Koss Porta Pro Review
The Koss Porta Pro is surely one of the best-selling headphones in the history of modern audio. Its conception dates back almost 30 years. He was one of the first truly nomadic models and is today one of the last Mohicans of the glorious Walkman era. However, it remains relevant and now exists in a KCT version with controls and a microphone for the smartphone. The opportunity for us to re-test it and submit it for the first time to our acoustic measurements laboratory.
- At this price, it’s a fantastic build.
- Even at double or triple this price, the sound is very comfortable.
- The soundstage is excellent.
- Headphones are ideal for travel and come with a carrying case.
- Mid-bass can be problematic
The Koss Porta Pro has already been tested in digital, but it goes back a few years, and we were not at the time equipped with an acoustic measurement laboratory. Therefore, we have recovered one of the latest versions of this helmet, which seems timeless to see if it still holds up against modern evaluation criteria.
Yes, a Koss Porta Pro headset does not make us any younger. So when you get in touch with him, you want to bring out your eighties bandana, grow your mustache, put on short shorts, a Marcel, and buy a pair of white and green Adidas Stan Smith sneakers to go for jogging… advertising style for the 118 218. Vintage is in fashion, so why not…
In the previous test published on the Koss Porta Pro, Tristan François specified that this helmet is well suited to bald people. Did he mean that he was aimed at a clientele of older people or a target of shaved heads? Certainly both, my captain. Because if it is still of a very rustic design, the Porta Pro is also a model of intelligence, ultra-functional. Its hoop is made up of two very rigid metal blades, mounted on slides, which adjust very easily to the size of the user’s head, but also tend to pinch and pull the hair. Personally, that doesn’t bother me (see photo below), but you still have to think of others.
The comfort of the Koss Porta Pro is, therefore spartan. But, in return, it holds quite well on the ears. Above each of its ear cups, a small foam fleece rests on the user’s temples and has a clever three-position adjustment to adjust the tightening intensity.
Still, it is important to note that the Koss Porta Pro earpads boil down to the transducers and their chassis, just dressed in small foam windshields in terms of ease of use. There is no shell around. The transducers operate under infinite load (fully open). This Koss helmet is very light and does not isolate any outside noise. In the metro, it is not ideal for hearing music unless you turn the volume up, which risks, in the long term, putting your ears to the “sonotone” stage and, in the long run, ‘immediate, upset your neighbors in the hassle of public transport, who, as we know, is always very patient and courteous.
As can be seen from the measurements, the Koss Porta Pro confirms its reputation. Its response curve is downward with a low register forward and treble set back. For a helmet that is often only a few tens of euros, the performance is excellent.
Listening, the Koss Porta Pro offers a groovy, mellow, and warm sound. Its bass is plump but not dripping, which is quite nice. One of the great qualities of the Porta Pro is to have a fairly lively, fast restitution … even light, one might say. If the bass is very voluminous, the rendering is not for all that “stifling-Christian”. The highs do not go very high, but the midrange register is beautifully defined, very harmonious, with a good dose of delicacy when needed. The dynamics are always at the rendezvous on all styles of music. Audiophiles, for whom the alert and nuanced character of sound transcription is a key element, will greatly appreciate the Koss Porta Pro.
Type: open over-ear headphones
Transducers: 1 x 40 mm electrodynamic per earpiece
Frequency response: 15 Hz to 25 kHz (manufacturer data)
Impedance: 60 ohms (manufacturer data)
Sensitivity: 101 dB SPL / 1 mW (manufacturer data)
Permissible power: nc
Supplied accessories: storage bag (with certain versions only)
Weight: 67 g (on our scale, cable included)
Several versions, including one adapted for smartphones
The Koss Porta Pro is now available in several versions: the classic version and the KCT version with controls and smartphone microphone on its connection cable. It is also possible to find some color variations. The standard version has a metal finish headband with black ear cups and blue/gray accents. There are also red or red and black versions.
Given its price always flush with the daisies and its conversely generous performance, the Koss Porta Pro remains a very interesting product and of an intelligent design. We, therefore, readily forgive its small faults in ergonomics or its strong propensity to favor harmony and curves rather than sound neutrality.