* Prices may differ from that shown
By first glance at these, I knew I was going to like them, and when my first possibility to try them on came, I was assured that I wasn't wrong. Although I was pretty young back then and have tried many great headphones since, my opinion on them hasn't changed. For as such low price as somewhere around 25$, you get headphones which are great-looking and much more important, headphones with great sound quality.
Basses are absolutely perfect, great sounding, yet not punchy like many others'. Heights are also great, but I would recommend these for more bass-based music styles, such as drum'n'bass or dubstep.
Many people don't like their desing, but I think it's absolutely perfect and I really like it. With possibility to change pressure on your ears and also to change size for almost any head dimension, their desing is also pretty useful. You might not like their size, which can seem big, but it's price worth paying for sound quality, and believe me, there are many bigger, heavier and bulkier headphones out there. Also, their desing often causes song leaks, but it's not very big problem in my opinion, at least until you are listening to very loud music.
Only disadvantage I can see can be not very good cable, which remains twisted because of storaging your headphones and can eventually break. But with life-time warranty for Koss' headphones, I don't see this as a big problem, you just have to be a little careful with them.
Long story short, these are very good headphones and they're definitely worth buying.
I'd argue that these are the best headphones I have owned, and whilst the Koss Porta Pro aren't quite the greatest looking headphones it is undoubtedly a part of their retro charm.
When I first bought these phones I was unsure about the design, thinking they were ultimately flimsy and tacky looking, however when I heard the range of these phones I fell in love. The bass is perfect and not too powerful and punchy - like some other heavily marketed headphones out there - and perfectly complements the mid and high, meaning that the sound produced is more akin to how it was mastered and thus how it was meant to be heard.
In addition to this fantastic sound is the fantastic portability as the Porta Pros can fold into themselves, and be toted around in the faux leather carrying case supplied.
Having listened to many genres of music, from classical to electronic to metal to thoroughly burn in the sound,I 'd argue that for a penny shy of £18 these are the greatest budget audiophile phones to buy!
The only reservation I have is with the fact they are open/semi-open and the sound does tend to leak, but if you aren't planning to use them on the bus, train, etc I'd have no reservation in telling you to buy them.
It is unlikely you have ever seen any headphone quite like the Porta Pro. With a design that you'll either love or hate and fitting comfortably in the sub-£20 price-range, you'd be forgiven for overlooking these headphones when searching for an upgrade to your failing iPod 'buds - but give them half a chance and you my just nab some of the best budget 'phones money can buy.
Legend has it that Koss's original 1980s PortaPros have remained so popular over the last twenty years that the company has maintained the 80s style to this day. The result is a headphone looking like no other. A sturdy, half-inch wide metal headband stretches down to two supra-aural headphones (i.e. headphones which sit on top of your ear.) The rounded 'phones - formed of strong plastic - mould into an upside-down L which acts as Koss's 'Comfort Zone', a foam-pad which can be adjusted to give the headphones a looser or firmer grip on your head.
On the 'phones themselves, a brushed metal circle displaying the Koss logo is rounded by another metal circle, with a slight gap showing off the stylish blue hue which lies behind the foam pads sitting atop your ears. Despite the 80s billing, I was surprised by how well-made the headphones looked upon opening the box and was even more surprised by how stylish they look when you put them on. They may be retro, but they also ooze unrivalled charm in their price-range and will satisfy the needs of even the most fashion conscious listeners.
The generic 3.55mm jack will fit most popular mp3 players, while the 4 foot cord is a perfect length for use when out and about (something sorely lacking from other over-ear headphones in their price-range, like the Sony MDR-V150s I looked at before these).
Design aside, these Koss headphones excel in their lightness and comfort. The fact that the 'phones are made of plastic and linked by a thin metal headband makes for featherweight headphones which are very unobtrusive. A neat feature sees the foam pads rotate flexibly on a sturdy hinge, allowing you to position them exactly as you want on your ears and therefore allowing for maximum comfort. Moreover, the size of the headphones is simply adjusted via two sliders upon the metal headband, meaning that re-adjustment is a simple task. Though other reviewers have noted a tendency for this band to get tangled in hair while being adjusted, I have not had any bad experiences with the band and see it as a stylishly simple way to adjust the 'phones.
Overall, the soft foam lining of the headphones keeps the PortaPros comfortable on your ears while the lightweight composition of the 'phones as a whole mean you may even forget you're wearing them.
Importantly, with a name like PortaPro, you'd hope they'd live up to their portable billing - and they deliver in every way. Despite being sturdy when opened up, each headphone can be folded in on itself to reduce the size of the headphones. After doing this, a handy (yet unobtrusive) metal clip on the Right side clips onto an opening on the Left to link the two sections sturdily together. Once clipped together, just slide the black sliders on the metal bar downwards and the headphones reduce to a neat bundle which is under 10cm in length and barely 5cm in depth. As if this quick and easy folding wasn't enough, Koss supply a sleek carry case to protect the folded PortaPros from surface damage.
