Tony Bennett TBSE1 Signature Edition Headphone - Black/Silver

General Information

Tony Bennett Signature Stereophone captures the essence of Tony Bennett and Koss by creating a stereophone with the style and sophistication the two are known for . The TBSE1 features stylish spun metal earcups that swivel in all directions to create the perfect custom fit. Together with the soft ear cushions, they provide unparalleled comfort, deep bass response and noise isolation. The Tony Bennett Signature Stereophone comes with the standard 3.5 mm plug and also a 6.3mm plug converter, enabling it to adapt to different systems.

Latest reviews

DJ The Rocket

500+ Head-Fier
Pros: Very addictive sound, mid forward, bass recessed but has excellent extention, easy to disassemble
Cons: Highs don't impress, but don't get in the way, light on bass quantity, doesn't respond to EQ
UPDATE: The following review is for the TBSE1 with 3rd party velour covered memoryfoam earpads from massdrop. I added a bit about how other earpads effect the sound at the end:

What a great headphone! Disclaimer: at my house to get any head time at all, you've got to match up with the Sennheiser HD800, PSB M4U 1, Klipsch Status, HiFiMan RE-262, and others. In short, the Koss Tony Bennet is the over-ear equivalent of the RE262; both are mid-forward with deceptively strong bass and calm highs.

I don't find them to be excessively bass light, thanks to a very deep extention.Bass is typically low in volume and high in quality. But give them a bassy DAC like the Geek Out V2+, and they positively slam! Compare to the M4U/Mojo combo perhaps.
Note on bass: I don't reccomend trying to increase the bottom end with the EQ. You'll get your little bit of extra bass all right, but at the cost of some of the quality in the mids, which is where its at in these headphones. If you want more bass put on a different headphone, or a bassier DAC.

Soundstage is adequate. I think i hear soundstage differently than most, so YMMV.

As Tyll says, they are well built and easy to mod. Even though the cable is removable already, I immediately converted mine to dual mono entry, for easy use with both SE & balanced DAC/amps.

Great for all genres; better for EDM than you might think. They make it easier to understand hip hop vocalists. They scale well, sounding good off an iPod Nano 2gen, & sounding even better with better signals, all the way up to powerful balanced amps.

They'll never compete with the HD800 in clarity or technical anything, but they have a smooth, relaxed sound that's plain addicting. A real go-to pair any time I don't want or need mass quantities of bass, but still want to hear all of it, and the simple, elegant style works perfectly for the image i usually go for. For me, for the price, 5 stars easy.

Earpad variations:
I've long understood the value,of tiprolling IEMs, but swapping different pads onto and off the TBSE1 was a revelation to me. For example, while the velour/memoryfoam pads are the most comfortable I've used (and the warmest on cold winter nights), i think I like the sound better with stock earpads off an ATH-M50. With the M50 pads, the bass is much stronger and punchier, resulting in a much more balanced sound overall. In fact, I have trouble telling the difference between these and the M50 now! One identifying factor is that while the M50 still emphasizes bass a bit more, the TBSE1 actually reaches lower down the scale than the M50 can!

Buying the Koss TBSE1 (or the DJ100 it's based on, presumably) nominally gets you two very different headphones.One with that relaxing mid-centric sound, the other an M50 clone with notably better bass, but with dryer, less exciting treble. I'm going to leave the M50 pads here for awhile. Meanwhile, the velour memory foams don't take nearly so much bass away from the M50 while expanding the soundstage by a factor of 3 or 4. It comes with the price of greatly reduced isolation, but that's a topic for a different review.
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500+ Head-Fier
Pros: Looks, accessories, build, price, sound!
Cons: Takes some time to get the right fit, ear cup size
To make this easier to read I'm going to break it up the review into a few different categories: build quality & design, accessories, comfort, and sound. But first:View attachment

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Build Quality & Design: 4.5/5

When I first open these up I was struck by how good looking they are. They have a nice shine to the black cups, and although I honestly can't say I'm a Tony Bennett fan, the silver signature on the cups makes these look real classy. These definitely have a great appearance. However, the construction didn't really impress me much (at first). Now that I've had some time with them though, these feel quite well made. While mainly made of plastic, there are some key parts made of metal and the plastic parts feel extremely solid. The cups on these swivel and allow you to store them in the case, or to actually fold the headphones in half for travel without the case. There is a mono/stereo switch on teh bottom of the right which is supposed to be for DJing, but I think it is a bit gimmicky. If I had to pick a negative I would say that the coiled cable isn't my favorite because I think these are more aimed at being portables, and the coil makes the cable more bulky and heavy. Overall, these headphones look beautiful, and I don't have any fear of them breaking.

