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Koss Pro DJ 100 - The Budget King - Page 120

post #1786 of 2238

I've burned in two pairs of 100's: the TBSE and standard 100's.

 

The 100's sound pretty much the same before and after.

 

The TBSE's however, have taken on a markedly different sound signature. They highs have really received a boost, and border a bit on being shrill. There is a bit of 'sparkle' there if you will, but I don't find it completely pleasant.

 

It's really surprising that these two headphones would sound so different; I thought they used the same drivers.

 

I have listened to both with identical setups: macbook, identical volume, identical song. The TBSE's definitely have more high frequency emphasis.

 

Both are going back since I am having to bend over backwards to burn them in, and to give them the benefit of the doubt in my evaluation of their sound quality.


Edited by newphones - 4/2/13 at 8:33pm
post #1787 of 2238

Don't you have any dac?

post #1788 of 2238
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdockweiler View Post

 

I tried that album out and it sounds nasally on all my headphones confused_face_2.gif

 

Which album? The Verve Recordings?

I used only 2 tracks ("Reason to believe" and "How can we hang on to a dream"), I agree that the others songs aren't good test material at all.

Hardin may have a nasally voice but, nasally or not, it sounds natural on a q701 (if it has at least 800-1000 hours) and a dt-250 (imo), and kinda veiled, distant, unnatural or whatever with DJ100.

As i said before the "shizzle-in, shizzle-out" argument (dj 100 sounds bad because recording is bad) does not convince me. One could also say that the Beats' are very accurate analytical phones and if vocals sound like garbage on them it's because most recordings today are garbage.

 

edit - spelling and stuff


Edited by Hairspray - 4/3/13 at 3:10am
post #1789 of 2238
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdockweiler View Post

 

I tried that album out and it sounds nasally on all my headphones confused_face_2.gif

 

 

Jeeez..., i hope you didn't listen to theses songs on youtube cause i've just checked the SQ of the vids -> absolutely horrible, garbage pure

When you don't have the song or CD the best thing to do is to check it on iTunes (1.5 minute free extracts). iTunesPlus is the best commercial lossy format. 

post #1790 of 2238
Thread Starter 
Got a stupid question for those that have bloated bass on the DJ100 with a good desktop amp...
Do you use a MOV based surge protector for your amp? This really craps up the DJ100's bass.
It sounds like it's almost adding distortion and it makes the DJ100 warmer than it really should be. Almost like a bit more congested. On most every headphone I have it's barely audible, but on closed bassy headphones that are sort of warm it's more noticeable. I doubt it's enough to make someone not like the DJ100. It's not some placebo nonsense.

Even if you don't have a DJ100, try using your desktop amp without a MOV based surge protector. I use my amp straight to the wall or with a TVS-Diodse based surge protector. My Magni and Headroom Micro don't like surge protectors at all unless it's a specific type.

I can't hear an ounce of difference with my Q701 and HD-650 however.

I must have spent like 6 months wondering why my DJ100 always sounded too bassy with my Micro Amp and I always had it connected to a surge protector. Doh! The one I was using was this huge Belkin home theater surge protector. It seems those TVS diode based surge protector aren't as common. I guess they're not as good for surge protection.
post #1791 of 2238

I have a set of Mad Dogs w/Alpha Pads on the way, so I think this will give me some perspective of the DJ100 that is sorely lacking on my part. Sometimes I forget how new and inexperienced I am at this hobby....

post #1792 of 2238
I know where I can get a used set of these for 35, thinking about it
post #1793 of 2238

The problems and limitations with the 100 cannot be solved by an amp. It is a closed headphone which due it's design, is going to have slower sound decay than an open design. Everyone aware of these differing designs acknowledges this issue. It has a 'chamber' like listening quality, with echo, reverb, resonance, or whatever term you want to use, which is not natural and quite distracting.

 

You could make the argument that this property might enhance a classical music recordings which are recorded in small music halls. I don't think so. Those recording should already faithfully record a performance and the acoustic properties of the hall in which they played. The headphones themselves don't need to add any additional resonance. 

