Koss ESP950

Discussion in 'Headphones' started by OJneg, Sep 30, 2015.

  1. shipsupt

    shipsupt Head flea in the market - Admin

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    I've not listened to the HE-500 to really comment... paging @MuppetFace
     
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  2. numbercube

    numbercube Acquaintance

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    Short comparison between my Stax Lambda Signature and a Koss 950 I recently got:
    • 950's bass has some weight
    • 950's stage is wider, lambda's stage is taller
    • 950 is a bit more detailed
    • the treble is nicer and smoother on the lambdas.
    Both headphones are fed from a SRM-1 Mk2, both headphones are EQ'd. I reduce the 1 kHz bump a little und filter out 2 or 3 resonances in the highs with EasyQ (<3dB).
    Anyone else hearing a bit of roughness with the ESP950?
     
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  3. cskippy

    cskippy Friend

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    Just ordered the ESP950 form Amazon as it was $647. I'll be posting measurements and I'll probably pick up some of those pads and post impressions and measurements of those as well.
     
  4. AllanMarcus

    AllanMarcus Friend

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    You mean the vesper pads?
     
  5. cskippy

    cskippy Friend

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    Yes sir.
     
  6. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    I think the ESP950 has potential... better pads and potentially transplanting into a new frame that actually lets it rotate properly to sit on the head would do wonders.
     
  7. cskippy

    cskippy Friend

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    Wow, these sound great! Balance is excellent. Good mids like HD650 but with more laid back treble. Bass is there but doesn't reach super low, pretty much as I expected. Slight congestion sound, probably a 1kHz bump like most Stats. Vesper pads might make these outstanding. More impressions and measurements to come.
     
  8. Daveheart

    Daveheart Friend

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    Try to play around with the fit/seal. When properly seated, I find the bass extension gets much better, but they slide around easily.
     
  9. cskippy

    cskippy Friend

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    Oh, bass is definitely not bad at all. I'm just comparing it to modded HE-6, which is at another level.
     
  10. Mach3

    Mach3 Rando

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    You need much thicker ear pads to get better soundstage and bass. At least 3x the thickness of the stock pads.
     
  11. cskippy

    cskippy Friend

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    Ordered the Vesper pads through @Out Of Your Head. If you're planning on buying the Vesper pads you might consider supporting Darin, a SBAF friend and generally awesome guy.
     
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  12. shipsupt

    shipsupt Head flea in the market - Admin

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    Out Of Your Head and cskippy like this.
  13. cskippy

    cskippy Friend

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    So long story short, I am no longer getting the ESP 950.

    I had returned my first pair bought for $649 when the price decreased to $549. In my eagerness to secure a pair, I didn't double check that the seller was Amazon. Instead it was a third party seller, which shouldn't be an issue but I always make a point of buying direct from Amazon. When I received them the box had wear and some of the corners were bent or misshaped. I open it up and everything was like the first pair except there was one thing missing....the fucking headband. This was sold as a new item. When I saw the box I thought, Hmmmm...maybe it's an open box item. No worries, as long as everything works and all parts are there. Well so much for that. I laid everything out and took pictures to cover my bases as this was the second time returning this product and I don't want to get banned from Amazon as I use them very frequently

    I had just received the Vesper pads and was eager to hear them but I had a sour taste in my mouth after this whole experience. I decided to measure this pair and try the Vesper pads to show the changes. I only tried the Vesper pads on the right side, as they're verry hard to get on right. Bass extension will be off as I was holding each driver against the coupler instead of the headband.

    Driver matching between ESP950 units seems quite good, might be excellent if there was a headband on the second unit for appropriate pressure and seal. Vesper pads do make a very good difference lowering the 1.5kHz bump and bringing up the lower treble. I think they might improve bass extension but when I listened to the right side with Vesper pads compared to the left with stock pads the stock pads seemed to have better bass impact due to conduction against your head where the Vesper pads acted as a damping device since they placed your ear further from the driver.

    Measurements:

    Koss ESP 950 Unit 1 stock pads
    [​IMG]

    Koss ESP 950 Unit 2 stock pads (no headband, held by hand so bass measurements might be slightly off)
    [​IMG]

    CSD
    [​IMG]

    impulse response
    [​IMG]

    Koss ESP 950 Unit 2 Vesper pads (no headband, held by hand so bass measurements might be slightly off)
    [​IMG]

    CSD
    [​IMG]

    impulse response
    [​IMG]

    I'm not posting distortion measurements as they had excellent distortion but I wasn't able to take my measurements in a quiet environment so the distortion is artificially higher.

    I won't give detailed sound impressions as my time with the ESP 950 was too brief. I will say that they are a natural sounding headphone that doesn't have the typical harshness or brightness of most headphones. A lot like the HD650 in this regard. They had decent impact but not quite like the best planars or dynamics. Imaging was good, sound stage had good width but lacked depth, a lot like planars in this regard.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2017
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  14. M3NTAL

    M3NTAL Friend

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    Are they going to send you another pair or a headband?
     
  15. cskippy

    cskippy Friend

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    No, I'm just going to return them. HE-6 still get 99% headtime so I would just have another pair of headphones laying around.
     
  16. Mr.Sneis

    Mr.Sneis Friend

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    Koss customer service is awesome, I bet they would sell you a headband or maybe with your receipt just send you one? The deal you got is pretty darned good, especially if no tax and free ship.
     
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  17. cskippy

    cskippy Friend

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    I know...that's why I haven't started the return...you want them?
     
  18. Mr.Sneis

    Mr.Sneis Friend

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    Lol, gotta see how dac-gate pans out, but could let you know. Not too hopeful though :(
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2017
  19. M3NTAL

    M3NTAL Friend

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    I'll buy the vesper pads off of you if that makes anything easier?
     
  20. cskippy

    cskippy Friend

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    Sure, if MrSneis doesn't want them before I return them, I'll let you buy the Vesper pads.
     

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