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Koss CS100: An Affordable Introduction to Electrostatic Sound

The Koss CS100 communication headsets boast a full range of sound that helps bring every conversation to life. With high noise sensitivity and reduced sound distortion – not to mention hands-free communication via an electret, noise cancelling microphone – it will seem as if the person on the other end of the line is right in front of you.

Key Features

  • Full range of sound brings games to life
  • Dynamic element delivers high sensitivity and reduced distortion for premium sound at all volume levels
  • Improved signal transmission and conduction for cleaner, clearer sound
  • Ear cushions create balanced, open, hear-through sound, maximizing comfort and evenly distributing sound
  • Independent 3.5mm plugs for easy headphone and microphone connection (Not USB)8 foot cord maximizes movementElectret noise cancelling microphone

Sound Quality

The CS100 produces stunning transparency and intimacy. The electrostatic drivers deliver pristine highs, lucid mids, and quick transients across acoustic, classical, and vocal genres.

While lacking subwoofer-like bass, the low end is clean and avoids bloat. The open soundstage gives vocals and instruments space to shine. The CS100 excels at revealing the smallest sonic nuances and textures.

Just be aware that the open back results in sound leakage. Use them for focused listening in quiet environments.

Design

The CS100 uses a single-sided cable and no-frills plastic build to keep costs down. While lightweight, the fit can cause fatigue over multi-hour listening sessions. The headband lacks padding and very large ears may brush the drivers.

The open back allows outside noise to creep in, reducing noise isolation. But this is expected from open-back electrostatic headphones at this price.

Customer review

The headset is very light and comfortable, it might seem fragible but it is made of pretty good material. It will not apply pressure to your ears, and the earbuds are very comfortable, as well as having a slight 30º degree rotation (on its axis).

As far as sound quality goes, it is above average compared to other cheap headsets out there (~20$US seems to be the above average price). The speakers sound pretty decent, as long as you use them for voice. The high notes are pretty notable (accentuated a little bit too much), the midrange is ok, and the bass surprisingly manages to perform very well for the price. It is there and it serves the purpose of voice chat.

As far as the mic goes, it is not a professional mic (those are $30-$200), but it manages to perform well.

The microphone is very omnidirectional, so keep in mind for example I have a somewhat loud computer fan half a meter away from the mic, and you will hear it in the background.

As far as voice range goes, it manages to capture low notes pretty decently, again I have to restate, for the price, it is what you get. If you are not doing a radio show or a podcast, then this is great for voice chatting, gaming, voice recognition, etc.

A good tip would be to adjust the mic to be above the mouth by a few degrees and also turn its inner face way from you. Doing so allows for a better sampling of your voice as the recording will not be crippled by constant air noises from your breathing.

On the technical side, you might want to note that the microphone also has an outer side, so not only it captures your voice, but the ambient noise. The cord is pretty long, just enough to be comfortable, but not long enough for you to roam freely (I have it plugged in the front of my computer).

Final note: Good headset for the price, good for people on a budget.

Recommendation: If you want better quality, pay more, but if you just want to voice chat on Skype, this is great and cheap. Always test audio products before you buy them.

Customer questions & answers

Q: what is a CS100 end plug in the computer .?

A: “CS100” is just the Model Number of the Headphones. It is a standard USB plug that plugs into the USB port of your computer.

Q: How does it connect to the computer? USB or otherwise?

A: There are two different models, the CS100 uses two mini-jacks that plugs into your laptop- one for microphone and one for speakers. I believe they also offer the CS100-USB which would connect via USB

Q: Are these compatible with a switch?

A: Haven’t tried it, but should do fine…

Q: Are these compatible with XP and Windows 7? I have two different systems and need headsets that are compatible with both. Do these have a USB connector?

A: Yes, on compatibility. No, on USB connector. We still have many in the family and they all work under kid conditons.

Q: is is a cordless earphone? i have an olympus MP3 playes which i need a cordless earphone. the mp3 player dors not have Bluetooth. will this be the rig

A: No it has a USB connection

Q: Can I use if I’m doing telecommunication.?

A: I use it all the time for all of my headset applications. It works perfectly.

The Koss CS100 brings transformative electrostatic sound to the masses. While not a perfect headphone, the clean, detailed audio makes them an incredible value. For critical listening on a budget, the CS100 opens the door to the world of electrostats.

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