Home Koss Mini-Series The Koss KPH30i Will Change YOUR Life!!

The Koss KPH30i Will Change YOUR Life!!

by Stuart Charles Black
Koss KPH30i Review

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This is Part II of the Koss Mini-Series and Also Budget King #1!!

 

Updates:

  • 2/25/21. Article posted.
  • 5/20/21. Made KPH30i the #1 Budget King.

Is the Koss KPH30i a perfect headphone? What about it stands out? Who is it for?

All of these answers and more, comin’ up in this Koss KPH30i Review!

Greetings bass head, and Welcome aboard… Stuart Charles here, HomeStudioBasics.com helping YOU make sound decisions leading to a beautiful audio experience that will make you fall in love with music, all over again, so…

This is part of the Budget Kings Series, which takes a look at some of the best options for under $100.

Is the KPH30i a perfect headphone?

At A Glance

Preview
Koss KPH30iK On-Ear Headphones, in-Line Microphone and Touch Remote Control, D-Profile Design, Wired with 3.5mm Plug, Dark Grey and Black
Title
Koss KPH30iK On-Ear Headphones, in-Line Microphone and Touch Remote Control, D-Profile Design, Wired with 3.5mm Plug, Dark Grey and Black
Color
Grey/Black, White/Blue, or Beige
Weight
2.5 Oz. (75g)
Fit
Supra-Aural (On-Ear)
Type
Semi-Open Back, Dynamic
Materials
Plastic, Foam
Connector
Non-Detachable, 3.5mm
Headband Style
Traditional
Impedance
60 Ohm
Sensitivity
101 dB/mW
Frequency Response
15Hz - 25kHz
Primary Use
Everything
Cable Length
4 foot
Cable Detachable?
Folding?
Amplification Required?
Prime
Price
$29.99
Preview
Koss KPH30iK On-Ear Headphones, in-Line Microphone and Touch Remote Control, D-Profile Design, Wired with 3.5mm Plug, Dark Grey and Black
Title
Koss KPH30iK On-Ear Headphones, in-Line Microphone and Touch Remote Control, D-Profile Design, Wired with 3.5mm Plug, Dark Grey and Black
Color
Grey/Black, White/Blue, or Beige
Weight
2.5 Oz. (75g)
Fit
Supra-Aural (On-Ear)
Type
Semi-Open Back, Dynamic
Materials
Plastic, Foam
Connector
Non-Detachable, 3.5mm
Headband Style
Traditional
Impedance
60 Ohm
Sensitivity
101 dB/mW
Frequency Response
15Hz - 25kHz
Primary Use
Everything
Cable Length
4 foot
Cable Detachable?
Folding?
Amplification Required?
Prime
Price
$29.99
Koss KPH30i

As seen here with the FiiO BTR3K.

In The Box

Koss KPH30i headphones

Limited Lifetime Warranty Card

Koss KPH30i Review

Specs/Graph

Shoutout to Samma3a for the graph!

  • Price: Check Amazon!
  • Type: Semi-Open back, Dynamic
  • Fit: Supra-Aural (On-Ear)
  • Frequency response: 15Hz – 25kHz.
  • Impedance: 60 Ohms. What is Headphone Impedance?
  • Sensitivity: 101dB/mW.
  • Material: Plastic, Foam.
  • Color: Beige, White/Blue, Grey/Black.
  • Cable: Non-Detachable 3.5mm.
  • Weight: 12.5 Oz. (75g)

Check out what he had to say, a sentiment I happen to agree with:

Looking at this average, I’d say that it’s at least pretty close to how I perceive the sound signature to be. I’m not sure if that large dip at just beyond 4kHz is due to the measuring rig or perhaps some resonance from within the earcups, but I can’t say that this is something which I could pick up on when listening to them. As we can see, the signature is surprisingly well-balanced and it’s only really in the upper treble frequencies that I think the KPH30i would have benefited from a bit more energy.Samma3a

I also do not perceive that dip. Seems a bit strange and not indicative of how the headphones actually sound. Outside of that, the graph is very good.

Let’s get into the review.

Soundwise, yes; they are perfect. What makes this even more astounding is when you consider the fact that I heard these after hearing 100+ other headphones. That’s right, you heard me correctly.

The semi-open-backed KPH30i for $20-30 sounds better than the majority of them, and that’s not an exaggeration. Call me crazy, but I’d consider this a budget Utopia. The keyword being budget. Read: Focal Utopia Review: Best In The World?

It is really flimsy and feels rather cheap, but guess what, it is cheap. This is to be expected, but it’s still incredibly economical and efficient; a no-frills, utilitarian, somewhat retro design. We’re listening to music, not making a fashion statement, yeah mate?

Comfort is pretty average. It sits pretty well at first, but the On-Ear design will start to dig into your ears after a while. Get some Yaxi Pads or something. Whatever. I paid $20 for it. The people who complain about these headphones are probably the same ones complaining about getting only a slightly above-average Blow J.

WAHH it’s not good enough! I paid $20 whole dollars which is my life savings!

I EXPECT BETTER wahh!

GET A GRIP!!

The good news is that it doesn’t dig into the top of your head much, and the thin piece of rubber is to thank for that. A strange design surely, but very effective.

What about it stands out?

Putting one on your head is a revelation of sorts. There’s nothing about it that sounds out of place, over-emphasized, weird, or wrong. This is what makes it stand out. It’s simply a perfect-sounding headphone. I can’t really point out a single flaw with it. This is outrageous considering its price. All of the hype surrounding the 30i is completely and absolutely warranted without question.

It’s the one thing that most audiophiles agree on unless you’re this goofball:

“The 30i sounds cloudy!”

Actually, I thought it was mostly sunny with a chance of awesome!

It’s one of those things that can only be appreciated in retrospect. After hearing a lot of good headphones, some mediocre, some amazing, and some terrible, the 30i is most certainly a breath of fresh air.

The mid-bass thumps without sounding bloated like a 40x, the treble is detailed and crisp without sounding neither too veiled nor too bright, and the mid-range is just sublime. Vocals and instruments stand out, but in a way that isn’t too shouty or in your face. If there was ever a “perfect” sound signature, I think the 30i would be as close as it gets. For an On-Ear headphone, the Soundstage here is quite good. What is Soundstage? [Detailed Explanation] It’s not a K702, but what is. It’s definitely above average and has no business sounding this open and spacious, especially for its price. Instruments are spaced out nicely and the music is given ample room to breathe and express itself.

I fully recommend for most people to bypass everything you may have heard about, and just go straight for the 30i as your intro to the hobby.

Koss KPH30i

Koss KPH30i Review

I talk a lot about the MDR-7506 and SHP9500 as perfect entry-level headphones (and they still mostly are), but the 30i outclasses both because there aren’t any glaring flaws with its sound.

If you’re looking for something more durable and comfortable, the 9500 is it. Its sound is a close second. