CanJam at RMAF2017: Koss KPH30i On-Ear Open Headphones

The Koss Porta Pro has been famous among headphone enthusiasts since...well, almost forever. It's been in the line-up since 1984 and at $49.99 continues to be their best selling headphone.

Now they've exceeded themselves by introducing a new headphone at an even lower price, the Koss KPH30i sells for a mear $29.99! Available in both white and gray livery, and more stylish then the Porta Pro (you won't get your hair caught in this headband) this seems like a dandy little can. I did compare it directly to the Porta Pro and found it a little more rolled-off up top, but the family resemblance is unmistakable. Seems like a no-brainer for the youngsters you know this upcoming gift giving season.

Michael Koss tells us all about it in the video.

View on YouTube.

tony's picture


Tony in Michigan

Maybe's picture

Great guy.
I wish they would put some better pads on the esp950.
I think that headphone could still keep up very well with the current crop of high end headphones, it just needs to be a bit more comfortable.

Argyris's picture

More rolled off at the top than the PortaPro? Based on my example of the PP, I'm mystified by the praise this thing consistently receives. I find it boomy, considerably rolled off itself and thoroughly unengaging. And this is coming from somebody who considers the HD 600's treble level near perfect, so I'm not exactly a treble head (I've been through that stage and am glad to leave it behind me). Am I just expecting too much from a cheap headphone?

lafaard's picture

Well, the Porta Pro does sound muddy with boomy bass. You're on the money with that. Fortunately, the Koss KSC75 is exactly what the Porta Pro should be. It has a more forward and airy sound signature. They're shockingly similar to a Grado Sr60 for a fraction of the price. That also implies that the treble is too sharp. And if you don't like the ear clip design, you can use the Porta Pro headband. Also, here are some portable headphones which I find are better than the Porta Pro (for less $):

- Skullcandy Navigator
- JVC S400 (after Blu Tak mod)
- Koss KSC75
- Noontec Zoro (Inner fidelity loves these)

Plus, the non-removable wire on Koss headphones absolutely sucks! I refuse to buy another Koss headphone for that matter. It's inexcusable to enforce this planned obsolescence. Lifetime Warranty or not, you still have to ship these headphones and it would be cheaper just to buy another generic 3.5mm jack cable (for a headphone with a detachable cord). So the value proposition of a Lifetime Warranty makes absolutely no sense.

Luigi's picture

Zoro II hd, 81 euro
Skullcandy Navigator, horribly bloated bass
S400, resonant cups
ksc75, earclip, needs 10 dollars to add headband.

Core's picture

You are not expecting too much from inexpensive headphones. You may want to take a look at the Audio-Technica ATH-M30x and the JVC HA-RX700. Even Tyll’s good friend Steve Guttenberg liked the JVC HA-RX700: But disregard Guttenberg’s claim that these headphones “does a good job blocking external noise.” These are semi-open headphones and therefore have very little isolation.

The Audio-Technica ATH-M30x has 1 150 reviews at and an average of 4.5 out of 5 stars. Both of these headphones sound fairly neutral, are comfortable, are well built, and are sensitive enough for low-voltage devices.

Luigi's picture

You will find the mids so boxy... The ath-mxx series starts with the 40.

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