Monday, May 27, 2013

Koss KTX-PRO - Inexpensive and Excellent Headphones for Your iPod or Other MP3 Player

Koss KTX-PRO Headphones Reviewed by Dmiko on .

I have quite a few headphones, but mostly use the Creative Aurvana Live! or Ultimate Ears 300 (when I need sound insulation) and used to prefer the Koss KSC75 most of the time. I use the headphones with my Sony MP3 player as well as with my Panasonic XR57 receiver.

Even though I prefer Koss KSC75's sound to any other headphones I have, there is an inconvenience involved in wearing them. The KSC75 is a headphone that fits over your ear and has braces that fit around the ear and hold them in place. The braces are made of metal enclosed in plastic. Putting them on and taking them off is a bit of a chore and if you work out, they make your ears move because of the inertia. So I wanted to get headphones with similar sound, but a different method of keeping them on my ears. Therefore, I got Koss KTX-PRO (also known as KTXPRO, KTX-PRO 1 and KTXPRO1).

About Koss KTX PRO

The Koss KTX PRO is a headphone of a traditional design with a plastic headband that goes around/over your head. The headphones themselves are large enough to cover your ear, yet the surface is flat and they don't enclose the year. They feature a Y-style cord, 3.5mm plug for portable devices (a 1/4" adaptor is included) and a volume control on the cord.

The headphones have nominal impedance of 60 Ohm and advertised to produce 15-25,000 Hz frequency response. The marketing materials refer to the fact that titanium-coated high-polymer drivers deliver accurate sound reproduction.

The headphones are made of gray plastic with felt pads and fit my ears well. The Y-type cable terminates with a compact 3.5-mm headphone plug that works well with portable devices and the included adaptor lets me use it with my receiver.


The headphones are quite comfortable and the padded areas over the drivers are soft enough for the amount of pressure the headband creates.

The headphones did require some break-in time to sound their best. Not everyone believes in speaker/headphone break-in. What it is: you have to play music through the headphones at moderate volume for certain amount of hours before they start performing their best. The sound of the KTXPRO headphones improved after about 20 hours of break-in. I let them burn in some more and after almost 50 hours (using my iPod, connected to an AC power adaptor and playing random songs), I was ready to use them.

Sound Quality

The most important quality of the headphones (provided they are comfortable enough to use) is their sound quality. The KTXPRO is very similar in sound to the KSC75, which is a good thing. It produces excellent sound (for the price) with well-defined bass, smooth frequency response and good treble. The instrument separation and placement is excellent and the overall sound quality is amazing at this price.

Although the lowest bass is slightly lacking (very slightly), the rest of the frequency range is reproduced really well and the treble is significantly better than that of the Sennheiser HD202.

The KTXPRO sounds pretty "warm" as well, which is its most appealing feature. The various inexpensive Sennheiser headphones sound hollow and lifeless in comparison with these. I also definitely get the feeling of being able to hear instruments that I have not heard with the lesser headphones, e.g. stock iPod headphones or, worse yet, the stock headphones of the Philips HDD077 MP3 player that I had before.

This model can play pretty loud with portable gear like iPod Nano. But with some portable players that do not produce much volume and are designed for sensitive headphones (e.g. Philips HDD077), the volume might be insufficient for some songs and/or environments.

In case you are thinking about buying replacement headphones for your portable, make sure that your player can produce loud sound with your stock headphones first and expect that the volume can drop a little with the KTX PRO. But the slight potential decrease in volume is well worth it because of the significant increase in sound quality.

Sound Insulation

The sound insulation, although slightly better than that of the KSC75, is not as good as you would get with enclosed headphones. The amount of sound that comes out is not high and should not concern your fellow passengers in public transport if you do not play your music too loud. And the amount of outside noise that enters the headphones is moderate. If you need good insulation, good in-ear headphones (preferably of non-ported variety) are the ticket. Example: Creative EP-640.


The headphones have impedance of 60 Ohms, which should suit most portable as well as home gear (provided you use the adaptor to fit larger jacks of home receivers).

So far this model seems reliable and I have also used a very similar model (KSC75) for 4 years with no issues.

Pros: Cheap, light, comfortable, excellent sound, good impedance and volume with portable gear.
Cons: Not as sound-insulating as in-ear or enclosed headphones.


For a less expensive alternative, check out Philips HS500. The HS500 does not sound as good as the KTX PRO or KSC75, but still sounds better than the stock headphones of iPod and other MP3 players or CD players. The HS500 is easy to put on or take off and the headband that goes behind the head/ears might make it better for jogging. Also, check out the best headphone I ever had - Creative Aurvana Live!.

Bottom Line

The Koss KTX PRO is a good inexpensive way to get much better sound from your portable music player (be it MP3 or CD), your PC or home gear without disturbing your family members or neighbors. It even sounds better than some more expensive and larger headphones. I highly recommend KTXPRO.

Rating: 5 stars out of 5.

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