Koss KSC75 Headphone Reviews

Manufacturer Koss Model KSC75
Headphone Type Clipons Headband Type None
Weight (g) 43 Driver Type Dynamic
Enclosure Material Plastic Isolation (dB) 0
Impedance (ohms) 60 Cable Length (cm) 122
Frequency Response (Hz) 15 - 25000  
Connector 3.5mm Street Price US$12
Buy from Amazon.com  
Average reviewer scores
Bass Extension 4.0 Bass Impact 5.0
Bass Quality 4.1 Mids Quality 4.7
Highs Quality 5.4 Soundstage 3.7
Detail 4.3 Portability 7.4
Isolation 1.1 Comfort 6.0
Durability 5.6 Improvement With Amplification 3.9
Value for Money 9.0    
Overall Score 5.0 Total Reviews 7

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Reviews by our members

Review by Senior Member chunkage on 24 Dec 08  11:09
Individual review
Bass Extension5
Bass Impact4
Bass Quality5
Mids Quality5
Highs Quality6
Detail4
Comfort4
Durability4
Value6

The general word on the KSC-75 is that "they're good for the price" - which in this case, can be between $6-20. They don't have the bloated bass or scratchy top end of most phones of its ilk, but don't expect greatness. Consider their very modest price.

The KSC-75 are NOT the best headphone under $50, by any stretch.

- The KSC-75 have an all-plastic body, with a clip-on earpiece. Unlike better phones, the clips can leave your ears sore after only an hour's use; with more aggressive use, the clip may detach from the phone.

- The sound is tight, with acceptable balance - but fairly dull. These handle classical and most pop surprisingly well, but noisier music may make the KSC-75 sound scratchy; they hardly sound "rich.". At their best, they can have an a punchy mid-range with pleasing detail. Of course, with a clip-on, don't expect much soundstage at all.

- Durability is a potential issue. I ended up breaking four pairs of this phone, but it's cheapness can be a real asset. This will allow you to perform painless mods on the phone (which you can find listed on the Head-Fi listings). The sound change from these mods are fairly minor, but some have found them worthwhile and rewarding.

Review by Senior Member qazwsx on 20 Sep 07  20:17
Individual review
Bass Extension4
Bass Impact6
Bass Quality3
Mids Quality4
Highs Quality6
Detail3
Comfort7
Durability6
Value10

The Koss KSC75 is indeed a very popular portable headphone, that is well known throughout Head-Fi as being the best value headphone under $50. The KSC75 is easily avaliable on merchants such as Amazon.com.

The headphones are quite comfortable with the clips. They rest rather loosely on the ears yet have a mechanism to push the driver closer to your ear so they stay in place. For those who don't prefer clips there are a number of headband modifications out there. I don't find their retro looks too appealing and look alike the Sennheiser HD212 although some prefer this NASA silver color. The build quality is good aside from two minor issues. One is that the clips often deattach from the driver's build too easily. And two, much like other open Koss models, I find it quite easily to get hairs stuck in the driver which outputs a ton of distortation.

The sound quality is very good for the price. This review may come off a bit unfair as the bias is to much more expensive headphones. The bass is quite impactful and fun in its signature. It's somewhat boomy but is quite nice to hear with music not requiring the tightest bass. (i.e. hip-hop, funk, rock, etc.) Due to its boominess it feels less of a realistic note but at the same time these headphones are not as boomy as say the Sennheiser HD457. The KSC's tend to push the mids forward which doesn't match my personal tastes, (I'd rather have neutral or recessed mids) but they do seem in content with the music. Drums and vocals, especially female, sound very forward with the KSC75's. However I do feel that the mids sound somewhat chunky and unrefined at times. The treble is the shine point of the phones in my opinion. They have a very nice sparkle in the highs that I would prefer to the Sennheiser eH350 which highs are pretty neutral. While the highs don't have a ton of refinement, they do make practically any music sound crisp and clear. In general, the KSC75's have a very good sound for the money. The sound is smooth yet very snappy and fun, a good combination. They're a cheap and fun pair of headphones. They aren't very refined but still have a fun kick in the bass, forward mid-ranges and crisp highs that make these 'phones quite a cheap treat or gift for the rock or hip-hop jammer.

Review by Senior Member j-pak on 13 Sep 06  14:39
Individual review
Bass Extension3
Bass Impact7
Bass Quality3
Mids Quality5
Highs Quality5
Detail6
Comfort2
Durability9
Value10

This review might come off as a bit unfair since during my serious listening sessions I was actively comparing it with my STAX SR-404 and AKG K1000 (and Grado SR-60 to make things more fair). Why did I do this? When I received the KSC75, I was immediately impressed by its sound. I thought it would be fun to compare it to a much more expensive headphone just for the fun of it. I have owned the KSC75 in the past when the hype first started on Headfi, but they didn't get much use then out of a proper source (at the time was used unamped with an ipod, I don't feel this did the headphones justice). So I've recently acquired another set that I've spent many hours with, and was burned in.

The KSC75 are very fun sounding headphones. They have loads of PRaT, excellent for non-critical rock n' roll music. The overall sound signature is not unlike the Grado SR-60. The two headphones are very similar, but I feel the SR-60 is the superior headphone; the KSC75 losing out in instrument seperation, detail, bass quality, and midrange quality. I'll expand upon this further.

