Massdrop x Koss ESP/95X Electrostatic System
Massdrop x Koss ESP/95X Electrostatic System
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Product Description
A revival of the standard-setting ESP/950 released by Koss in 1990, these headphones bring electrostatic quality into a whole new price bracket. Initially designed for live recording, the ESP/950 came with a large carrying case and a battery pack to power the required energizer: a special amplifier for electrostatic drivers ... Read More
4.4
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45 Reviews
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joe.b.thornton.jr
5
Jul 4, 2019
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Sonically pure.
RME-ADI-2 DAC feeding the Koss E/90X. To my ears, the ESP/95X in most ways out perform my Sennheiser HD650s, HD800s, Audeze LCD 2.2s, and LCD XCs. The ESP/95X is in a class by itself. Bring on the Sennheiser HE60s. I'd love to see how they measure up.
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Would recommend to a friend.
(Edited)
Jul 4, 2019
aleph0
1
Jun 18, 2019
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Extremely detailed - best sounds I've ever heard
Likes: detail, frequency extension, light weight Dislikes: none so far. These have become my new reference. Now I understand the electrostatic magic!
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Would recommend to a friend.
Jun 18, 2019
TooManyMonitors
1
May 18, 2019
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I've had two of these headphones so far, and I'm far from impressed; the first pair came with a recurring whining in the right channel (not much of a surprise since multiple reviews touched on the issue). After a week of listening the frequent whining changed into a constant hum instead, I issued for a replacement afterwards. The second pair was received and included the same defect in the left channel instead; I burned them in for about two hours to possibly resolve the problem. Burning them in seemed to work fine until about three weeks later when the same defect returned. At this rate I question if QC is payed (if there's one at all), or if I happened to get extremely unlucky, I can only be glad that it came with a warranty.
May 18, 2019
TooManyMonitors
1
Jun 18, 2019
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Grounding is improbable to be an issue in my testing, as I disconnected the energizer from the audio source and ran it on multiple other power sources; such as two different Back-UPS units, a gfci outlet and of course a standard outlet. Throughout all the testing the humming still continued. On a side note, I did audio testing of the ESP/95X before conducting the power source testing to make sure it wasn't an audio source related issue; I used a direct connection as well as a few DACs, swapping them out to conclude the audio source wasn't the problem.
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Jun 18, 2019
r33tom
11
Jun 25, 2019
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The issue with the whining or high pitch noise is due to the horrible power supply. replacing the power supply with a linear power supply will remove all that noise. I had the same issue with mine and after replacing it with a breeze audio linear power supply it sounds dead silent when it is on and with no audio being sent through the headphones. why koss does not suggest that as a solution beats me. if you read through the esp950 thread on headfi the biggest improvement you can do for these headphones is upgrading the power supply. i don't know why koss does not offer a linear power supply as an optional add-on item. it may increase the cost of the head phones by another $50 but it is night and day and they will have less returns and people complaining about whining or high pitch sounds in the headphones.
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Jun 25, 2019
CCD1
8
May 17, 2019
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Prior to getting this headphone, I had the Sennheiser 6XXX headphone and the CTH SDAC DAC Amp. I connected the Koss headphone to the CTH DAC Amp. One surprise is that the volume knob on the DAC Amp still works along with the volume knob on the energizer. As for sound, the 6XX is probably the better balanced headphone. The Koss has very good highs and a GREAT midrange with a just adequate bass. The detail is also great. It reveals the quality of the recording much more than the 6XX, but is not so harsh that the recording cannot be enjoyed. I do not think the Koss replaces the 6XX. My preference really depends on the recording. For things like vocals, the Koss is my clear preference. But to the extent the recording has a strong bass track, the 6XX is my preference. If a recording has a great range in frequencies, my preference would also be the 6XX because the 6XX has better balance thru the frequency range. But in its range, the Koss is exceptional. This review may seem to conflict with my rating, but the strengths/weaknesses of electrostatics are well known. If you want bass range, you either get another kind of speaker or perhaps one of the Uber expensive electrostatics
May 17, 2019
Jacobs603
48
May 12, 2019
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Fun, fun, fun! Allowed me to re-discover lot of my music. Thank you Massdrop for making this happen at this price point. I'd never have bought electrostatics otherwise.
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May 12, 2019
wljohn1030
2
May 8, 2019
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right channel quit after a month of light use.
