I got my pair recently as an upgrade to the previous model by Koss(SB-40). This is a significant improvement for the microphone over the previous model, sound is roughly similar. I could not find a better headset for voice and sound. I tried blasting the headphones and recording via voice, it sounded as though there was no sound in the background. As for sound, sound quality is amazing for the price of the headset, their is almost a noise canceling effect on sound. Koss also has a lifetime warranty if anything happens to the set.
This is the headset I've been looking for. I work from home and frequently use VoIP clients such as Skype, Live Messenger, Tokbox, and ooVoo. I have bought and tried a ridiculous number of headsets over the last few years. I usually listen to music while I work, and all other headsets I have tried fall pitifully short in sound quality. So, I would end up using one headset for calls and then immediately switch to another pair of headphones for listening to music. I have a pair of Koss PortaPro headphones that sound great, so I decided to try the Koss SB-45. I am so glad I did. The headphones sound great, it's comfortable enough to wear all day, and the microphone picks up extremely well. I couldn't be happier.
I bought this for my boyfriend for his birthday... a few comments from him and me:
1) The noise canceling is fantastic. I can pretty much yell at him and he won't hear me. (This is also kinda hilarious when he's playing Left 4 Dead...I can tap him on the shoulder and he jumps about 3 feet)
2) The sound is excellent. I listened to it myself. A lot better than the $40 logitech pair I bought myself.
3) He's been wearing them about 2-4 hours a day since getting them...he complained the first day they felt a bit tight, but no comfort complaints since.
4) The mic sticks out pretty far from the face. He was worried about that at first, but everyone seems to hear him so no more concerns there.
5) They're huge. They don't look it in the picture but they're very large. Like the size of headphones you'd find at a gun range or for use on private aircraft. Not terribly heavy though, considering.
6) There isn't a volume adjust on the cord. This didn't occur to me, but it was pretty much the first thing he noticed out of the box.
All in all he seems happy...so I'm glad I chose these.
Update 3/11/2013 - they're still getting daily use by him for hours a day and still working as well as they did new. No durability issues to date, nor has he felt any need to replace/upgrade them.
Update: 11/19/2013 - they died this week. As with most complaints, it was the mic that went. Still, they have probably a few thousand hours of use on them and lasted over 2.5 years. For $30 I'm going to leave the 4 star rating alone and say that they were still money well spent, at least in our case.
I play many online games and use voice programs like Skype and Ventrillo. I also have my entire music collection digitized on my computer and often use my headphones to listen to my music using Windows Media Player. I had been using flimsy Logitech headsets for years and had gotten used to duct taping them together when the cheap plastic broke and putting up with the discomfort that came from wearing them for extended periods of time. I finally got fed up and tried Koss on a friend's recommendation and have been extremely happy with this headset. This headset has great audio and is extremely comfortable even after wearing them for periods greater than an hour. The are well constructed and extremely easy to use. I highly recommend these for gamers, audiophiles or simply someone who wants a good prodcut at a fair price.
I bought these for my wife to replace an older Yapster headset. She wanted it for playing games and for voice communication.
I had read the reviews on various inexpensive headsets, and these definitely seemed to be the best bang for the buck. When they arrived, they were a little tight, but the sound quality was pretty good and she seemed to like them. So we were satisfied, at least for the time being. A month or so after we got them, however, a screw in the right earpiece came undone, loosening the entire thing. I screwed it back in, and we went on about our day. Unfortunately, the screw continued to loosen itself, but we would screw it back in at each interval.
Tonight, my wife came in with the headset in two pieces. The screw had popped completely out while it was on her head and it had come apart right then and there. Unfortunately, it is now well out of Amazon's 30-day return window, and Koss charges enough for warranty repairs to make it not worth our while to return a $25 headset - especially if we would get a similarly shoddy piece of workmanship back.
