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

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CEE_TEE
3048
Collaborations
Sep 14, 2018
Stickied
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Today we’re excited to announce a new collaboration with Koss based on the iconic ESP/950 electrostatic headphone system.  
Koss released the ESP/950 in 1990 to rave reviews, and it was widely recognized as the best headphone system in the world. Koss has continually produced the ESP/950 from launch until now, but as time went on, the community demanded more low-end performance in headphones, and competition developed around the $1000 pricepoint. As a result, the ESP/950 fell out of Audiophile community focus.
Now, almost 30 years later, we’re working with Koss to deliver the ESP/95X, an updated ESP/950 with deep low-end and at an accessible $499.99 for the entire system. We updated the earpads to improve comfort, which also smoothed out the low-end & upper-mids frequency response (as you can see in the graphs on the drop page). Soundstage has increased slightly as well. Removal of some vestigial accessories allows this accessible pricepoint.
Out of thin air… Why should you care about electrostatic headphone systems? -Speed and resolution. -Low distortion and low coloration.
Electrostatic forces move an entire membrane to produce sound without any physical contact or interference by parts required in other types of drivers. The driver is ultra-thin with extremely low mass so it moves very quickly/easily. This leads to a level of resolution and space between sounds that delivers more information to the ear which can be perceived by the brain. Electrostats are the endgame for most detail addicts.
The membranes are lighter than air and store no extra energy when they move. This leads to low distortion and less sonic coloration than other types of drivers. Much of your music is captured by microphones using similar technology, but in reverse.  Sound produces waves in the air which move sensitive electret membranes to generate small electric signals that we record.
COMFORT The overall headphone is super lightweight and comfortable due to the drivers, cups, and headband.  For many people who find regular headphones to be bulky and uncomfortable, the ESP/95X will be a load lifted off of your shoulders.
“DD” vs. “e-stat” The popular headphone battle seemed to be won by dynamic drivers since regular amplifiers are much more common than the high voltage “energizers” needed by electrostatic drivers.  But is the battle over? Many people enjoying “Summit-fi” (owning the most expensive or end-game rigs) enjoy “e-stats”. Adding an iconic electrostatic headphone system from such an important brand makes this a very special day that we have been working towards for a long time. The Massdrop Audiophile & Collaborations Team (Will Bright, Matt Takaichi, Michael Billeci, Thomas Fernandez, & myself) would like to thank Michael J. Koss, Chairman & CEO of Koss, John Koss Jr., Vice President of Sales, and  Michael J. Koss Jr., Vice President of Marketing & Product. Michael Koss (CEO) was involved in the original development of the ESP/950 in 1990 and all three of the family members have been instrumental in our partnership to bring you the ESP/95X.  
Sep 14, 2018
ukmichaeldavid
51
Mar 7, 2019
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Thanks I jumped on it. !!
Mar 7, 2019
Martinmoore
19
Mar 7, 2019
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Take my money!
Mar 7, 2019
CEE_TEE
3048
Collaborations
Sep 19, 2018
Stickied
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Hey Everyone, Good news- we have worked with Koss to have 120V & 220V options at check-out! The dev team at Massdrop did a lot of coding to add the options and retroactively assign your orders based on location.
If you already ordered: Please go to your Transactions page from your Profile drop-down menu and find your Order. Please check it to see if you have the correct voltage for your country and usage.
If you have not ordered yet: You can now order and clearly select a voltage option at check-out!
Please Note: the wall power supply will now work with the voltage that you choose, but you may need to provide your own small plug adapter to fit your country’s outlet.
Sep 19, 2018
CEE_TEE
3048
Collaborations
May 24, 2019
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Yes- if you request and are able to receive emails from us (not going to spam folder), then you will get a notification that it is available again!
May 24, 2019
Ausghostdog
0
May 25, 2019
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Thanks, looking forward to hearing from you about the 220!
May 25, 2019
rfitzsimons
0
May 13, 2019
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People talk about upgrading these using a new (Stax?) amp. But where would you get such an amp for a reasonable price?
May 13, 2019
Bztunz
14
May 10, 2019
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Does the (acoustic level ) knob on the unit function the same as a volume on an integrated amp or is a pre amp still needed/recommended?
May 10, 2019
Barondla
125
May 10, 2019
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@Bztunz the volume control works like an integrated amp. Plug a line level component in and adjust the volume as desired. A preamp isn't needed. However, some will use a preamp or a volume control on a component. The Koss has a concentric left-right volume knob with no markings. Like all such setups, it can be slightly tricky to adjust volume without changing channel balance. I've set the Koss volume about 3/4 of the way up, balanced the channels, and leave it set. Then control volume via the component's (usually a dap) volume control. I never touch the Koss volume knob anymore. If you want to do this, and your components don't have a volume adjustment, add a passive one. I am ordering a Schiit Audio Sys for this purpose.