Accessories: 4/5

As I mentioned initially, the Tony  Bennett Signature Edition is the same headphone sonically as the ProDJ100, the difference being some extra goodies in the box with the headphones. I think that the extras that are included are quite nice. Having a case to store you headphones is always great because not only does it protect them, it gives a place to store them so that they don't take up too much space when not in use. The case itself is semi-hard, so it keeps itself and has plenty of protection for traveling or setting a few desktop item on top of it without worry of damaging the headphones inside. Something that I think most people will appreciate is the detachable cable. Most people either don't know how, or have the patience to try and fix a cable once it starts fraying or the connection gets loose and the left tor right ear loses sound. Having a detachable cable makes replacing broken cables easy, and the connectors aren't proprietary, so you don't have to buy the same cable that these came with. The detachable cable also gives added portability. Finally the Tony Bennet Signature Edition includes a download code for the Tony Bennet Duets II album, which is nice, especially if you are a fan of his music. While other headphones have much better accessories, these definitely include some nice things.

Comfort: 3.5/5

Comfort is obviously somewhat ymmv, meaning it varies for each individual as everyone has a different sized and shaped head. I think that these are moderately comfortable. The shape of the headband is a bit wide, so it puts a little more pressure on the center of my head, instead of spreading out the load. However, these are quite light due to the mostly plastic construction and the headband is well padded, so the discomfort is minor (and I am really picky on comfort). I'm also not sure if these are on-ear or over ear headphones as they are somewhere in between (at lead on my ears). They almost fit around my entire ear, but they aren't necessarily uncomfortable. I wore them for about 2 1/2 hours with only minor complaints. These aren't the most comfortable headphones, but they do a pretty good job, and can be easily worn for a couple hours without much issue.

Sound: 7.5/10

This is the most important category since headphones are ultimately made to play music/movies/games/etc, so it is weighted more heavily.

These sound wonderful. For under $100 these are one of the best choices without a doubt. They present the music in a way that makes it so enjoyable. Let me break it down a bit.

Bass: Good, solid, but not the focus of the sound. It is there, but it is not overemphasized and does not extend too deep. Gives the song the bass it needs, but won't satisfy those who want a powerful thump. These don't work too well with EDM or Hip-hop/Rap (though I would assume that's not the intended market for these headphones).

Mids: These are where these headphones shine. They focus on the male vocals and are great at letting the passion an energy from a singer's voice shine through.

Treble: The treble is more laid-back, meaning that these frequencies are a little quieter and make the listening experience overall easy on the ears. While a bit less prominent, the highs are still nice and I do not think that they are lacking.

Additional: These are closed headphones, so they are fairly good at isolating outside noise (blocking outside noise), and seem to have minimal sound leakage (others can't hear your music). Overall, I really like how these sound and am impressed by their performance at their modest price.

Overall (factors in price) : 8.7/10

I'd recommend you buy these if you get the chance. For only $90 these are a wonderful purchase. If you don't want the extra accessories or detachable cable, the Koss ProDJ100 can usually be found for about $20 cheaper but with the same incredible sound. Highly recommended!

If you have experience with these or have additional questions, leave a comment. Also, feel free to send me an email via the contact form using the the title of this post as the subject.

Frank I
Frank I
Human ears can only go to 16HZ you must be an alien
Thanks Tdock. I agree that these have a nice neutral presentation in the bass and mids, and it only really lacks a bit in the treble. However, they perform well-above expectations at their price point.
My comment on the bass extension is simply how I heard it. I may currently be spoiled with headphones with tons of sub-bass though as my most recent pairs for comparison are a Denon D5000 and My Modded T50rp. Both of which have great extension and the Denon was obviously well above neutral.
16hz? I guess no point in getting a subwoofer or any of that other nonsense.
I guess if I can hear past 10khz I must be part Mosquito too!
What is the hearing capability of an alien?


