Saturday, May 5, 2018

Vlad Savov reviews Koss Porta Pro Wireless headphones →

Vlad Savov, resident audiophile for The Verge, published a review of the new Koss Porta Pro Wireless headphones — a modern update of the classic fan favorite. Here’s what he thinks:

I’ve had a pair of the new wireless Porta Pros for the past couple of weeks, and the quickest way I can summarize them is to say that they’re fundamentally the exact same Porta Pros above the wire. That’s mostly a good thing, though it does make the addition of a Bluetooth connection look and feel like an afterthought that’s been tacked on.

Thoughts on the design:

[…] Descending from each headphone is a black cylinder that either dangles aimlessly or gets pushed up by my collar, in both cases serving to make me look dorkier than usual. […]

And:

Even if I could forgive the dangly dongles on the wire connecting the two halves of the Porta Pro Wireless, the one thing I absolutely can’t abide is the pulsating blue light that’s emitted from the headphones when they’re on. Embedded in the remote control on the right side of the wearer’s head, this light is way too bright and, tragically, it can’t be switched off. This is more than a mere cosmetic issue: I’m unable to watch movies in a dark room with these Porta Pros without being distracted by their blinking searchlight. Koss says it’s looking into the issue, though it feels like an obvious oversight not to have addressed it before release.

Sound quality:

Sound quality from the Porta Pro Wireless a little less refined to my ear, more coarse and less detailed than the original Porta Pros. But this is a difference of only slight degrees — Paul happens to think the Porta Pro Wireless are just as awesome and amazing as the originals.

I love my original Koss Porta Pros. I remember using my Dad’s for the first time and being blown away by how amazing these simplistic-looking headphones sound — especially for the price.

With the wireless version, it sounds like Koss made a few design mistakes. I agree with Vlad on the connecting wire. Why not build the necessary electronics into the headphones themselves and avoid the eyesore? Koss could have stayed true to the classic design while accounting for the modern necessities. I can’t think of any other over-the-head Bluetooth cans that have a connecting wire.

That said, I’m tempted to pick up a pair of these for comparison with the original wired Porta Pros. After all, the price is just as compelling.