Even though the AKG K181 DJ UE has been around for more than 6 months, Audio46 just started carrying them and, well, better late than never, right? Made for DJs, but equally well-suited for that Bass Head that lurks within us all, these cans offer an ear-watering experience.
The K181 DJ UE is a compact and articulate headphone with the option for a little or a helluvalot of bass. It’s a mostly-plastic build with some tight-clamping pleather pads, and some plastic switches for “bass boost” and mono to stereo sound.
The cups swivel about 270 degrees. There’s some pressure on the ears, but I didn’t really feel any fatigue for one or two hours. Albeit, after the two-hour mark I took a break, but I imagine the experience will be different depending on the individual and their ears. Luckily, I have big ‘ole dumbo ears that can take a lot of punishment, but that’s another story.
Back to the AKG K181 DJ UE. There’s a 5-meter (or 16-foot) coiled cable with a mini-XLR connection and a 1/4” stereo adapter. There’s also a small velvet-ish pouch included, ostensibly to hold the headphones.
I say ostensibly, because I can’t imagine putting these headphones down long enough to necessitate using the pouch. Instead, put on some music with a decent beat, and you’ll be in heaven. The sound is fairly articulate, nothing exceedingly fancy. There might be some slight embellishment in the high and low ends, even with the bass boost turned to the “off” position. But once the bass boost is on, you get a thumping low end. At a high enough volume, you may even feel your molars start to rattle.
This bass boost feature isn’t unlike the similar feature used on the Beyerdynamic Custom One Pro: bass can be amplified on each earpiece independently, so a person could have a bass-heavy sound on one side and a less bass-y sound on the other. I imagine this would come in handy when DJing – you get to hear things au naturale, or covered in Bass Sauce.
AKG claims these headphones are professional DJ headphones, “for those who own the crowd at the club.” I don’t know anything about crowds or clubs, but the professional quality is fairly apparent in this headphone.
The best thing about the AKG K181 DJ UE, though? The price!
Right now this headphone is going for $119 from authorized retailers. If you have any doubts, test drive a pair for yourself (there’s one on display at our Manhattan showroom, **hint**hint**). Once you give it a listen, I think your ears will agree: this is one bumping set of headphones.