For those looking for a pair of headphones they can wear on the move then pack away quickly and securely when out of use, these headphones are an impressive choice.
For those used to premium headphones from the likes of Shure, Bose and even the upper-end Sennheiser ranges, the sound of the PortaPros may well disappoint, but for the average listener and for just £17.99, the sound quality will blow you away.
The depth and range of sound these earphones offer is very impressive indeed; the sound is balanced and very rich, with a very full sound which pumps out atop your ears. Even at high volumes, the headphones deliver and don't distort the sound, maintaining a rich and balanced sound at all times. The following part of this review is a genre-specific sound test, to give you an idea of how the 'phones deal with different tunes:
As part of my sound test, I played 'Master of Puppets' by Metallica, a song which moves between heavier and more melodic sequences. In the louder parts, the bass was rich but didn't drown out the guitars like some headphones do, while the lyrics were still balanced well alongside the instruments. The melodic sequences fared just as well, with a great depth of sound which worked very well with the metal genre.
Play-testing the electronic/dance track 'Battle Royale' by Does it Offend You Yeah? the big beats and electronic tunes all sounded very rich, with the PortaPros offering a very rounded sound experience which differentiated deep bass from the striking electronic sounds the song offers up.
In my hip-hop sound test, the big beats on 'Rebel Without a Pause' by Public Enemy wrapped wonderfully around the pronounced vocals and the whirring sound samples, with the thumping bass the highlight, giving the song a deep, full sound.
The Koss 'phones dealt with Bob Marley's 'Roots, Rock, Reggae' wonderfully, with the song's layering conveyed brilliantly; the 'phones maintain the rich bass-line which sets the tempo but don't drown out the pianos and trumpets, while the vocals are well balanced between Marley's lyrics and the backing singers' harmonic sound.
Over diverse sound genres, I have found these headphones to be a phenomenal replacement for low-end ear-buds which have had me finding more depth in the music I own. The feature of note is undoubtedly the Porta Pros' ability to convey the complex layering of songs by maintaining the integrity of individual musical elements whilst simultaneously bringing them together as a satisfying whole.
In all honesty, I didn't know what to expect when I ordered these 'phones. I wasn't sold on the design and didn't know much about them aside from what I'd read in reviews. But I have been blown away by the sound quality for only £17.99 off Amazon. Not only are they light, stylish and cheap but they have performance to match, offering a deep, balanced sound and thumping bass. Finally, their portability and ultra-lightness is a big plus for the price range and makes the jump from ear-buds to over-ear headphones a smooth one.
For under £20, this set is an absolute steal and an absolute must for anyone still using stock iPod ear-buds like I was until a week ago. Highly recommended.
At £18, these headphones are one of the stand-out buys on Amazon. They retail elsewhere for well over double that, and even at such prices, they would still be competitive against similarly-priced rivals.
This is rich and full. Bass frequencies, which are generally lacking on headphones of this level of portability, come out particularly well. The middle and upper ranges are also clear and vibrant. This is thanks to the oxygen-free copper coils and neodymium magnets, components which are more associated with high-end headphones. For those with a particularly refined ear, you may think that there is a slight bias towards the bass, but at this price, no fuss can be made of that.
The headphones come with a carry pouch, but unfortunately this is the one redundant part of the product - mine has always been too small for me to be able to put my headphones into without an almighty struggle! Instead, I settle for folding my headphones down and then trying not to forget where they are in my bag.
If you are considering wearing these for commuting / exercising, be aware that the earcushion design means that they do not block you off completed from the outside world. While there is some benefit in this, for instance in being able to have at least some awareness of your surroundings while outdoors, it's not the most discreet way to blast music into your skull on the tube. The design also gives rise to a whooshing wind-noise if you have them on while jogging. These are not flaws per se, but simply a result of going for any type of earcushion headphone - if you're looking to avoid these, then either in-canal, earbud or earcup options should be considered, although these come with their own issues of comfort or portability.
Excellent. Not only do you get a gold-plated 3.5mm jack, there is also a gold-plated old-school sized jack adaptor there, which quite rightly suggests that these phones are an appropriate counterpart for top-end hi-fi equipment, as well as for on the go. Having owned these phones for over two years, the flimsy-looking adjustable metal headband and the plastic hinges have both stood up to the test of time very well, despite having been chucked into the bottom of my rucksack on more than a few occasions.
Superb. The foam cushioning may not look like much at first, but it really does the job, and the three adjustable settings for the closeness of fir for the earcushions adds an extra level of adjustability. You can wear these for hours without your head feeling constricted. The adjustable metal headband is surprisingly effective, although adjusting it on your head can at times snag a hair or two! Best is to extend the strap very wide, place the headphones on and then tighten onto your head.
