liking.


I actually have the K553. They were my first “audiophile” grade headphone. I modded mine with HM5 pads and a removable cable. They’re alright. However, they’re not the best headphones I’ve ever used.


  • The earcups are too big and not deep enough, as a result your ears will hit the plastic driver housing, which hurts after a while. They also don’t get a good seal or offer noise isolation. This is fixed with brainwavz mod
  • Non removable cable on stock. It’s way too long and bulky. Honestly I’d say its a breaking point for me. If you’re a brave boy/girl (or stupid like me) you can open them up and give them a removable headphone jack.
  • Too loose with stock pads, too tight with HM5s

Good stuff

  • Built extremely well. It’s incredible how light and study they are. They also fold flat if you carry them in a bag. Everything on them feels nice. And they’ve held up well after 4 years.
  • They have really good resolution, especially in the upper mids and highs. You can hear all the detail in that area super well. I listen to a lot of metal so this is nice sometimes.
  • Can be powered by anything. I used them for a few years with a Fiio E10k, but they worked perfectly well with my mac, ipad, and S8.
  • AKG sells these as “pseudo open”. It’s a little BS but they actually do sound more spacious than normal headphones. This is nice for me since I get fatigued when listening to closed headphones for some reason. You sort of get the best of both worlds. They’re definitely closed though, like think closed with the quarter of the sound stage of a real open headphone.


  • Sound signature is an acquired taste, and you need to acquire it every time you put it on. My SHP9500s are far more flat/warm so the K553s sound tinny and hollow whenever I put them on, lacking any bass. It takes like 10 minutes before your brain starts to hear the bass, which is surprisingly tight if a tad recessed… When you put on your earbuds or any other headphones you get slapped in the face with bass again, so it’s nice to be able to appreciate different parts of the music.
  • Zeos calls these MMMidrange cans. I would say that’s sort of true, but to me they seem a bit bright. Great detail in the highs, but I do feel like overpowers the rest of the music. They aren’t sibilant though.

Would I recommend them? hmm… I suppose, but only if you’ve actually head them before, either via sound demo or borrowing it from a friend. If you like them stock or aren’t afraid to mod them, they’re a good pair of headphones for listening to music with a lot of complex detail. I wouldn’t recommend them if you like bass, are treble sensitive, or if you want headphones for gaming or general use (youtube or netflix). They’re only really enjoyable with music.

Hope I helped. If you’ve already made your decision, maybe it’ll help someone else.