Koss brand is kind of a legend among audiophiles. They were very popular during the golden age of Walkmans. Although much has changed in the music listening habits of people, Koss Headphones stayed on the scene due to their good sound and affordable prices. Porta Pro is the most famous and one of the oldest entries in their product line; a legend among the legends.
- Light and Portable
- Good Timbre
- Warm Tonality
- Fun Sound
- Safe Tuning
- Intimate Vocals
- Unusual Headband
- Somewhat Muddy
- Not very technically capable
Without boring you too much, I don’t necessarily have a sound preference. I tend to enjoy different sound profiles as long as they do well what they intend to do. I’m not very sensitive to treble so I can enjoy the most notoriously bright headphones, however I’m somewhat sensitive to upper mids area. Please keep these in mind.
Built, Comfort, Trivia
Porta Pro, like the name implies, very light and portable, comes with a pouch and has a pretty complex headband for a portable on ear headphone. Headband has a comfort setting which changes clamp force and possibly sound a little. Also it has no memory of your choice of length or comfort setting. The headband may pull your hair when you try to adjust the headband length, but that’s not a big problem for me as I hear for the others. They don’t seal and isolate well. You can even call them open back or semi-open back headphones in this sense. Sound profile also confirms this claim.
These have a significant sub-bass roll off like most open back dynamic headphones. But the presence of the mid-bass hump makes you forget this absence, unless you are a “wub wub” addict. I am not. They are very dynamic in this sense and can punch pretty hard. Not very fast, but I never felt ends of tones lingered more than they need to.
Mids are warm, lush, somewhat muddy, if you compare to more neutral or technically correct headphones. Frequency Response Graph may suggest otherwise, but vocals are really a strong point of Porta Pros. Somehow they come as intimate and very appealing, at least in lower frequencies, until 2k hz or so.
As you go higher frequencies, Porta Pro insists on staying warm and maybe dark, of course again if you compare it to more neutral headphones. They are relaxed, smooth and easy to listen to. Treble does not extends too high, which is again contributes to the relaxed tone.
About the timbre, this is I think where the Koss headphones shine. Porta Pro has a warm tonality but nothing sounds weird or off. Every voice come as natural. They have a very fun sound which is not fatiguing in any way. They don’t extend too well in the highs. Soundstage and imaging are average. These are not very technical headphones per se. But tonally very well balanced which is not expected in this price range.
I like Koss Porta Pro headphones a lot. If I don’t like something, I immediately sell them but these are mine and here to stay. Maybe I don’t give them much time. After all, I have lots of headphones and IEMs, most of them are more expensive and capable than these. But I still sometimes take them with me when I go out to grab some groceries. They are very comfortable and portable. And their presentation is like a window to the vast audiophile world. Intimate vocals and impactful bass is a delight. If you need an affordable and decent pair of headphones or don’t want to take your expensive pairs out, give Koss Porta Pro a listen.