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The Official Koss Pro 4AAT Appreciation thread - Page 2

post #16 of 31

I'm thinking of buying this for my teenage son. The factors that interest me about these headphones are their price ($55) and durability. Do they sound better with a headphone amp?

post #17 of 31

looks like the pro4aat fans just jumped up by one more :)

 

 

bought them used on the amazon marketplace for like 45 dollars, lol loving these so far, they're really really good with trip hop, listening to some morcheeba right now out of my matrix m stage and gf tubedac 11

 

 

 

im probably going to burn them in for another 100 hours as i have no idea how long the previous owner used them, honestly i dont find the weight on these distracting or noticeable at all, maybe i just have a strong neck lol

 

 

also the vinyl earpads which i thought were going to suck so much and be pretty much rock solid all the way through are surprisingly comfortable, i've had these on for around 2 hours straight and haven't gotten hot or anything, clamping force is a little tight so i do have to open them up and readjust the positioning every half hour or so but its nothing like the vice like grip my ath pro700mk2's had, those things turn oranges into juice lol

post #18 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by damie-dee View Post

I'm thinking of buying this for my teenage son. The factors that interest me about these headphones are their price ($55) and durability. Do they sound better with a headphone amp?

i know im like 4 months late but if you do end up getting these you're DEFINITELY going to want a amp for these, a powerful one at that, these things have a 250 ohm impedance, straight out of an ipod or laptop headphone out, they're going to sound really really low volume wise, the bass is probably going to be impacted as well insofar as extension goes, an e7 should be okay with these, on the portable side i cant say with any real confidence but i know an e6 is rated at being able to drive phones up to 300 ohms so it might be worth checking out

 

 

 

oh and for anyone interested, out of curiousity, i ran these thru my digizoid zo2.3....@#$%ing horrible! lol just pure unadulterated distortion on both low and high gain

post #19 of 31

hi everyone.. I bought mine last week for $150 bucks.. pretty good... :) I use the E6 as an amp :)

post #20 of 31

Hi all: My Sterling TE400 on-the-ear headphones have developed a cable short and while I could attempt to find it, cut the section off, etc., and continue enjoying them I decided to see if it was worth "upgrading".  I noticed the difference on some models in the impendance.  I'm not a savvy techy but I accepted that a higher impendance number might mean better performance since some of the higher priced models have upwards of 250 ohms.  My Sterlings are probably 40 or 60 ohms.  So I bought a used KOSS PRO4AAT on ebay and I should receive them in the second week of 2013.  Probably lost on me but at least they should be broken in.

 

I use my headphones strictly for a pre-sleep listening period which lasts approximately 1/2 to 1 hour.  They're plugged into a low-price Technics CD player's headphone jack with the volume control almost at max.  The headphones have a volume control (left and right sliders).  The CD player's remote volume control controls only the line out, not the headphone jack.

 

Since I would use the KOSS PRO4AAT while reclining their size and weight may not bother me as they seem to bother those using them while sitting.  And while I've never been a devotee of over-the-ear headphones I'll have to see if I can get used to them which brings me to the reason for this lengthy post.

 

I want to ask you, experienced users, if the following will work.  I want to "mod" the headphones by removing the over-the-ear pads and replacing them with smaller on-the-ear pads.  Since the space around the diaphgram is closed off and my ears now farther away from the diaphgram (more room for the bass to "expand") will the sound improve or deteriorate.

 

I'm sure you savvy people understand what I'm trying to say so I'll save some saliva and hope you can offer suggestions whether to leave the KOSS as is or go ahead and experiment giving me info as to how the sound might change, etc.

post #21 of 31
You wouldn't want to convert these to "on-ear" and the Koss "around ear" pads on the PRO cans aren't quite the same as the "around ear" pads on other cans. They still sort of sit on your ears (like earmuffs). It isn't uncomfortable, just heavy. I don't think you could get pads to accomplish this anyways, nor do I think you could get the drivers any closer to your ears than the factory setup allows (and with all of the PRO4 stuff they're already pretty close to critically damped, I doubt you'd even make a dent by adding some more foam (but start removing it...that could probably get pretty nasty I would wager)).

And no, higher impedance doesn't mean higher performance. redface.gif
Edited by obobskivich - 12/31/12 at 1:48am
post #22 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post

You wouldn't want to convert these to "on-ear" and the Koss "around ear" pads on the PRO cans aren't quite the same as the "around ear" pads on other cans. They still sort of sit on your ears (like earmuffs). It isn't uncomfortable, just heavy. I don't think you could get pads to accomplish this anyways, nor do I think you could get the drivers any closer to your ears than the factory setup allows (and with all of the PRO4 stuff they're already pretty close to critically damped, I doubt you'd even make a dent by adding some more foam (but start removing it...that could probably get pretty nasty I would wager)).
And no, higher impedance doesn't mean higher performance. redface.gif

Thanks for your informative reply.  I will just have to wait until the 'phones arrive and I spend the first pre-sleep hour with them.  The pads I was going to use are the ones on my Sterlings which are 3" round, 1" wide and the center open space is 1-1/4" and comfortably soft vinyl and would put more distance to my eardrums than resting my ears just above the diaphragm as I'm guessing over the ear would be.  But you say that isn't so.  Let's wait and see.