I rarely, if ever, rate anything a single star. But this time, I feel the single star is warranted, as the headset lasted less than three months. At that price, they're more expensive than my Logitech G930 Wireless Headset (which cost $100 but are over a year old and going strong). Overall, I'm disappointed more than angry, and determined not to give Koss any further business.
The Koss SB-45 Communication Stereophones are sold for a very modest price. The lightweight comfort matched by its "sturdy-enough-build" make these stereophones surprisingly delightful. Not to mention the sound is beyond clear for the price range, and the bass mysteriously clever.
It pains me to have to give these Koss SB-45 Stereophones 1 star because I absolutely loved them at first. Had I written this review right after buying, it would have been a 5 star review.
When I first received them and immediately began using them for Skype, recording memos (etc) - they were extremely comfortable to wear, there were zero complications with set-up for use, sound quality was fine and they even had a nice lower end (bass) register for listening to music, giving that "full sound." I also thought to myself, "Wow, the price was very reasonable for this level of quality" since I anticipated much less to be honest. All was fine until about just after a month, maybe 40 days, if that. I have absolutely no clue what happened but first, every now and again while using an application such as Skype or listening to music, either the left or right side sound would go out and then come back on. I checked the wires and all seemed fine there. I thought perhaps it was just a fluke/glitch because that did stop happening after about a week. Unfortunately, then the mic began to quit working. It would either produce no sound input at all or the person I was speaking with would report that my voice was extremely distorted in a horrible way, impossible to understand what I was saying. I recorded a quick test and wow, it was definitely distorted horribly! That's when the mic quit working permanently about 2 days after that. I thought, well, I suppose I can still use them to listen to music every now and again. Lo and behold, a week later, both sides of these headphones quit working entirely as well! I checked settings on the computer and it was all correctly entered - plus it was working and suddenly quit so I knew it wasn't the computer. Also, these headphones had a stand so they were "babied" in a sense. They never got knocked around or anything that would cause total failure.
So, literally, within just a few days past 1 month, these were nothing more than a dust collector and money down the drain! I see that *many* other reviewers have had this identical issue so it seems to me that there are a ton of defective ones being manufactured and it's a 50/50 chance of which type you'll get - good or defective. I couldn't be more disappointed and I unfortunately could never recommend these to anyone because you can't guarantee what you're going to get. I sincerely hope this review helps you. Please feel free to ask any questions in the comments section... I'd be glad to help if I can.
I really like this headset. I had to buy it for work to make videos. The sound quality is excellent! The design of it is such that you don't hear any outside noise, and then when you record your voice, it comes out really well. It was easy to configure it for use with Camtasia, my company's video tool. In fact, when I had to do a comparison between the Koss headset and a much more expensive microphone, the Koss headset was much, much better! I highly recommend it.
I got these a month and a half ago, and am generally happy with the sound of the speakers and microphone. I'm by no means an audiophile, so can't say more than "it sounds alright to me," but that I can and will say.
The cord is long, and the headset is relatively comfortable over a long period of time. I have a large head and wear glasses, and after a few hours I might want to take the set off for a bit, but no real discomfort.
As a minor quibble, the microphone and speaker connectors are not the standard pink and green, but rather black and brown. I switch the connectors between ports with relative frequency, and it is kind of irritating to have to take that extra half second to remember which is which rather than just plug the pink one into the pink port, the green into the green one. A very minor quibble though.
The problem is that, after less than two months, the connectors are starting to break down. The microphone only works in one of two microphone ports I use (and I've tested other mics in there which work fine), while the speaker connector will intermittently drop the right speaker mix. If I twist it in the port a bit then it comes back.
Koss's warranty is great, and I know they will replace or refund the headphones, but they also charge $9 plus shipping for that, which means it would almost be a wash on this relatively inexpensive set. I guess you get what you pay for, but if you are looking for a cheap headset with a long cord, I'd recommend the Logitech ClearChat Style/Stereo Headset H230. It has the same long cord, was more comfortable for me, and lasted a full year and half for me before the inline volume controls started to fritz. And it's cheaper.