AKG Y600NC noise cancelling headphones could be a perfect Bose alternative

There's also a new version of the classic AKG Y50 on-ear lifestyle headphones

(Image credit: Samsung/AKG)

The battle to be declared the best noise cancelling headphones in the world is a titanic struggle between some of the biggest names in tech, with the Bose NC 700 probably out in front in terms of sales and the Big two from (Sony and Bowers & Wilkins) vying to be the critic's favourite. Now, with the all-new AKG Y600NC, Samsung's audio subsidiary is re-entering the noise cancelling fray. 

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It's promising 'a seamless listening experience', whatever the hell that means, and AKG's headphones are nearly always on point in terms of audio quality and keen pricing, so this is a BIG DEAL. 


(Image credit: Samsung/AKG)

Admittedly I have not actually heard the AKG Y600NC yet, so we will just stick to the stats for the time being. First up, and curiously, it appears aptX and AAC are not supported, which is a bit disappointing. 

Despite that, AKG promises 'studio-quality sound… deep in bass and rich in mid-range,' and I dare say there will be some treble as well. You can tweak the level of Active Noise Cancelling via an app, going from full immersion in the music, to being able to hear your surroundings, whether that's for safety, conversation, or hearing train announcements.

Like a lot of recent premium headphones, the Y600NC automatically pauses when you take them off, then resumes when their spider senses tell them they are back in Ear Town.

Battery life is pretty good at 25 hours, 'with an extra 4-hours of playback from just a quick 10-minute charge.'

As with Bose's NC 700, Samsung is making a big deal about call quality and personal assistant activation with the Y600NC. Its dual mics are powered by 'World-class audio technology that eliminates intrusive echoes, strikes the perfect balance between noise cancellation and ambient awareness.' So hopefully, Alexa/Google/Siri will hear your commands and obey you, for once.

As well as tailoring the level of noise abatement, AKG's app also lets you customise the EQ to suit your hearing and tastes. My favourite feature? 'The innovative rotating control for easy volume levels.' Yes, Samsung has revived the volume knob!

AKG Y600NC comes in a choice of rather muted tones of black, gold or silver and Samsung assures me they are 'lightweight, stylish and built with premium materials for durability and comfort.'


(Image credit: Samsung/AKG)

AKG Y600NC: price and release date 

A price of under £200 is very competitive for premium noise cancelling headphones. On past experience I'd expect these to sound very good, although previous attempts at ANC by AKG have not quite been up there with the real top dogs of noise cancellation, Sony, Bose, Beats by Dr Dre or Bowers & Wilkins.

The package includes charging cable, a 3.5mm audio cable – the headphones can be used wired – and, of course, a carrying pouch, which you will either immediately lose, or use to keep onions in. 

• Shop AKG Y600 NC in Black, Gold or Silver for £199

AKG Y400 on-ear headphones

AKG Y400

AKG Y400: 20 hours of battery life and a sound as perky as its paintwork

(Image credit: Samsung/AKG)

Also announced today was the Y400. The latest in an illustrious line of on-ear AKG headphones, these are lightweight, foldable and come in Black, Blue, Green, Pink and Rose Gold.

• Shop AKG Y400 for £109

• Best headphones under £100

AKG Y600NC: Spec

Driver size 40mm

Frequency response  10Hz –24kHz

Impedance 32 Ohms

Sensitivity 110dB SPL/V @1kHz

Bluetooth transmitted power  0-4dBm

Bluetooth transmitted modulation GFSK, /4 DQPSK, 8DPSK

Bluetooth frequency range 2.402 − 2.48GHz

Bluetooth profiles  A2DP V1.3, AVRCP V1.5, HFP V1.6

Bluetooth version  V5.0

Battery  Lithium-ion Polymer (3.7V, 610mAh)

Charging time 2 hours

Music time with BT &NC on 25 hours

Talk time with NC on 35 hours

Weight 322g

AKG Y400: Spec

Driver size 36mm

Frequency response  20Hz –20kHz

Impedance 32 Ohms

Sensitivity 106dB SPL/1mW

Bluetooth transmitted power  0-4dBm (EIRP)

Bluetooth transmitted modulation  GFSK, /4 DQPSK, 8DPSK

Bluetooth frequency range 2402 − 2480MHz

Bluetooth profiles  HFP V1.6, A2DP V1.3, AVRCP V1.5

Bluetooth version V5.0

Battery type Lithium-ion Polymer (3.7V, 360mAh)

Charging time 2 hours

Music time with BT on 20 hours

Talk time with BT on 20 hours

Weight 170g

Duncan Bell

Duncan is the former lifestyle editor of T3 and has been writing about tech for almost 15 years. He has covered everything from smartphones to headphones, TV to AC and air fryers to the movies of James Bond and obscure anime. His current brief is everything to do with the home and kitchen, which is good because he is an excellent cook, if he says so himself. He also covers cycling and ebikes – like over-using italics, this is another passion of his. In his long and varied lifestyle-tech career he is one of the few people to have been a fitness editor despite being unfit and a cars editor for not one but two websites, despite being unable to drive. He also has about 400 vacuum cleaners, and is possibly the UK's leading expert on cordless vacuum cleaners, despite being decidedly messy. A cricket fan for over 30 years, he also recently become T3's cricket editor, writing about how to stream obscure T20 tournaments, and turning out some typically no-nonsense opinions on the world's top teams and players.

Before T3, Duncan was a music and film reviewer, worked for a magazine about gambling that employed a surprisingly large number of convicted criminals, and then a magazine called Bizarre that was essentially like a cross between Reddit and DeviantArt, before the invention of the internet. There was also a lengthy period where he essentially wrote all of T3 magazine every month for about 3 years. 

A broadcaster, raconteur and public speaker, Duncan used to be on telly loads, but an unfortunate incident put a stop to that, so he now largely contents himself with telling people, "I used to be on the TV, you know."