Everything is matte black with just a hint of light grey colour in the AKG logo on the sides, making these lightweight, discreet headphones a comfortable choice for extended listening sessions. The ear cups appear slightly thicker than those on the normal version, likely to handle the battery and the additional Bluetooth gadgets, and the headband has a huge embossed corporate logo to help with orientation. The K361-BT works flawlessly right out of the box and is simple to set up and operate. The on/off switch was simple to locate, Bluetooth pairing with our test computer was simple and straightforward, and in a matter of seconds we were enjoying some music from Apple Music. Since we didn’t have to wait for them to charge before using them, we enjoyed that they came fully charged from the start. In fact, the battery held a charge for several hours during our subsequent testing. The broadcast range appears to be enough; while we were listening, we left the PC running and moved into the next room, the hallway, and then up the stairs without experiencing any dropouts or degradation. On the left ear cup’s side, there is a convenient array of built-in touch controls: double-tap to start and stop playback of whatever you’re listening to, swipe up and down to adjust volume, and forward and back to change songs. Once you remember whatever action carries out which purpose, these operate fairly effectively. A built-in microphone is also available for Zoom calls and online games. The codec, which controls how Bluetooth sends audio from the source device to your headphones, is necessary for audio data to be compressed for airwave transmission. There are various codec standards in use, all of which have different bitrates. Higher bitrate codecs typically produce better sound quality. If you’re going to use wireless headphones, it makes sense to spend money on models that support high bitrate codecs like Qualcomm’s aptX, Sony’s LDAC, or AAC. AAC and SBC are the only Bluetooth codecs that the K361-BT supports. The royalty-free format used by YouTube and Apple devices is AAC, although it performs poorly on Android devices and isn’t at all supported by Windows. As a result, Windows users are left with no choice but to adopt SBC, the “lowest-common-denominator” codec that serves as the industry standard for all Bluetooth devices.

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