Great-sounding headphones have never been more affordable. Even the least expensive headphone model on this list, the Panasonic RP HJE 355 in-ear, has oodles of detail and decent bass punch. For me the most important thing when evaluating headphones is sound balance; no frequency range should call attention to itself, so I don't like overly bassy headphones, or ones that overemphasize treble. Headphones should sound clear, not muffled or fuzzy. I prefer spacious stereo imaging over sound that's stuck inside my head. Headphones that allow music's soft-to-loud dynamics to bloom are better than ones that constrict dynamics. … Read more
Steve Sphere Guttenberg returns to close out the week and he's calling on all our listeners to submit and vote for their favorite speakers, sound bars, headphones, subwoofers, and other home theater products for the first ever Stevie Awards for Excellence in Audio. So far, my personal top pick, the Koss PortaPros, are leading the headphones category!
Steve also tells Jeff and me about the leaps in technology that blew his mind growing up, the most prolific of which happens to be a head-shaped JVC binaural recording device that he used as a wingman in bars around New York … Read more
Twenty-eight years after their debut, the Koss Porta Pro over-ear headphones finally get a push into the 21st century with the Porta Pro KTC, a new model sporting a three-button remote control for navigating tracks on iOS and (some) Android devices.
Porta purists will be happy to hear that the skin and guts of the headphones haven't changed aside from the addition of the remote. The earcups are still secured to your head by a thin steel headband that adjusts with two sliders that tighten and loosen the tension--Koss calls this the "Comfort Zone."
The Porta Pros continue to earn a spot on CNET's Best 5 headphones list partly for their throwback design, and partly because these cans continue offering worthy sonic competition to modern headphones, even after 28 years.
According to Koss, "neodymium iron boron rare-earth magnet structures" handle output in a 15-25,000Hz frequency range. That first part sounds like marketing fluff, but having used these as my personal pair for the last three years, I'm confident marking these as the headphones to beat in the sub-$50 category.… Read more
I've heard a lot of really bad-sounding audio products over the years, but most of them were so awful they suffered a natural and well-deserved "death." Take for example the $499 Gateway KAS-103 home theater in a box system that debuted in 2003. I had the "pleasure" of reviewing this attractive system, but it sounded so bad I was duty bound to try another sample, which was equally dreadful. There was absolutely no blend between the sound of the subwoofer and the tiny satellite speakers, the high levels of background static were impossible to ignore, … Read more
Investing in an aftermarket pair of headphones is a quick and easy solution to improve the music listening experience on a mobile music player, but plenty of people feel uncomfortable jamming a tiny ear bud deep into their ear canals. Of course, a tight seal and close proximity to the eardrums offer the potential for the highest-resolution sound quality, but earpad and full-size headphones are also suitable for acoustic isolation and don't require minute fit adjustments the way in-ear-canal headphones do.
Here we've listed a handful of our favorite on-ear headphones that constitute the ideal marriage of lightweight … Read more
Impressive sound performance, an affordable price tag, and a "Back to the Future" aesthetic keep the $49 Porta Pro headphones in the modern Koss stable of products.
Well into their 26th production year, we're proud to include them in our list of the Best Portable Headphones for more than just those reasons--they also happen to carry a lifetime warranty, no questions asked.
A clear statement on the warranty page reads:
Stereophones that were purchased after July of 1989 are covered by our No-Questions-Asked Lifetime warranty.
No need to include the original receipt, nor do you have to wait for an RMA. In fact, Koss actually encourages customers to visit its Milwaukee location for those in the area to make an exchange--if not, all they ask is that you include $6 in the box to cover the return shipping fees.… Read more
Koss has a bad reputation for manufacturing terrible audio products, but it struck gold back in 1984 with one set of headphones, the PORTAPROS. They're still being produced with continued success after 23 years and are, in my opinion, the most underrated headphones on the market, and here's why:
Price: $35 with free shipping on Amazon. Maybe less on eBay. Sound quality: Best sound I've heard out of sub-$200 cans. Instead of telling you how awesome these are, I'll let these 249 people do the work for me:
CNET Review (Review on its way, but … Read more