The Koss Porta Pro review – A Vintage Legend of Audible Sound

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Koss Kosta Pro BEIGE Limited Edition

Headphones these days come in all shapes and sizes and offer varying features. A lot of them also come at a cost, with brands like BOSE and Sony capitalizing on the higher end of the premium headphone market.  At this price, you get excellent items like the BOSE QuietComfort 35 (series I & II) headphones, which are superb on their own.  As a result, many individuals are seeking more budget-friendly headphones. This is where the Koss Porta Pro becomes indispensable. 

Reliving the Past 

In the world of vintage audio gear, few names hit as hard as the Koss Porta Pro. Released in 1984, these headphones were a game-changer in portable audio. The Koss Porta Pro quickly became a favorite for its top-notch sound and comfort, winning over audiophiles and casual listeners alike.

Developed by Koss Corporation—a trailblazer in the audio industry with a history of firsts, like the first stereo and dynamic headphones—the Porta Pro revolutionized how people enjoyed music on the go.

Koss Porta Pro original model

Timeless Design

The design of the Koss Porta Pro is immediately recognizable, featuring a retro aesthetic that harks back to the mid-80s. The headband is lightweight and adjustable, equipped with a unique sliding mechanism that allows for a custom fit. This is coupled with small, supra-aural ear cups that can fold up into a compact form, making them highly portable.

Koss Porta Pro in BLACK GOLD Edition with new hard carrying case

The Porta Pro’s design is not just about nostalgia; it’s practical, providing comfort without sacrificing durability. The distinct look of these headphones often garners attention, reflecting a choice that favors classic style over fleeting trends.

In Comparison with Modern Design

In the age of Beats, Sony, and BOSE headphones, the Porta Pro is distinctive because of its compact size and weight, which is a great feature for a pair of on-ear headphones. Koss has carried over a tried-and-tested design that prioritizes function over form.  The metal headband is sturdy but flexible, which adds to a more comfortable experience.

What makes it stand out from a lot of the competition is the unique design, which includes an extra fitting of pads located above the main earpiece.

The becoming popular Sony XM4

Further reading: What makes Sony XM4 headphone so popular?

Koss calls these “Comfort Pads” and they can be adjusted to your fitting, to reduce the strain of wearing headphones for prolonged times on the ears. There are three settings, to give users more flexibility when using the headphones.

Sound Quality

Don’t let the somewhat low price tag fool you – for an affordable piece of kit, the Porta Pro sounds pretty impressive.

One of the most compelling reasons for the enduring popularity of the Koss Porta Pro is its unparalleled sound quality. Despite their vintage status, these headphones deliver a rich, full-bodied sound that rivals many modern counterparts. The Porta Pro features a dynamic element design that includes oxygen-free copper voice coils and neodymium iron boron magnets, which provide deep bass and a wide frequency response.

Audiophiles often praise the Porta Pro for its warm and immersive sound signature. The bass is robust yet controlled, the mids are clear and detailed, and the highs are crisp without being overly bright. This balanced sound profile makes the Porta Pro suitable for a wide range of music genres, from classical to rock to electronic.

Of course, you won’t get QC 35-level performance here, but the headphones get the basics right, making for a totally enjoyable listening experience.

Value for Money

Another significant advantage of the Koss Porta Pro is its value for money. These headphones are remarkably affordable, especially considering their performance and durability. They often outshine more expensive models, offering a superior audio experience without breaking the bank. Additionally, Koss provides a lifetime warranty for the Porta Pro, further solidifying its status as a cost-effective and reliable choice for audiophiles and casual listeners alike.


  Retro appeal
  Affordable price
  Excellent sound quality

  Portable design
  Lifetime warranty
  Comfortable fit


  Open-back leak
  Build quality concerns
  Outdated technology

  Aesthetic Not for Everyone
  Comfort Issues for Some Users
  Limited Sound Isolation

The Bottom Line

The Koss Porta Pro headphones remain a compelling choice for those looking for reliable, high-quality sound without the frills and fads of modern audio equipment. They embody a philosophy of enduring design, emphasizing comfort and sound quality over technological gimmicks. Whether for nostalgic listeners or those discovering them anew, the Porta Pro proves that good design never goes out of style, maintaining its status as a vintage legend in the world of audible sound.

These days, where consumers often chase the latest technology, the Koss Porta Pro serves as a reminder that sometimes, simplicity and quality are timeless. For anyone seeking a straightforward, effective listening device, the Porta Pro offers a taste of audiophile-grade sound at a fraction of the cost of high-end headphones. As they continue to resonate with both young and old audiophiles, these headphones not only represent a piece of audio history but also a vibrant, living legend that continues to delight ears worldwide.

The Koss Porta Pro’s tried-and-tested formula – dating back to the 1980s – has been an effective performer. Its great performance certainly spells quality and still holds up today. There’s little doubt as to why the Porta Pro remains one of the most popular headphones around the world.

What do you think? Feel free to sound off in the comments below!


About the author

Mike Viray

A writer with a fondness for consumer tech, Mike is also a music lover, and an avid gamer as well. He and his wife are big fans of Mario Kart.


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  • Wow! I love this Koss Porta Pro headphone.  The design is classic and unique. It can be pocket to move around anywhere if you are not looking for something big. This headphone is stunning and looks plain and simple. The features are equally decent to its price. I would love to have it.  I cannot wait anymore to try it and enjoy the sound quality.  Best regards 

  • I know what you mean by BOSE and Sony capitalizing on the high end of the headphone industry…I know their products are quality, but some of them are extremely expensive for what they are!I noticed that these Koss Porta Pros are only $37 on Amazon at the moment, which is much more like it. You say that the sound quality is excellent for the price, but I’m wondering what the frequency response is like, does it have a wide frequency spread?

    • Thanks, Chris for your query.

      Koss Porta Pro has a frequency response of 15 Hertz to 2500 Hertz.  

      It may sound technical for the average joe and I do not also claim any expertise in this field. 

      For the seek of our readers, anyone can check out the TurnTableLab for further info about headphone frequencies. 

  • Thanks for your interest in the product. 

    Koss Porta Pro is available at Amazon.  Just simply click the image and you will be directed to U.S. Amazon.  

    If you leave outside of the United States, kindly check if it is available to ship in your country.  Additional shipping and import fees are evenly charged.  

  • I appreciate your comment Twack.

    I could absolutely assure you that this Koss Porta Pro doesn’t heat up on ears even for prolonged use.  This is one of the best comfort design of headphone I’ve tested so far.  

    If you are experiencing compression in your ears in some of your headphones, the quality materials of the cushion foam of the earcups and the pressure of the headband in your head might be the cause of the problem.


  • Thanks, Josh for dropping by.

    We will be glad to hear your experience in using Koss Porta Pro in the future.  I am sure you will not be disappointed with the product.