Gadgetslab: AKG K 142 HD




Type: On-ear. semi-open headphones
Frequency Response: 18-24kHz
Maximum Input Power: 200mW
Sensitivity: 114 dB
Impedance: 55 Ohms
Plug: 35mm stereo mini-plug
Accessories: 63mm adapter


  • Bass is controlled
  • Loud audio doesn’t come out distorted
  • Good build quality
  • Can be worn for long hours with minimal discomfort


  • It looks weird on people’s heads
  • Slightly heavy
  • Cord too long for mobile use


The AKG K 142 HD can blow you away with its loud, but well-balanced sound, and stay comfortable even after long hours with its self-adjusting headband and soft velvet earpads.


Unlike mobile devices, there aren’t many obvious differences between one set of headphones and another. The game all comes down to delivering excellent sound quality and comfort, which the AKG K 142 HD is unquestionably more than capable of providing.

The AKG K 142 HD is a set of semi-open, on-ear headphones that you can plug into your home stereo, DVD, CD and MP3 players, and mobile devices. Its large earcups and bulky structure make it fairly heavy at 225g, but it’s nothing you won’t be able to carry effortlessly in your bag. Build quality is really nice; by no means does it look or feel flimsy. I really like the construction of the headphones, especially the self-adjusting headband that conforms nicely to the shape of your head, as well as the metal frame that overarches it. shapes it, and keeps the fit nice and secure. It does, however, look a bit weird. An office mate commented that I looked as if I’d been in an accident and the bones in my neck and skull needed straightening.

The earcups are a bit shallow, but I consider this a good thing because it doesn’t keep your ear too deep. Over-ear headphones are usually uncomfortable because they put a lot of pressure on the helix, but the AKG K 142 HD’s soft velvet earpads mitigate the discomfort. which makes wearing them for a few hours more bearable than most over-ear models. I experienced some light pressure after two hours of uninterrupted use, but it’s mostly due to the frame of my glasses hooked behind my ear.

AKG 2The AKG K 142 HD delivers loud and crisp audio output, but what’s great about that is it still retains clarity. Sound doesn’t come out distorted even when the volume is cranked up to its maximum capacity. This is possibly the effect of the 99.99% oxygen-free cable that Is meant to facilitate pure sound transmission.

Sound quality is a bit warm, but not quite. Lows are well-rounded, but not excessively booming, and that’s a good thing. It makes room for the highs to share the spotlight. While listening to Grand Funk Railroad’s Grand Funk album, the bass really stood out, but the highs still surfaced and didn’t sound washed out. Mids could have used a bit more punch, but it’s more than bearable. You’ll only notice the shortfall of medium pitches when you’re listening to classical music or spoken word.

These headphones have good acoustic isolation. When listening to music at moderate volume, you can faintly hear elements from the outside world, but when cranked all the way up, you’re totally immersed in sound. It is able to block out noise from the outside quite efficiently. From the outside, though, there’s some sound leakage going on, so if you’re listening to Nevermind at full volume, your bus seatmate can easily tell.

The cord is 3 meters long-three times longer than what most headphones have. No in line remote control is available, so immediately down the line is a hard gold-plated 3.5mm standard audio plug.

Also included in the package is a 6.3mm adapter, and you can just imagine my excitement when I saw it. Right away, I got my electric guitar, hooked it up to my little practice amp, and plugged in the headphones. With 55 Ohms of impedance, the crunchy, distorted guitar riffs were nothing the headphones couldn’t handle.

The AKG K 142 HD is available in two color variations: Mocca and Sand. It retails at PHP 8,890-a fair price for the superb sound quality and comfort it delivers.

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Words by Racine Anne Castro
First published in Gadgets Magazine, September 2013