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Koss KPH30 Headphones: Vintage Sound for Modern Audiophiles

The Koss KPH30i on-ear headphones provide lightweight, adjustable portability with incredibly spacious sound for on the go use.

Key Features

  • High-Resolution dynamic audio drivers deliver spacious sound & deep bass
  • All-new rugged cord and plug with In-line microphone & remote and spring reinforced strain relief
  • The all-new patented suspension is designed for personalized comfort & extended use
  • Lightweight & portable with adjustable headband, Perfect for any situation
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty

Sound Quality

The open-back design gives the KPH30 a very spacious, speaker-like listening experience. The 60 ohm dynamic drivers produce clear highs, warm mids, and punchy bass that avoids muddiness.

From lush orchestral pieces to intimate vocals, the KPH30 renders audio with precision to pick up subtle textures and details. The excellent transparency allows you to pinpoint instrument placement and localization.

The open back does result in sound leakage, so these headphones are best suited for focused listening in quiet environments. The KPH30 rewards listeners with an immersive sonic landscape.


Beyond sound, the KPH30 nails the retro aesthetics. The simple, lightweight build features round metal earcups swiveling on a headband with no slider mechanism. The minimalist charm evokes 1980s style.

The foam ear pads provide decent comfort but can cause fatigue over very long listening sessions. While the vintage appeal has its charm, the build quality does feel a bit flimsy by today’s standards.

Customer review

So I’m a hi-end headphone user. Over the years, I’ve spent thousands of dollars on hi-end headphones, so I have a good idea what is good and what is just mediocre. There are a lot of headphones that cost two grand that don’t sound as good as something you can buy for five hundred dollars. That’s just how the audiophile world works.

So having what I consider to be one of the best headphones in the five hundred dollar price range, I borrowed my neighbor’s Koss KPH 30 headphones for making phone calls, it having an inline mic and all. I decided to put on my music playlist between calls and I was stunned. That’s not hyperbole. I was truly taken aback by the sound. The clarity and sparkle of this headphone is astounding. the base response was what mostly caught my attention. Of course, for full disclosure, I was running the Koss headset through my DAC, so consider that.

I no longer take my half a grand headphones with me when driving, simply to reduce the chance of them becoming damaged. My Koss headset goes everywhere with me. Now I am not saying they are as good as my expensive set, but it is so freaking close to it. And for thirty bucks? If you are gonna go cheap, this is the headphone for you.

On the downside

These are open back design so on a bus or in public, you need to watch your volume. Not everyone may appreciate your music tastes. The build quality of these Koss headphones is what you would expect for thirty bucks. The cable is not replaceable so if you damage it, you have to replace the whole unit, and it is prone to breakage if you are not careful. They are also made of nothing but plastic, so the headband is prone to breaking if you are not careful with them. You cannot just throw these in a backpack and expect them to stand up to that treatment, but other than that, these headphones are astounding for the price. I’ve owned two hundred dollar headphones that do not sound even close to as good as these Koss.

Customer questions & answers

Q: Wanting to buy 2 of these headphones for grandsons/ play guitars & drums. Should work to plug them into the amplifier to practise quietly, right ?

A: Not really. Usually need a 1/4″ plug to go into an amp. You would need an adapter. I would buy an over the ear headphone which cut out outside noise. Sennheiser has low cost over the ears for under $50, like the HD-201. Hope this helps. The Koss won’t hold up to abuse.

Q: Will these work with PS4 plugged into the controller with the mic?

A: Yep, works great for a simple mic. The headphones are light and comfortable too with enough detail and the controller easily drives them. They’re great for gaming, especially more cinematic games with lots of music or explosions.

Q: can they be used with a cell phone?

A: Yes, and it works great. I have read that some people have problems using these with “i” devices, but they work great with my Android (LG G6). If you get a call just push the button to answer and again to hang up. For music you can use this to pause (single tap) or go to next track (2 clicks). I get no complaints from callers regarding the quality of the microphone. Depending on your device holding the button should launch siri or the android assistant. For me this launchs the android assistant.

Q: Can I use to make phone calls on my android phone?

A: Should be able to. It has a mic….

Q: Does the inline volume control only work with specific devices or operating systems?

A: As far as I know it works with all operating systems

Q: does it have in line volume control?

A: There is no inline volume controls. There is a single button. One tap to pause/restart, two taps to skip ahead, 3 taps to jump back. A long hold of the button will launch Android Assistant or Siri, though many iPhone users have reported issues with phantom clicks that mess things up. I have an Android and these work great.

With the Koss KPH30, purists get the vintage experience of an old-school open-back headphone with modern audio refinements. The sound quality punches well above its affordable price point. For those seeking natural, detailed audio in a retro package, the KPH30 is a must-try.


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