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View Full Discussion I am concerned about comments by Thomas Norton on Inner Fidelity (https://www.innerfidelity.com/content/koss-esp950-electrostatic-stereophones-page-2).
I have been following this site for a long time and delight in their realistic but un-sarcastic reviews. There will always be design related critiques regarding any device. But Norton’s observations are rather more serious.
He complains about humming and rustling noises, specially on head movement. He suspects that the volume pot may be generating noise when turned. Much more seriously, he reports small electric shocks from the headphone housing!
As others do, Norton reports fantastic sound from these headphones.. But problems of such a basic nature smack of tacky and careless production. I wondered if the reason why the ESP950 is so much cheaper than the Atax is that it is just that much more cheaply made.
I read this review as soon as the Koss came up for the drop. It worried me and I decided to look around a bit more. By then it was gone.
Any similar experiences?
I read that review as well when researching the ESP950. The humming noise he experienced was E90 energizer related, which was fixed by Koss. Mine has had no issues whatsoever. I did get an electrical shock on the ear... but that was from me sliding on my seat and building up a charge that then got discharged - I've done the same thing with my TH-X00 PHs before. If anything, the Koss ESP950 feels less cheap than a Stax as far as the plastic goes - the pads and headband do feel cheaper though. Cost wise, you can get the Stax SRS-3100 system for not that much more. If my ESP950 ever has issues I won't hesitate to use the Koss warranty and get them fixed to have them back - absolutely love the detailed yet smooth sound presentation.
Have swapped over to running it on the Stax SRM-323S Driver unit as the adapter cable came in on Thursday. Trying to listen to it for a while on the SRM-323S then swap back to the E90 to get a better idea of any differences. Didn't really notice much of a difference on my system between the two immediately after going from the E90 to the SRM-323S, very slight if any difference I could tell in bass.
I actually bought 2 albums off my bandcamp wish list and a third album within a day of getting the ESP950 headphones... LOL. Recommended album that sounds awesome to listen to on the ESP950 is the Cuphead: Original soundtrack. The track, "Introduction" should give you an idea of what you are in for...
Reassuring. Will try that trackwhen I have the phones. I listen to a lot of classical music. I am told that too sounds awesome on the 950.
Mine had a small almost inaudible electrical "whir" sound in the left ear that would come and go when they were new. It was there when running from wall-wart or the batteries. However, after a couple long listening sessions it's gone (and has been for a long time). I'm actually shocked by the silence of the energizer (fantastic noise floor). I have also never gotten any shocks. You should also consider that the review you cite is really old, and if you do have an issue, Koss has incredible warranty service.