Koss PortaPro Headphones with Case

Average User Rating:
  1. timb5881
    "What an excellent buy"
    Pros - While not top tier phones they deliver a very satisfying presentation deep bass and good mids
    Cons - Flimsy cord, not the last word in resolution for those with hair the headband grabs hair
    I have had my PortaPro headphones for almost 15 years. Other than the pads disingrating they have held remarkably well. To me the design is classic, some call it retro. They fold up very nice to stow away. The headband is adjustable so you can wear them tight or soft, as well as ithe band is adjustable. This makes it a bit mor secure than other ones that do not adjust, and much better than the KSC75 ear clips, which by the way I also own. The lifetime warranty simply beats other ultra light headphones, which is nice to have.
    Now for the sound, these little gems do good all up and down the spectrum. Bass is a bit heavy and not the most detailed. I would label them on the dark ide of neutral. The treble is laid back, but not the point where they scrubbing details. Clarity over all is very good. The midrange really shines nicely. Compared to my KSC75 phones, not as detailed, more bass. Compared to my IEMs well the portapro has no isolation in or out. If you are walking or other places where you need to hear the outside world that is a good thing. My IEM are from the old before bankruptcy Radio Shack, the entry level Auras line with a moving armature design. To me the the IEMs have better detail, but not as much bass as the PortaPro models. Bass heads will like these phones. Classical or acoustic fans may not like them as much.
    The soundstage is very good, AS the layers of music you can pull out. Not in the league as my ESP-950 headphones, as to me they are the best I have heard. They are much better than my old Grado 60's I used to have. The grado's really lacked in bass and visceral presentation, but a bit more detailed. The Grado's are bright to me, not as comfortable, and do not fold up as well. The Grado phones are better built, heavier and thicker cables. The PortaPro phones are some what flimsy in comparison.
    So there you have review, not giant killers compared to full size phones, but for the under $50 market may be king of the field. As I am writing this, I am using them listening to Fleetwood Mac.
  2. Tomtattoo
    "Amazing headphones, great portability, special sound"
    Pros - Ultralight, portable, comfort, sound signature, price
    Cons - No in-line controls, carrybag too small, oldschool looks may not fit to everyone, but for this price???
    Well, I´m not a pro, just an enthusiast, an owner of some good cans, so i won´t write a review, just share a couple of thoughts about this amazing little thing. Koss Portapro is something what you have to have even if you don´t need it.:) Just as in my case, I´ve got several pair of cans, but when i saw the Koss in a nice small audio store in NYC, i immediately bought it, just out of curiousity.It turned out to be a great decision... Especially because i paid less than 34 dollars for it. :) I tried it immediately with my Fiio X3, and i was blown away. Basically, i didn´t have too high expectations, from such a cheap thing, but what i got, was waaay above what i expected. First of all, the looks. Very old school, I like it, but of course it may not be everyone´s choice. Comfort: great. So light, the soft pads sit on your ears very nicely, really nothing to complain about. And most importantly, the sound.I was surprised how good these little cans were straight out of the box. After a few weeks of listening, my impressions are: if You are a "squarehead hifi maniac", don´t even consider buying Koss PortaPro. These cans have their own limits, but what´s left is, sweet as sugar. I always think about PortaPro like an instrument, rather than a pair of headphones. It has it´s own signature, nice, deep bass (surprisingly great from such a small thing), a very listenable, warm, sweet middle, and pretty good highs as well. A pure joy to listen to, nothing more than that. It doesn´t go really deep, or really high, but what it gives you, is a very special, characteristic approach to the music, a superb presentation. So, if you need a small, foldable, easy-to-carry set of cans, with sweet, joyful sound, don´t even hesitate. Just go, buy it, you won´t regret at all. Well, i should mention the cons too. Nowadays in-line controls are a must, but this is a classic model, I can live without it. (in the meantime i switched from X3 to X3 2nd gen, which does have in-line controls). The carry bag included in the box is pretty bad quality, and simply too small even for this pretty little thing. And, of course it leaks sound, so not the best for commuting, if you listen to your music very loud. But, for less than 34 bucks, i don´t mind these issues, and you wouldn´t either. Just go, buy, and enjoy.
    "Best on-ear headphones for sub-$50. Period."
    Pros - Portable, comfortable, good bass, price, good for all genres, cool retro-styling, build quality for price, durable, lifetime warranty, PRICE.
    Cons - They leak sound both in and out, looks somewhat cheap, bass heaviness (for some), some will find this retro design ugly, lots of little things.
    I have owned these for about a year, and since I've bought them they have been my go-to headphone. They can fit in my backpack super easily cause they're pretty small, and in fact they can (technically) fit in some of my looser pants pockets (DISCLAIMER: you will look like a dork if you tote them in your pants pocket, especially if you have tight pants. Don't say I didn't warn you). Over those 13 months, this pair of headphones has certainly won a place in my backpack, desk, and on my ears for years to come.
