If you’re looking at getting yourself a new set of headphones, then the likelihood is that you come across these two brands. Both Beats and AKG are two of the biggest hitters when it comes to over ear headphones.
And as someone who’s owned a ton of headphones over the years, it puts me in a good position to compare the two together and give you some pros and cons of both. I currently own the Y50BTs and the Solo3s, and in the past I’ve owned a ton of different Beats headphones – I’ve purchased various versions of the Pros, Executives and the original Solos – some of these I ended up returning, which might give you a hint to where I’m going with this.
AKG vs Beats
If you’re comparing the two brands directly and you want the best sound, then you have to look at AKG over Beats. If we’re talking on a dollar-for-dollar basis about which of these brands will give you the best bang for your buck, then AKG win hands down.
Advantages of AKG
The most obvious area where you’re going to see the difference between AKG and Beats is the sound. Every set of AKG headphones that I’ve owned has been better sounding than the price equivalent set of Beats – in fact, some of the cheaper sub $100 AKG’s that I’ve owned are better than the $200+ Solo3’s that I’ve bought. That in itself will be enough for most people to opt for AKG.
If that’s not enough, then another reason I’ve preferred AKG is the build of the headphones. Whilst they might feel fragile, I still haven’t had any issues. This isn’t the case with my Beats headphones, which I’ve had several issues with. So purely from a quality perspective, AKG are the undoubted better choice in my opinion.
Advantages of Beats
If you’re thinking about getting some Beats, then there are a few reasons why I’d opt for them over AKG headphones. Firstly, Beats are more of a fashion accessory than anything else – they look good. So, if you’re looking at getting a set of headphones for someone as a gift and they’ve asked for Beats, then you won’t want to pick up anything else.
Another reason why Beats are a good choice is because they’re definitely more comfortable than any set of AKG headphones that I’ve used. Whilst AKG focus primarily on the sound quality of the headphones, sometimes that can be lacking a little bit in terms of how comfortable they are. So although AKGs sound better, I’ve always found Beats to be a little more comfortable.
I’ve owned 2 pairs of the AKG Y50s over the last few years – originally I owned a pair of Y50s, and then upgraded to the Y50BTs which have Bluetooth integrated into them. For the money they cost me (around $100 in the sale a while ago I think), they’ve not let me down as of yet. Here are some good things about the Y50BT’s, as well as some negative areas where I think they should definitely look at improving.
- Sound quality – As with all AKG headphones, the best thing about them is undoubtedly the quality of sound. In comparison to Beats and most other cheaper priced headphones, they really blow most other competitors out of the water. If you’re looking for a decent set of headphones at a cheap price, then the Y50BTs are your best bet.
- Battery Life – This set of headphones will give you around 20 hours of battery life. This doesn’t match up to some other more expensive models (the Beats Solos will give you a lot more than this), however they’re typically more expensive. So for their price, they have a decent enough battery life.
- Price – Of course, one of the main reasons that I opted for this set of headphones is their price. They’re relatively cheap, and it might be worth checking if they’re on sale before you buy them, as you can find them at discount prices throughout the year.
- Audio jack – One of the essentials of a set of Bluetooth headphones for me is the ability to use them with a wire too. If your headphones do run out of battery, then you can easily just plug them into your phone via the cable that comes with it.
- Headband – One thing that I definitely would prefer the Y50BTs to have is a padded headband. The headband is metal, and as someone with particularly short hair, sometimes I can feel it against my scalp – I’d rather have a rubber headband or something more comfortable.
- Sound leakage – The other thing about the Y50s that isn’t great is the sound leakage. As with most lower priced headphones, if you play these at full volume then you’re undoubtedly going to disturb the person next to you. So, it’s probably best to keep things to an average sound level if you’re going to be using these headphones for commuting.
Overall, AKG have my vote if you’re looking for a set of headphones – and this is from someone whos owned quite a few pairs of Beats throughout the years. Whilst Beats might be a more fashionable option, the majority of people are willing to give this up if you’re going to get a better sound quality, which is ultimately something that AKG are better for. So, sticking with AKG is always going to be a safe option. You could also consider other brands like Raycon and Airpods.