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CNET First Look
Koss PortaPro HeadphonesKoss 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.
-Hi, I'm Justin Yu with CNET.com with the first look at the Koss PortaPro Headphones. With so many headphones coming out these days, it is hard to commit to just one pair without listening to them first. But, why not choose one that's withstood over 20 years of competition? The Koss PortaPros actually came out in 1984, and they've since become a cult favorite for their unique design and their excellent fidelity, and they also have a lifetime warranty that makes their $50 price tag even more appealing. So, first off, there's no mystery about what decade inspired these headphones. Their retro-looking ear cups may look weird to you, but they do actually serve a purpose. The earbuds here are secured by this extra padding up top by your temple, and there's even a comfort zone switch on the side that lets you adjust the tension against your temple. Now, our single complaint with the physical build is that these 2 floating piece headbands don't have a lock to keep it in place. So, Koss intended this piece to cut out the complicated adjustment process every time you put them on your head. It's kind of automatic when you stick them on. But it's also easy for hair to get stuck in the metal sliders, and it doesn't happen that often, but just enough to where we can't quite overlook it. Now, the PortaPros also fold up and clip together for convenient storage and this tiny clip in the middle here keeps the 2 sides bound together and organized. Looks aside, the reason why the PortaPros are still being sold is because of their upper-tier fidelity. The retro look is a hit or miss, but you can't really argue with their ability to pump out a ton of bass. Koss also managed to find the recipe for an impressively well-balanced headphone that's suitable across all genres. That's with excellent clarity and overall sound that weighs slightly heavier in the low end. And although they're not specifically designed for sound isolation, the over-the-ear or circumoral design does an excellent job of blocking out ambient noise without leaking your music to everyone else around you. Best of all, Koss backs the $50 PortaPros with a no-questions-asked lifetime warranty. We actually tested this out for ourselves with a broken pair. All it takes is $6 to cover shipping and 2 weeks later, we received a brand new set of PortaPros with a thank you note from Koss. All things considered, you can certainly spend quadruple the amount of a nice set of custom earphones or a pair of headphones designed to compliment your home theater. But, if you don't wanna spend a lot and just need a set of durable, dependable headphones and listen to on the go or at work, the versatile Koss PortaPros are in our solid CNET Editor's Choice Award and are sure to impress you as well. You can read the full review on CNET.com, but that's gonna do it for me. I'm Justin Yu. These are the Koss PortaPro Headphones and that sounds good to me.