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Koss PortaPro - Headphones ( semi-open ) Reviews


Best On-Ear for its price. Used the anniversary edition.


Pros: light, timeless design from the eighties, very unique kind of sound signature, portable, lifelong warranty in the US, long warranty in germany.

Cons: tends to break, bass does overpower mids and highs if used at home without any mods, tend to rip out your hair or strangle you just for fun.

After my previous skullcandys my parents gave me as a present broke, I went to a store for electronic stuff in general and tested some headphones. The standard Porta Pro as well. The bass was cool, especially because it came out from nowhere.   Some days later I bought the anniversary edition in full black. Maybe the sound was a little bit better, I don't really know. First their design is really striking. I haven't seen such a headphone before, only earbuds, IEMs, over-ears, clip-ons and head-sets, but not this one. After adjusting the metal band to your head, there is almost no pressure. There were several times I totally forgot the headphones were still on my head. The less...
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The benchmark in affordable on-ear headphones


Pros: They nailed it; pure enjoyment of music in a comfortable, fun-looking headphone with a killer guarantee.

Cons: You might get mistaken as a hipster. They're not a replacement for studio monitor phones. The ear-cup foam will degrade over time.

Market niche: To provide a high level of musical enjoyment at an affordable price. Obstacles: People associate cost with quality. Fashionable name brands, aesthetics, compactness, and gimmicks (noise cancellation) command a higher priority in today's market.   I'm one of THOSE. You know...vinyl is superior to digital. Tube amplifiers beat solid-state. FLAC files only. Definition, soundstage, separation, muddy/boomy/punchy. No replacement for displacement...drivers, magnets, cone construction. Yup. Guilty.    But I'm going to say it; for pure portable musical enjoyment, I reach for these every time. They aren't "accurate" headphones. They look dorky. They leak sound....
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A Very Satisfying Listen


Pros: "Listenability", Warmth, Soundstage, Lack of Irritants

Cons: Treble Roll Off, "Fold" into a round rather than flat shape

So, 35.00, 40.00?   What do you get?   Very good sound, outstanding comfort, a lifetime warranty.   It's a warm sound.  Plenty of bass, not too much IMO, significantly rolled off treble.  Smooth midrange, not overly present or recessed.   So light that they apply just a touch of pressure to the top of your head and your ears.  Mostly your ears, and its softened nicely by the ear cushions.  Very comfortable, so that they can be worn for hours.   Clearer and more sonorous than the somewhat competitive Sennheiser 100 II.  Better bass and generally similar build quality. More comfortable as well.  To my knowledge, there...
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They're the best bang-for-the-buck headphones you can possibly get, IMO.


Pros: Sound quality, comfort, design, aesthetics, design hasn't changed since '84, uses KSC35 drivers, just in blue instead of black.

Cons: May be considered to be dorky and ugly by the Beats, Soul, Skullcandy, and Bose crowd.

I got a pair of Portapros last month, along with a Sansa Clip+ 4GB, these headphones sound really, really good for $40, especially with an EQ'd Clip+, and I had UR40s, which are also great bang-for-the-buck headphones, sound great, comfortable as can be, however they're not as portable as the Portapros are. Unfortunately, the UR40s died due to a short in the plug a few years ago, so I lived on MDR-V150s and Bass Freqs, both of which are OK for the price, but not as good as the Portapros or UR40s.   On the comfort aspect, the Portas are extremely comfortable, especially on the "Light" setting, and actually a bit more comfortable than my old UR40s and way more comfortable than my...
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Best for The Buck


Pros: Surprisingly well balanced SQ for the price but it needs an amp to really sing.

Cons: Speaker cables extremely fragile, especially at connection with drivers. (Sennheiser PX's have same fragility as well).Needs amp to tame the bass.