    Whether or not you like the styling is all personal preference. I personally dig the styling, since I am a sucker for retro designs. It is evident in the visual aesthetics of this headphone have not been changed at all since they were introduced by Koss in 1984. However, some people I know who I have shown the headphones to don't like the design. I would encourage you to find these headphones before you buy, or if that is not an option look at photographs of it from multiple angles to make a verdict. If you are a hipster, don't even bother reading the rest of this review, or looking at the headphones at all before you buy them because they are quintessentially hipster; in fact, buy a dozen for your hipster friends too, they'll love the style.
    These headphones, weighing in at only 60 grams, is very comfortable for long listening periods. While some people have complained about pressure on their temples over time, I have never really had that issue, even if I listen for 5 hours straight. the earcups have literally no cushion, but since the (puny) clamping force is directed more so towards the temples that is not an issue at all. Same goes for the solid metal, non-cusioned headband, since the weight of the headphone is so small. They are light to the point that I can almost forge they're on my head, and they are totally not a hindrance at all while walking. Just don't run with these on, though (or jump, or skip, or do a handstand), since these have a tendency to shift around.
    The sound of the PortaPros really surprised me when I first listened to them out of the box. To summarize, they are definitely bass-heavy, but the mids and treble are still present. These little headphones have very good bass, which is very nice for genres like Rap or Techno. The bass is both deep and loud and yet tight at the same time. While these headphones are definitely bass-heavy, the mids and highs are certainly solid as well. They have a pretty good soundstage due to their semi-open design, although nobody will be mistaking them for the Sennheiser Orpheus any time soon. The thing I like the most about the sound is that it is well-rounded enough for any genre. I can enjoy both Biggie Smalls AND the Berlin Philharmonic on them, which is not something which can be said about other headphones at this price.
    In terms of sound quality, no other on-ear headphone below $50 (that I have tried) is even close to being as good as the Koss Portapros. The highly-popular $20 Sony ZX series headphones may be a little cheaper that the PortaPros, but the portaPros have significantly more bass and much more clarity than the Sony's. The JVC Flats are a good value at $12, but the Koss PortaPros are a clear step up. Skullcandy Uprock, at $30, has good bass as well, but the bass is not as tight as on the PortaPros and the mids on the Uprocks are not as good (in fact, mids on the Uprocks don't even exist, they are so bad of a purchase that the government thought about banning them from sale, but ultimately decided that listening to them would be punishment enough). I even found them better than the UrbanEars Plattans, which are more expensive at $60. The cheapest on-ear headphones which I have liked better are the Grado Labs SR60e, which are $80. 
    And now, for the more cynical section of this review. The biggest con of these headphones, by far, is that they leak. A lot. Sound waves are free to stroll both in and our of the PortaPros. This is to be expected, due to their semi-open design. If isolation is a priority, I recommend that you check out the Panasonic RP-HTX7 ($30), the Audio Technica ATH-M20x ($50), or the Koss Prodj 100's ($45).
    While these are a great value, there is certainly evidence that these are not a high-end set of cans. There are just tons of little things which are annoying about this headphone which can remind you that you bought a $35 headphone, not a $300+ one. The cord is very thin, and thus it tangles super easily and the cord has kinks in it from just folding it up over and over. The headband adjustment sliders can get caught in your hair pretty easily if your hair is longer. The headphones don't stay in place on my head very easily, even when I have the (pointless, by the way) comfort slider set to "firm". They certainly look and feel like sub-$50 headphones when you pick you up, despite the use of solid materials. For an in-line mic and remote, you have to pay another $20, which puts it in competition with more competent headphones at the $50-$100 price range. 
    Nitpicks aside, I very highly recommend this headphone for anyone looking for good on-ear headphones on a tight budget. They have very respectable sound which is good for any genre, impressive portability, super cool retro-styling (in my opinion), and exceptionally low price. And one other thing I didn't mention: this headphone has a lifetime warranty from Koss. I highly recommend this headphone to anyone who is not an avid audiophile, a frequent flier (or Britney Spears listener), or fitness nut. 
  4. DigitalFreak
    "Koss Porta Pro Classic Final Impressions"
    Pros - durable, light, sounds great for price bracket, doesn't need amping, lifetime warranty
    Cons - lack of isolation, supplied storage bag is to small, more sparkle in highs needed
    Final impressions below, please feel free to ask any questions
  5. BlendVFX
    "35$ Sound dominator"
    Pros - Price, bass quality, design, friendly and fun attitude, wear and forget nature, upgrade their performance by themselves (read below)
    Cons - CORD - ridiculously weak, construction (read below),
    This piece of classy designed headphones that exists more then 20 years on the market is a very, very good choice for both home and mobile listening of music.  So let me get this strength - for the price of 35-40$ you won`t find anything better, like really, these headphones will surprise you with quality of what you hear from your either PC or phone, they get only 1 competor on the market, the Sennheiser PX100 that are also a very-decent pair of headphones, but they are more mature, neutral sounding then the PP`s which may be not exactly what you looking for.
