AKG HSC 271
These sound really great
Headphones are excellent, but the microphone takes some experimenting to get setup properly. A nice unit.
Reviewed on B&H Photo Video
HSC 271 is an excellent product for my applications.- External noise attenuation is sufficient. You'd have to get a lot heavier to do better than this for passive attenuation.- Mic noise rejection is superb. Wind handling is obviously imperfect, this is a hard problem for any microphone. The supplied pop shield does help.- Audio quality is very good, they are based on the AKG K 271 MK2 headset which is well known for being great headphone. Bass i... Show Mores a bit withdrawn, but fear not, it will exert itself accurately if need be.- Build quality is on the better side. It's a bit plasticy, but it doesn't feel too cheap. I would have paid up for a version with more aluminium/magnesium and 303 stainless if they offered it.- Comfort is good, not perfect. Maybe I have big ears, but the cans are not quite large enough for my entire ear to fit without touching the top or bottom. I can get it right so that it is comfortable for extended durations. Your mileage may vary based on your ear height. I think Sennheiser got it right here, building headphones that generally match the proportions of the human ear (vertical oval).- The boom-up mute is not actually a circuit switched mute inside the headset. It sends a signal down the wire to mute the equipment it is plugged in to. It expects the platform to understand this signal.- Switching the speakers off when you remove it from your head is a blessing and a curse. Sometimes I like having one ear off to listen to my surroundings, while still having an ear on for comms. This can be a bit difficult to position properly because you can accidentally mute the headphones and miss stuff. It can also be handy for the advertised reason.- Mini-XLR is great. Secure and easy to detach/attach.- I use this plugged into my computer (MacBook Pro) and my work cell phone (Xperia P). The mic works with good clear signal in both cases (6-pin XLR adapted to 3.5mm TRRS). At 55 ohms, the drivers work well on almost any gear. The mic will not work with an iPhone, the iPhone expects a lower power signal, a resistor would have to be placed inline to bring the mic output to the 1.8V that the iPhone expects. I may make this modification at a later date.- Worth noting that the relatively high bias voltage required by the condenser mic does eat up battery at a notable rate on mobile devices.- Being able to service and replace most parts on the headset is a plus.Note that this headset has the correct mic gain for computer usage. The HSD 271 does not.If you would like to know the experience by which I frame my conclusions, here it is: I am a cellular technician, casual gamer, and audiophile.My work involves long comms with control centers during jobs. This means direct instructions delivered in very noisy, small, air conditioned cellular shelters with tons of fan-cooled gear and servers running. The person on the other end often is not a native english speaker. It is critical that my headset provide decent isolation so I can easily focus on what they are saying. It is also critical that the mic have good noise rejection characteristics so I can be heard above the commotion inside the shelter. Long jobs can last five or seven hours straight, constant comms are necessary, this means that comfort is mandatory.I play games with my friends casually using voice communication, Ventrilo or Skype. The environment is less challenging in this case, but nice clear communication is important, and especially tonal rendering to catch sarcasm and other nuances. Also some folks have less than ideal setups on their end, so being able to hear a quiet individual is useful. Comfort is also important here.My audio quality judgement comes from set of Senn HD600s and CD quality audio. I'm not the last word in audio judgement, but I know a decent sound when I hear it.Show Less
Reviewed on B&H Photo Video