 

But I'd like to know why there is such a difference in impendance and what is the benefit which as far as I can tell from others' comments is that higher impendance is not friendly to anemic portable players resulting in sales of headphone amps.  My CD player's amp produces prodigious volume which necesitates a cable-connected volume control(s) as on my Sterlings so I'm sure my CD player will drive the KOSS.  If it doesn't I'll plug the CD player into my bedroom receiver.

post #23 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by nyceddie View Post

Thanks for your informative reply.  I will just have to wait until the 'phones arrive and I spend the first pre-sleep hour with them.  The pads I was going to use are the ones on my Sterlings which are 3" round, 1" wide and the center open space is 1-1/4" and comfortably soft vinyl and would put more distance to my eardrums than resting my ears just above the diaphragm as I'm guessing over the ear would be.  But you say that isn't so.  Let's wait and see.

I have not spent much good time with the AAT (and I think the model I was trying had probably been sitting on the shelf for a few years - the pads had started to get hard (don't worry - Koss pads are very cheap and easily replaced)). But they fit similarly to the Pro4/A - they will go around your ear, but there is also a foam component that touches your ear. I doubt the pads from your other headphones would fit, and if they did, it would change the sound dramatically (earpads are one of the biggest contributors to how a headphone sounds). You might try it just for kicks, if you can get them to fit without forcing anything (the AAT are not circular shaped though - the pads are kind of football shaped); just to see what it does to the sound and so on (who knows, maybe you'll find it improves things). smily_headphones1.gif

On-ear headphones generally have the drivers closer to your ear than over-ear cans - in some cases the drivers actually sit more or less right on top of your ears (as with the Grado cans, for example), where over-ear cans will usually have some distance in there. This influences sound but it can't be generalized down to "more distance is better for bass" or similar.
Quote:
But I'd like to know why there is such a difference in impendance and what is the benefit which as far as I can tell from others' comments is that higher impendance is not friendly to anemic portable players resulting in sales of headphone amps.  My CD player's amp produces prodigious volume which necesitates a cable-connected volume control(s) as on my Sterlings so I'm sure my CD player will drive the KOSS.  If it doesn't I'll plug the CD player into my bedroom receiver.

Impedance is dictated by how the headphones, and their drivers, are designed. It isn't really a spec that directly speaks to sound quality - it's just an electrical specification that tells us something about how the headphones will relate to other equipment. You can't rank headphone performance by impedance. redface.gif

That said, higher impedance will be harder for low voltage devices to drive, because it requires higher voltage proportionally (see Ohm's Law) - this is why high Z headphones (like the AAT) are generally not a good choice with portable devices. A lot of more modern designs have different drivers and try to target around 32 ohms, to be more friendly with portable hardware. With a wall powered device like a CD player or stereo receiver, you shouldn't have problems with the AAT (they aren't really insensitive, they just need something that can handle driving into 250R).
post #24 of 31

Well, the headphones arrived today and I didn't waste time in testing them. Don't hold it against me if I don't express myself in the familiar terms you members use with each other as I'm not a newbie with headphones but my experience with them is certainly limited.  I'll bypass mentioning my audio curriculum vitae and cut to the chase.

 

First, they are "huge" and heavy although I'm sure that there may be bigger and heavier headphones.  But since I've always preferred on-the-ear models I've always selected light sets such as Sennheisers.  Second, they don't feel heavy once they're in place on your head and I had no desire to rip them off my head for any reason.

 

Third, they were disappointing compared to my "vintage" Sterling TE-400s which are on the ear models.  They have titanium diaphragms.  I played a Beatles CD and while the KOSS were pleasant, they had a laid-back sound which was not engaging considering the energy and clarity of the recording.  Worse, the bass was not "full" and they did require advancing the volume.  The fact that they encompass the ears was not a usable benefit.

 

I switched back 'n' forth between the KOSS and my Sterlings and every time I donned the Sterlings the sound was more impressive, requiring turning down the volume considerably and the bass was superior and impressive.  With the Sterlings Paul's bass sound was full, round and you could hear him plucking the strings or each string sound was audible.  With the KOSS the bass did not sound "room filling".

 

So, I just received the KOSS today (Wednesday, Jan. 9th) and I'll place them on sale on ebay this Friday and hope I get my money back plus enough to pay ebay's seller fees.

 

I'm not sorry I bought the KOSS for I had to find out if I was missing anything with my Sterlings but it looks to these ears as if I'm not going to bother replacing them and will try to fix the short that caused me to consider replacing them.

 

Perhaps not to headphone congnoscenti but the Sterlings have earned a "cult" reputation and since I have 3 pairs since the early '90s when I bought my first pair from Sound City for $9.95 I am a happy camper.  The only word I can use to describe them is "realistic".  What you hear is what is.

