I suppose this would be a good place to adjust our expectations. In terms of the AKG headphone product line, the K 309s and K 311s are at the bottom of the proverbial heap. It is important to remember that the retail pricing for these two products is low ($16.95 & $24.95). The street price for both is destined to be even lower. Therefore, going into the evaluation of these headphones, my expectations were realistic.
With the exception of an, “improved bass response” for the K 311s, both sets of headphones feature, according to AKG, a comfortable fit, included ear pads (recommended), and iPhone compatibility (a 3.5″ plug). There is nothing that causes these headphones to stand out among the endless sea of low-end headphones. They are not feature rich. However, they are not expensive either. Jump to the product pages for more information and specs: K 309, K 311.
The packaging, fit, and finish of these headphones are all on a par with the majority of AKG’s competitors in the space.
In terms of comfort, I was very disappointed in these headphones. Granted, my expectations were not high considering the price point. The problem is in the diameter of the portion of the earpiece that actually fits into your ear. Using the generic Apple earbuds as a reference, the AKGs felt significantly larger. Subsequently, I could not fit the earbuds into my ear properly. They could only sit skewed within the ear opening. This was not only uncomfortable, but not conducive to an acceptable overall listening experience.
The performance of K 309s and K 311s was what one would expect from this type of headphone. The quality of sound was, not unexpectedly, mediocre. having listened to all types of audio content through these headphones, I would say they are better suited for spoken word content, rather then music. I did notice a little better bass response from the K 311s. It is possible that, with a better fit, the sound could improve.
It is important to be fair to AKG. These are not meant to be high-end headphones. They are low-end headphones that carry a low-end price tag. If you are buying these headphones expecting to enjoy great comfort and audio quality, save your money and purchase a higher quality set of headphones.
It is possible that a person with a larger ear opening might be able to enjoy a better fit and subsequently a better sound quality. I would suggest an attempt to try before you buy!
MAKING THIS PRODUCT BETTER
At this price point, there is not a lot that can be done to improve these headphones. With that being said, reducing the diameter of the earpiece could improve the fit which would improve the sound quality accordingly.
If you are someone who has a larger ear opening that could fit the AKG K 309s or K 311s properly, and are in the market for a low-end pair of earbud styled headphones, then these might indeed “fit” your requirements. However, if you have the misfortune of having a normal sized ear opening and are looking for decent audio quality and comfort, you will need to look at some of AKG’s higher-end headphones and spend a little more money. With the hope of some needed future improvement, I am awarding this product a 2.5 out of 5 on our MyMac.com Rating System.
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