Back to the future: Koss Pro4AA headphones

The Koss Pro4AA has been around for ages, and when you listen you'll know why. Koss got the sound right the first time. And while contemporary headphones have more features and are lighter and more comfortable, they're nowhere as ruggedly built as the Pro4AA. This headphone will shrug off more than a few mishaps that would shatter to pieces a lot of 2013 designs.

So if you're rough on headphones, you might want to pick up a pair. And since they're covered by a lifetime warranty, Koss will keep repairing or replacing them forever. The warranty … Read more

The 404 1,401: Where we get in the groove with Steve Guttenberg (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- U-Turn Orbit: An audiophile-quality turntable for $179.

- Steven's Koss Pro4AA Titanium review.

- MDR SA5000: Sony's classic, audiophile-grade, full-size headphone.

- Why open a huge new record store in 2013?

- New Spotify report debunks "per stream" payments for artists.

- Check out Fuse's awesome video series about obsessive record collectors.

- The Wrecking Crew: The best-selling band you've never heard of.… Read more

Koss KTX Pro 1 headphones offer spectacular sound for as little as $10

When I first set eyes on the Koss KTX Pro 1 headphones I wasn't expecting much. The silver plastic on-ear has an all-too-generic look, but as soon as I started listening the sound had my full attention; they were very decent! Most cheap on-ears sound claustrophobic and pinched, but the KTX Pro 1's sound was big and spacious. The 60-ohm design is exceptionally comfortable, and the foam ear pads exert minimal pressure, so you can wear these things for hours without fatigue setting in. Like all budget headphones the KTX Pro 1's cable lacks an inline mic … Read more

The Audiophiliac's favorite budget headphones

Great-sounding headphones have never been more affordable. Even the least expensive headphone model on this list, the Panasonic RP HJE 355 in-ear, has oodles of detail and decent bass punch. For me the most important thing when evaluating headphones is sound balance; no frequency range should call attention to itself, so I don't like overly bassy headphones, or ones that overemphasize treble. Headphones should sound clear, not muffled or fuzzy. I prefer spacious stereo imaging over sound that's stuck inside my head. Headphones that allow music's soft-to-loud dynamics to bloom are better than ones that constrict dynamics. … Read more

The 404 1,042: Where the Enterprise has landed (podcast)

Steve Sphere Guttenberg returns to close out the week and he's calling on all our listeners to submit and vote for their favorite speakers, sound bars, headphones, subwoofers, and other home theater products for the first ever Stevie Awards for Excellence in Audio. So far, my personal top pick, the Koss PortaPros, are leading the headphones category!

Steve also tells Jeff and me about the leaps in technology that blew his mind growing up, the most prolific of which happens to be a head-shaped JVC binaural recording device that he used as a wingman in bars around New York … Read more

Koss Porta Pro headphones review: 28-year-olds get a facelift

Twenty-eight years after their debut, the Koss Porta Pro over-ear headphones finally get a push into the 21st century with the Porta Pro KTC, a new model sporting a three-button remote control for navigating tracks on iOS and (some) Android devices.

Porta purists will be happy to hear that the skin and guts of the headphones haven't changed aside from the addition of the remote. The earcups are still secured to your head by a thin steel headband that adjusts with two sliders that tighten and loosen the tension--Koss calls this the "Comfort Zone."

The Porta Pros continue to earn a spot on CNET's Best 5 headphones list partly for their throwback design, and partly because these cans continue offering worthy sonic competition to modern headphones, even after 28 years.

According to Koss, "neodymium iron boron rare-earth magnet structures" handle output in a 15-25,000Hz frequency range. That first part sounds like marketing fluff, but having used these as my personal pair for the last three years, I'm confident marking these as the headphones to beat in the sub-$50 category.… Read more

Crave giveaway: Tony Bennett Koss signature headphones

Move over Dr. Dre; we have legendary crooner Tony Bennett to thank for this week's giveaway. Yep, you read that right. We're talking about the one and only Anthony Dominick Benedetto.

Bennett has teamed with Koss, a longtime maker of audio products, to create the Tony Bennett Signature Edition Stereophones in honor of his 85th birthday and the recent release of Duets II. The CD features Bennett singing his greatest hits with such artists as Lady Gaga, Queen Latifah, Natalie Cole, Willie Nelson, and the late Amy Winehouse.

Bennett first donned Koss headphones in the early '60s. Fifty years later, his comfy-looking Tony Bennett Signature Stereophones come with the standard 3.5mm plug, as well as a 6.3mm plug converter, enabling them to adapt to different systems. The headphones fold flat for storage in an included durable cloth-covered case so you can easily tote them along when you leave your heart in San Francisco--or anywhere else. … Read more

The worst-sounding audio product

I've heard a lot of really bad-sounding audio products over the years, but most of them were so awful they suffered a natural and well-deserved "death." Take for example the $499 Gateway KAS-103 home theater in a box system that debuted in 2003. I had the "pleasure" of reviewing this attractive system, but it sounded so bad I was duty bound to try another sample, which was equally dreadful. There was absolutely no blend between the sound of the subwoofer and the tiny satellite speakers, the high levels of background static were impossible to ignore, … Read more

Best on-ear headphones under $100 compared

Investing in an aftermarket pair of headphones is a quick and easy solution to improve the music listening experience on a mobile music player, but plenty of people feel uncomfortable jamming a tiny ear bud deep into their ear canals. Of course, a tight seal and close proximity to the eardrums offer the potential for the highest-resolution sound quality, but earpad and full-size headphones are also suitable for acoustic isolation and don't require minute fit adjustments the way in-ear-canal headphones do.

Here we've listed a handful of our favorite on-ear headphones that constitute the ideal marriage of lightweight … Read more

Another Koss headphone plus: Lifetime warranty

Impressive sound performance, an affordable price tag, and a "Back to the Future" aesthetic keep the $49 Porta Pro headphones in the modern Koss stable of products.

Well into their 26th production year, we're proud to include them in our list of the Best Portable Headphones for more than just those reasons--they also happen to carry a lifetime warranty, no questions asked.

A clear statement on the warranty page reads:

Stereophones that were purchased after July of 1989 are covered by our No-Questions-Asked Lifetime warranty.

No need to include the original receipt, nor do you have to wait for an RMA. In fact, Koss actually encourages customers to visit its Milwaukee location for those in the area to make an exchange--if not, all they ask is that you include $6 in the box to cover the return shipping fees.… Read more