 

Thanks all for your replies, I'm done with this forum.

 

Oh, yeah, I'm 74 and my audio experience goes back to the '50s and I was an audio component salesman in the '60s when tubes were "hot"!


Edited by nyceddie - 1/9/13 at 10:56pm
post #25 of 31
Assuming you might come back to read this - I can understand your criticism of the AAT honestly. But that's kind of how Koss full-size headphones tend to be - extremely damped and smooth/flat sounding. The lack of sensitivity isn't surprising either. If you wanted to give Koss a second shot, I'd look at the MV1 (which were recently discontinued) - they're very "live" sounding, but otherwise I'd encourage you to look at another American brand: Grado Labs.
post #26 of 31

Hi obobskivich: Yeah, when I said I was leaving the forum I should have included that I would check final comments and I appreciate yours.  You hit the nail on the head with your appraisal.  I thought I'd give them a fair try by doing my pre-sleep listening before hitting the sack.  The headphones were too heavy for horizontal listening and they slipped back off my head.  I think that is it for I didn't buy them for regular, sitting listening.

 

Because my Sterlings' have developed shorts on the cable I tried a few other headphones including SONY cordless.  Since the 1960s I've owned several brands and models and I did consider GRADO SR80s, 125s, etc.  But I gotta tell you, I just love the titanium diaphragm sound and I'll be happier with my Sterlings once I fix the short for which I just bought a simple soldering kit.  Since I have 3 of them I'll remove the cable from one and put it on another.

 

I don't have golden ears where I can appreciate expensive headphones especially since I'm 74 and I think I've lost hearing the higher frequencies but I haven't run any audio frequency tests to see where my hearing cuts off.  I don't think I'm missing anything within the normal sound spectrum.  So while my Sterlings may be pooh-poohed by those claiming golden ears, the sound they produce meets all of my listening criteria and I think they're downright wonderful.  If I see another pair on sale I'll grab 'em as backup.

 

Thanks again.

post #27 of 31
Kinda curious about these Sterlings now - usually when a "wise old man" speaks about something with praise, it's worth noting down. smily_headphones1.gif

On the Grados - they're certainly going to be more alive and punchy than a lot of the Ti based Koss units, Ti or not, it's just how they're voiced. But if you like what you have, no harm in that. On the replacement cabling - you might consider going with a new wire harness - I know you can still buy the Sennheiser HD 650 cable as a replacement by itself - just cut the headphone ends off of it (they're proprietary to the HD 650), and you've got a new Y-shaped lead (that's fairly good quality at that).
post #28 of 31

You said "On the Grados - they're certainly going to be more alive and punchy than a lot of the Ti based Koss units, Ti or not, it's just how they're voiced."  That's what I want to get away from, processed sound, and which the Sterlings do not deliver.  With the Sterlings you get the feeling that what you are hearing is what is on the sound source without being added to.  They're not "more alive and punchy"; they don't add to what is on the recording.  When you hear a pipe organ recording, say the "Toccata from the Fifth Symphony" by C.M. Widor and played by Virgil Fox but preferably by E. Power Biggs, you will not believe the realistic "roundness" of the large pipes and the realistic peeps of the small ones.  The Sterlings are not bass-shy but they also don't enhance.  The sound is not colored.

 

Last night I checked ebay and bought the Sterling Te-100, a lower model but I think the difference from my 400s is that they don't have a volume control which I now prefer.  I paid $30 for new in the box.  Also, just to have something to do, I took one of my 400s, removed the volume control and now I don't have a cable short to deal with which was centered around the volume control.  I'll continue using them and store the Te-100s.  I'm also going to remove the volume control of my other 400s so I'll be up to my neck in Sterling headphones!

 

Check out the Sterling thread to which I contributed photos of the Sterling Te-400 box.

Does anyone know of sterling headphones? i have an amzing set of te-400's

http://www.head-fi.org/t/566656/does-anyone-know-of-sterling-headphones-i-have-an-amzing-set-of-te-400s

post #29 of 31
I would say that the Grados, especially the higher-end models (which are a lot more than $30, admittedly) are very natural sounding, they do not sound "processed" to my ears. They very much reproduce things in a tonally correct way IME; the less expensive models have a less engaging soundstage, but otherwise are very good too. I'd suggest trying a pair if you ever get the chance - the RS-1 or GS-1000 being what I'd want to suggest off-hand, but the SR-225 being a good taste of Grado as well. Will certainly check that other thread out.
post #30 of 31

I've been a fan of Koss for many years, the first better phones' I used way back in the stoneage were Koss. I just bought these about a month ago,  and they actually sound really good without an amp, since I don't have my Magni/Modi combination yet, and they are silky smooth to listen to, not harsh at any point. Super enough they've started to open up much more in their sound as well, which I presume will improve more over time. I've been wanting to buy these for many years, and now I have them! Lots of hours awaits with these! :D

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