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Koss Pro DJ200 vs Grado SR60

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
The cables of my trusty, 6 year old Grado SR60s were pretty worn out around the Y-splitter section and began to lose signal around six months ago. I played with them as long as I could, eventually setting them aside and, after a long search, settling on my first closed cans - the Koss Pro DJ200.

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the very beginning, I really wanted to be impressed, but wasn't. The sound has always seemed a bit muffled, indistinct, withdrawn in intensity.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
post #2 of 6

I have read the DJ200 and DJ100 have the same sound, cannot confirm with my own ears though.

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfetan44 View Post
 

I have read the DJ200 and DJ100 have the same sound, cannot confirm with my own ears though.

 

There was a big debate somewhere in the forums about this, and whether the 200s had the same driver as the 100s, and also the Tony Bennett version, with conflicting information thrown out about what the company actually said. To paraphrase, yes, they're technically supposed to use the same components, but the 200s have the removable jack and in-line volume controls, which are nice to have. Some people swear up and down that they sound different, and that the 200s incorporate "lessons learned" from the 100s.

 

But all that is water under the bridge. I read every single posting made about the entire Pro DJ line before making my decision, and honestly, I was expecting more. At first I thought, "well, I need to let them burn in", as some people said they require a lot of burn in (up to 500 hours!). But I've passed the 500 hour mark by now. I'm seriously thinking maybe they're something wrong with the Koss set I have. These are not cheap cans, and there's that Koss lifetime warranty...

 

But I've only had four decent headphones in my life - the Senn PX-100s, Koss Porta Pros, the Grados and now these Koss, so maybe closed cans are just supposed to sound this bad? This is why I'm posting, to get feedback from those of you with experience in such things.

post #4 of 6

The DJ100 is weird because it sounds different to me with every single player and source. I'm probably the biggest fanboy of it here but yet I almost never suggest them with a portable player. With the wrong player or a weak one they can sound too warm, muffled or congested. Then if the person has big ears they can reduce treble possibly. More air inside the pads usually equals an impression of more treble. This is why M50 pads seems to work very well.

 

One idea is to try an external amp (not sure if you're using one) or a different player/source. One other idea is to try them with a receiver and see if you get different results.

 

Right now to my ears they sound best with a desktop amp.

 

With my main setup they sound very similar to my HD-650 actually and almost like an open headphone! To get this effect it needs M50 pads though.

 

There is a chance that you could have gotten a lemon, but probably not.

 

 

post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

@tdockweiler

 

I'm not using an amp, my ears fit comfortably inside the pads (just barely), but yes they're not small and I do remember you saying the M50 pads are worth trying. I definitely would not mind getting HD 650 levels of performance out of the Koss. I may invest in either the pads or a cheap amp this week. Hmm... who do I know with a receiver... Thanks for the suggestions. 

 

Do you have a pair of Grados to test them against? I'm curious how the Koss stack up with all the trimmings you've got.


Edited by victorshikhman - 12/1/13 at 6:34pm
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 

Just a price alert: The Koss Pro DJ 200 are now just $70 on Amazon.

They were up in the $120 range six months ago.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Koss-ProDj200-Studio-Headphone-Silver/dp/B007CNC79A/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1396334898&sr=8-1&keywords=koss+pro+dj+200

 

I've been using mine for... 7 months now. How time flies. 

Again, they're not punchy like Grados, but I do use them at least 3-4 hours a day, from audio-video lectures to youtube to streaming movies and high quality audio, and I have no complaints. Build quality is very nice and the detachable cord has saved my neck a couple of times..

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