Koss KTXPRO1 Headband Headphones - Silver/Blue Reviews

Koss KTXPRO1 Headband Headphones - Silver/Blue

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Disappointing sound and build quality

Apr 15, 2005 (Updated Apr 16, 2005)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Very inexpensive, nice modern appearance.

Cons:Below average sound quality for Koss headphones, cheap cord and volume control.

The Bottom Line: Grab these only if you can't afford Portapro, Portapro2 or KSC-75.


I recently picked up a pair of Koss KTXPRO1 as a backup pair of portable headphones, based mainly on their looks and low price, hoping for something as good as my Koss Portapro2 headphones (which are nearly identical to the Portapro, and can be taken as the same for purposes of comparison).

I've been a big fan of the Koss sound for years, as they were my first experience with high-fidelity headphones (Radio-Shack branded Koss). Since then I've also owned Grado SR60, various Denon models, Sennheiser HD-580 and HD-600 and several others, so I have a fair amount of headphone experience. The free headphones that come with portable gear just don't cut it for me, and I tend to either shove them in a drawer or throw them away. If you're reading this, I expect you're also looking for something better than what came free with your portable.

Unfortunately I feel somewhat disappointed with my purchase, even at the low price I paid. Although these headphones look quite good and modern (much better than the Portapro2's) they simply don't sound as good, nor are they built as well. Here's a list of pros and cons, as compared to the Portapro2's:

Pros:

(1) The KTX-Pro1 looks nicer than the Portapro2 (more modern).
(2) KTX-Pro1 is a bit more comfortable, at least on my head.
(3) KTX-Pro1 is less than half the price of Portapro2.
(4) They do get loud, and have plenty of bass (for those whom these aspects are a primary consideration).

Cons:

(1) They do not sound as good as the Portapro2's, although this might improve after some usage (break-in time). The sound is more constricted and closed, soundstage is poorer, detail reduced and there's less treble extension. They do have the same Koss "house sound," but it's definitely a step down. I'm disappointed, and hope they will improve with a bit of break-in. Still adequate for portable use though, and still substantially better than the freebies shipped with portable CD players.

(2) The cord... is just horribly cheap. The Portapro2's have a cord I'd term "inexpensive" -- KTX-Pro1 cord is just unbelievably cheap, thin plastic and I don't expect it to last very long with any active portable use. I predict the inline volume control will get scratchy and/or intermittent within a short time as well, as it's made of light, hollow plastic. Cheap, cheap, cheap, shame on Koss for this throwaway cable.

(3) The headband, although well designed and reasonably comfortable, is constructed of plastic with "click" type indentations at various intervals for adjustment. The Portapro2 headband is metal, and has a smooth/continuous adjustment to better fit any size of head.


The Verdict:

I wish I'd gotten a second pair of Portapro2s instead, or maybe a pair of original Portapro direct from koss.com. Koss KSC-75 (the only other Koss headphones I'd consider) are probably out for me because I wear glasses, although they'd be a consideration for many people, and I understand they come highly recommended.

The KTX-Pro1 are no doubt better than the free headphones included with most portable players, but for a little more money you can pick up a better sounding and (in particular) better-built model. These are unlikely to hold up very long under the rough conditions often encountered during portable use, so their purpose is mostly defeated. The cable is the chief culprit here, but the quality of plastic used in their overall construction doesn't help any -- simply dropping them would likely be enough to put them out of commission.


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