Koss PortaPro On-Ear Headphones Review

Editor rating

4.6/5 on November 30, 2015 Reviewed by: Peter Alexander

User’s rating

3,396 reviews


  • Sound quality
  • Unique design
  • Foldable construction
  • Very lightweight and comfortable
  • Affordable price
  • Lifetime warranty


  • Hair can get caught in the collapsible headband
  • Their design can be too outdated for some
  • Very fragile construction


Koss PortaPro On-Ear Headphones don’t need to prove anything to anybody. Their success alone is the single best testament to their quality. Audiophiles on a budget will attest to their fantastic performance and comfort. Just avoid using them as you daily drivers if you don’t indent on pampering them and making sure that they don’t get crushed inside your backpack.

There is hardly a more legendary and well-known pair of headphones than Koss PortaPro. First manufactured in 1984, these lightweight on ear-headphones have entered not one hall of fame thanks to their refined sound, unique design, and sensible price tag.

Design and build

Lightweight construction, a timeless retro design, and foldable construction. Those are the key components that make Koss PortaPro a great pair of portable headphones. They feature a unique, adjustable ear rest that greatly reduces the pressure on your ears and distributes it on your temples.

Sadly, not everything is great. There is a good reason why many owners of these headphones swear by the lifetime warranty they come with. Their construction is very, VERY fragile.

The plastic bridge that connects the adjustable temporal pads with ear cups often breaks, the cable frequently loses connection at the 3.5mm jack, and the headband is just horrible if you have shorter hair as it is essentially a deadly, painful trap in which it gets caught.

This could seem like Porta Pro are a very bad pair of headphones, but that’s not the case. They simply require a special treatment and plenty of care. They will reward you with amazing sound and fantastic reproduction of music.

Sound quality

Koss PortaPro are open-back on-ear style headphones that offer an unmatched sound-quality for portable and home use. Just don’t expect any passive noise isolation when wearing these headphones and be prepared that people around you will head every single word and beat that you play.

The very high praise they receive is largely thanks to their warm sound, good soundstage, and absolutely effortless music presentation that will keep you listening for long hours and frequency come back for more. “Listenability” is probably the best way how to describe this. The bass is definitely more pronounced than the rest of sound spectrum, but that’s exactly what most people expect from Koss headphones and earbuds.

What is in the box?

The box hides the headphones themselves and what can only be described as the most useless carrying case ever. Its soft, slightly too small, and it does nothing for keeping PortaPro alive during travel.

If you want these fragile headphones to survive at least a few years, you better get a proper hard-shell case and make sure to always diligently store them inside of it.

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