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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on August 16, 2005
I have been on a bit of a quest for decent and user-friendly noise cancelling cans for a few months. I use trains and subways to commute, and I think I did damage to my hearing years ago when I would drown out the subway noise with my headphones. I figure noise cancellation (or reduction) technology would help prevent further damage. I had the Sennheisser PCX-250 (list $150), which sounded reasonably good and had fairly effective noise cancellation, but was very cumbersome to use, with a lot of cords to get tangled with the remote cords on my CD player (iRiver SlimX 450). They were fairly comfortable. I then moved to the Aiwa branded Sony noise cancellation phones (list ~$60). These do not have a separate battery/circuitry compartment like the Sennheissers, but instead, like the Koss QZ-50, have these built into the headset. They are moderately comfortable but bulky. The noise cancellation is pretty effective, although it adds a significant amount of hiss (more than the Sennheissers). The sound overall is balanced, a little bass-heavy and ragged in the treble range, but overall quite listenable. Best of all, the Aiwa is very sensitive, so it is easy to drive, and saves CD player batteries (since you run the player at lower volume levels to achieve the same loudness). I tried the Koss QZ-50 because I hoped the behind-the-neck design would be more comfortable and less geeky looking. Also, I love the Porta-Pros, and was hoping the QZ-50 would sound like them. The QZ-50s sound just OK. Not very extended in the bass, no better than the Aiwas up top. They are fairly comfortable, although the earcups tended to slip down off my ears when I walked. Unfortunately, while the noise cancellation processing does not add any significant hiss, it also doesn't seem to reduce noise at all. Add to that the QZ-50s high impedance (which requires higher volume settings on the player), and the QZ-50 is not worth keeping. I'd try the more expensive Koss QZ based on the Porta-Pro, but it, too, uses a separate, wired compartment for batteries and circuitry. I do not recommend the QZ-50 as a solution for listening in noisy environments.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on April 18, 2004
I recently took a trip and wanted to see how much of the airplane's engine noise these headphones would cancel. I was fairly disappointed as the difference was noticable, but not very significant. While these are very light which was nice, I would have rather have had the extra weight and had these be over-the-ear headphones which would probably have helped block out some of the engine noise and made the noise-cancelling seem more effective. I ended up using the over-the-ear headphones I had brought along just in case.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon June 1, 2004
This was an impulse buy because they were being liquidated at a local store and so I got them for half the Amazon price. But after hearing them I have to say that the sound is amazing even if they were full retail. I also own the Bose noise canceling headset which sells for $300 and they are incredible at disposing background noise; much more so than these QZ50's. Noise canceling on these is really silly to expect. That being said, I really think the actual sound reproduction is similar, which is unbelievable since the Bose cost almost 10 times as much. I don't use the Bose headset unless I am sitting in one place since it has a very inconvenient two square inch box on the cord that holds the battery and the on/off switch which would just hang like an anchor if you were walking or moving around. The over-the-ear design of the Koss seemed like they would be uncomfortable, but after wearing them for an hour or more at a time, I almost forget that they are there. The sound reproduction is clear, smooth and consistent. I think they are incredible for the price and would highly recommend them. This is being added months later: I find that I rarely use the Koss now, mostly because of their size and the fact that I looked in the mirror and I look like a Star Trek Borg wearing them. Also, they do require a lot to push them, so the volume is at best modest.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on May 14, 2004
I am a research and development engineer for CTI / (computer and telephone) call center technologies.
I purchased the stereophones because of their low price and usefulness of noise cancel technology for use with cross-talk on an operations floor in an office environment.
The noise cancel seems to work well for the price. The bass response is absolutely the best I've heard for a pair of headphones under $100. Clarity is excellent.
If you can get over the EXTREME discomfort. The plastic bracket around the back provides pressure against my outer ear cartilage. Of the test subjects from the pool of 100 employees, have confirmed this issue.
Most of what I found is that the bass response is so impressive; it's worth putting up with the irritation. However, after long periods of time this pain can irritate.
The stereophones themselves are excellent, but the bracket that holds them to your head is very poor design. Also, does not make a complete airtight seal around your ear, which can also provide some outside noise interference.
I called KOSS and spoke with JESSICA from marketing 5-14-2004, 12:00 EST. Her response is that this design was not a mistake. She had no excuse and assured me this is the way it is. I could not get very many words from her in regards to answers. I was told these are a "STREET LEVEL" series product - and that the way it is. She did explain a new product from koss is currently in production to be released to the open market within the month.
I would like to see the same set of stereophones released with a different bracket that is away from my ears.
There is a weird sensation of what I can only explain as being underwater, or being inside of a custom-fitted car with super-loud bass amplified subwoofers w/ the windows up. The pressure of the sound created from the bass of the stereophones in my ears causes some type of unusual feeling inside the cavity of my ears. You may need to be aware of this sensation, especially if you intend your children to use the KOSS QZ50 STEREOPHONES.
I will be conducting a series of tests with a professional otologist, in an attempt to resolve my concern for health issues in the internal ear. I would not want to have someone close to me suffer from painful side-effects from long-term use of a product which has engineering issues.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on December 12, 2003
I researched ANR headphones and found this pair of headphones, the Koss QZ50. I bought the QZ50 because of the wraparound the head style. (my favorite, not to mention cool looking) I was skeptical of its ANR abilities because it's low low price compared to some other Bose ANR headphones ($250++) and I am _impressed_ with the sound quality and the ANR abilities. I could not hear jets flying over the Potomac River to land at National Airport from my house when I turned the ANR on. (no music playing) A GOOD BUY!!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on April 25, 2004
I was very disappointed with the Koss QZ50. They do not fit on the head very well, and the noise cancellation is very slight. The sound quality is good, but not exceptional. I would suggest looking for another option.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 19, 2006
When I recieved my order I was so excited but when I opened it, i was so disappointed!! The eairpieces of it are over 1 and a half inches thick, I looked like a robot wearing them! When I put the battery into them, they weren't lightweight, they kept falling off my ears when I walked! Plus, get this, they didn't even work, when i tried to turn on the noise canceling function, the red light didn't even turn on!! These would be great if you're looking for a geeky looking pair of stereophones! Good luck, if you them!
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