It’s been over a year since we reviewed the AKG N60NC headphones and found they were a fantastic, lightweight, well designed, easy to transport, noise cancelling pair of earphones. Our AKG N60NC Wireless review takes a look at the updated wireless version to see if the same holds true for the wire-free version of these on-ear headphones.
The AKG N60NC Wireless noise cancelling headphones feature the following specifications:
- Best-in-class active noise cancelling technology
- Lossless wireless Audio playback with apt
- 15 hours of battery life
- AKG Reference sound quality
- Flat-foldable in a compact, fully transportable package
- Frequency response: 10Hz – 22kHz
- Impedance: 32 Ohms
- Max input power: 30mW
- Sensitivity: 111dB SPL/V@1kHz
- Cable length: 1.2m
- Connection: 3.5mm (1/8″) Stereo Mini-Jack
- Battery type: Lithium-ion Polymer (3.7V, 610mAh)
- Charging: 5VDC, 550mA
- Bluetooth version: 4.0
- Support: A2DP V1.2, AVRCP V1.4, HFP V1.6, HSP V1.2
- Bluetooth transmitter frequency range: 2402 − 2480MHz
- Bluetooth transmitter power: <4dBm
- Bluetooth transmitter modulation: GFSK, Π/4 DQPSK, 8DPSK
- Weight: 199.4g
What’s in the Box
- AKG N60NC Wireless Noise Cancelling on-ear headphones
- Carrying pouch
- Flight adapter
- USB charging cable
- 3.5mm detachable cable with mic/remote
- Quick Start Guide
- Warranty Information
The AKG N60NC Wireless on-ear headphones have pretty much the same slim design as their wired counterparts. There are some notable differences though and the wired version ends up looking like a smaller sibling compared to the wireless version.
The differences start with the padded leather narrow headband. The wireless version is more spread out where it meets the earcups and is slightly thicker by about 1/8 of an inch. Instead of the entire flat piece bending over to fold the earcups in towards the headband for easier storage, the wireless version bends just below that. In addition, the piece for adjusting the height of the headband is made of metal on the wireless version, which, even though it was sturdy before, gives more peace of mind as to longevity.
The ear cups themselves still consist of a leather wrapped foam cup attached to a black plastic piece with a more matte finish which is then finished off with an aluminum ring. The earcups themselves are slightly larger as well, coming in at about 2 ½” across on the wireless version as opposed to 2 ¼” on the wired set. Inside the aluminum ring is a black perforated piece with the AKG logo in silver. The only other branding on the headphones is the N60NC Wireless model number at the base of each side of the headband. The padding on the earcups is slightly thicker as well, about an 1/8 of an inch.
The controls on the AKG N60NC Wireless differ as well as the left ear cup houses the 3.5mm jack which is used to connect the audio cable and the micro-USB charging port used to recharge the headphones.
The right is where you’ll find the skip track toggle switch, power switch, and volume control buttons. The track and power switches are near the bottom of the earcup while the volume control buttons are up near the top towards the front. This design actually works well as when you place your hand around the earcup, your index or middle finger sits nicely near the volume controls and your thumb sits on the power switch.
In addition to a thin braided micro-USB to USB-A cable for charging, AKG also includes a thin braided audio cable for use when the battery dies or you want to use the headphones in connected mode. While connected with the audio cable, you can turn the headphones on to enable ANC or keep them off for passive listening. The audio cable also includes a one-button remote with microphone. Pressing once answers or hangs up a call or pauses/plays the current track, pressing twice forwards to the next track, and pressing three times goes to the previous track — of course assuming your device supports that remote functionality.
Overall I liked the design of the AKG N60NC’s, and the N60NC Wireless is no different and even with the slightly larger size are still relatively lightweight and comfortable to wear. The included storage pouch is always a nice touch and has ample room to store the headphones and a small pocket inside for the included cables.
Ease of Use
Bluetooth headphones are usually much easier and more reliable to use these days, and the AKG N60NC Wireless are no exception. Pairing was as easy as one would expect and the headphones connected to the paired smartphone whenever they were turned on. Toggling tracks was simple with the toggle switch, pushing down on it when in the middle position allowed for pausing and resuming of the current track. Pressing the button also allows for answering and disconnecting from a call.
Volume control worked fine as well, and as we’ve been pointing out lately in our Bluetooth audio device reviews here at Techaeris lately, these do not have independent volume control meaning that when you adjust the volume on the headphones, it directly adjusts the volume on your smartphone as well.
When using the audio cable, you can turn the ANC mode on or off using the power switch on the earcup. You can also answer and hang up a call by pressing the multi-function button on the inline remote. A single press also pauses or resumes the current track while pressing it twice skips to the next track and pressing it three times skips to the previous track.
As far as sound is concerned, the N60NC Wireless are almost identical in audio components as the non-wireless counterpart. The only exception being the sensitivity which is slightly reduced to 110dB instead of 123dB SPL/V@1kHz. However, unless you’ve got extremely sensitive hearing, I doubt you’ll be able to tell the difference — I know I certainly couldn’t.
As alluded to above, the active noise control is always on when used wireless but can be toggled when using the headphones in wired mode with the included audio cable. That being said, like the wired version, you’ll definitely want to use these with the noise cancelling functionality turned on. While they sound decent without the noise cancelling, they do sound a bit flat and as soon as you flick that noise cancelling switch you definitely notice a boost in sound quality. The noise cancelling on the AKG N60NC Wireless headphones is just as fantastic and even when looking directly at someone speaking a few feet away from me, I couldn’t hear anything and the volume was only at about 35%. Turn them up and you’re sure to be able to drown out most, if not all, outside sound.
Again, like the wired version sound range is fantastic, and it didn’t matter what type of music I was listening to or at what volume, it was clear and crisp from the treble right through the bass tones.
There were no issues with reception when connected to a smartphone during our testing. Even with the phone placed on a table and walking around, reception was as expected and allowed for some fairly free movement around the house while using the AKG N60NC Wireless headphones.
As far as call quality goes, when using wirelessly there were no issues hearing the other party but due to the placement of the microphone right on the earcup, I definitely found that I was having to speak a bit louder for the caller to hear me clearly. The combination remote/microphone is well placed on the audio cable, and I didn’t have to hold it closer to my mouth when on a call. During our test call, both ends of the call could hear the other clearly and without issue.
AKG claims that you’ll get about 15 hours of battery life while using the N60NC Wireless in wireless mode, and 30 hours while in wired mode with ANC enabled. We were definitely able to easily get 15+ hours while in wireless mode, and during our wired ANC test hit just under 31 hours before the battery died.
As mentioned previously, when the battery does die you can continue to use the headphones in wired mode without active noise cancellation.
At $299.95USD, the AKG N60NC Wireless are $50 more than their wired counterparts. While they still aren’t the cheapest by a longshot, they do offer good value with fantastic, well-balanced sound, the noise cancelling feature, and wireless form factor. The inclusion of a carrying pouch and an airplane flight adapter adds a bit more value as well.
Just like the AKG N60NCs, if you travel a lot and require a lightweight, well designed, easy to transport, noise cancelling pair of earphones and prefer going the wireless route, you’ll want to have a look at the AKG N60NC Wireless on-ear headphones — another Top Pick of 2017 here at Techaeris.