 

There is also a prominent upper mids bump, resulting in very forward vocals; but this along with the resonance, creates a noticeable nasal quality to many vocals. Vocals stand out a bit more in the mix, but I would be hard pressed to say that they sound better.

 

These are mediocre to good headphones; as others have reported, they are inoffensive and are not unduly harsh. Aside from that, they aren't great headphones. Koss's open designs sound much better, IMO. Vocals sound much more natural, and sound decay is fast due to the open design. Sounds don't linger and swirl within an enclosure, which creates the impression/reality of fast attacks and transitions. 

 

BTW, the 75 and portapro have different sound signatures: the 75's have more high end 'sizzle' and tighter bass whereas portapro's are darker with fatter bass.

 

The bottom line is, are you willing to live with or overlook the limitations of a closed design? If so, you might like the 100's.

 

Also, keep in mind that the comfort level is not quite there: with a giant and heavy headband that rests on the top of your head, and limited adjustment in length. 

 

Sound isolation is also modest. 

 

Hopefully, people have a better sense of the strengths and limitations of this headphone. 


Edited by newphones - 4/4/13 at 1:58pm
post #1794 of 2238
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by newphones View Post

The problems and limitations with the 100 cannot be solved by an amp. It is a closed headphone which due it's design, is going to have slower sound decay than an open design. Everyone aware of these differing designs acknowledges this issue. It has a 'chamber' like listening quality, with echo, reverb, resonance, or whatever term you want to use, which is not natural and quite distracting.

 

You could make the argument that this property might enhance a classical music recordings which are recorded in small music halls. I don't think so. Those recording should already faithfully record a performance and the acoustic properties of the hall in which they played. The headphones themselves don't need to add any additional resonance. 

 

There is also a prominent upper mids bump, resulting in very forward vocals; but this along with the resonance, creates a noticeable nasal quality to many vocals. Vocals stand out a bit more in the mix, but I would be hard pressed to say that they sound better.

 

 

It's limitations can't be solved by an amp? You're kidding right? How do you know this without trying? What amps have you tried it with? Sure maybe not resonance. To me the DJ100 needs a lot of power to be at it's best. If it's going to be driven out of a laptop you're better off with your KSC75 or whatever else. Even I would agree with that. Most every headphone I have gets more than enough volume from all my portable devices and computers but this means nothing to me. My Q701 is harsh and fatiguing and a lot thinner from portable devices. If your TBSE and DJ100 has a small soundstage and is rather thin sounding it needs more power. The TBSE/DJ100 should never ever be thin sounding at all ever. That's even with the most transparent source. Of course some recordings will sound tinny and just plain bad no matter what. My TBSE with Pearstone velour pads is actually warmer than the HD-650!!

 

I can't say it enough but I don't really love the DJ100 from most portable players. I hate to hear what it's like from a laptop's headphone jack. The Macbook's sound chipset measures pretty flat, but this really doesn't mean the DJ100 will sound good with it. I'd much rather use my HD-598 around the house from portable devices. No kidding. Even the Magni seems overkill for that thing.

 

The DJ100 does sound much better with a powerful amp and a good DAC such as the ODAC or Modi. Why? I have no clue. Yeah it's a bit crazy to have all that for a $55 headphone, but for me to hear it at it's best that's what it takes. I almost never suggest the DJ100 for portable use and I'm sure some think i'm nuts for not doing so. It does sound pretty good from some Ipods. I usually am more likely to suggest the DJ100 for those that already have a good setup.

 

Also..I don't find vocals too forward. Female vocals on the Q701 sound every bit as forward. With the Magni/Micro + ODAC/Modi the DJ100 sounds pretty flat. It's definitely less forgiving and much more revealing with a good DAC like the Modi. It's soundstage (depending on recording) also increases in size with a good amp. Even acoustic music on the DJ100 with the Magni/Modi sounds like i'm listening to it on an open headphone. One CD that sounds good on the DJ100 is the "Buena Vista Social Club".

 

If you don't like it you don't like it..but I really think you should try many other sources. Even if it's an Iphone or whatever. It took me forever to realize what a good computer DAC (and new pads) does for the DJ100. I can easily not really like the DJ100 on a bad source.