    Let`s discuss the pros:
    Price - pretty obvious, price is friendly, even a little bit low considering the sound quality that you hear for 35$
    Bass quality - these headphones are all about bass, that why i bought them the second time, that is a little harsh for your ears at the very first (especially, if you didn`t had expensive headphones) but as you will use them -> it will be more flexible, more soft, but strangely, after a couple of moths it will settle itself as decent amount of mediocre, muddy bass that will make you seek something better.
    Design - this is a very personal stuff, but i like it for minimalism and comfort it provides for me as wearer.
    Wear-and-forget nature - they are so light, especially after you use them a month or two that i find myself amused and angry when i stand up and tear the plug from an external sound card, so please remember to take them off :)
    Upgrade performance by themselves: By that i mean that they will sound better with external sound card and yes, they won`t magically turn into Denon D2000, Sennheiser HD-650 or even something like HD-598, but they will improve a little depending on price of the card.
    Now it is time for CONS:
    CORD - it is one of the major flaws in the construction, try not to bend it without need or it will become a very easy to break (first pair of PP`s suffered from this), don`t expose it to low temperatures (everything below minus 15-20 celsius is a major threat to cord condition) or it will become sturdy and not as easy to fold. Also, cord attachement to the driver is also weak -> don`t hang the phones by the cord, don`t twist them as if it was rubber or you will find that yourself with soldering-iron in no time!
    Construction - as i mentioned before -> construction is what makes them light and comfortable, BUT, it is also a MAJOR flaw. I found out this the hard way, so please, carefully take them off, carefully place them where they won`t fall or you will see that 1-2mm plastic ball that makes them adapt to your ear shape is broken and you`ll have to fix them.
    Overall: Excellent headphones for portable use with either phone or mp3 player if you are willing to take care of them to prevent the possible issues.
  6. JoeDoe
    "Underrated and underpriced fun to be had!"
    Pros - Inexpensive, great sound signature, big bass, clear mids/trebles
    Cons - Retro look for some.
    First impression? Wow. 
    So glad I joined Head-Fi! If I hadn't I don't know if I would have been turned on to these classic phones. Great sound, lifetime warranty, great comfort, oh and did I mention the no-questions asked warranty?! 
    For the record, I've got the KTC model (for iThings) and the controls and sound for calls is right inline with the rest of the product. What a wonderful pair. Thank you Mr. Koss!
  7. aspope
    "Love them!"
    Pros - Great sound, inexpensive, lightweight, open ear, retro looks.
    Cons - A bit fragile.
    I'm on my third pair of PortaPros over the last 12 years. My last two units have either suffered a rattle that eventually became irreparable or something terrible happened to them (left in a car seat in the sun, crushed by a contractor's pelican case).
    I never question buying them again, though, because I love the sound so much and they're so damn cheap! In my opinion they rival all the headphones in their class (including the Senn PX100's which I also own) and many larger 'phones. They have a depth and clarity that I really enjoy listening to, and the open design means that I can still hear everything around me while I have music playing, which makes them perfect for the office or walking city streets (where I still want to hear what's going on around me).
    Love these things!
  8. BBBS
    "Not bad, but I don't get all the fuss"
    Pros - Decent sound
    Cons - They will try and eat your head
    I bought these on a whim and a good vibe that they'd be my best headphones ever, and they're not bad. It's just that coming from better headphones and good IEMs, they don't particularly impress. Half the stuff at this price point sounds as good as these, and some of those are more comfortable and closed back. What you're getting for your 40 or so bucks is some very cheaply made headphones that will grab your hair and press on you ears and head in unusual places. The foam will also disintegrate in a few years; it will literally fall apart, but at least getting replacements from eBay is extremely cheap and easy.
    These things do include a lifetime warranty, but you may find that it's easier to buy more than to mess with shipping and getting them returned.
    In their favour they do impress me each time I use them, but invariably the little hook used for clipping the headband to itself will start to gnaw my ear, or I'll adjust them and cause the spring loaded comfort setting to alter, which has to be set each and every time you put them on anyway. Then after a few hours use over a couple of days they get forgotten again.
    They do look cool, and everybody here should own a pair, but I do get a little tired with how much they're vaunted.
  9. AceTechHD
    "Koss porta pro "
    Pros - everything sound quality deep bass durable (lifetime warranty)
    Cons - none (some may not dig the design but i do)
    these are the best portable HEADPHONES ever these phones sound.......... to good for comfort do not miss out on these are wonderful 
  10. BuKaWon
    "Good (IMO)"
    Pros - good bass, comfort, warranty
    Cons - construction, not really handsome, hooks hurt your ears :frowning2:
    This is my 1st headphone. It was amazing experience for me, since i did not own any headphone in the past. I liked it but after 3 months, the jack got separated from the outer covering. I did not go outside with it, but I can not hear the left side of the headphone. I am currently preparing to return the headphone using the warranty they gave me. It was such a short experience but the sound was good. ._.