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Old 15-04-2006, 10:56 PM   #1
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Arrow Introduction to the world of headphones

Introduction to the world of headphones

Earphones and In-Ear Monitors are great for most applications; on the move or at home. They are small, lightweight and are very portable/storable and some can isolate noise. The downside of earphones and IEMs are its comfort levels and the sound quality you get for your money. They do not have the same value for money as a headphone.

For people who uses their portable players predominantly at home or for home listening, these headphones might be worth considering. I have 3 mini sized headphones for review; the Koss KSC75, Koss Sporta Pro and Sennheiser PX100. They are cheap, small, and portable and have a sound quality that surpasses all budget in-ears and most low end IEMs.

Contrary to popular belief, these headphones do not require an amp to power them. They still will be able to sound good, maybe operating at 80-90% of their full potential. Most modern portable players will have no problems driving them. No doubt about it, all earphones and headphones benefit and will be able to perform closer to their full potential with an amplifier, so it might be a good idea to buy one too!

So lets start off with these three mini headphones first. All 3 are open and super-aural design. As time goes on, maybe I will add reviews on bigger headphones like an Alessandro MS1. And Iíve also removed the star rating as well. All 3 products are quite different and I think it will not be fair to have a rating.
_____________________________________________________________________________________

Koss KSC75
MSRP: SGD$49. Cheaper online; from US retailers.
Package includes: KSC75! No case what so ever!



Design/cord:
The KSC75 are ear clip designed. Koss calls them Sports clip! No headband or neckband required, just hook the clips over your ears and enjoy. The ear clips are made of steel encased in some type of rubber, as such, they are bendable to fit your ears snugly.

The drivers, with foams attached are about 5cm in diameter. Koss says the KSC75 features titanium element for enhanced bass but to me, they have less bass than the other two featured in this review. Its exterior is made of plastic and is quite light. This is an open design, so sound leaks in and out.

The drivers are fed by a dual entry 4 foot Y-cord connected to a gold plated ĎLí shaped mini plug. Iíve noticed that the KSC75ís cables are split much lower than usual; this added more slack and allow you to listen to one side while placing the other on a table easily.

Sound Quality:
There is something about the KSC75 that I like but donít know how to put it to words. No doubt its sound is coloured, but then, a flat sounding one will not be so fun right?! It has a metallic sound, like a dip somewhere in the lower midrange. Its bass is tighter and has less than the PX100 and Sporta Proís, just nice for the casual listener. Its treble is a little recessed, but that is just the way I like it. If you like more treble, just cut a hole in the foam covers. The sound quality is nothing spectacular but it is how it sounds as a whole and at this price, itís a steal. The decent soundstage is a plus too. Against the Sporta Pro, it sounds airier.



Built Quality:
Koss is probably not well known for its built quality and at this price; you really get what you pay for. Everything about the KSC75 feels and looks cheap but it isnít likely to fall apart quickly. They are quite sturdy and it will likely to outlast its foam pads.

Comfort:
For my ears, the KSC75 sits snugly. Very comfortable and it will not slip or move when I shake my head. I can even lie down with them without dislodging the drivers. I can wear them for hours.

Conclusion:
At $49, itís cheap! Well worth your every single cent. Buying from US retailers at about US$14 plus vpost shipping, its dirt cheap! Itís quite obvious that I like this headphone. I just like how it sounds and sit on my ear.
_____________________________________________________________________________________

Koss Sporta Pro
MSRP: SGD$69. Cheaper online; from US retailers.
Package includes: Sporta Pro, carrying case and a 6.3mm plug adaptor.


Pictured with KSC75's ear clips - Not in the sales package!

Design/cord:
This is one unique headphone. Its headband is convertible, able to wear it like a normal headband or Ďstreetstyleí behind the neck. The headband, like its bigger brother the Porta Pro has a temporal pad and features 2 pieces of metal strip connected by 2 pieces of plastic. The temporal pad is supposed to add more comfort and the 2 piece headband design allows it to stow compactly.

According to Koss, the Sporta Pro uses the same drivers as the Porta Pro as well as the KSC35. So it should and will sound the same. Main difference is the headband and design. The drivers are also about the same size as KSC75ís but much thinner. This is an open design, so sound leaks in and out.

The drivers are fed by a dual entry 4 foot Y-cord connected to a gold plated ĎLí shaped mini plug. Nothing special here!

