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
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 Amazon.co.uk or US$35 from Amazon.com.