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Something new with the Koss ESP950

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by headdie, May 11, 2011.
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  1. Headdie
    I'm considering this toy, but can't find any fresh information about it. Do you know if something has changed with this model over recent years? Or, is it exactly the same thing as it was 10 years ago... If so, would you consider it anyway, knowing that you can have the Hifiman HE-4 for a little less and the Stax SRS-2170 for roughly the same price? Any advice would be welcome. Thanks,
  2. jcx
  3. edstrelow Contributor
    I don't believe it has changed much since it came out I believe in the 90's.  It was pretty good for its time but could use some upgrading especially in its amp.  However you can recable the phones or just make an adapter to run the phones from a high bias Stax or other better amp.  I had  a set for several years and finally sold them and stayed with Stax.  Some people liked them a  lot, especially mated with Stax amps.
  4. spritzer
    The ESP950 is 20 years old now and not much has changed.  The first units shipped with a transformer based box but those are truly rare since I've never seen one in the wild.  The rest has stayed the same since 1991. 
    In terms of sound they are easily on par with any Stax Lambda and if you play with the damping a bit they are truly spectacular headphones. 
  5. bleho
    I'm actually in the same position as you.
    I have the HE-4 but i'm thinking about selling it and getting these or some used stax
  6. Headdie
    May I ask why? Do you expect an entry ES sytem to be better? We're missing good comparisons between Stax and Hifiman, at least I didn't find many...

  7. AudioCats
    At least electrostatics are a lot lighter than big orthos...[​IMG]
  8. Headdie
    You score a point AudioCats ! You score a point...
    HE-4 350g vs ESP950 283g... Not a big difference, but advantage to the ESP...
    Surprise, the SR-207 with cable is even heavier than the HE-4 !
  9. kwkarth
    I bought an ESP-950 maybe six or eight years ago.  I've found as my source improves, the ESP-950 improves right along with it.  It is a remarkably good headphone system for the money.
  10. AudioCats


    is the HE-4 comparable to ESP950, sound-wise? HE5 is more like it, then your neck will feel the weight difference. 
  11. rgs9200m
    They still make these things? Wow, I had used them (& liked them at the time so much I got 2 sets) over 20 years ago. Most electronics that old are in the Smithsonian now.
    At the time a 300 megabyte hard drive was the standard on a PC.
  12. Michgelsen
    Does anybody have dust issues with them, such as little squealing noises?
  13. kwkarth


    No dust issues here.
  14. edstrelow Contributor
    Some that I had squealed but the issue was not dust but rather the electrodes in the ear cup too close to the cable.  Resolved this by pulling the cable further away.i
  15. rgs9200m
    You are right about the squealing. Now that I think back, one of my pairs had this very low level whine, I believe in just one of the drivers, that was always there.
    Ah the good old days.
    I got mine from J&R on impulse when I saw a newspaper ad from J&R.
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