By Don Lindich
Week 39, 2015
Q. I would like to make a suggestion for a review, namely the classic Koss Pro4AA headphones. They are the headphones everyone wanted when I was in high school in the mid-1970s. Amazingly, this product is still in production! Please consider a review of these classic stereophones from the golden age of stereo equipment. The Pro4AA retails for $99.
-Kevin L., West Bend, WI
A. After I received your email I contacted Koss’s PR firm. They let me borrow the Pro4AA as you suggested, but as part of the deal they insisted that I also try the much newer Pro4S. Here are my impressions of both.
The Pro4AA looks and feels like it was made in the 1970s, with its heavy-duty construction and thick, coiled cord. The weight and shape made them a bit uncomfortable when I moved around, and they need a fair amount of power so they work best with stereo components, not portable devices.
The sound is neutral and very smooth. It lacks a little bit of transparency, but the bass is solid and the well-insulated earcups really isolate you from the outside world. With the lifetime warranty, good sound, and heavy-duty construction, the Pro4AA is well worth the $99 price.
That said, I am very glad they suggested I try the Pro4S. While I liked the Pro4AA , I think the Pro4s is noticeably better and offers some significant modern advantages.
The Pro4S is lightweight and comfortable, and I found it very easy to get a good fit. The cord is interchangeable and can be connected at either side. You can also daisy-chain multiple Pro4S headphones together so two people can listen at the same time. This could be handy for watching movies on an iPad while traveling in a plane or a car. They work perfectly with a stereo system or with portable electronics, though they do not have a mic or phone controls. They fold for easy portability and come with a carrying case.
The sound is lively, transparent, bold, natural and detailed, with accurate tone and no artificial emphasis at any part of the audible range The Pro4S manages to sound exciting and accurate at the same time, which is very hard to pull off from a design standpoint as exciting usually means inaccurate and exaggerated, which quickly causes listener fatigue.
Selling for $149 on the Koss website with a lifetime warranty, the Pro4S is probably my favorite headphone selling for under $200. I recommend them without reservation.
In doing my research for this column I signed up for the email list at www.koss.com and immediately received a 15% discount on my first order. If you are interested in trying either of these headphones I suggest you sign up also and see if you get the same offer. At the regular $149 price they are a great buy, with a 15% discount the Pro4S is hard to beat! www.koss.com