Koss PortaPro (with Case) review: Koss PortaPro (with Case)

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CNET Editors' Rating

4 stars Excellent
  • Overall: 8.3
  • Design: 8.0
  • Features: 8.0
  • Performance: 9.0

Average User Rating

4.5 stars 10 user reviews
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good The Koss PortaPro Headphones combine a functional design with excellent 3D sound and a low price tag.

The Bad Hair gets caught in the collapsible band; some people will dislike the '80s aesthetic.

The Bottom Line Koss hit a home run with the PortaPros. Love or hate the design, there's no denying the sound quality here: they're the ideal companion for mobile audiophiles and home theater enthusiasts.

CNET Editors' Choice Apr '08

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With so many funky headphone designs flooding the market right now, it's getting harder and harder to choose which one to buy. Instead of showing you the latest snazzy set of cans, we're taking you back in time to showcase the Koss PortaPros. These headphones are the ultimate in retro chic and are guaranteed to get a few comments, but you won't hear them thanks to the beautiful symphony of sound flooding your ears. For $50, we're hard-pressed to find another set that rivals their sound quality and quirky design.

The first thing you'll notice about the PortaPros is that they look like something from the 1980s. That's because they are--Koss released these exact headphones in 1984 and they became so popular that Koss hasn't changed a thing for 23 years. These headphones retain the same design both internally and externally. The earcups are secured to your head by a thin steel headband that adjusts with two sliders that tighten and loosen the tension. Once you have them in place, the PortaPros are actually very comfortable--they're featherweight and additional cushions on top of the ear pads prevent the headset from slipping. The comfort level is taken a step further with what Koss calls their "Comfort Zone." This feature has three mechanical settings that let you adjust the tension of the earpiece against your head. The downside is that there's no way to lock the headband in place and the sliders like to get caught in your hair as you take them on and off. This also becomes a problem when you want to rest the headphones around your neck--the band immediately tightens up and practically strangles you.

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Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date Jan 1, 1984
  • Sound Output Mode stereo
  • Weight 2.1 oz
  • Additional Features foldable
  • Type headphones
  • Headphones Form Factor on-ear
  • Connector Type mini-phone stereo 3.5 mm