May 10, 2019
Bztunz
14
May 10, 2019
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Thanks.
May 10, 2019
YellowBee
34
May 9, 2019
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Where there be a new 220v in stock?
May 9, 2019
jedi5diah
60
May 4, 2019
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This is so grounded lol...
May 4, 2019
Kyo9999
59
May 3, 2019
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Well I have to wait for the 220v version :(
May 3, 2019
Kyo9999
59
May 3, 2019
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I don't understand! You mean this Koss isn't good? or it's a bummer because there is no 220v version anymore?
May 3, 2019
Barondla
125
May 4, 2019
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@Kyo9999 it is a bummer you have to wait for a 220v system. The Koss are great! Amazing sounding headphones.
May 4, 2019
CoupeDeBoulder
11
Apr 26, 2019
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Curious if anyone has tried using the DarkVoice pre-out to the energized. I mean dac to dv to koss? I'm assuming that wouldn't be a problem.
Apr 26, 2019
FMYamauti
0
May 15, 2019
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Nice! How does this combo sound?
May 15, 2019
CoupeDeBoulder
11
May 15, 2019
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It sounds great. Just like a tube preamp which in retrospect is what it is. I was just unsure enough that I didn't want to try it until I asked.
May 15, 2019
birdland
9
Apr 26, 2019
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I purchased these and left an ongoing review under reviews. However, I was wondering if anyone has had this problem. When I received the headphones and was assembling them, I noticed that the arms on the left earpiece were completely removable. I did not notice that the right earpiece did not do this until today. I ordered original Koss ear pads to see how they sounded as compared to the Massdrop setup. When I was installing the ear pad on the left earpiece, two very small black washers, for lack of a better term, fell out. This is when I noticed that the arms of the right earpiece were not removable but the left ones were. Anyone else had this issue?
Apr 26, 2019
Mike_Hennecke
9
Koss
May 22, 2019
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Thank you for sending them into us to fix. Let us know if you have any other issues.
May 22, 2019
birdland
9
May 22, 2019
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Thanks Mike - I'm impressed by the level of support supplied by Koss.
May 22, 2019
Andy_H
0
Apr 25, 2019
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I'm enjoying my ESP/95X so far. Only complaint I have (besides the low-quality build feel as everyone else mentions) is the ear cushions trap heat more than my Massdrop AKG-K7xx. I'm in the process of upgrading my Denon AVR to one that can output all digital sources to Zone 2 rca outputs. I've found that the extension cable is too short for what I really want and Koss doesn't have any available. Does anyone know of third party extension cables that are similar to stock rather than ones that convert to the Stax format?
Apr 25, 2019
Barondla
125
Apr 26, 2019
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@Andy_H if you are asking for an even longer cable than the extension + orignal cable - I haven't seen one. How much longer are you looking for? There may be a limit since the headphones get power from the E90. It would be better to run longer RCA cables to the E90 and locate it closer to your listening area. Might pick up second extension cable, when available. Other option would be to have a technican cut and lengthen the cable in the middle. Perhaps @Darin_Fong_Audio could assist?
(Edited)
Apr 26, 2019
Darin_Fong_Audio
133
Fong Audio
Apr 26, 2019
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I think the best way to extend the headphone cable is to daisy chain multiple Koss extension cables. While the power is high voltage, it's low current. I don't think there would be much signal power loss going through an extra set of connectors and the extra length of cable. (I have never tested it though.) But at this point, as far as I know, the extension cables are not available from Koss separately. I have the stock extension cables in stock, but I don't usually sell them as-is. However if you want to purchase an extension cable from me, email me directly at info@fongaudio.com to discuss.
Apr 26, 2019
windnsnow
0
Apr 25, 2019
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Just found that the terms of ESP/95x lifetime warranty is somewhat different from the general KOSS warranty.  https://www.koss.com/esp-95x-limited-lifetime-warranty The fee for each service is $25 instead of $9. Not sure about what are the terms of original 950. Not a complaint here but just want to share the finding. I was checking the warranty 'cause the left side of my 95x just start to squeal one week after receiving it. Hope you guys have better luck. The squealing sound will be gone if I take it off my head for a while, no matter whether the power is on or off. However it will appears again randomly after I wear it for a while.   
Apr 25, 2019
IBJamon
10
Apr 30, 2019
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The folks at Koss only charge $9. It may go up at some point, but I just had mine repaired, and they didn't charge me anything (I did drop them off/pick them up though). They were going to charge me $9 if I wanted them shipped. Maybe they will get the memo eventually, but for now they aren't enforcing the new rule as far as I could tell.
