When AKG says the AKG N60NC Noise Cancelling Headphones deliver, “First class noise cancelling headphones fine-tuned for travelling” they aren’t using hyperbole. No, they are describing their newest on-ear headphones with NC. I used them for a weekend trip to Atlanta and they were nothing short of terrific. They sound great, are comfortable, and the noise cancellation is excellent!
The AKG N60NC on-ear headphones are wired headphones with active noise cancellation. Designed for travel, they are light, fold up into a particularly small package and do a great job of helping to shut out the world so you can enjoy your music, get some work done or simply close your eyes and rest.
This newest member of the Flight line-up will rock your world continuously with up to 30 hours of battery life. And if immersing yourself in your music for a long period of time is the goal, the N60NC can still be used in passive mode after the battery dies out.
Accented with premium material such as aluminum, memory foam and leather, this unparalleled listening experience comes magnificently packaged in elegantly crafted lightweight headphones that provide both viewing and listening pleasure. In addition, this ultra premium audio offering comes complete with first-class features like an exclusive 3D-Axis folding mechanism, a fully-accessorized travel package, a one button universal remote/mic cable and a USB charging cable.
Inside the box you will find the AKG N60 headphones, a small zippered carrying pouch, a flight adaptor, a USB to 2.5mm charging cable and a 3.5mm to 2.5mm detachable cable with universal mic/remote. It is a complete package that will have you ready for your next trip as soon as you open it up!
The headphones are of the on-ear design so you can assume they will be a bit smaller than your over-the-ear options. Still, I was actually surprised at just how small the headphones actually were. The round headphones each sport the AKG logo in silver against perforated black plastic. They are mostly plastic but have metal and leather accents that add to the quality look and feel.
A plastic silver ring surrounds each headphone and gives it a classy and refined look. As noted, while these are mostly made of plastic, the headphones don’t look or feel cheap in the least.
The ear cups have soft, plush leather and plenty of padding. I usually find that on-ear headphones start to hurt my ears after a while. There was little of this with the N60NC headphones and, when there was even a bit of discomfort, a slight shifting of the headphones did the trick and returned me to total comfort.
The headband is covered but not overly padded. It doesn’t need to be thanks to the fact that the N60NC headphones are so light. Overall I give these high marks in the comfort category.
The 3D folding mechanism allows the headphones to curl up into an oh-so-small package. This is ideal since travelers want to not only pack light but also don’t want travel headphones taking up a ton of space in a carry on. These don’t. And while the folding mechanism is plastic, the design seems to be sturdy enough that these will put up with a good bit of use.
It all folds up and fits into the half-circle carrying case.
Since the N60NC are designed to be wired headphones there are really three ways you can use them. You can plug in your cable and listen as you would with any pair of wired headphones. When you do you will find the sound to be good but not great. You can do the same thing but flip up the one control on the headphones themselves and turn on the active noise cancelation. When you do you will enjoy sudden quiet and be pleasantly surprised at just how terrific the headphones now sound. It really is a fantastic listening experience.
Here’s my video review:
You can also put on the headphones without plugging in the cable and switch on the active noise cancelation. No, you won’t get any music but you will be able to shut out the outside world and be alone with your thoughts. And because the headphones are so small, light, and comfortable you won’t feel awkward doing this.
As with all their products AKG took painstaking care to tune the headphones in a manner that music-loving travelers will appreciate.
A clear, word-class acoustic signature with a warm bass response that will take your musical enjoyment and appreciation to new levels.
Finally let’s talk about the active noise-cancelation. In a word it’s great! I don’t expect on-ear headphones to offer the same degree of cancelation as their over-the-ear cousins. After all, over-the-ear headphones tend to block out a good bit of sound even before the electronic are turned on. In the case of the N60NC however the cancelation is superb. When my plane was taking off from Atlanta yesterday after a lovely weekend with Raina’s parents I was struck by how loud this particular plane was. I pulled out the N60NC headphones and switched them on and it became an entirely different experience. I can’t see not traveling with NC headphones even on a short trip. On a longer trip, however, they are a must-have since it not only makes the flight more enjoyable but it also means you will arrive more rested. These fit that bill quite nicely.
I am actually writing this review with both the washing machine and the dishwasher running in my small one bedroom apartment. The sound was giving me a headache. Then I put on the N60NC headphones without music playing. Ahhhh… The quiet was lovely and I could think again.
There’s more good news. The battery in the headphones is large enough, and the electronics efficient enough, that you can get up to 30 hours of use per charge. That’s amazing. And when they run down you just plug the included cable into the headphones and a USB power source to recharge them.
That actually leads to my biggest complaint with these headphones. To charge them you need the USB to 2.5mm cable. And while its included, if you lose it you are out of luck. The small plug isn’t standard in the industry and, unless like me you have other AKG, JBL or HK headphones with a similar arrangement, you’ll have to buy a new cable before you can use the headphones again. Were there a microUSB port for charging the headphones this would not be the case. And while I get the design choice here I think it was a mistake.
Just for fun… Here’s Raina and my video review:
- Active noise-cancelling: High performance, active noise-cancelling technology.
- AKG reference sound : The ultimate, uncompromised sound quality.
- Passive mode: ‘No power? No problem!’ thanks to the handy audio bypass cable.
The N60NC headphones have an MSRP of $249. At that price they compete with other excellent headphones with active noise cancelation but these are so comfortable and the NC so good that they deserve serious consideration. These headphones are the complete, but strikingly small, package.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample
What I Like: Light and comfortable; Do a great job shutting out noise and letting you work or travel in quiet comfort; Great battery life; Fold into small, easy to carry package; Sound is excellent when NC is turned on.
What Needs Improvement: Plastic; 2.5mm plug for audio and charging rather than standard 3.5mm and a microUSB charging port.