AKG are an acoustics engineering and manufacturing company, and they're known for excellent sound quality, and luxurious build quality, but is that the case with the their Y500 headphones?
*The AKG Y500 Wireless Headphones were reviewed using hardware provided and sent to us by AKG/Samsung but in no way influenced the review.
Design: On-ear, closed-back
Battery life: 33 hours (900mAh polymer li-ion battery)
Charging time: 2.5 hours
The AKG Y500 are an attractive set of headphones (AKG were awarded an iF Design Award for the Y500s), the packaging is typical AKG, with a well spaced out box, complete with strong cardboard and plastics, and a somewhat generous accessories pack. Alongside the Y500's, you get a carry case, micro-USB charge cable (no USB-C here, sadly) and a 3.5mm jack adapter, which also houses a microphone, so you could use these with your mobile, or even console/PC - it won't replace your desktop mic, but they'll suffice if you're in a pinch.
The headphones themselves are very attractive, although they are a lot smaller than I expected them to be. There's a very minimal AKG logo on top of the band, and a very small AKG logos on each outer ear piece. AKG make excellent, study headphones, and the Y500s are no exception - there's a great mixture of aluminium and plastic, which makes them feel exceptionally sturdy, but also lightweight, and there is a nice polished metal edge around each ear cup, giving them a really premium feel. It's a great mix, and whilst the the insides of the earcups are comfortable, they do squeeze down a little more than I'm used to - they're by no means uncomfortable to wear for extended sessions, but they are definitely tighter than the Samson SR850's I normally use as my daily drivers.
There's a power switch on the right earcup, which has a small blue LED to indicate when the Y500s are switched on and a handy Bluetooth-connected indicator when your headphones are paired. Under the power switch is a button for a clever feature AKG is calling ‘Ambient Aware’, which makes you aware of your surroundings while keeping your headphones on, so you don’t totaled by a car, or fail to hear someone trying to get your attention.
Jumping over to the left earcup, there’s a small button for playing and pausing music (which you can also double-tap to bring up your smartphone’s voice assistant if you pair with your phone) and a neat volume switch that you slide up or down. The controls are very responsive, and they all have a different style/feel to them, so you quickly get accustomed to which is which, and they'r every well placed in order to find them without taking the headphones off.
AKG have packed an additional feature into the Y500s, where they'll automatically pause your music when you take them off, then resume when you put them back on. Whilst the feature does work, if you remove them gently, it wont pause, if you put them back on gently, it wont resume. The Y500s seem to prefer being a bit roughed about with the feature, and whilst I'm certain they could take it - I'd really rather not.
Sound quality on the Y500s is absolutely fantastic delivering superb, detailed, and clean audio. I tested the Y500s on my PC, Huawei P20 Pro, Samsung Galaxy Tab S6, and audio on each sounded fantastic. The sound quality whilst watching the 4K trailer for James Bond -No Time to Die was tremendous, with punchy bass, and deep acoustics, the Y500s deliver on all marks. Music itself was another great experience, although during music I noticed they performed even better wired over wireless.
The AKG Y500s are exceptional headphones - whether you're using them for pleasure, or using them for work, they deliver on all accounts. If you're looking for excellent sounding, great looking wireless headphones for under £200, the AKG Y500s are an excellent choice.