Koss PortaPro - Headphones ( semi-open )

General Information

This high quality portable stereophone set performance and comfort standards for personal listening worldwide. Over the years, much to the delight of devout PortaPro enthusiasts, Koss has preserved the original design and performance that made the PortaPro a portable music icon. Today the PortaPro remains the headphone of choice for the discriminating listener.The PortaPro features dynamic elements that deliver exceptionally rich, deep bass and a remarkably wide frequency response from 15 - 25,000 Hz to capture every nuance in your favorite movie or musical performance. Constructed from mylar, the elements are extremely rigid, minimizing mechanical distortion and ensuring exceedingly accurate sound reproduction. Neodymium iron boron rare earth magnet structures enable the PortaPro to deliver greater volume so you can hear every note, even when competing against the sounds of a commuter train with a low-voltage MP3 or disc player. Oxygen free copper voice coils improve signal transmission and conduction for cleaner, clearer sound. Foam earcushions provide an open, hear-through sound that lets you keep in touch with your surroundings perfect to wear while running, at work, or while traveling. Whether you're listening at home or on the go, the PortaPro will bring the excitement of a live performance to any recording.

Latest reviews

Pros: Very punchy and fun; non-aggressive
Cons: none at this price point.
Over the years I've acquired more than a few keyboards, CM, ducky, DAS, you name it. Guess which one's my daily driver? IBM Model M. It's turning 31 this year, but its every bit as good as its modern siblings. In my headphone collection I have HE6, LCD2 Rev.1, HD600 and Porta Pros. Guess which gets the most head time? Porta Pros.

Switching back to porta pros from any other headphones feels like going home. It's a sound signature I'm familiar with, and I can very comfortably sit down for hours with these on my head. Okay u say, where's the subbass? Missing. Where's the treble? Muffled, completely cut off above 10K. None of other headphones in my collection exhibit these problems, but none of them gets this much love.

There is a reason why portapro remains popular after 3 decades. It's non-offensive nature, its powerful mid-bass, its mids. There are a list of things I can say about PortaPros but let's not forget its a headphone engineered 3 decades ago, and it unmistakably exhibits that kind of sound you'd expect from the 90s.

None offensive in nature, yet highly dynamic and engaging. Porta Pro has that sort of power that sucks you into music without thinking about gears or anything audio related. I can definitely notice the missing subbass switching back and forth between these and LCD2s, the endless treble extension of HE6 also put these to shame. But the mid is among the most life-like I've ever heard. It's very muffled yet highly realistic. It conveys the emotion even Utopia fails to bring out, and romanticize it 1000 times more. There you go. A sound addictive like no other. Adding sub-bass or treble extension would kill portapros, cuz that's what makes them unique. I use them every day for more than 8 hours since I first bought em in 2002, and if u ask me to keep only one headphone, this is the one. It happens to be the cheapest one, but over the years it has proven itself to be the most loyal companion. My one and only safe house. To anyone out there who wants to buy one, don't be fooled by its price tag. There're only two headphones that'll drive you to tears: Orpheus and PortaPro.
Pros: Great sound clarity and details, lightweight, comfortable, punchy bass, lifetime warranty
Cons: Old looking design, headband that will rip off your hair, leak sound in and out, not quality cable
These headphones are well known for its low price and quality. I think they should be called shockers because when you look at them its one thing but when you listen to them suddenly they change to the most expansive cans you can get :)  Sounds is really impressive, something you must try. 
 
Overall great headphones. I actually prefer the design of Sporta Pro not Porta Pro... I had both so I took speakers from Porta Pro which are better and got them into the Sporta Pro headband which looks cooler. I also put double pads on both sides so they are a lot more comfortable. These are great for travelling where you dont have much space to take them with as they fold into pretty small compact size.
 
Koss should really reconsider to change the design of these as the headband could be done better way, they could try to make a closed version of these, replaceable cable and maybe rotating cups then they could seriously compete with HD25 from Sennheiser. The fact they do leak sound in and out makes them difficult to use outside which I find the biggest issue with these. Forgot to mention the cable quality should be improved too as it intend to break when you wearing them outside due to the hot / cold weather. This happens to all of them and I have 3 pairs.
 
I always wanted to try some other models from Koss but haven't had the chance.
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Pros: Price, comfort, mids, upper bass
Cons: Poor sub-bass, fluffy treble, build quality
Sound...
 
From 100 Hz to 3000 Hz, they trade blows with much more expensive headphones, and that is not hyperbole. That is why so many people love them.
 
Above and below those cutoffs... no of course not.
 
But still, the mids are crunchy and savory. The highs are smooth yet detailed enough to be enjoyable. The bass is warm but reasonably tight, and certainly not bloated. The sub bass is nonexistant, the upper treble is lo-fi. But these little bastards cleverly stylize their deficits to mask their impact on the sound. It's an enjoyable filter that you can view your music through, that isn't the highest in fidelity, but it's faithful and playful enough to be enjoyable for what it is. Don't EQ these (it'll just reveal how flawed the upper treble really is in painful detail). Just listen to them as-is, think of it as a flavoring for your music.
 
Another thing is that just about any crappy hardware can power them. And they will take the worst onboard DACs and the most cringeworthy recording qualities and even the oldest and most unlistenable 128 kbps mp3s and they will make something tolerable out of those. They are the ideal consumer-grade headphone, basically.
 
Comfort... is a mixed bag. The headband will make you bald if you're not careful. The hook will dig into your right ear if they're sitting wrong.
 
Build... they're $30. What do you think?
 
In summary... These are great starter headphones. I would strongly recommend them for students on a budget, as I was a decade ago when I first bought these. Going further with your sound requires significantly more research, time, and money. If you don't want to fall into that hole, this is a good stopping point right here. I still enjoy these guys. I've had them for 11 years. I've bought 4 during that time. Two got stolen, one broke (now I keep two at all times so I have one spare in case the other breaks). One other interesting thing is that they're easy to open up and repair. I've soldered the wires back on multiple times after snapping them with a doorknob, and they still work great. Even if you've been exposed to higher def headphones, if you listen to these for a while, their easy-going nature and crunchy, savory mids, will win your heart once again.
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JK1
JK1
The Koss Portapro was a decent buy when it first came out over 20 years ago. Imo the JVC HAS160 for around $10 sounds better than the Portapro. I bought the Portapro in the 1990s and am very familiar with its lack of treble and murky bass. The JVC HAS160 is closed but doesn't isolate so well, so it is a bit different than the Portapro. Imo the $15 Koss KSC75 headphone with ear hooks sounds much better than the Portapro in terms of both midrange detail and treble. If someone likes the form factor of the Portapro and is willing to pay more, the Sennheiser PX100ii at around $47 has so much more detail than the KSC75(and of course much more than the Portapro). I have the original PX100 and like it very much. The PX100ii adds a bit more bass, and has the cord on just one side. Both fold to a very small size.
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Vatnos
Vatnos
I never detected much of a difference in quality in the KSC75, and preferred the warmer tuning of the PortaPro, but I'd agree cost/quality the smaller brother is a better deal. I wouldn't be surprised if there are much better things in the price range these days, particularly with IEMs, which seem to be moving quickly. The Philips SHP9500 is just a hair more expensive at $57 and definitely beats the Porta Pros by a good distance, and you get quite a lot more hardware for the money as well. Probably gonna bump my review down a bit.
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