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$3.99 Best headphones I've ever owned....

post #1 of 62
Thread Starter 

Unfortunately I used up my 4th pair and need to find a replacement.


In 1995, I was in a store called Incredible universe, now gone, but on a junk table they had a bunch of headphones in non-labeled cellophane bags. The only name on the sets were the Ford motor company symbol. They were blowing out at $3.99 each. I picked up one, took it home, plugged it into my boom box and WOW!! It was the first time I'd heard what I truly considered flat response without ANY spikes in any frequencies. I've always looked for decent sounding phones but the last ones I'd heard that approached the mark with was some original Sennheiser yellow foam heahphones I had listened to back in the late 70's. Couldn't afford them back then, but often went to my friend's house to sink myself into Chick Korea's Leperchaun LP.  As soon as I heard these Ford branded phones, I hurried back and snached up what they had left, only 3 more.


The last good set just coughed up its last hairball as the frayed wire broke off. I've listened to a lot of different phones in the years, and the enclosed models seem to resonate in the chamber at various frequencies, while the open air models often lack bass or have membranes that are too stiff, making the mid range pronounced. I've even listened to $300 phones and heard resonance at varying frequencies. Anyone know of an inexpensive model ($20-$80 range) that has minimal resonance? I wish I knew where the Ford phones came from so I could track the manufacturer down. There was another set I was reasonably happy with, and that was a set of Logitech phones with a boom mic attached. The plug eventually wore out, but I really didn't like that the mic was always getting in the way. 


I'm simply looking for inexpensive phones with as flat a response as I can get. Like I say, $80 is about the limit.


Edited by N7OKN - 12/26/11 at 7:10pm
post #2 of 62

Flat response for ~$80? Try finding a used K240 DF(flattest for under $150), or any used K240.

post #3 of 62

Post pics of the headphones and perhaps someone will recognize them. They could be a rebadge of some sort from that time period. 2nd - Can you pop them open and do a little work? Wires and cables are replaceable. Might as well see if you can renew the life of the old ones if you liked them so much.

post #4 of 62
Thread Starter 

Great idea... I've taken a pic using my smartphone. Hope it comes out OK here. If anyone has an idea if I could get another pair of these, pleae let me know. They're really cheaply made, all just plastic snap, and it's a wonder none of the plastic produced colored tone. These sound most like my Dad's old Koss Hv1/A phones, but maybe a little better.



Edited by N7OKN - 12/26/11 at 9:35pm
post #5 of 62

That looks A LOT like a portapro/KSC35 driver ^

post #6 of 62


post #7 of 62

Why are the KSC35 significantly more than the Portapros? I have a pair of Portapros I use to work out with and I really like them.


The pictures do look almost identical. It should also be rather simple to rewire those headphones with new cable, as has been suggested. 

post #8 of 62
Thread Starter 
Well the plastic headband is busted as well. I agree the pics look very much alike. In fact I think the pattern matches on the front side. I will look for portapros. I'm flying again on Friday and need sometning.
post #9 of 62
The KSC35 is AWESOME. If those are indeed KSC35 drivers..... man... what a deal. I paid $45 for mine, and even though they are slightly better than the $15 KSC75, I don't regret spending that much. They are a solid sounding clip on. Considering I think the KSC75 should cost $60 on sound alone, that's still a deal.
Edited by Mad Lust Envy - 12/27/11 at 6:20am
post #10 of 62
Thread Starter 

I think I pretty much have my heart set on portapros. Clip-on's never really worked for me due to the shape of my ears, so I prefer a headband. Thanks all for pointing me in the right direction. I looked at my drivers again closely, and they seem to match both front and back with the KSC35 pictured.  So I'm not crazy in thinking my $4 bought expensive sound... 


Why is it that less than one percent of us really care about fidelity? My wife thinks I'm nuts for not being happy as long as I can hear it.. :)




post #11 of 62

Try the $10 JVC HAS160. A great  headphone. If you want to spend $80, go for the Sony V6. The $10 JVC HAS160 sound almost like a mini V6. These headphones sound very neutral and natural, and very well balanced. They have good bass, however it is not overexaggerated.


The KSC35 is basically a Portapro or Sportapro without the headband. One can pop off the driver encosures from a Portapro or Sportapro and snap them on the earhooks for the KSC 35 or KSC75. Imo the drivers on all these seem the same, except the KSC75, which seems to have the same(or very similar) drivers to the KTXpro1. The KSC50 also seems to have the Portapro drivers.  The Sportapro sounds almost identical to the Portapro but is around half the price. Imo the $10 JVC HAS160 sounds much better than the Portapro. The Portapro is too warm sounding and lacks treble. If you want a warm sounding headphone with boosted bass and recessed highs, but tighter bass than the Portapro imo the PX100-ii(or especially original PX100 if you can find it) would be a better choice.

Edited by JK1 - 12/28/11 at 2:54pm
post #12 of 62
Thread Starter 

Wow, great information..  Thank you so much. I knew coming here to ask those who've been around would be the way to go instead of going around pulling phones out of boxes in stores to test them out...  Thank you!



post #13 of 62
FWIR, the Portapro is boomier and muddier than the KSC35. I'm a treblehead (hello DT990), and I'm quite pleased with the treble on the KSC35.

And they might have similar drivers, but they won't sound the same. The KSC75 sounds very different from the KSC35.
Edited by Mad Lust Envy - 12/27/11 at 2:56pm
post #14 of 62
And let's not forget the KSC75 has a titanium-coated driver.

N7OKN, hopefully you'll get the sound you're looking for with a new, somewhat blind purchase. In any case, I think it's worth a shot rewiring your Fords.

Also, I think I'm not alone in wanting to see a lot more pictures of your drivers.

Do let us know how it all turns out.
post #15 of 62
Thread Starter 

I'm heading to Fry's right now to purchase the JVC HAS160..  At least if I don't like them, I can return it.


I have found treble is easier to turn up than base. Not as much range to play with when you artificially crank the bass.

Also I know the Fords. If the JVC's don't give me what I'm looking for, I'll use them anyway on the trip and go find some Portapros as it looks as if the drivers are similar.

I'll blindly buy Portapros, but I'm picking up the JVC's and trying them because local retail is more forgiving in returns, and more immediate.


More pics on the way. 

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