The treble in the KSC75 is really the first thing that will jump out at you. They are def. bright and tipped up in the mid treble. They do show some sibilance on some songs, but it's not terribly pronounced. They are free of any grain. I can't comment on the treble extension. This isn't to say the treble is overly detailed. Details are more evident on the SR-60. Falls short in the amount of detail the K1000 is able to resolve. Also there is a lack of air around high frequency notes, something the K1000 does without any effort.

The KSC75 has a really nice midrange. Not overly smooth, but not dry either. It's just "there", doesn't get in the way of the music, and it isn't recessed either. One of the headphones stronger points. Not quite as detailed as the SR-60 however.

The bass on the KSC75 is probably its weakest point. It has an obvious mid-bass hump to make it sound more acceptable out of portables or generally more fun to listen to. This adds some uneeded coloration to classical music. Also while the bass isn't quite one note, it isn't very detailed. On complex bass passages things start to get very muddled.

Breakdown of points:
Bass extension: 3
Bass impact: 7
Bass quality: 3
Mids quality: 5
Highs quality: 5
Soundstage: 4
Detail: 6
Portability: 10
Isolation: 3
Comfort: 2
Durability: 9
Improvement with Amplification: 5
Value for money: 10!!!

Like all my reviews keep in mind the ratings are not based around the value of the headphone, but instead the absolute score as a headphone regardless of price and compared to much more expensive headphones.

For under $20 everyone should own a pair of these amazing, durable, fun headphones.

Review by Senior Member Iron_Dreamer on 08 Jun 06  11:35
Individual review
Bass Extension4
Bass Impact4
Bass Quality5
Mids Quality5
Highs Quality5
Detail4
Comfort6
Durability5
Value10

The KSC75 is quite similar to its' predecessor, the KSC35, in both sound and fit, however, its lower price and slightly improved build make it a best buy.

The sound is much like the 35, however the bass is not quite as prominent, which leads to a slightly cleaner, tigher sound overall. The bass doesn't hit quite as hard as with the 35, but it is still quite satisfactory. The highs are surprisingly smooth and non-fatiguing for headphones this cheap, but extension to either end is hardly ground-breaking.

The 75's advantages over the 35, in my mind, are that the clips are built in a smoother and sturdier manner which contributes to improved comfort and durability. I also find the 75 much better looking than the 35.

I can see why some would prefer the bassier tone of the 35, however I think give the price difference (the 75 can be hand on Amazon for $10 sometimes) and improved physical materials, the 75 is simply the better buy. Of course, both are great values compared to almost any other headphones out there, assuming you don't need isolation of course.

My ratings:
Bass Extension: 4
Bass Impact: 4
Bass Quality: 5
Mids Quality: 5
Highs Quality: 5
Soundstage: 3
Detail: 4
Portability: 8
Isolation: 0
Comfort: 6
Durability: 5
Improvement with Amplification: 4
Value for the Money: 10

Review by Member jilgiljongiljing on 04 Nov 06  12:50
Individual review
Bass Extension2
Bass Impact3
Bass Quality5
Mids Quality5
Highs Quality7
Detail6
Comfort7
Durability5
Value9

These are the best headphones you can buy for 15 bucks, infact the best headphones you can buy for less than 40-50 bucks. Lacks in bass depth, but faithfully follows bass line, great highs, crips clean bright sounding, very comfortable, and easy to drive. Makes any portable system sound good.

Review by Member donaldekelly on 27 Mar 05  17:25
Individual review
Bass Extension5
Bass Impact6
Bass Quality5
Mids Quality5
Highs Quality5
Detail4
Comfort8
Durability6
Value8

These do not sound as good as the HD280 pros in my opinion. They are not as good as the Sony MDR-V6 either. But they are darn good for $20!!!!! Nice bass, mids and highs for the money.

Strange feeling clipped on the ears. Pretty portable - though not as easy as in ear phones (buds canal phones, etc.)

I like them better than the Sennheiser PX100s I had, but they are close. These have clearer highs and bass I think.

Review by Member kramer5150 on 21 Jan 05  14:17
Individual review
Bass Extension5
Bass Impact5
Bass Quality3
Mids Quality4
Highs Quality4
Detail3
Comfort8
Durability4
Value10

My comments below are geared towards other $20 headphones. Basically compating them to other $20 headphones and buds I have heard.

These are the best headphones under $20, and IMHO they easily keep up with headphones in the under $65 range. Above $65 they start to intrude on the K240s and SR-60 territory. Unamped, through a hi-fi receiver they are better than the V6 and HD280 both of which IMHO have piercing highs/mids.

Mids and treble are smooth. Bright and forward but do not fatigue like the V6.
Midbass is a little muddy, but for a $20 can it is superb.
Bass is tight and punchy.
Sub-bass extends very well and is resonant and low.

It has a little midrange recession around 1Khz, but its not severe and adds to the sonic signature. The recession tends to place vocals more to the forefront. I usually use a little EQ boost at 1Khz.

The flexible ear hook can be bent and custom fit to the listeners ear. BIG Thumbs UP!!

They scale up VERY well with amplification. Even a single OP amp based cmoy really brings out the bass and vocal image. Amped the midbass cleans up a little too. IMHO a KSC75 + well designed $70 cmoy will easily keep up with many unamped headphones in the $100 range.... and that includes some very good sounding cans (most notably A500, K240s SR-80).

Great value, very versatile, outperform many others at a fraction of the price...

I gave it many "average scores". Per the criteria of this www site My scores are based upon the "theoritically perfect headphone". If I were to score them compared to other $20 cans the numbers would be significantly better.

Koss KSC75