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Koss QZ-Pro

Noise Canceling Headphones

At $59.99, the QZ-Pros are definitely the lowest-priced model in our comparison. But don’t be fooled as Koss makes plenty of quality headphones, such as the Porta Pro. That’s why we were excited to test the QZ-Pro headphones to see if they could offer the same quality at a lower price.

Right away when you remove them from their packaging, you’ll instantly be disappointed by the assembly and the materials used. We’re very far from the standards of the market here. The quality of the plastics used are poor, including the very thin coating that surrounds the foam. Surely it will wear through very quickly when it rubs against three days of stubble, which can’t be good for the life of these headphones.

Not the best

Comfort isn’t a selling point with the Koss QZ-Pros either, which like the Creative earbuds, are very tight on the head. They become very uncomfortable after the better part of an hour. The disappointment continues, unfortunately, with the noise-canceling system, which absolutely doesn’t live up to our expectations and fares poorly compared to the other headphones in this review. Activate the system and you’ll definitely hear static.

Lastly, the sound quality is similarly far below the standards set by the competition –- and equally far below that of the Koss headphones we’re used to. The rendering of high notes just can’t compete. The whole ensemble is built to focus on the mid-range notes and the basses. In that way, they are reminiscent of the Porta Pro headphones from the same manufacturer, though their sound quality is a lot worse. It’s really a shame for Koss, which isn’t fooling anyone with this model.

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  • 0 Hide
    CJDavE , December 9, 2008 12:32 AM
    "As for sound rendering, the high notes are definitely lacking, as the headphones’ sound spectrum is more oriented toward the bass. The end result is that the sound quality isn’t as detailed as we’d expected from this U.S. manufacturer."

    How is this surprising? Bose has never been known for their performance in detailed reproduction.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , December 9, 2008 1:37 AM
    I don't understand why you pick probably the worst offering that
    Koss has in the catagory??? I have used their QZ-2000
    headset for years, and very much appreciate the lack of hiss and
    distortion often introduced by many active noise cancelling headsets.
    My wife's hearing is not so good, so the passive noise cancelling headset works very well for her as well as an option from Koss.
  • 0 Hide
    Luscious , December 9, 2008 1:56 AM
    How can you do a serious headphone review without providing any specifications? Any half-serious audiophile out there will first look at the specs on their audio equipment, and every reputable manufacturer will provide at minimum a frequency response graph with their device.
  • 0 Hide
    jeffunit , December 9, 2008 12:14 PM
    On page 1, you say noise canceling is relatively new. On page 2, you say the technology dates from 1933. Which is it?

    On page 2 you say 'the stereo rendering and the detailed level of sound. The former gives you the impression of listening to a breadth of notes instead of a limited range of sounds. The effect of the latter is breathtaking.'

    When you say stereo rendering, I think you mean frequency response, which is a well understood term that should be used instead. The stereo effect should be the same on all earbuds, as they all are placed in the ear, the same way. I am not sure what 'detailed level of sound' is but you also seem to use it as frequency response.
    Perhaps you mean low distortion, or low background noise? It is
    most unclear.

    On page 3, the beats headphones suddenly become earbuds.

    As others mentioned, you neglect all measurements.

    This is a junk puff piece, full of factual errors and minimal
    content. I am amazed at the decline of
  • 0 Hide
    mohnkhan , December 9, 2008 12:53 PM
    I expect Some real specs..
    Specs comparison in table.. side by side..
    ur ranking in each category side by side..
    points out of 10 or 100 for each category..
    Please use research methods of publication..

    Mohiuddin Khan Inamdar
  • 0 Hide
    d_kuhn , December 9, 2008 2:38 PM
    Also... where did the entrants come from? Seems like you're lacking a lot of Bose's competition; No Sennheiser, No Audio Technica?

    I side by side Auditioned Bose's offerings and ended up going with Audio Technica... equivelant performance at a better price.

    I'd probably have gone Sennheiser... but I didn't like the dangling battery pack.
  • 0 Hide
    ERName , December 9, 2008 3:17 PM
    This article is a joke. The writer obviously is an amateur audiophile... the lack of specs and serious terminology.

    Those are forgivable crimes (this isn't the hardware site), but it IS incredible that long-standing manufacturers are left out... in the context sensitive advertising next to the article on the right, there is a pair of Sennheiser earbuds are being shown in the first slot. Sennheiser is one of the most respected makers in the business. That advertising algorithm can select something from context that the author VERY obviously missed. It is a shame that the author didn't have enough experience or take the time to research more on the subject. This could have been a very helpful article.
  • 0 Hide
    bjornlo , December 10, 2008 8:42 AM
    How can you possibly have a comparitive article on noise cancelling heaed phones and leave out the segment leader, Sennheiser???

    I am also disappointed in the general lack of detail.

    Not a good article.
  • 0 Hide
    piratepast40 , December 11, 2008 1:14 AM
    I don't mean to be kicking a dead horse but I must agree with those who ask that some of the industry leaders like Sennheiser be considered. I think it's also important to perform actual testing under real world conditions to measure comfort and noise cancelling as well as sound reproduction. I prefer the Sennheiser because of the light weight and comfort while flying. Some complain of the battery and electronics in a separate package but I would rather have the extra weight in my shirt pocket than on my head for the long cross country flights.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , December 11, 2008 4:43 AM
    As for what goes for Sennheiser PXC-450, same might apply to other headphones in this class. PXC-450 picks up 3G mobile network interference, although it is shielded against 2G network.

    So, doing an review in a city would result in clear experience, but when you take your headphones to the road, they fail. Imagine how many cellphones there's in a train next to you. Sennheiser picked up interference from up to 10 meters away!

    So before buying, get a change to test the headphones with an older 2G mobile phone, or switch your phone to 2G network while testing.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , December 11, 2008 4:45 AM
    Sorry, ment that it picked up 2G interference, but worked well in 3G!
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , July 24, 2011 6:50 AM
    "So, do these headphones deliver on their promise of sound quality? Our answer is definitely yes. Beats by Dr. Dre earphones are quite simply a mini-marvel of sound balance."

    What other headphone have you heard before this? I doubt that anybody would call the beats high quality if they've heard a pair of similarly prized ultrasones or denons, even the sony xb500 would kick the beats arse easily

    There is no mention of build quality or sound, how big is the soundstage? what kind of signature does it have? How detailed is it? If one can not even include this in their review, they shouldn't be reviewing ANY headphones at all
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