This is our Koss Tech 2 headphones review, on a pair of vintage stereo earphones that we loved, at least until the cords and ear pads grew brittle and uncomfortable. We listened to music with the Koss Tech 2 Headphones for twelve years throughout the late seventies, eighties, and early nineties. They played well on several CD players, mixing boards, receivers, and cassette tape decks.
This vintage headphone was our first pair of real stereo earphones, and since they represented such a big step up from any headphones we’d ever heard before 1979, we considered them exceptional audio listening devices, and thus, still worth discussing even though it’s been over a quarter century since we enjoyed our music with them routinely.
Koss Tech 2 Headphones Review Summary
We bought the Tech 2s in 1979, second hand, for $30. They held up very well, until the back plates on each speaker came unglued, and fell off. Fixing them was indeed an option, as we’d glued these covers back in place a couple times.
But by 1991, we got a hankering for a brand new, better pair of headphones. So, we said goodbye to the Tech 2’s, and hello to the Sony MDR-V500 studio monitor cans. Though we’d outgrown the Tech 2’s, we were very satisfied that the thirty dollars spent over a decade earlier for the Koss’s was quite well spent.
In retrospect, these Koss Tech 2 stereo headphones were strong on the mid range frequencies, a bit weaker on the high-end response, and had noticeably lacking bass. Use of an equalizer with them, to flatten out their sound make it more full, worked pretty well.
Their fairly good sound compensated for their rather hard ear cushions. I’ve owned many headphones from Sony, Koss, Grado, and Apple over the past three plus decades, and the Tech 2 units rank about mid way up in terms of over all performance in my view. While when I owned them, I thought them my all-time favorite stereo headphones, I’ve since discovered numerous models from the other manufactures listed above that beat them out by far.
But if you enjoy listening to vintage headphones with lots of mid range, large speakers, and high power-handling capability, then we’d highly suggest the Koss Tech 2 headphones if you can find them. They no longer appear on eBay very often for sale. Nonetheless, you get an enduring, hard-wearing pair of quality audio head-gear, that works reasonably well in the studio, in transit, and just about any casual listening environment you’d want to establish.
Benefits, Advantages, and Features of the Koss Tech 2 Headphones
Decent Sound Isolation
They reduced extraneous noise adequately for moderately noisy environments, which is a useful feature of their closed-air design. A metal back plate covered the rear of the driver speaker in each earpiece, and this kept sound both in and out fairly well. So, they were a good choice to listen to when other people were near and wished not to be subjected to Pink Floyd, The Wall album.
Not Too Bassy
Actually, the reduced bass output made these phones excellent for portable CD player listening, since these players in the eighties tended to be strong on the bass. We used the Koss Tech 2 headphones on lots of train trips, though they weren’t all that comfortable.
The Koss Tech 2 Headphones Have a Big, Adjustable Headband
They offered a wide range of headband adjustment and came equipped with a microphone mounting screw.
Nice, Woodsy Look to Them
They looked as good as they sounded; perhaps even better. They were a walnut dark brown color with a silver Tech 2 logo on the back plates of each ear speaker. This gave them a sleek, hi-tech appearance, that matched the finish on our Pioneer SX-1000TW stereo receiver.
They played loud enough, with the wide dynamic range over mostly the midrange part of the audio frequency band.
Good Dynamic Range
So they could play widely varying musical volume levels, such as those heard in classical music and in Pink Floyd’s, “The Wall” album.
Fairly Easy to Replace Cord on the Koss Tech 2 Headphones
While the you could not detach the connecting audio cable from these phones, cord replacement was pretty simple with a screwdriver, cutters, glue, and a soldering iron.
Low Driving Power Requirements for their Size
A portable CD player drives the Koss Tech 2 headphones well.
These headphones, perhaps owing to their rugged and quite heavy design, seemed quite withstanding of abuse. We often dropped them, after our Floyd listening sessions, without damage.
Well Balanced on Head
They featured a Y-configured audio cable, such that both left and right ear cups had a wire attached. This enhanced their overall balance on the head, though it increased susceptibility of their coiled cord below to tangling. Often the springy parts of the coiled cord would wrap themselves around its straight-run portions.
Given how little the Tech 2s cost, we found only a few features to gripe about.