In my view, these are a design classic as form and function are utterly intertwined to produce a product that excels at its design brief.
After an unfortunate incident involving my (slightly hated) Sony headphones and a large amount of vomit, the time came last week end to order some new headphones. I don't believe in buying anything without researching carefully, so after reading many reviews on all sorts of headphones, ranging from the good, the bad and the ugly, I concluded that my hard earned money (well I'm a student, but baby sitting is still work) should be well invested in a set of Koss PortaPros (available at around £18 from Amazon).
One week of ownership, and I can't think of a better way to have spent my money.
Build and appearance: 7.5/10
In terms of build and design, I found the headphones much more impressive in the metal (and plastic) than I had been expecting. Quality is something I am pretty anal about, but these are pretty bang on the money. The finish is not luxurious, but feels like it will last if treated nicely. The metal is nice, and again aids the feel of durability. I had better explain - these are not by any means going to rival a JCB in terms of ruggedness. The phones are slim in design, and extremely light. However, they feel as though they will happily last a lifetime of normal, relatively careful use, while in the event of trouble you have the included Lifetime Warranty to fall onto.
The design, which I was not keen on in the pictures on the internet, looks much better in person. The headphones remain on the 'ugly' end of the scale, but in an almost endearing way. They are very unique, much due to their 80's heritage. The metal is tastefully applied, and allows for an attractive contrast against the black plastic while installing a quality look. Meanwhile, the blue accents (which I hated on photos) add a little uniqueness to the design, and helps make them stand out. I prefer the highlights to bland black, although I think red might have looked better. Anyhow, the overall look is uniquely retro, fairly subtle, and not really any less stylish than any other set of headphones. Just more stand-out.
I hate giving perfect ratings. In my book, there is no such thing as perfection; the best can always be better. The PortaPros, however, seem to be an exception. While the much discussed "Comfort Zone" seems to be a little bit of a gimmick in my opinion, it shows the attention to detail taken in terms of comfort. The "Comfort Zone" system is designed so that the user can select the amount of pressure on the ears - firm, medium, or soft. Any setting is extremely comfortable, putting little pressure on the ears themselves thanks to extra pads which share pressure with the temples, while providing enough grip to hold the phones securely even during mountain biking. I personally prefer the firm setting, although the reason for this is not known. It just feels right for me.
The headphones are easily adjustable, thanks to two small plastic tabs on the head band which move back and forth to change the size of the headphones. Although other users have reported pain caused by their hair getting trapped in the mechanism, neither me, my Sister, my Mum, or my Dad have experienced this. Instead, we have all found the headband comfortable, easy to adjust and devoid of unwanted side effects (such as trapped hair). One little note - the headband does not lock, so after removing the headphones you will need to readjust the band. Once on though, the size will not change.
To conclude, I have worn the headphones for over four hours straight, and had no problems with my ears afterwards. Same with biking - I have worn the headphones over rough terrain for a couple of hours, and they did not move or cause pain. In fact, they seem therapeutic - like an ear massage :)
Sound - 9/10
This is why I bought these headphones. Firstly, I will say that I listen to a wide variety of music. This is inclusive of rock, country, R&B, pop, electronic and whatever comes in between. I have also used the headphones to watch films. A few examples of the songs I have tested these headphones with:
- Johnny Cash: Country Boy, Ring of Fire, I Walk the Line, and more.
- Blondie: Call me, Atomic, and more.
- The Mavericks: Dance the night away (very challenging)
- The Killers: When you were young
- Shakira: I'll stand by you, Whenever, Wherever, She Wolf
- Lady Gaga: Bad Romance
- Lee Ann Womack: I hope you dance
- Journey: Don't stop believing
- Cascada: Evacuate the dance floor, Every time we touch
- Many more, inclusive of Beyonce, Bullet for my Valentine, Michael Jackson, Guns 'n Roses, Gianna Naninni, Dolly Parton, Rihanna and more. If you need more information, just ask.
To summarise briefly, I have never heard any other headphones in this price range perform this well on any of these songs. I have used Samsung PX100s, PX200s, various Sonys, several Grados (including the iGrados at a not too dissimilar price and numerous other phones. At this price, these are the best.
Bass is strong, but detailed. Johnny Cash, The Killers, Guns 'n Roses are just some of my artists who use significant bass, and this is utilised very nicely by these headphones. The bass is strong and detailed enough to please those who thrive off it, but eases off to allow sufficient detail throughout the mids and highs. Despite other reviews, it was not the bass that caused these headphones to win me over. It's how brilliantly they combine the bass with the competent, strong, and detailed mids and highs to deliver a sound that captures the mood and detail of the song as it was intended. I haven't yet tried any other headphones in this price bracket that achieved this. They sound brilliant, like headphones that cost at least £75. The highs sing sonorously - beautifully, with powerful emotive mids surrounding them and the vast throb of bass always beating powerfully just beneath the other sounds. Each song has its own unique feeling, and each instrument in each song makes its own unique sound heard. I don't what else to say, except that this remains true for all genres of music. If you wan't sound and cash in your pocket, buy these.
