Koss QZ-2000 review: Koss QZ-2000

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CNET Editors' Rating

3 stars Good
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Extremely comfortable; highly effective noise-canceling circuitry; lots of bass.

The Bad Sound lacks detail; wires get tangled easily.

The Bottom Line For smaller headphones, the QZ-2000s provide impressive noise cancellation and big-bottomed bass.

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Editor's note: We have changed the rating in this review to reflect recent changes in our rating scale. Click here to find out more.

Koss's Quiet Zone QZ-2000 headphones are capable of surprisingly efficient noise cancellation over a relatively broad frequency spectrum: from midbass to upper midrange. This effectively hushes much of the sound made by planes, trains, and buses. We even subjected the QZ-2000s to a full-frontal New York City sonic assault, consisting of subways, noisy restaurants, and--worst of all--the unyielding din of midtown traffic. The noise-cancellation process pumps up the midrange to help the music cut through noisy conditions, which suggests that this unit is best for canceling fairly consistent noise.

We found the QZ-2000 earphones extremely comfortable, although they don't look as cutting-edge as they could, considering their advanced noise-cancellation technology. The circuitry that cancels the noise is housed in a small external box; this also holds twin AA batteries, which Koss claims last more than 200 hours at a stretch. You can fold the QZ-2000s into a compact bundle and store them in a neat little carry bag--a good idea for travel.

The relatively large and heavy battery pack lacks a belt clip, and its two wires (a thick one to the headphones and a skinny one to the portable audio device) are prone to getting tangled with each other. One more nitpick: The QZ-2000s, like some other noise-canceling headphones, produce a slight sense of pressure on the eardrum. Listeners sensitive to this effect may find them mildly uncomfortable.

The QZ-2000s' warm and round sound is adept at pumping up music. The headphones sounded best with rock tunes, but for a retail price of $199, Koss should offer more midrange detail and high-frequency resolution. DVD movies were less affected by the overmellow sound, but we still much preferred the less expensive Sony MDR-NC11 earbud headphones for their better sonics and noise cancellation.

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Where to Buy

Koss QZ-2000

Part Number: 126417

Pricing is currently unavailable.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Color black
  • Weight 2.3 oz
  • Sound Output Mode stereo
  • Type headphones
  • Headphones Form Factor ear-cup
About The Author

Ex-movie theater projectionist Steve Guttenberg has also worked as a high-end audio salesman, and as a record producer. Steve currently reviews audio products for CNET and works as a freelance writer for Home Theater, Inner Fidelity, Tone Audio, and Stereophile.