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Flaunty
29
Aug 8, 2017
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None of these comments even bring up Koss headphones. Koss is king for portability on-ears in my mind and even for budget or just for on-the-go in general.
MassDrop is making an amazing move and doing the "MassDrop x Koss PortaPro X" or whatever the name is and that's because the portapros are literally the best sounding on-the-go cheap options. They're the same price as Apple EarPods that I use even now because Apple's design allows for solid impact with bass depth and with good detail despite mids being muddy with upper-bass and low-mids kind of just getting messy at some points.
Koss takes this and throws it out of the window with the KSC75 and the PortaPros. I modded my KSC75 to practically be the same as Portapros with a headband and changed out the earpads for pleather workout sessions but decided to go back to the foam since it's just super neutral, warm and beautiful with stock pads. PortaPros are (supposedly) the same drivers as the KSC75, so doing a headband mod with have the same results as what they're selling but I think MassDrop's revision really is appealing since they address build concerns and make it ~$10 cheaper with how they're already around the same ballpark as good IEM/Buds.
KSC75 are $12-15. PortPros are ~$40.
Massdrop is taking the best of the modded KSC75 I did and the cheaper improved PortaPros for the mid-range of those at.. like $37 iirc?
Their sound is like this: Bass->Mids are EXTREMELY detailed with absolutely no loss or dip or boom. It's just solidly neutral and warm and is a slow descent into highs. Once highs kick in, they're the tiniest bit sibilant if you really kick up the volume, but they're tuned in a way they still have notable sparkle and shine with clarity that won't fatigue you since it's weirdly tuned down with detail. The soundstage is completely narrow, though. It feels like it's really only left->right and what's in front of you (but not fully in front of your face) and doesn't really have any depth with how it travels in echo into your ear canal. That's just because they're on-ears that don't really have any seal or full-open design. But it's sufficient and feels like on-the-go buds with small drivers. Not much more you can ask for $15. I don't have a solid opinion on Portapros since I haven't listened to them in a while, but I've heard they're similar with more bass.
Try out Koss with whatever small budget range there you feel. You really won't be disappointed since it's equivalent to a dinner with friends or a night out. And they're THE BEST on-the-go I own that only get beat out by Apple Earpods for the same price.
(Side note: I haven't tried KZ ZS5, and those are supposedly the best on-the-go IEM for budget. Screw people who like Monks because they shred my ears with their bad plastic design. )
Aug 8, 2017
Flaunty
29
Aug 8, 2017
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Aug 8, 2017
nwimpney
209
Aug 8, 2017
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I would +1 most of that, but will note that the KSC75 has a different diaphragm from the portapro, and they do sound different beyond just how tightly they're held to your ears. The KSC75s are a little harsher and more sibilant in the treble, but awesome for the price. The portapro are a little less tinny.
Definitely a very good portable headphone, though if you're listening in very noisy environments, they're not ideal.
Aug 8, 2017
Islwynpaul
2
Sep 8, 2020
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I replaced the KSC75 pads with Sennheiser PX100ii pads and the improvement was stunning. Better bass and treble was less strident but still clear and articulate and an overall increase in volume. They were also a lot more comfortable to wear. I have read about other mods for the 75s but this involved no damage to the phones themselves. Love them.
Sep 8, 2020
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