My third set of these classics due to the weak speaker cable connection to the drivers which breaks if you just think about it! Koss should have addressed this long ago by adapting the, IMHO, much more substantial cable it uses on its extension cable w/volume control. It is not much heavier.   The issue with bass quality can be controlled with an amp which sharpens/tightens the bass response. Doing so really opens up the midrange and treble and widens the soundstage. It gets even better with a DAC in the chain. I use a NuForce Icon uDAC2 with my laptop (running JRiver Media Center 16) and a NuForce Icon Portable with my Sansa Clip+.The DACs sharpen the focus, add depth and...
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Classic portable headphone


Pros: Good soundstage, strong bass, good resolution, detailed, easy to drive, comfortable fit

Cons: noticeable frequency bump, very open design, cheap looks

The Koss Porta Pro is actually one of the oldest headphones still around - and it´s alive and kicking! Since I bought them, I tried several others (like Sennheiser CX-300) but I always came back to the Porta Pro. The sound mixture is just so easy to enjoy, the sonic design was done with a lot of taste.   They look and feel very cheap but they are surprisingly sturdy nonetheless. Much has been written about the sound: "too much bass, not crisp, etc." While this is not untrue let me explain a bit. Most portable players attentuate lower frequencies, this was a fact 20 years ago and it´s still valid today (unless the headphone output is amplified digitally). The Koss Porta Pro simply...
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Inexpensive to the Max


Pros: Bass, Comfort, Sound

Cons: Hair Ripping, Short Cord

What can be said about these headphones that has not already been said in the 25+ years they have been in production?   Well, my girlfriend thinks they look silly...  And that for some odd reason makes me love them more.   Out of few phones I currently own, I always find myself reaching for these.    With the wonderful bass and full bodied sound comes the whole "PortaPro Experience". - First you try and squeeze them out of the tiny bag that Koss has provided. - Then you unroll, unhook and unfold them. - Next comes the pain of adjusting them on your head as they rip hairs out (surprisingly gratifying). - The plug, that Tiny little plug now...
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The best sub $50 headphones


Pros: Price, comfort, mids, upper bass

Cons: Poor sub-bass, fluffy treble, build quality

Sound...   From 100 Hz to 6000 Hz, they trade blows with much more expensive headphones, and that is not hyperbole. That is why so many people love them.   Above and below those cutoffs... no of course not.   But still, the mids are crunchy and savory. The highs are smooth yet detailed enough to be enjoyable. The bass is warm but reasonably tight, and certainly not bloated. The sub bass is nonexistant, the upper treble is lo-fi. But these little bastards cleverly stylize their deficits to mask their impact on the sound. It's an enjoyable filter that you can view your music through, that isn't the highest in fidelity, but it's faithful and playful enough to be...
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The reason I have became a vivid music consumer


Pros: really impresive sound quality and good soundstage, value master due to koss lifetime warranty, no need to amp them, really portable

Cons: hair ripping, can't be worn around neck, not the most comfortable to wear, cable tends to break, hair gets under the membrane, leaks music

Porta Pros simply made the biggest difference for me when listening to music as I have switched from some low-end sony in-ear to them and suddenly when playing the same song music became more rich and colourful and instruments more noticeable soundstage improved and on top of that really nice bass for me as I listen to classical rock or big beat and those bass makes it more pleasant for me. One thing I hate is how in past few years quite a lot more people started to use them and they can't appreciate the music as they are just kids listening to recycled audiosmog king of commercial waste.   If you are concerned about bass being too strong there are some mods that are supposed to...
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King of Pangaea





I bought my first pair of these when they first came out in about 1986 or so and have been using them for portable audio ever since. first with Aiwa Walkman tape players and now iPod Classic 160.  I have gone through a number of them since then, but the great thing about Koss, no matter what you may think of their cans today, is their lifetime warranty.  If the cable shorts out, or they otherwise break, or become unusable, just send them back to Koss with a check for $7.00 and they will fix (maybe replace).  Used to be $5.00.   Check with them for the current repair rate.   I've bought a few more pair, had several repaired by Koss, and been using ever...
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