Apr 30, 2019
awanday
8
Apr 25, 2019
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A Reminder for For international customers When I saw the first drop ,I jumped in immediately. However,when they arrived,my headphone is defects in the first drop when I get them ,so I sent to KOSS for repairing which cost me about 65usd for whole package shipping ,that's ok I can bear it. After repair koss replied me this: "The address you gave will not process in the shipping department. We have tried Ups and Fedex, the address can not be processed for shipping. Do you have another  address that you can provide to ship the headphone to?  Thank you" I was shocked and angry that they claimed they cannot deliver these cans to my home address where it has no problem with amazon.com,massdrop,and newegg before. I replied to them and asked why ,and their CS got no replies anymore. Now my 95X headphones are stuck on their office. I am whole heartily suggesting you think twice before you join the drop as a international customer. Koss , if you are seeing this please reply my email.
(Edited)
Apr 25, 2019
Mike_Hennecke
9
Koss
Apr 25, 2019
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Hello. I am very sorry for this trouble. I have looked into your issue. The address you provided was not sufficient for UPS or Fedex. They were not allowing us to ship it until we had a valid address. After some calls with UPS support we have figured out the issue and your headphones are shipping back to you tomorrow. Again we are very sorry for this issue. Thanks
Apr 25, 2019
awanday
8
Apr 29, 2019
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Thank you I have received an email of ups tracking number.
Apr 29, 2019
Darin_Fong_Audio
133
Fong Audio
Apr 23, 2019
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FYI, we finally have everything in stock to upgrade your ESP-95X headphones. We have both the Alcantara and all leather Vesper replacement pads and the ESP-95X to Stax adapter cables in stock and usually ships the same day. https://fongaudio.com/store/default/headphones-31/headphones/headphone-accessories.html
Apr 23, 2019
Kweezd
0
Apr 15, 2019
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Are there any thick memory foam pleather earpads that fit these? Besides the $90 ones.
Apr 15, 2019
mosquitoguy
23
Apr 11, 2019
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I get the comments about lacking bass and all, but can someone compare this to the AKG K501? That is a headphone that I haven't found any replacement (NO-- the K701/703 series doesn't compare). If the midrange of the Koss is as rich and "velvety" smooth as the K501, I'd get it on the spot.
Apr 11, 2019
mordhau
2
Apr 10, 2019
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Will this be re-dropped? Need 220V version
Apr 10, 2019
rubydOg25
0
Apr 9, 2019
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I love clarity but also I like a little bass, too. I hear the base is somewhat lacking, could I just crank up the low end bass on an equalizer to fix this? Thanks! I listen to both classical, rap, and classics like the Beatles. Thanks!
Apr 9, 2019
Barondla
125
Apr 9, 2019
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@rubydOg25 EQ can increase the bass. How much depends on the volume you listen at. The bass level with EQ might match dynamic headphones. They will not match the bass punch. Electrostatic drivers don't have the excursion of a cone and voice coil. Koss uses large panels to help balance out the reduced excursion.
Apr 9, 2019
fitzrik
0
Apr 9, 2019
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Hi I have ordered a 120V model. But if more 220V becomes available, I would prefer that please. Thanks Richard
Apr 9, 2019
Barondla
125
Apr 9, 2019
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@fitzrik Massdrop is more likely to see this if you flag them like I did you. Probably get even better results contacting them directly.
Apr 9, 2019
HoboLobo
24
Apr 8, 2019
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Did anyone know how to reach customer service for this headphone? The right side of my headphone has been making high frequency static noise and I like get the problem fix. Thanks
Apr 8, 2019
HoboLobo
24
Apr 10, 2019
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Thanks for the knowledge, that might be it.
Apr 10, 2019
HoboLobo
24
Apr 10, 2019
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Thanks for the help
Apr 10, 2019
Billinct
0
Apr 5, 2019
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When will this ship? On April 2nd I got a message saying it shipped only to see it say "Shipping label has been created. The status will be updated when shipment begins to travel." That was 3 days ago. Now I see it says koss esp9** is in stock and ships in one day. Not sure what is going on. I guess it got stuck somewhere? Maybe they tried putting a square box through a round hole?
(Edited)
Apr 5, 2019
Grampus
15
Apr 5, 2019
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I have a Teac integrated receiver. It will drive speakers and has na headphone jack.  I want to know is the Koss will be compatible.   What does the Koss require for a source? 
Apr 5, 2019
OCBob
466
Apr 5, 2019
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These headphones are powered by the included energizer. The energizer is connected to the source via a stereo RCA connection (at the back of the energizer) or by a 3.5mm TRS cable (at the front... you could connect your smartphone or computer this way) see the photos on the main overview page. The RCA cable and the TRS cable are included with the headphones. If you want to run it off of the receiver you can use the RCA connectors (assuming the receiver has audio out, sometimes labeled as tape out, connections on the back), though you may need a longer cable depending on your setup. You could also use some type of adapter to connect the energizer to the headphone jack on the receiver, but this would be a last resort option. What is the source you're wanting to play? Are there multiple sources connected to the receiver? More details would help me offer more specific solutions.
