AKG N60NC On Ear Bluetooth Noise Canceling Headphones Measurements

Measurements Wired Passive
Click on graphs image to download .pdf for closer inspection.

Raw frequency response plots of the wired passive mode are close to a textbook Harman response curve, deviating only in being about 2-3dB low 2-10kHz. That loss of treble can be heard, but truth be told I heard this headphone as not sounding quite as good as its measurements...which are pretty terrific, by the way. The raw response curve should actually start rising at about 600Hz but doesn't until about 1kHz, so there is a bit of reduced presence here.

(The upward glitches in the raw response between 200-600Hz are glitches...maybe the cat was in the lab and knocked a book over.)

The raw response is also remarkably stable with earphone movement as I measure in 5 different positions. I do have some control of this during the measurement process, but I could tell these headphones did seat nicely as I did my measurements.

30Hz square wave is text book. Just beautiful.

300Hz square wave reveals good height on the initial transient peak, but to much subsequent ring. The ring is fairly clean though and there's little other noise. The same can be seen on the impulse response. The initial rise is a little slow and wide echoing the rolled-off treble. None the less, these are fairly noise free.

Distortion plots are astonishingly low. I heard the 600Hz-2kHz as a little hard...not sure what to think of that now.

Impedance plots shows a nice, flat 37Ohm impedance but for a little swing at the end. It seems quite free of wiggles 1-6kHz that might indicate resonance or diaphragm break-up problems.

Passive isolation is a bit above average for an on-ear sealed. Needing 63mVrms to achieve 90dB at the ear they will be easily driven to fairly loud levels on portable devices.


Click on graphs image to download .pdf for closer inspection.

Wired raw response with noise canceling on shows a big shift in bass response. Positioning does effect the headphones more with NC on. This is normal for NC headphones as low notes leak around a bit and mess with the internal and external mics.

30Hz square wave is now significantly swayback for the same reason. And lots more distortion in the lower half of the spectrum. The ringing is stronger on the 300Hz square wave and impulse response. Again, all of these common for noise cancelers.

Isolation is good at -22dB broadband, but doesn't compete with the -28dB of the Bose QC35.


Click on graphs image to download .pdf for closer inspection.

Wireless response is much like wire ANC response, but bass roll-off and 30Hz swayback get a bit worse. And the noise floor on the THD+noise measurements is a bit higher.

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Suuup's picture

Wired passive surprisingly similar to Focal Spirit One, https://media.discordapp.net/attachments/293633337250021377/343892791786...

I can't really decide on this phone. It's like they tried to make a harmanphone, messed up the subbass with the DSP, and got some weirdly diffuse-field upper mids, 2-4khz range.

Here it is with DF compensation, left channel https://media.discordapp.net/attachments/293633337250021377/343893803612...

Here it is with harman compensation

Bluetooth looks surprisingly similar to the Audeze Sine

And all three versions compared

Comparison with main competitors with harman compensation

I'd still pick MDR1000X / Bose QC35. This has too little treble, and if you want a harmanphone, you'll want more bass. This is less weird in the 1-2khz range though, where both QC35 and MDR1000X have a dip.

brause's picture

Ho good is the noise cancelling compared to the Bose?

Dadracer's picture

These are on ears so the noise cancelling is never going to be as good as over ears such as the Bose. Indeed they are not as I have owned both. The AKGs are excellent as portable, foldable, easy to use headphones with better than average noise cancelling and better than average sound quality. In fact I prefer their sound signature to the Bose. Even better value if you go for the version without the Bluetooth nonsense.

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arabella's picture

Ear pads covers are good quality pleather over 1/2" memory foam; pads are 2 3/4" in diameter with a one inch center hole. I found the N60NC comfort above average for an on-ear. essay help The earpads are particularly nice.
Read more at http://cdn.innerfidelity.com/content/akg-n60nc-ear-bluetooth-noise-cance...

Davidjohn's picture

I’m really impressed with your article, such great & usefull knowledge you mentioned here

rovisal's picture

Hi Tyll, thanks for your expert review. I was wondering, in terms of sound quality, what is the best option to go for: the bluetooth or the wired version ? Thanks for bringing your knowledge with this blog !

ScaryFatKidGT's picture

I hate how wireless or ANC means DSP