Saturday, March 7, 2009

Koss PortaPro portable headphone mini-review

Koss Portapro is one of the best loved portable headphone. Released in 1984, the Portapro has retained its initial classic goofy design since, even surviving the company's 1984 bankruptcy. It is still one of the best value headphones on the market and its strong following only proves it further. Even better the Portapro comes with a no quibble lifetime warranty.

Plenty of pretenders to the throne has come and go. The popular Sennheiser PX 100 is always compared to this supraural headphone as its primary competitor, but the design while pretty, isn't meant for everyone. The Portapro on the other hand is one of the most comfortable headphones I have ever placed over my head. The adjustable headband allows for any head size. You can also adjust the firmniss.

Frequency response: 15–25,000Hz
Sensitivity: 101 dB SPL/mW
Nominal impedance: 60 ohms
Transducer: Dynamic

Like many popular portable headphones, the Portapro can be easily folded. This makes them easily transportable when not in use. They do look pretty fragile, but the plastic does seem tough and capable of withstanding plenty of abuse. Then there's that no-question lifetime warranty...

The sound from this is amazing. Initially I found the mids to be recessed, but after burning them in a little while I found them to be sparkling. Treble extension is fantastic. I would describe the sound as bright with slight emphasis on mids and highs. All in all I find the sound quality to be equal to that of more expensive headphones like the Grado SR60.

Due to the nature of supraural headphones, you won't be getting much, if at all, isolation with this. Plenty of sound escapes, making the headphone not ideal for use in sensitive places like the quiet section of a train carriage.

Despite its sound quality, not everyone will like the sound signature. I know I didn't (I prefer more emphasis on bass). But if you like a good and cheap headphone with good all around natural performance across all frequencies, you will not be disappointed by this.

The PortaPro's retro look may not please everyone, but if you do decide to get one, they available for as little as £17.99 including shipping from or US$35 from


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jon Choo said...

^ Tis was spam

Unknown said...

Wow. Where did you get the Red Porta Pros? Is there any way to get them in the US?

Jon Choo said...

I got them used from someone in Scandinavia. I believe it is a limited edition version only available from over there.

Anonymous said...

I use it to listen to porn films in the middle of the night

Anonymous said...

Yes, they're very nice. I got tired of having to continually readjust the tension switches, though. So, with the switches in the "light" position, I inserted a 4" nylon cable tie (cut to about 1/2" total length) into the space forward of the switch on each earpiece so that the cable tie heads block the switches from sliding forward. Now they stay in the "light" position and I am happy.

Anonymous said...

Jon, does the new set of walkmans s640, e545, s745, a845 all have vpt (surrond sound)?

Why dnt you personally recommend the use of VPT? As far as I know, you are sacrificing some soundstage for better sound output.

Jon Choo said...

Yes they do.

I didn't recommend using it because it degraded the sound quality slightly, soundstaging can be achieved through a good pair of headphones and it uses more power.

BTW, what an odd post to ask the question!

Anonymous said...

Hi, this seller uses your pictures to sell fake koss porta pro bought at I guess. Ebay is not concerned so I'm posting here.

Anonymous said...

These are fake ones, they dont sound like real PortaPros, sorry dude.