Pros: Affordable, one of the better options at $89, flat response good for studios, very durable
Cons: Cheap ear pads, but comfy.
NOTE: To give justice on headphones, you should always compare them with products are in the same price range and target audience, not with audiophile-grade headphones like the HD800s.
It is very hard to review these headphones as they are in the middle of the pack. It is a step toward the right direction for Koss to rename this headphone as "TBSE1" or Tony Bennett Signature Edition 1, since they are better fit for studio reproduction than for DJing.
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Value: Again, at the $100 price range there are better options such as the Philips CitiScape Downtowns, the Grados, WS55s, but for what the package offers, it is pretty good. First, you have a hard-carrying case which I don't see at any $100 headphone, removable coiled cables, machined-aluminum ear cups, 17 digital music downloads, and musical legend Tony Bennett's signature etched on the headband and both cups.
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Audio Quality: Here's where a lot of argument will rise. When Koss released this headphone before with the name DJ100 people complained that it is lacking punch from its bass. I would have agreed with them, but when you are DJing you are really not concerned about the lower bass range, but the mid bass range, it is where you do your beat counts. So this headphone may not be particularly good for general consumers, but for professionals they will do their job.
Lows: Bass response is very accurate, good for music reproduction, but may not sit well for general consumers. Its bass doesn't go deep, but the mid bass is very accurate and will give you enough punch.
Mids: Is the selling point of these cans at $100 there's no better cans that produces a better vocal reproduction. The Grados are also very good with the mids, but they are too forward. The mids produced by the TBSE1s are not fatiguing in any manner.
Highs: Slightly rolled off, but present. They are papery sound into it. Technically, they do not exceed in the low and highs category, but when you mix them with the mids they are very easy to listen to. So what good are these headphones? Musicality and pacing, very good.
We audiophiles have always been too technically which is a strong point and also a weakness. Some forgotten the importance of music. And, this headphone gives you that beautiful natural melody. If you want to escape the techno-babble of the world and relax somewhere else, this is the headphone that will do it for you.
Design: This is one of the better designed headphones around. The cups are machined aluminum, hinges are aluminum built too. Tony Bennett's signature is embedded on the headband, not just printed like any other headphones. One downside to this headphone is they should've used a better material for the ear pads. I guess what's lacking with this headphone is the craftsmanship. It needs more precision, but not an issue with me they are very tough and durable.
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Comfort: While I hear some complaints regarding its fit, I have no complaints for it. Maybe if you have a humongous head that's your problem. For me, the headband has a good fit, they aren't clampy compared to the M50s or the PRO700MK2s. My ears fit the ear pads, even though I have bigger than average ears.
Overall: There are better options if you want a more neutral headphone, a bassy headphone, a DJ headphone, a monitoring headphone for the $100-$150 price range. But, if you want very good mids this headphone is worth looking.
Update: With the PRO700MK2s' pads the Koss TBSEs' sound improved. The bass got tighter and punchier, more prominent. The soundstage got wider and the imaging improved more. Koss TBSEs' ear cups are the standard 90mm which will fit any DJ over-ear headphone.
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I think the PRODJ200 and the TBSE1 has no difference at all, just the signature and downloads from TBSE1 and the ipod controls from PRODJ200. Overall, I think TBSE1 has more value than the PRODJ200; however, I like the appearance of the PRODJ200 more since it is more simple and discrete.
To sell this to the asian market, Koss should probably partner with pop-icons like Pizzicato Five or Globe. Since they are the most successful and known asian band, I can think of. Even the nextgen kids know them. Although, these are quite big for portables, I can use them unlike the PRO700MK2s which are really big.
I purchased a pair of TBSE1s a couple of weeks ago from Amazon for 60.00. I've listened to them a lot since then. For that price I think they are an outstanding value. I've always had a preference for headphones that do a good job reproducing vocals. If I like the way vocals sound all the music I like sounds good to me. I don't care for hyped up bass. These headphones rproduce it a realistic levels. Always the acid test for me is: can I forget about the headphomes and just listen to the music. The TBSE1s do this for me. That's all I need.

I really dislike headphones a hyped the low end. Usually
DJ The Rocket
DJ The Rocket
I can't help noticing the "sound" portion of this review could have been copy&pasted from Tyll's review @ InnerFidelity. You even used the same language in your descriptions (e.g. "papery"). As Tyll's was published three months earlier, I think it's fair to ask how much Tyll's opinion informed.yours. Of course it's not much of a coincidence that two people heard the same headphone the same way, so it's not impossible for you both to.EXPRESS identical opinions identically. But it's enough to make me wonder. If the original author is still around, maybe chime in with some clarification?

I've had my pair of these headphones for about an hour now (bought used a.k.a. already burnt-in) and while I certainly see what you guys are saying, I doubt that I'd ever have described them that way if I'd never read these reviews. The treble sounds a wee bit on the dry side, but not excessively so. An iota more than what I'd call subtle, though.


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