Koss ESP-950 Stereo Phone Review: How Is It Holding Out in 2020?
Now the Koss ESP-950 Stereo Phones are for pure enthusiasts. If you are not happy with the way your Apple Ear pods or high-end Audio Technica sounds, then you need electrostatic headphones. Speaking of electrostatic headphones, the Koss ESP-950 is surely a bang for the buck.
Well, it is not dirt cheap. You still have to pay a considerable amount of money. However, you will not regret nor will you feel that you have wasted a single penny.
But what makes this headphone so good? Let us take a deep breath and delve deep into its specifications.
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Koss ESP-950 Stereo Phone
To those who do not know yet, the first ESP-950s were released in the ’90s. So the question that naturally arises is, how is a twenty-year-old tech still holding up? This product was ahead of its time. Unlike the dynamic drives that we come across more often, these headphones used electrostatic drives. We will talk about that in brief later.
Again, though headphones went through tons of upgrades, they were mainly focused on integrating modern technologies like stronger and smaller chips or wireless connectivity. The drives did improve, but there wasn’t anything groundbreaking. And these are the probable reason why the Koss ESP-950 Stereo Phone is still standing.
Talking about the audio quality, the ESP-950 is highly accurate. That is to say, if it is a poorly recorded song, you will notice all the cover-ups and the distortions that came with the song originally.
The opposite is equally true. If the song was recorded in high quality, you will experience exactly what the artist wanted you to. And there lies the beauty of an electrostatic headphone.
The Koss ESP-950 needs a strong energizer to run. It means, you simply can’t plug it into a device and use it. You have to plug it in the energizer first, then you have to connect that to your device. There are multiple ports to connect your device to the energizer. You get two RCA ports and one AUX port. You will be getting plenty of adapters with the package itself, so don’t have to worry about that.
The electrostatic design enables the user to experience distortion-free, clean, and deep bass. The bass will not be overwhelming. However, it will be crispy and precise. The mid-range is the sweet spot of this headphone. You can experience voice or acoustic instruments like never before.
The energizer that comes with it does a decent job of powering the headphones up. There is one odd thing about it though. When you turn the energizer on, you will see that indicator on the energizer will turn red only for a moment before turning to green. This is not a big deal though.
You will also get an external battery pack. It holds six batteries and a fresh set of batteries can provide charge up to two hours at max. Considering users will mostly use the headphones indoors, this is quite enough.
The headphones come with a four feet long cable. However, if that is not enough, you can use the seven feet long extender that comes with the package.
With the packaging, you will get a large pouch in which you can keep all your accessories such as the headphones, the energizer, the external battery pack, and other wires. This pouch even comes with a belt that works as a shoulder strap.
Design and Quality:
Let us talk about the electrostatic driver designs at first. These drivers are very different than those we see around us. In these drivers, there is a thin metal coated diaphragm. There are two rigid metal plates on both sides of the diaphragm and they have the opposite charge to the diaphragm. When the voltage between the plates shift, the diaphragm oscillates and creates the sound.
Due to the design, there is zero distortion in the Koss ESP-950 Stereo Phone. And the sound you hear will be completely accurate. However, many users have reported that they heard minor squeals sometimes. However, it is highly irregular and you will not hear it unless you are looking for it specifically.
The build quality is not among the strengths of this product. It is somewhat convenient though. Both of the ear cups can be removed with the press of a button. You can carry this in the pouch easily without the fear of breaking it. Again, the headphone is very light and you will feel no clamp. As the ear cups are pretty big, it will fit comfortably on your ears.
However, the material used to make the headphones does not feel that premium. It is likely to gather dust over the years as well. On a lighter note, these headphones do come with a lifetime warranty. If you ever face a problem, Koss will repair it or provide a new one, no questions asked.
- High-end electrostatic headphones
- Distortion-free sound quality
- Rich mid-range, experience vocals and acoustics like never before
- Comfortable design, extremely lightweight and big ear cups
- Comes with a four feet cable and six feet extender
- A Decent energizer
- A useful pouch with lots of space
The Koss ESP-950 Stereo Phone is a great product. It is better than all the other electrostatic headphones that come in this price range. The products that have similar features are twice or thrice as expensive as this one. That is why we feel that it is worth getting.
If you care about sound quality, the Koss ESP-950 Stereo Phone is sure to satisfy you. It is the best electrostatic headphone you will get under a thousand dollars. And the lifetime warranty just makes it better. If you are worried that such an expensive gadget might get damaged, don’t let that keep you from buying it. Koss has you covered.