Old school and vintage style seem to be all the rage in 2019. Brands are bringing back discontinued ranges to satisfy this insatiable appetite for all things vintage. The Koss Porta Pro On-Ear Headphones is one of those old school products making a new school resurgence.
While some old school products should never be revived, the Porta Pro is still as good a headphone as it was in the 80s. The warmer sound, better build quality, and retro styling all make for a more exciting listening experience.
The headphones have undergone some minor acoustic adjustments from the original 1984 model. But for the most part, the Porta Pro is exactly the same as it was 35 odd years ago.
Koss Porta Pro History
The Porta Pro was first released in 1984 to accompany another Koss product, the A-3 Music Box, a portable cassette tape player.
At the time, Koss had an impressive range of headphones to choose from, but none that were explicitly designed for portable applications.
What made the Porta Pro popular in the 80s, and one of the reasons they’re popular today, is the fact you can fold the headphones up to a compact, palm-sized ball. The headphones weigh just 2 oz and, when folded, the Porta Pro is small enough to fit in your pocket.
The Porta Pro features an on-ear design with a spring-loaded aluminum headband which slides into position to fit your head perfectly whenever you put the headphones on.
The earpads have a distinctively 80s aesthetic with the original featuring the Koss branding and blue trim. There is a simple slider switch (Comfort Zone) with three settings for a firm to light fit adjustment. While most people won’t have a use for this, if you have an oddly shaped or small head, the Comfort Zone adjustment might be handy.
The Porta Pro cable is longer than most headphones. If you have your phone or media player in your backpack or pocket, you won’t experience any tugging from a short cable. When sitting at a laptop, however, the excess can be a bit much.
Koss Porta Pro Limited Edition
The original Koss Porta Pro is a simple headphone with regular cable. If you want the old school styling with the modern convenience of an inline remote, then you’ll want to go for the Koss Porta Pro Limited Edition. The Limited Edition is exactly the same headset and audio quality, it just comes with an inline remote.
The 3-button inline remote features a microphone, volume control and a multi-function button for play/pause and managing incoming calls.
Koss Porta Pro Wireless
If you want even more modern-day convenience, then you’ll want to check out the Koss Porta Pro Wireless. The Wireless looks identical to the original without the cable. Instead, there is a short cable that fits behind the neck to connect each earpad.
Like the Porta Pro Limited Edition, the Wireless features a 3-button inline remote on the cable with microphone, volume control and a multi-function button for play/pause and managing incoming calls.
Fit and Comfort
One thing which has to be said for the Koss Porta Pro is that they’re super comfortable. The combination of being lightweight and the almost perfect fit, make the headphones comfortable to wear, even for extended periods.
If you often wear your headphones all day at work or, you travel a lot, the Porta Pro you’ll definitely enjoy the comfort of the Porta Pro. Usually, on-ear headphones can endure wear fatigue, but you almost forget you’re wearing headphones with the Porta Pro.
One downside to these headphones is when removing the Porta Pro, they tend to pull your hair! When you put the headphones on, the band slides nicely into place, but the sliders have enough of a gap to trap a few strands of hair. If you pull the Porta Pro off like you would a regular pair of headphones, they’ll invariably take some hair along at the same time. This might be painful for some, especially those with long hair. Just a word of caution when removing the Porta Pro from your head!
What Does The Koss Porta Pro Sound Like?
When it comes to sound quality, the Koss Porta Pro stands out from most headphones under $50. Even though these are affordable headphones, they are by no means cheap sounding.
These aren’t bass headphones, so don’t buy the Porta Pro expecting to be blown away by big bass. Instead, the Porta Pro is an accurate sounding headphone with an excellent clean sound across the frequency spectrum.
The low-end is clear and punchy while the mid-range is forward without sounding harsh. Overall, I’d say the Koss Porta Pro delivers a clean, flat sound without any of the tweaks or excitement you find in modern headphones. If you like a natural sounding headphone, the Porta Pro will undoubtedly provide that experience for you.
What’s in the Box?
- 1 x Koss Porta Pro
- 1 x Carry pouch
The Koss Porta Pro is definitely not for everyone. If you’re one for nostalgia and vintage styling, then these headphones were made for you. Not only do you get that vintage look but you’ll also enjoy quality sound. That is more than you can say for most headphones under $50. Or even $100 for that matter.
For those who like modern features and convenience, the Porta Pro may not appeal much to you. The design is not for everyone, and the lack of features may leave you wanting more for your money. If this is you, then check out this article for the best bass headphones.