Edited by tdockweiler - 4/4/13 at 4:24pm
post #1795 of 2238
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdockweiler View Post

 

The versions inside Europe have sort of a white or silver Koss logo on the DJ100 cups. The versions in the USA are plain black. I wonder why there is a difference? Of course the US DJ200 has white/silver logos like the TBSE.

 

I got mine from amazon Canada and the letters are white on the cups. I ain't complaining though as it looks better than black letters imo.

post #1796 of 2238
Thread Starter 

I think I just found a headphone that might sound like an open DJ100. It's the K400 with 65th Anniversary pads (NOT stock!!).

It has more mid-bass than the Anniversary, Q701 and HD-650. Weird right? Again, 100% not stock. Stock K400 isn't anything like the DJ100.

 

Some songs on the "On Stranger Tides" soundtrack sound identical to how they are on the DJ100. Even the bassy electronic remixes.

Of course the K400 has a massive soundstage and it's larger than the Q701 IMO. Female vocals especially sound just like how they do on the Dj100.

 

I think the K400 with Q701 driver foam and Annie pads might even be warmer than the HD-650/DJ100!!

 

What's funny is that the K400 with stock pads is pretty close to bass light to me. For the K400, these pads make all the difference in the world.

post #1797 of 2238
Quote:
Originally Posted by doublea71 View Post

I'm sure you'll be happy with those (for a little while, at least). They're probably better for on the go listening. The DJ100 has a long, coiled cable which is pretty cumbersome if you're moving.

 

@Newphones - they do have plastic inside the cup (according to Project86's guide), which may explain some of the funky stuff you're hearing. I don't hear it in mine, but my ears have been put through the paces since I first got into music - they're not as good as they used to be. I blame this on a particularly loud Gwar show I went to in New London, CT back in 1988 or so...
 

 

Sorry if I confused anyone but I've been burning in both the standard 100's and TBSE's. Both have been burned in 50+ hours and sound radically different now. 

 

The regular DJ100's retain a slightly rolled off treble. I think they're burning in nicely, and have acquired some low end punch. Overall dynamic range is good and imaging very good. These are good headphones. They lack the punch and excitement of portapros but are not fatiguing and seem suited for extended listening.

 

The TBSE's have developed a very off-putting sound signature which 'features' an annoying treble emphasis. The result is a bass light, hollow sound. This is the pair with resonance and slow sound decay issues. The TBSE's give closed headphones a bad name. I tire of them easily. The cord also seems much heavier, weighing the left cup down in a very obvious and annoying fashion. 

 

edit: the TBSE's also colors the vocals resulting in a nasally sound. The standard 100's don't seem to exhibit this characteristic.

 

The TBSE's are definitely going back. I'm on the fence about the standard 100's, and am weighing the possibility of adding a fiio e6. It doesn't offer the excitement of the other headphones I own, but they are closer to a neutral signature, which is less obtrusive and distracting. 

 

I absolutely love the portapros mind you, but they are very exciting and engaging; the 100's allow you to read a book or otherwise multi-task while listening--the music serves as a very nice backdrop. With the portapros, you're so busy nodding your head and dancing, you can't really do much of anything else. :)

 

I can't endorse either of the 100's as is: YMMMV as reviews in this thread seem to be all over the map.


Edited by newphones - 4/5/13 at 4:06am
post #1798 of 2238
I read alot of different reviews about all kinds of headphones. I decided to give the DJ's a try, For $50 how can you go wrong. I'm very happy with the sound they offer. They have a warm sound with up front mids. Just what I was looking for. I also have a pair of HE 400, they are not as good as these. They shouldn't for there $350 difference. However they perform excellently. All because some people have there opinions about these headphones which are quite accurate. Thank you all for your opinions.
post #1799 of 2238

Orwell would be impressed rolleyes.gif.

post #1800 of 2238

I recently be a fan of Koss, and having tried the portapro and ksc75, I think koss' sound signature is really lovable. 

then I see this! do you think I should return my portapro and buy this instead?

I'll use them on the go with my ipod nano gen 5 & at home with Fiio E6. 

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