The headphones are tiny, particularly for the excellent sound they deliver. Even better, they fold up - in a simple, self explanatory way - so that they are tiny enough to fit into the included leather bag. As said, they feel durable enough for everyday use, while their high comfort and strong grip means they can be used in almost any situation for many hours on end.
This sounds like it should be a perfect score yet again so far, right? Wrong. I knew this prior to purchasing, but these headphones leak sound like OK! leaks gossip. It's that bad. Honestly. One of the reasons I bought these headphones was for flights, however I would probably be so conscious of the sound that I would be forced to turn them down. In which case, I would suffer from the poor isolation and quickly turn them back up. To hell with society. I want my music.
Despite this, I think that their small size and ease of use makes them practical for everyday use. Just be prepared for stares.
These headphones come with everything you could expect for the price. A leatherette case, a headphone adaptor for planes, a headphone adaptor for your guitar amplifier, and an all important lifetime warranty put these headphones at the front of their rivals.
Buy these headphones, and you will not be disappointed. The sound is excellent for the price (at the top of their class), the design and build is as you'd expect, they're as comfortable as a hot bath, and they're small enough to be practical. Top the icing with a lifetime guarantee and good accessories bundled, and Koss have a product that I think could be celebrating its 50th birthday and still be heading the pack.
P.S The reviews on Amazon and Ciao are also mine. I know the names are different, the lady who owns the account on Amazon is my Mum. Also, as this is my first review - feedback please!
I find that in-ear headphones are quite uncomfortable so i was looking for a good mid-price pair of phones and after a botched attempt at sennhesier (two broken pairs in as many months) i decided to give these a go.
Aesthetically they are great - they have retro appeal and I love the way they fold up. A really great looking pair of headphones.
The sound quality is really good but one of the biggest problems I found was that everyone around you can hear what you're listening to! Making you the most hated person on the bus/tube/train isn't a great selling point. The other big down point is that I felt they don't go quite loud enough. I like to be able to listen to my music pretty loud and so find myself playing my ipod on full volume most of the time I'm using these, which is not ideal.
However, overall, I would say that these are a great little set of headphones - I like the idea behind them (original design, etc), the look and style and the sound quality and for the price I would say they're a great buy!
I recently bought some sennheiser in-ear headphones, and while the sound was pretty good they were driving me crazy falling out of my ears all the time. I imagine that they might be good for some people but they just didn't fit me. So I needed something new!
I decided to go for these full headphones because I figured it would resolve the problem with my previous headphones falling out all the time. Plus the Porta Pros have the added advantage that they fold up really small so don't take up anywhere near as much space as most full headphones.
The Koss Porta Pros have apparently been the same design and same sound etc since the 80s and are really well known for their excellent sounds, particularly when it comes to bass. I figured something that has been around that long and still gets a good wrap has to be worth trying. Plus at around 18 pounds on Amazon these are great value.
The first time I put the headphones on and played some music I was seriously impressed! Being a full over-ear there is some slight protection and insulation against outside noise, so you hear the music you're listening to more clearly. The best part though is that the clarity and distinction of the tones the headphones give is really amazing. I feel like I am listening to a lot of my favourite tracks for the first time - I am hearing so many more layers and hidden sounds that I couldn't hear before with the lesser headphones.
The next important thing is obviously the fit. The headphones themselves are light and the ear pieces are not rigidly fixed in position, they have a few degrees of movement, allowing them to better shape to your head/ears. There is also an expandable band on the silver part of the headphones that you just pull apart as you slide them onto your head. The band then slides back down until it's snugly fitted to your head. I do find that after some time the fit can be a little bit tight, but there is an adjustable fitting on the side of the headphones that allows you to change the fit from snug to looser.
The headphones come with a small case, which is differently shaped but not much bigger than an 80G iPod. The ear pieces of the headphones fold in on themselves so that they take up half the size and can be slipped into the black case provided. This is great because I always worry that heaphones will get damaged in my handbag or that they'll take up too much room. Neither is a problem with the porta pros!
All in all I am extremely pleased with these headphones. The sound is really far and away better than any in-ear headphones that I've tried, and at not much more in terms of price it's definitely worth it if you listen to a lot of music on the go.
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Dynamic elements for particularly low bass performance;
Adjustable ear-band for additional wearing comfort;
If necessary it can be easily folded;
With practical carrier-bag;
Plug: 3.5 mm jack, stereo, gold-plated;
Adapter: 6.3 mm jack.