Apr 5, 2019
bennardd
0
Apr 6, 2019
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normal cinch / rca connectors any regular source will do … In your case it would be best if your ampifier/receiver has a pre-out connection, (that normaly should be connected to a power-amp)
Apr 6, 2019
m8oman
182
Apr 4, 2019
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I love how Massdrop breaths new life into products otherwise near or at the end of their life. Not being critical or sarcastic. I really like that!
(Edited)
Apr 4, 2019
chunkyipa
13
Apr 4, 2019
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I'm an owner of the ESP/950s, and I was very excited to see the Massdrop version. Velour earpads would be a wonderful upgrade to the thin protein leather earpads on the ESP/950. The other thing I'll say is that these headphones really need a bit of EQ to sound their best. They also improve when paired with a higher-end amplifier like a STAX, though you'll need to make a custom cable to use one (Massdrop STAX adapter please?) I suppose that a really high-end option like a HeadAmp Blue Hawaii would take these headphones to an entirely different level. The construction is cheap plastic, but it is light, and this does not compromise sound quality in any way I'm aware of. At $500, these are a steal!
(Edited)
Apr 4, 2019
Bobtheman
0
Apr 6, 2019
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@Darin_Fong_Audio Have you thought about selling the cable as a conversion (core charge) instead of a standalone cable. As in, "Send us your Koss extension cable, we'll convert the male end to Stax and return it to you".
Apr 6, 2019
Darin_Fong_Audio
133
Fong Audio
Apr 25, 2019
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@Bobtheman , Yes, we can do conversions of your existing extension cable. I just figured most people would not want to give up their extension cable. Also, the cost of the cable is mostly labor, so the cost for the conversion of an existing extension cable would be around $100 plus shipping.
Apr 25, 2019
mahdi.loutfie
0
Apr 1, 2019
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Hi is the 220V adapter no longer available?
Apr 1, 2019
andy2667
0
Apr 1, 2019
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Want to join the drop (pre order) but note that the 220v option is no longer available. The 220v psu is sold out! Will it be be available again? Or the 110v version is my only option ? If I get the 110v version, can I just power the Energizer using a standard wall wart with appropriate voltage and current rating?
Apr 1, 2019
Vigrith
4040
Audiophile Moderator
Apr 2, 2019
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I'm not very knowledgeable when it comes to power supplies etc but from what I've gathered as well as personal experience, I'd imagine you need a step up/down converter - they're not super expensive, and I'm not sure why the 220v is showing as unavailable, but if you do go the step voltage route you should be fine.
Apr 2, 2019
SinTzuW
0
Apr 1, 2019
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Hi, it will be my first time owning an electrostatic headphones, any preparation should I make or buy to enjoy this fully? I plan to use my pc as a source, is it suffice?
Apr 1, 2019
Oloko
20
Apr 1, 2019
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You can use the line-in on the AMP to plug directly on your PC if it has a 3.5mm output, but you will probably need a longer cable that the one that comes in the box. If you have any noises on your 3.5mm output, I would recommend getting an external DAC, otherwise you should be fine. The 3.5mm line-in is on the front of the AMP, so if you want to have a nicer presentation, I would recommend using the RCA input on the back, but that will require you to have a 3.5mm to RCA adapter/cable (easy to buy on Amazon). Just make sure you have a bag/box to store the headphones when you don't use them so that the dust doesn't get in the drivers. This is important for electrostatic headphones. They don't come with one so you will have to improvise. Enjoy your purchase!
Apr 1, 2019
SinTzuW
0
Apr 2, 2019
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Thanks a lot, yes I have DAC, I need to look out for the box. :D
Apr 2, 2019
akraut
8
Mar 31, 2019
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Is there a chance to order just the new earpads? Or does someone recommend some to replace the pleather ones on my existing ESP/950s?
Mar 31, 2019
adeadcrab
8
Mar 29, 2019
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Really hoping these will be a decent upgrade from the dt880's, whose cable cutting out has forced me to retire them. May even write a review ;)
Mar 29, 2019
Billinct
0
Mar 29, 2019
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How do I find out if I joined a drop correctly. I joined the kiss esp 950 drop. But when trying to look for it all I see is a page asking me to join drop. Just wanted to know if I did it right
Mar 29, 2019
Duwg
1
Mar 29, 2019
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I'm not sure about that. You should have an active order for the ESP/95X in your account Transaction section
Mar 29, 2019
Billinct
0
Mar 29, 2019
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Thanks
Mar 29, 2019
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