New Gear Review: AKG K553 Pro Headphones

The K553 Pro are closed-back, over-ear studio headphones that I found super comfortable in the studio. The large round cushions sealed well on my head without crushing my ears. Being closed-back, they provided great isolation from noise and extraneous sounds in the room.

They sounded great due to their large 50-mm (2-inch) diameter drivers. I liked that the ear cups have large “L” and “R” stenciled inside for instant channel identification. I found the K553 Pros had good subsonic reproduction with a clear sound, especially when cranked up loud for overdubbing or tracking.

The K553 Pro has a swivel mechanism that allows the replaceable leatherette-covered ear cups to be exactly adjusted to my head and then packed flat for non-use, storage or when traveling. While wearing them, the swivel mechanism lets you pull the ear cups away from your head and then swivel them to hear talking in the room without removing them.

Clearly, I could mix music well on the AKG K553 Pro headphones without compromise or hearing fatigue. The AKG K553 Pros sell for about $169.99 MAP.


Barry Rudolph is a recording engineer/mixer who has worked on over 30 gold and platinum records. He has recorded and/or mixed Lynyrd Skynyrd, Hall & Oates, Pat Benatar, Rod Stewart, the Corrs and more. Barry has his own futuristic music mixing facility and loves teaching audio engineering at Musician’s Institute, Hollywood, CA. He is a lifetime Grammy-voting member of NARAS and a contributing editor for Mix Magazine. barryrudolph.com