Disadvantages, Cons, Problems, and Concerns for the Koss Tech 2 Headphones
Very Heavy on Ears
Compared to the many pairs of Sony earphones we use today, these Koss Tech 2 phones were quite heavy. Indeed, listening with them for more than a half-hour or so, would actually bend eyeglasses. They’d also leave impressions of the cans on the temples. So it was best to take off eyeglasses while listening.
No Headband Padding
The headband did not include any spongy padding. But this seemed not to decrease their already-low comfort. But we wore these Koss Tech 2 headphones so much, that even at twenty years of age, the constant pressing of the headband on the head began thinning the hair right where the band laid. We really loved stereo headphone listening in those days. Too much perhaps.
The Koss Tech 2 Headphones are Not Very Comfortable Over All
Over all, they lacked comfort. So we could only listen for an hour or so before the temples and outer ears would set to aching. The ear cushions were not soft, and would hurt the ears after listing to one play of a Pink Floyd album.
Non Gold TRS Stereo Jack
No gold connectors here, though no static or faulty connection problems ever occurred. The silver-colored male plug always made great contact with any audio source device we had.
Non Detachable Cord
Detachable cables would have been nice.
The ear cushions were liquid-filled for comfort, but nonetheless, not very comfy. “Liquid filled,” was really no bonus in the Tech 2s.
Too Much Mid-Range
As mentioned, these earphones heavily favored the mid-range frequencies. This harshness left us with ringing ears after prolonged listening to Floyd’s, “Mother Do You Think They’ll Drop The Bomb.”
The Koss Tech 2 Headphones Have Non Symmetrical Fit
You could only wear the Koss Tech 2 headphones one way for comfort. That is: The left earphone went on the left ear only. Then of course, that meant that the right earphone only fit well on the right ear. The cushions did not fit well over the ears if worn the other way. The left and right speakers therefore, were not the same shape. Fortunately, you can wear the newer headphones from Sony et al either way on the head.
So with these headphones, we had to make sure that turntable, tape deck, and other stereo device connectors were not reversed, as switching the headphones around and wearing the left speaker on the right ear and the right speaker on the left ear, was not workable.
More Over-Ear than In-Ear Design
Our ears did not fit inside the ear cushions at all. Thus, these phones seemed to incorporate an over-the-ear as opposed to an around-the-ear design, much like the Grado RS-1 headphones. This further decreased Tech/2 comfort, as the too-inflexible and flat ear cushions were not soft enough for this type of design to be comfortable for long.
Got Hot Quickly
Like sleeping on a hot pillow, wearing the Tech 2 headphones caused much head sweating.
Ear Cans Not Deep Enough
The ear pads were medium-sized in circumference, but quite shallow. Thus, the front of the driver speaker touched the ear.
Our Rating on the Koss Tech 2 Headphones
The Koss Tech 2 Headphones were fair purchase for the money back in the late seventies, as well as a good match to relatively unrefined, novice listening requirements. While today we would not describe them as great earphones, they were okay as a starter pair. We prefer lighter weight headsets, with softer and fuller sound.
But today, given decades-since experience with the more modern and much better-sounding headphones from Sony, Skullcandy, and Sennheiser especially, we would not buy the Tech 2’s again. We’ve grown beyond them, but would recommend them as a good first pair of quality headphones for any aspiring audiophile. We would thus rate them at 75 out of 100. Even cheaper headphones today have overcome many of the drawbacks of the Tech Twos. So you’d probably be better off, in terms of over all performance, to buy modern in this case, and not vintage.
Where to Buy The Koss Tech 2 Headphones
These appear only very occasionally on eBay. Generally, they’re quite hard to find.
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References for this Koss Tech 2 Headphones Review
- 2019-06-02: Tweaked the targeting for ‘Koss Tech 2 Headphones’ and added more tags and links.
- 2019-02-19: Added key phrase targeting and lots of subheadings, and fixed several typos.
- 2017-02-27: Revised the tags list. Changed post title to: Koss Tech 2 Vintage Stereo Headphones Review.
- 2015-11-14: Added appropriate tags.
- 2014-11-05: Added the References section and condensed the content throughout.
- 2012-08-23: Originally published this piece.