L ike most people I have been a bit skeptical of wireless headphones but when my trusty pair of Bose QuietComfort noise-cancelling headphones decided to fail I began to look into the possibilities and was surprised.
I looked at a number of reviews primarily on WhatHiFi and narrowed it down to the AKG Y45BT. While not the cheapest in town, you definitely get a lot of performance and features per dollar.
Aesthetically, they are very smart and solidly constructed. The padding on the cans is made from high quality soft leather and the aluminum headband has fitting scales laser etched on each side. The speaker domes are articulated allowing them to be ‘flat packed’ when commuting.
From a functionality perspective, the Bluetooth connectivity is excellent. Pairing with all of my devices (iPhone 5S, iPad Mini and MacBookPro) was fast and very reliable.
You’re given small but valuable clues that a successful connection has been established via an audible alert and a flashing blue LED. The frequency of LED flashing indicates the state of the connection.
This product also includes Near Field Communication (NFC) which means they can be paired by simply touching a compatible device.
Sonically these headphones are outstanding with faithful highs and detailed mid-tones. The AKG sound signature could best be described as quintessentially ‘British’ – restrained power and authoritative bass without unnecessary emphasis.
I listen to a diverse range of music from alternative metal, contemporary jazz, dub reggae to blues, classic rock and electronic. Most of my collection is in uncompressed FLAC format transcoded on the fly (320 Kbps over 3G) to my mobile devices from my home server powered by Subsonic.
The AKGs don’t miss a beat across all of these genres and I’ve even discerned lyrics from tracks I had previously missed.