- Good noise cancellation technology
- Love that they are completely wireless — you can also use as wired headphones
- Great for travel and office use
- Really good battery life at ~14 hours on a single charge
- Eventually fatigue your ears, as do any on-ear headphones
- Little bass. Higher volumes get distorted. Not amazing audio quality
- Cannot use as regular bluetooth headphones with noise cancelling turned off
The AKG NC Wireless Headphones are really good noise cancelling headphones for anyone that likes the on-ear fit.
If you’re looking for on-ear wireless headphones, but you have to have noise cancelling technology, the AKG N60 NCs are a solid option. While they are pricey at $300 MSRP, we have seen discounts on them and Amazon regularly goes well below full retail with the N60s, so just keep that in mind before you get sticker shock.
Design of AKG N60NC
They are mostly plastic with a very soft headband and ear cups. The headphones are lightweight, adjustable, and compact and even come with a soft-shell carrying case to make them easier for travel. On the bottom of the right ear cup you have a power switch, which also doubles as the bluetooth pairing button, and then a track management switch, which allows you to pause/play/skip track/go back a track. On the top of the right ear cup are the volume controls. Our main issue with the whole layout here is that the two switches on the underside of the right ear cup are basically the same in terms of shape, size, function and even placement such that you will constantly be hitting the wrong switch. Several times I’ve tried to skip a track and accidentally turned them off inadvertently. The more you use them though I’m sure this will become less and less of an issue. On the left ear cup you have a 3.5mm headphone jack port to use them as wired headphones and microUSB port for charging. Overall in terms of design, we really do like the AKGs, but the button placement is a little curious. Still, they are more comfortable than most on-ear headphones—thanks to the super soft ear cups—and you can use them for about 30-45 minutes without any real fatigue to your ears. We also really appreciate how light and portable they are…perfect for anyone in an office or that travels a lot.
Battery Life and Bluetooth
The N60s will go pretty much a solid 14 hours of listening time on a single charge and if you have them in wired mode with just the noise cancellation running (no music) they’re supposed to go up to 30 hours. We think the battery life is really good, especially considering the size of these headphones. Unfortunately, you cannot use these as standard wireless headphones without noise cancellation running. If you’re using them in a Bluetooth capacity, you need noise cancellation running. And speaking of Bluetooth, the range is about 50 feet with the AKGs before you pickup and disruptions to the wireless signal. Not bad at all, but not nearly as good as the Bluetooth range on the Beats Solo3. Additionally, we found that walls, doors, and people only mess with the signal at the outer limits around 30-50 feet, which is pretty standard. As such, the N60s get points for good battery life, but no points gained or loss with regard to the wireless signal.
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Sound Quality and Noise Cancellation
In terms of audio quality, we were expecting a little more from the N60s. It’s not bad by any means, but the noise cancellation seems to be the bigger star with these headphones. They are pretty clear and crisp, but the bass is lacking and the sound quality at the higher volumes goes downhill quite a bit. Still, most folks will have no issues with the N60’s sound quality. Nor will they have any issue with the noise cancelling. They do a really good job of tuning out ambient sound, although the seal is not as good as with over-ear headphones and therefore you do hear more external sound than with other headphones, including the Bose QC35s.
Quick Thoughts on AKG N60 vs Bose QC35
The Bose QC35 are far more expensive with an MSRP of $350, although that changes here and there so you can check pricing on Amazon if you’d like. Additionally, you’ll get better battery life with the QC35s, but only by a little bit considering they are bigger headphones overall. The QC35s claim up to 20 hours of listening time, while the AKGs, as previously mentioned, are about 14 hours on a single charge. Additionally, we feel that the music quality on the QC35s is better, overall with better noise cancellation thanks to the over-the-ear design.
AKG N60NC Review Conclusion
Bottom line with the N60s is that they are really good travel headphones, but nothing so special that you would try to convince a friend to blindly follow you. They sound good, the noise cancellation is good, the comfort is good for on-ear headphones, and the battery life is impressive. They’re definitely not perfect, but if you can get a deal on them, they may make more sense than other expensive headphones from Bose and Sony.