I've had the Koss around 4 months now, and have used them almost every day, so burn in should not be an issue. From the very beginning, I really wanted to be impressed, but wasn't. The sound has always seemed a bit muffled, indistinct, withdrawn in intensity. But, you know how it goes, you listen to a pair of cans every day and get used to it.
Finally, after months of procrastination and research, I sat down tonight to rewire my old Grados. But before I did, I played with the wires one more time until I got a steady, clear signal, and put on some Kraddy - Into the Labyrinth. Then, still holding the connection in place with tweezers, I cycled through my entire collection of glitch and electronic music... Infected Mushroom, Glitch Mob... I have only been listening to this genre since around the time I got the Koss cans. I suddenly heard something very different from what the Koss have been giving me. Fear, jubilation, the building of a climax... the raw emotion in the music was suddenly unleashed on my eardrums, in a clarity and depth I had not previously experienced. My worn and battered Grados delivered sound head and shoulders above the Koss..
I'm not an audiophile expert by any means, and so I ask for an explanation from the community. Are the Koss really that bad? They've gotten some rather outstanding reviews here on headfi, on various youtube audiophile channels, etc. I feel I did my due diligence prior to buying them, and was expecting more. They're priced (and sometimes compared) roughly equal to the ATH-M50s, and those are supposed to be the best all-around closed cans under $200 (at least that everyone can agree on). Do I just have a bad set (I live in Chicago and could visit the Koss HQ in Milwaukee to get them checked out). Or do all closed cans so starkly pale in comparison to the open ones?
I knew I would get less soundstage and a less forward sound with the Koss, but I thought I would get something more in the mids and low end. I don't feel there is any advantage in the sound profile at all. The difference to my ears is huge. I have been asked by friends if I would recommend the Koss, and I would like to support a local company, so I'm trying to find some justification for all this. On the plus side, I like that the Koss have a connector port in the headphone, and they're fairly comfortable even with many extended hours of use. My primary use for them has been listening to audio/video lectures, and the occasional movie, and they've been fine... not exceptional. I'm going to finish rewiring the Grados and see what I've been missing.
In the meantime, I welcome the community's comments.
Edited by victorshikhman - 12/1/13 at 6:05pm