Koss UR20 Headband Headphones - Black Reviews
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Koss UR20 Headband Headphones - Black

32 ratings (15 Epinions reviews)
Epinions Product Rating: Very Good
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$15.99
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$14.90
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For 20 bucks, you can't expect more!

Feb 2, 2003
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Comfortable, Good Overall Sound

Cons:None

The Bottom Line: If you're looking for a good all-around set of closed-back headphones, I highly recommend these. Bang-for-the-buck, I don't think you can beat them.


I bought these headphones a couple of months ago to use on a couple airplane flights. I have been totally happy with them, they offer good performance with an extremely modest price tag. I have since used the headphones in many different situations, from sitting at home in bed, to riding around in cars, and haven't been disappointed with them yet. They are honestly one of those products that every time you put them on you say, "that was a $20 well spent!"

Probably one of the comparatively strongest points of the UR-20 is the comfort these offer. Well, let me first qualify this by saying that I am a big guy with a proportionately large head. That being said, the headband on these is quite comfortable, you can barely tell that there's anything going across the top. Also, there is good depth between the muffs and the actual speaker element, which allows long-term listening without getting sore ears. Trust me, I've used several other pairs of similar headphones over the years, and having ones that rub on the edge of your ears is really annoying! These definitely don't do that, and I've got some room to spare. The combination of the ear pads and the headband are balanced just right so there isn't excessive pressure anywhere. OK, well, take this as you will, everyone has different size and shaped heads, but this is just my experience. I suppose of you were small or young, these headphones may be too big. Likewise, if you are looking for maximum portability, these are a little on the big side. But, no worse than any other headphone of their size.

Now to the sound quality. I find the sound to be quite acceptable on these. Their overall response seems to be quite good, with a good low end and a good top end. They may not be the ultimate in clarity and airiness like some of the high dollar headphones, but they are definitely better than your standard run-of-the-mill earbud or 99cent headphone. Actually, I work in the audio industry and have heard some phenomenal sound systems, so I have a fairly good idea of what good sound is like. These headphones may strike some people who haven't heard good sound as being "different", but they're probably just better than what most people normally listen to. Often a bad recording will sound worse when using good headphones. So, like I said, I see no glaring problems to speak of in the sound-production category. Yes, they are closed-back phones, which does give a little coloration to the sound, but its nothing horrid, nor particularly noticeable if you aren't looking for it.

This leads to my reasoning behind purchasing these headphones. Since I was going to be using them on an airplane, I was looking for a closed design. This means that the headphones do not radiate in both directions (into your ear and out into the room) which is good for not bothering your neighbors. At the same time, you do get a slight amount of noise reduction which is good for eliminating some background noises in the environment. Again, if you are looking for the ultimate in sound quality, most people will recommend an open design, but then you wouldn't be looking at these to start with.

Unfortunately, by going around to your local electronics stores, you'll find that most places don't have displays of the headphones you can try on. One tip to consider as you look for headphones is that many of the computer store chains have a good selection of headphones, so be sure to check them out. Wherever you may find these, you probably will have to buy them without trying them out or hearing them. This is what I did, and I think it paid off. Hopefully you will have the same experience.

Oh yes, one last thought... While I don't normally put much credence in the whole "break-in" in audio products, and at the risk of sounding like an audiophile, I do think these headphones sounded better after using them for a little while. I'd suggest that if you don't like them at first listen, leave them plugged in and playing for a day or a few hours and then give them another chance. I'm not talking about needing 1000 hours or anything, but a few may help.

So, all-in-all, I think these are probably about the best closed back headphones that you can get for under $50 or maybe even $100. The combination of good sound, good quality, and comfort is superb. These would be great for wearing around on mass-transit, or in a school situation without disturbing others. Or, you can be like me and use them in your apartment without having to worry about bothering your neighboor.



Recommend this product? Yes

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