The Koss PortaPro headphones look like a throwback to the 1980s because they are -- they've been on the market, essentially unchanged, for 30 years. Reviewers say these inexpensive headphones deliver the best sound you can get for $50 or less. They're also lightweight and generally comfortable, aside from the awkward headband that tends to snag on hair. Moreover, they're backed by a virtually unique lifetime warranty.
Best sound under $50. Both professional reviewers and users agree that the sound of the Koss PortaPro is far better than you'd expect from $35 headphones. CNET's Justin Yu, who tested them with a variety of musical genres, says the headphones "simply blew us away with their range and ability to maintain quality at a high volume." Reviewers admit these inexpensive Koss headphones can't match the performance of higher-end headphones, but they say the sound is the best you're likely to find in a portable model. One caveat mentioned by Yu is that these light on-ears headphones "definitely won't block out the majority of ambient noise."ProsGreat sound for the price, Lightweight and comfortable, Lifetime warrantyCons1980s styling, Sound leakage, Awkward headband