It’s my job to listen to a lot of headphones. And it’s my pleasure to write about the experience in a hopefully enlightening fashion. Today’s job-pleasure thing has to do with AKG’s excellent set of noise-cancelling on-ear headphones called the N60 NC. I reviewed the wired variant in November and really liked it. At CES, however, AKG did the obvious and cut the cord with a wireless N60 NC, which finally made their way to me this week and I’m delighted by just how good these new headphones are.
Is this a kneejerk reaction? Absolutely. But my knee is only jerking around because I can’t stop tapping my foot to the sound of these AKGs. Priced at just under $300, these compete directly against the likes of the Beats Solo 3 and the Beoplay H4, both of which I have reviewed, and they win. Neither Beats nor B&O Play offer active noise cancelling at this price, whereas the AKG N60 NC does a great job of tuning out everything exterior and leaving me with my tunes and my thoughts. AKG’s pair also collapses down into a very compact shape that can be protected with a provided pouch. Only other thing I’d ask for might be a USB-C charging connection and a slightly more lovable name.
The N60 NC is bassy in just the right way. I’m under no illusions about it being neutral or of an audiophile quality, and I get the sense that neither is AKG. This is just fun, punchy, dynamic sound that deluges the ear with pleasing notes. Bass is the first thing you lose when you go outside into a noisy environment, but with NC enabled and the appropriate tuning from AKG, these headphones will make for a perfect commuter pair you can just keep permanently tucked into a corner of your work bag. Bonus: AKG claims up to 30 hours of battery life (15 hours with NC turned on), so they won’t be running out of juice in a hurry either. Wireless headphones have been improving in quality very quickly over the past year, and the AKG N60 NC Wireless keep that momentum going.