About a year ago I bought myself an iPod mini. I figured, after doing some research, that the standard headphones simply wouldn’t cut it. They were simple earbuds, and being bundled with the iPod, were guaranteed to be cheap. Everyone knows that earbuds bundled with electronics equipment are always cheap and nasty.
So I decided I’d replace them with something a little better. After scouting around a little on the OCAU forums, I came to the conclusion that a set of Koss KSC-50 headphones would do just the trick.
The place I bought them from has this to say about the headphones:
The Koss KSC-50 is a clip-on headphone designed for portable use, it has fantastic sound for the price and often surprises people by outclassing far more expensive headphones with it’s big sound and small pricetag.
First of all, the good things:
- ● The headphones are as advertised. The packaging is simple, and the headphones arrived in a plastic shaped carton that contained only the headphones and the lifetime warranty information.
- ● The lifetime warranty is an awesome feature of the product (well, it’s an awesome feature of the company who makes the product).
- ● Being an ‘open’ design, the casing of the speakers on each headphone allows the speaker inside to breathe. As can be seen from the photo above, the outer casing is a metal mesh material which allows airflow in and out of the speaker. This helps to achieve an ‘airy’ sound. This saves bass from sounding ‘muddy’ and muffled, and also helps to deliver higher tones in better condition.
- ● The sound itself is clear: defined, they were probably the best headphones I have ever used. They were crisp and responded well to all the music I put through them.
- ● The price: available at around $64.00, these are not expensive headphones.
Now, the bad:
- ● The lifetime warranty is good, but you have to send the headphones back to America to redeem it. This can potentially leave you without music for several weeks, and if you’re like me, this simply isn’t an option.
- ● The open design allows outside noise to ‘leak’ into the music. Usually this can be remedied by simply increasing the volume, but if you are faced with particularly loud, high- or low-pitched noises or continual sounds, you will always hear them through the music. This can be considered an advantage in a way, as they are portable headphones you are potentially going to be using them while walking somewhere — the leakage of outside noise can potentially alert you to dangers such as large vehicles moving past.
- ● Upper-range and mid-range tones are fine, though as you move lower through the frequency spectrum the bass response of the speakers is reduced. Music from The Prodigy and similar artists that rely on a lot of deep, slow bass sounds not so great on these headphones. While the speakers are able to replicate the frequency of the bass, their small size and low power preclude them from being able to make any impact on your eardrums with the bass tones. This problem affects all small headphones however.
- ● The clip design is flawed. After several months of heavy usage, the bluish-grey rubber portions of the clip have actually snapped off my set of headphones. Inside them is metal wire much like you find in children’s bendy toys that allow you to shape the clip to your ear. My headphones have actually rusted and broken in this part.
So all in all, well worth the money for what I paid. Since breaking I have ordered a pair of the Koss KSC-75 , , which is effectively the same headphone with an upgraded clip design and an aesthetics facelift.
I would give the KSC-50 a definite 7/10.
Music used to test headphones: Fear Factory, Devolved, Chimaira, 36 Crazyfists, Analog Pussy, The Prodigy, Cog, Karnivool, Dry Kill Logic, Korn, In Flames, Jerk, Pendulum, System Of A Down, Trivium (just to name a few).
- ■Model number: KSC-50
- ■Weight: 28g
- ■Impedance: 60ohm
- ■THD: <0.2%
- ■Sensitivity: 101 dB SPL/1mW
- ■Open/Closed: Open
- ■Transducer type: Dynamic
- ■Ear Coupling: Supraaural
- ■Frequency response: 15-25,000 Hz
- ■Cable length: 1.2m