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Koss UR29 review: Koss UR29

Koss UR29

Steve Guttenberg
Steve Guttenberg
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 Stereophile.
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.

The Koss UR29 headphones are, at first glance, a near-twin of one of our favorite Koss models, the Pro3AA Titanium. The $29 (list price) UR29s utilize an anisotropic magnet and 1.4mm mylar diaphragms. The closed ear cup's leatherette cushions ensure maximum isolation. This model has a collapsible design and includes an 8-foot cable with an in-line volume control, as well as a 1/8-inch stereo minijack and a 1/4-inch home adapter. It's sold with a lifetime warranty.

The Good

Very comfortable over-the-ear headphones; lightweight design; in-line volume control; folds for compact storage; lifetime warranty.

The Bad

Harsh sound.

The Bottom Line

The sound quality of these bargain-priced, solidly built phones didn't grab us.

One of our favorite DVDs of late is The Ring. It's a creepy, mind-warping thriller, jam-packed with disturbing textures and effects. The UR29 sounded serviceable enough but softened much of the detail that adds to the power of the film. Dialogue was fairly articulate, though hardly a match for the Pro3AA. Every time we swapped out the UR29s for the Pro3AAs, we were a lot happier.

We found that CDs told much the same story. The Grateful Dead's Ladies and Gentlemen... CD sounded surprisingly muddy overall, and the treble was rather harsh. Beck's Sea Change CD sounded oddly monophonic, bunched up in the middle of our head. Yes, the UR29 is inexpensive, but we can't eke out even a mild recommendation. If you're looking for a Koss model in this style, pay the extra money and step up to the Pro3AA.

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