Sound Quality:
Well to me, it sounds very similar to a KSC75. Main difference is its stronger bass and do not have that dip in lower midrange and metallic sound. So it is a bassier headphone, it can sound muddy and flabby at times, partly because of the headband. Its midrange and treble are a little more recessed compared to the KSC75ís. This makes it a darker, warmer sounding headphone, but still, they sound good and most people prefer the ear clip KSC35 (Same drivers as Sporta Pro) to the KSC75. If you like more treble, just cut a hole in the foam covers. The sound quality is nothing spectacular but it is how it sounds as a whole and at this price, itís a steal.

So whatís wrong with the headband? Nothing actually, itís just that it has stronger clamping force than KSC75ís ear clips, pressing the drivers more tightly on your ears and this enhanced the bass. As you can see in the photo, I prefer to use it with KSC75ís ear clips. This way, its bass will tighten up and open up its treble. Oh yes, they are interchangeable.


KSC75 and Sporta Pro with KSC75's ear clips

Built Quality:
Remember, this is a Koss! Nothing spectacular here except that itís quite sturdy. Everything else looks and feels cheap. The pouch and adaptor are a nice touch though.

Comfort:
It is the headband! Its clamping force is a little strong but surprisingly, the temporal pads worked for me. Quite comfortable but only just. The 2 piece headband is a potential hair remover!

Conclusion:
Ugly and cheap looking, not many might want to wear them out. The headband might give some problems but other than that, it is a fine sounding headphone that is worth trying.

Last edited by afbug1; 16-04-2006 at 10:25 AM.. Reason: Update text & photos!
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Old 15-04-2006, 10:57 PM   #2
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Arrow Introduction to the world of headphones: PX100

Sporta Pro + KSC75 ear clips and KSC75 + Sporta Pro headband
The Koss Sporta Pro and KSC75 are great headphones to start with. Theyíre also cheap and value for money. But for some people, they might find the KSC75 a little bass light. This is due to the ear clips have less clamping power. Some might also find the Sporta Pro a little too muddy and bass heavy, again itís due to the clamping power of the headband. If you own both, you can try switching their headband and ear clips.

Sporta Pro + KSC75 ear clips will tighten its bass and adding more treble.


KSC75 + Sporta Pro headband will increase its bass and adding more impact.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Sennheiser PX100
MSRP: SGD$79 for black, $99 for white.
Package includes: PX100 and a hard case with cable management.



Design/cord:
This is a class product compared to the Koss. Sennheiser clearly put some thought into designing these and its hard case is cleverly designed too; hard, with protection and cable management but a little bulky. The headband is foldable for easy storage. Two pleather cushions on the slim and light headband provide some comfort.

My pair is the older version that features copper voice coils. The newer ones have aluminum voice coils. It will sound brighter than the copper ones. The drivers are about the same size as the 2 Koss headphones. They swivels using a ball and cup design on the headband. This makes it able to fit easily.

The drivers are attached to a thin 1.5m long cord connected to a nickel plated straight shaped mini plug. The cord has a rubber slider to adjust the length of the ĎYí split.

Sound Quality:
The copper voice coils drivers are darker sounding, a little bassy, recessed midrange and treble. But that does not make it a bad sounding headphone. Its bass, midrange and treble are probably as recessed as each other. Make sense? Because of its strong bass, it will sound a little forward than the midrange and treble. The soundstage is quite wide too. Resolution, details and clarity are about a notch better than the 2 Koss headphones.

Listening to a PX100 makes you feel like youíre in a large room. Both Koss will put you in a smaller room. Another way of describing its soundstage is the PX100 will be further away from the stage while both Koss will be closer to the stage.



Built Quality:
It certainly looks better than Kossí offering. The headband and driver cups are quite robust and looks like it can withstand some abuse. But the foam covers and thin cables are the weak link I guess. Store them in its hard case, they probably can go anywhere with you.

Comfort:
I donít know why, but I cannot seem to get to grips with its headband. I just donít like the fit. It is only me that complain no one else does! The Sennheiser clamp is strong! If not for the headband, I think this will be my favorite one instead of KSC75.

Conclusion:
If you like something nicer and classier with better sound than the Koss ones, this is it. Plus, it is cheaper than a Koss Porta Pro.

Last edited by afbug1; 15-04-2006 at 11:04 PM.. Reason: Update text & photos!
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Old 15-04-2006, 10:59 PM   #3
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Reserved for updates.

