This is a review of Koss “The Plug” in-ear headphones, which are a set of high fidelity earphones with exceptional sound isolation, and some owners do say that they are the best combination of noise isolation and high fidelity audio that you can find in earbuds for under 50 dollars. They have been on the market for more than ten years now, so the public has had plenty of time to evaluate them.
Koss “The Plug” may be the best cheap earphones for their price, but they do have some problems and drawbacks. Prices change continually, but on Amazon at the time of this review they only cost just a little over $9 (plus shipping and handling). Amazon in ear headphone reviews give them an average rating of about 3.8 stars out of 5. Since they can be bought for under (not including tax), they aren’t much of a risk. Even if the buyer is disappointed with them, he hasn’t lost much. They come with a Koss limited lifetime warranty, but since return shipping and handling costs about $9, cashing in on the guarantee seems almost not worth it. You almost might as well just buy a new set.
What Are The Most Important Koss Ear Plug Headphones Specifications?
The Koss Plug earbuds have certain features which make them different from any other set of earphones, and the most important of these include the following:
- 10 Hz – 20,000 Hz frequency range
- Under 0.3% sound distortion
- Sensitivity of 112 dB (SBL / 1 mW)
- Exceptionally deep, emphasized bass
- High sound isolation
- 16 ohms low impedance
- 1/4 ounce total weight
- 1/8 in. connecting jack
- 1/4 in. jack adapter
- 4 ft. connection cable
- Limited lifetime Koss warranty
Is Koss “The Plug” Comfortable To Wear?
Opinions are very different about the comfort value of these earphones. Some say that they can hardly stand to wear them at all. Other in ear headphone reviews say that they can wear the Koss Plug for hours with no problem, and even forget that they are wearing the ear buds. It probably depends on the size and shape of a person’s inner ear. Someone with a small ear size is more likely to find them uncomfortable.
What Do The Koss Ear Headphones Sound Like?
Most people who buy the Koss in ear headphones are satisfied with the sound, even if they dislike the earbuds for other reasons. These earphones tend to emphasize the bass and bring out the lowest tones.
On Amazon, the Koss Plug Headphone page, the frequency range is rated at 16 hertz to 23,000 hertz. That is a misprint. The actual official frequency response range is rated from 10 hertz to 20,000 hertz. The very best human ears can only hear tones as low as about 8 hertz, so the Koss Plug may be the best in ear headphones with bass that you will at this price and for this size.
For people who like a powerful base, that sounds great. The problem is that the stronger bass tones tend to overpower the treble and high pitches. So if you adjust the volume for the bass tones, the higher sounds may seem weak. Someone who likes a more balanced range throughout the tones may have a problem with the overpowering bass.
Like all the other headphones in the Koss stereophone series, the Plug uses rayer-earth neodymium iron magnets together with oxygen free copper voice coils. Together they give the Plug ear buds a 112 dB (SPL/mW) sensitivity over the rated range of 10 – 20,000 Hz. The rigid dynamic element, located outside the earpiece, reduces sound distortion to below 0.3%. A soft plastic tube runs from the dynamic element and through the foam sound isolating ear cushions to channel the tones deep into the inner ear, like the sound that you would expect from the best high end headphones.
Do They Make A Good Set Of iPod In Ear Headphones?
The low impedance of just 16 ohms makes the Koss plug a good match for portable players like the iPod and most MP3 players. The Koss KTC headset, a big sister of the Koss plug, has a microphone and remote specially designed for all Apple products like the iPad, iPod, and iPhone (the KTC remote doesn’t work well with other products like Smartphone and Android). The Plug earbuds work with all of these, but, of course, have no mic and remote.
Are These Good Noise Isolating Earbuds?
Near perfect sound isolation is one of the strongest features of the Koss ear headphones. In normal situations, when properly inserted, there is virtually no perceivable sound penetration into these earphones. So even if you turn up the volume, your sounds are not likely to bleed out to annoy those around you. And, unless a bomb goes off nearby, outside sounds are not likely to disturb your sounds.
The high level of noise isolation is accomplished with the memory foam isolation sleeves. To correctly insert the ear bud headphone, the listener rolls and squeezes the foam cushions between his fingers and then inserts the tips into his ears quickly so that they can expand inside the ear canal for a personal, customized fit.
The foam ear sleeves work well when they are new, but they lose their flexibility over time. After prolonged use, the ear cushions don’t hold their form long enough to insert into the ears, or they may fit loosely and tend to fall out, so they must be replaced. The Koss Plug comes with an extra set of foam sleeves, and when these wear out, more Koss portable replacement cushions can be bought separately.
Do The Plug Earbuds Make Good Sport Earphones For Running?
Some do use the Koss Plug earbuds as workout earphones. For the most part they seem to stay in place rather well during vigorous exercise movement. However, the foam ear sleeves do tend to get quite soaked with sweat, so it may be a good idea to have an extra set of ear cushions handy.
If you want to use the Plug earbuds as earphones for running, there is something else that you should consider. As mentioned earlier, the Koss earbuds have near perfect sound isolation. In most situations that is a good thing. However, when you are using earphones for running outside or near traffic, some sound penetration can help keep you safe by keeping you aware of any danger around you. If you use noise isolation earphones as workout earbuds you must be extra careful for your own safety.
Are The Koss Ear Plugs Good Portable Ear Headphones For Travel?
There are several features that make the Plug some of the best in ear travel headphones. The first is their size. The Plugs are some of the smallest earbuds sold. They are small enough to easily fit into a pocket, purse, briefcase, or just about anywhere. Second is their weight. Together they only weigh 1/4 ounce, and this, of course, helps make a more comfortable trip. Third, the outstanding noise isolation feature makes travel more pleasant, especially for flying, because it blocks out the noise of engines and crying babies. The traveller may feel as though he is the only passenger on the plane.
What Do The Plug In Ear Headphone Reviews Say?
Plug earbud headphone reviews are all over the map. Ratings on Amazon give it an average score of about 3.9 stars out of 5. That’s good, but not overwhelmingly good. The issues that reviewers speak about most are the bass, the sound isolation, the comfort, and the durability.
Most people who like lots of bass will praise the plug for it’s extra strong low tones, but some disagree. Some say that, to them, the bass tones sound kind of “muddy,” and some others say that there is so much bass emphasis that it tends to overpower the other tones. Of corse, those who prefer a more balanced sound throughout the range do not appreciate such a heavy bass emphasis.
Very few reviewers are disappointed with the sound isolating properties. However, some of them are disappointed because the foam ear sleeves do eventually loose their consistency, and when they do they become hard to properly insert into the inner ear canal for good noise isolation. Eventually the foam ear cushion sleeves need to be replaced.
The biggest durability issue among reviewers (besides the replacement ear cushions) would probably be the connecting cable. Some complain that it seems kind of thin and fragile and, they are afraid that it might break. Some wish that it would come with a carrying case of some kind.