Koss’ all-new $30 KPH30i headphone is a winner

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The Koss KPH30i headphones in white.


Koss makes a bunch of headphones over a large value vary, however the firm has a particular affinity for making excellent price range ‘telephones. Take its Porta Professional: It has been within the line since 1984, and whenever you decide up a pair it is simple to see why. Nothing else seems or seems like a Porta Professional, and it is so darn lovable. I imply that — after I’m carrying a pair individuals typically cease me on the street to inform me how a lot they like it! So I used to be keen to take a look at Koss’s newest price range mannequin, the KPH30i on-ear headphones.

The sound is superbly balanced, with an amply endowed midrange tone that flatters the sound of vocals, and the higher bass can also be wealthy and satisfying. This on-ear is classed as a semi-open design, and certainly the stereo imaging is broad. Treble element is tender, the KPH30i is not by any stretch a high-resolution headphone. There is a fuzziness to the sound to make certain, however it did not intrude or detract from the music. 

The non-user-replaceable cable is four ft (1.2 meters) lengthy, and it has a one-button distant. The headphone’s impedance is rated at a barely high-ish 60 ohms, however my iPhone 6S had no bother making the KPH30i sing. It is available in two colours: black (which seems like grey to me) and white. Higher nonetheless, the KPH30i comes with Koss’s restricted lifetime guarantee — if it breaks Koss will all the time restore or change it. The KPH30i is unusually snug to put on for prolonged intervals. 

The KPH30i truly feels extra solidly constructed and upscale than the costlier Porta Professional, and the KPH30i’s thicker cable and plastic barrel plug definitely really feel sturdy. The Porta Professional is extra clear and clear, so in that sense it is a extra audiophile-oriented sound. The KPH30i is much less so, with a extra distinguished mid bass and fatter midrange. It is a candy and non-fatiguing sound, very straightforward on the ears. 

The value is simple on the pockets too, simply $30. UK and Australia costs have not but been set, however that converts to about £25 or AU$40. For comparability, the Porta Professional runs $50, £33 or AU$70.

The Nationwide’s “Sleep Effectively Beast” album has some nice tunes — too dangerous the sound is aggressively harsh with a variety of headphones — however right here with the KPH30i I made it by way of the entire album, and that is a primary! Matt Berninger’s deep, throaty vocals got their full due, and the band’s robust rhythm part made me sit up and take discover. Then I remembered I used to be listening to a $30 headphone — good!

I appreciated the Koss’s large soundstage. It prolonged exterior the ear cups, which isn’t all the time a given with on-ear headphones, together with a variety of very costly ones. Possibly that is the factor concerning the KPH30i that stored me coming again for extra — it is an inexpensive headphone that does not sound like one.

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