Last edited by afbug1; 27-04-2006 at 04:12 PM.. Reason: Update text & photos!
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Old 15-04-2006, 10:59 PM   #4
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Thank you. This post could be for a MS1 if i got time.
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Old 15-04-2006, 11:02 PM   #5
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Post General guide; headphones/earphones that i find or think is good!

Headphones

$100 and below:
Audio Technica: ATH-ES5
Koss: KSC75, Sporta Pro, Porta Pro
Sennheiser: PX100, PX200, HD201, HD415

$101-$200:
Audio Technica: ATH-AD500
Grado/Alessandro: SR60, MS1
Sennheiser: HD205, EH350, HD497, HD485

$201-$400:
Audio Technica: ATH-AD900
Beyerdynamic: DT880
Grado: SR225
Sennheiser: HD555, HD595, HD580

$401-$600:
Alessandro: MS2i
Audio Technica: ATH-AD1000, ATH-W1000
Sennheiser: HD600

$601-$1000:
AKG: K701
Audio Technica: ATH-AD2000
Sennheiser: HD650

$1000 and above:
Audio Technica: ATH-W5000
Grado: RS1, GS1000?!
There are many more in this category but they're not avaliable in SG or are limited editions.

Earphones

Semi Canalphones
$100 and below:
Creative EP630, Cresyn LMX-E630

$101-$200:
Panasonic RP-HJE70, Audio Technica ATH-CK7, Sony MDR-EX90SL

In-Ear Monitors
$101-$200:
Etymotic Research ER6i, Westone UM1

$201-$400:
Etymotic Research ER4P and ER4S, Shure E4

$401-$600:
Ultimate Ears Super.Fi 5 Pro, Westone UM2

$601-$1000:
Shure E500

For other and higher end headphones, please refer to dedicated headphone forums like sgheadphones or head-fi.

Last edited by afbug1; 18-05-2006 at 03:02 AM.. Reason: Update text & photos!
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Old 15-04-2006, 11:05 PM   #6
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I'm done for now. Should be enough!
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Old 15-04-2006, 11:36 PM   #7
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haha.. time to sticky dis thread.. but still prefer IEM,,,
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Old 15-04-2006, 11:47 PM   #8
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i'm recently using the PX100 instead of E630RL. i must say the headphones are more impactful
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Old 15-04-2006, 11:54 PM   #9
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i'm recently using the PX100 instead of E630RL. i must say the headphones are more impactful
but the problem of headfone is it nt potable.. so u bring ur headfone out or cresyn?
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Old 16-04-2006, 12:11 AM   #10
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but the problem of headfone is it nt potable.. so u bring ur headfone out or cresyn?
Headphone at home use mah. Dun tell me at home you want to rape your ears with IEMs meh? But each to each own. Its all down to preferences. The 3 pairs i review are quite small, very portable but open, so no isolation. These 3 are cheap, give them a chance and you'll be impressed! Outdoors, IEMs still better.
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Old 16-04-2006, 12:27 AM   #11
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i havent read the review and am afraid to read it... becoz im not financially ready for a new headphone yet .... lol
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Old 16-04-2006, 03:02 AM   #12
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Old 16-04-2006, 01:09 PM   #13
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Another great thread by afbug1.
There was the in-ears for outdoor, now there is this headphones more for in house.

Bro, u know of any wireless one? Those big chunky bulky ones nvm, wireless can liaoz. Coz i am more of a night pax, watching rock concert dvds or watching films and blasting them while jumping ard the room or simply lying on the bed.
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Old 16-04-2006, 01:42 PM   #14
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Another great thread by afbug1.
There was the in-ears for outdoor, now there is this headphones more for in house.

Bro, u know of any wireless one? Those big chunky bulky ones nvm, wireless can liaoz. Coz i am more of a night pax, watching rock concert dvds or watching films and blasting them while jumping ard the room or simply lying on the bed.
have u tried the sennheiser RS series?
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Old 16-04-2006, 02:00 PM   #15
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have u tried the sennheiser RS series?
Went to sennheiser website to find after reading this. Found this:
http://www.sennheiser.com/sennheiser...hi-fi-wireless

Whats their price range like? Any pros and cons? Places to find in sg?

Imagine having non stop music even when u are urgent for a toilet break.
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