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Koss KPH40 Utility On-Ear Headphones Review

The Koss KPH40 are a pair of affordable, closed-back on-ear headphones geared towards audiophiles seeking accurate audio reproduction. Here is an overview of their key features, design, sound quality, and value.

Key Features

  • Open-Back, On-Ear Design, Retro Look
  • Ultra Lightweight, Stainless Steel Chassis
  • Audiophile Sound Performance
  • Soft, Foam Ear Cushions
  • 3.5mm Utility Cord Included

Customer review

These won my budget headphone shoot-out! I highly recommend you buy them. A very detailed review is below. I recommend yaxi pads for these, but its not really necessary. They are quite comfy on their own. I also modded it with a silicone comfort band from my KPH30i’s. These are now my favorite sounding and feeling headphones. Good job Koss!

I remember getting headphones like these as a kid in the early 2000s for listening to music on my portable CD player(which I still own). They’re very comfortable and you can move your head easily without them flying off your head. They don’t put a lot of pressure on your ears or top of your head, so good for wearing for long periods of time.

I can’t say much about the quality, as I just got them today, but don’t be rough with these. They’re quite flimsy.

How they sound. Admittedly I’m a little bit disappointed, these things are *legendary* for having a great frequency profile. They DO sound good, but I was just expecting less mids. I’ve seen people say these sound as good or better than their $100+ headphones, and either they’re suffering from hearing loss or they’re just lying. These sound good, but I don’t think I would rank them at the same level as, lets say, Audio Technica M40x/50x, or even the Grado SR80e(I own both). If you want to just save money, definitely go with KZ IEMs, they will sound better for half the price, albeit, they’re IEMs.

For $100, the best sounding pair of headphones you can buy are probably the HiFiMan HE400se, but are heavy and uncomfortable to wear for more than maybe 30 minutes at a time. So for me, the best thing about these are the comfort. I would argue, they should be a little bit cheaper. Maybe $30 would be a better price for what you get. And don’t bother with the usb c and lightning attachment cables. They’re overpriced, just get a random dongle for $5.

Design

The KPH40 have a no-frills, utilitarian design optimized for sound quality. The closed-ear cups provide isolation from ambient noise. The steel headband and swiveling ear cups allow a secure, customizable fit.

Sound Quality

With a neutral sound profile focused on accuracy, the KPH40 deliver clean mids and treble along with tight bass. The closed-back design improves passive isolation for immersive listening.

Customer questions & answers

Q: Where can you buy a balanced cable for the KPH40 utility headphones?

A: Correction to my previous post. 2.5mm TRRS socketpinout is as follows, not as described earlier, sorry for confusion. T: L+, R: R+, R: R-, S: L-. 

Q: What is the pinout for the cable?

A: 2.5mm TRRS socket as following. T: L+, R: R+, R: R-, S: L-.

Q: How many Ohms?

A: Stated on the box, they are 60 ohms

The Koss KPH40 provide impressive neutral sound in a rugged,closed-back design perfect for audiophiles seeking accuracy on a budget.

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