May 8, 2019
Barondla
129
May 13, 2019
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Send them in. Koss will fix the problem.
May 13, 2019
Mike_Hennecke
11
Koss
May 17, 2019
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Please reach out to us via our website for help. www.koss.com or at customersupport @koss.com We are happy to have them repaired for you. Our apologies for the inconvenience. Thanks
May 17, 2019
ralevitt
21
May 7, 2019
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I got together with several audiophile friends to compare headphones, including these KOSS ESP/95X, classic Grado 1000, Sennheiser HD600, Hifiman HE4XX, Sony MDRV900, and a couple others. Signal came from state of the art Sony transport and AD/DA converter, a VALI tube hybrid headphone amp (which served as a preamp), and a ARTcessories HeadAmp4 headphone amp (which served as a splitter). KOSS were the disappointment of the evening. The detail and sound stage are terrific, as one would expect. But comparatively speaking, they were very thin, lacking depth and low-end impact. None of us were rushing back to hear them. BTW, the Sennheisers were the star of the evening. All that said, I thoroughly enjoy the KOSS ESP/95X, particularly for movies. But they definitely pale in comparison to other headphones.
May 7, 2019
g0ldl10n
15
May 11, 2019
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To hear you describe them as sounding very thin makes me question if you may have a defective unit. I have some thin sounding headphones and these are so far from that. Mine sound extremely full and engaging. Obviously, I'm not saying yours are defective (although I do wonder) or that your opinion is wrong, just am very surprised at that description. Thanks for your thoughts though, always interested to see what others think.
May 11, 2019
ralevitt
21
May 11, 2019
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I don't think they're defective. And as I said, I've had very good experiences with them. But in comparison to other sophisticated headphones, they just didn't shine.
May 11, 2019
BritInPitt
6
May 2, 2019
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I’ve owned any number of headphones in my life, from low end Sennheisers to high end HiFiMans, together with a wide selection of headphone amps. Since getting the Koss ESP/950 they’ve all been consigned to storage.
May 2, 2019
bootynugget
19
Jul 20, 2019
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I agree 100%. I have owned several pair of high end headphones, ranging from E-Mu Teaks to Beyer DT880 to Fostex TH900 to HD6xx and not a single one of these comes remotely close to these Koss ESP/95x. I ordered these expecting good, but I was absolutely wrong... They're incredible. Those complaining of a lack of bass must really like bass heavy headphones like my E-Mu Teaks (which do sound good), but if the Koss are a 10/10, the E-Mu Teaks are a 6/10. If you're on the fence about picking up a pair of these, don't hesitate. They're the best $500 I've ever spent on audio equipment. Do note, however, that if you're listening to MP3, you'll definitely hear the artifacting on the highs with these. They will uncover any flaw in a recording. FLAC or DSD with a great recording is much more palatable on these.
Jul 20, 2019
lilpossum
4
May 2, 2019
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Fantastic headphone for hours of fatigue-free listening. Hats off to Massdrop for making it happen. Edit (6/30/2019): The headset now has a low-frequency rumble accompanied by static on the left side. I will be sending my pair in for warranty service in the hopes that the next pair arrives without defect. -KR
(Edited)
May 2, 2019
IBJamon
10
May 1, 2019
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I have other highly-rated headphones, that are all very good - like Monoprice M1060, Fostex T50RPMk3, and a couple of others. And as good as those are, these are really something special. They are light, comfortable, and have an excellent warranty. The bass could be better, but it's not really a problem. But the sound - the detail - is simply holographic. They will expose virtually every flaw in your sound system - the cheap DAC/onboard sound, the poor recording. But with a good source, they are magnificent. You will hear your favorite recording with a detail and soundstage that is simply excellent. I love these things, and I doubt I'll be upgrading again anytime soon. Koss is great to work with if you have an issue, which is doubly wonderful. I may have accidentally sold 2-4 more to coworkers by bringing it into work one day. I should get commission. Several were like 'I'm buying this. Incredible." My wife, who Never asks me for audio things, asked me to buy one of these for her. I couldn't believe the words I was hearing! These are really that good. Again, my wife asked me to buy her one. Do you need a stronger recommendation? (I didn't realize they had a referral program until after I clicked 'buy' using my existing account. Oh well.)
May 1, 2019
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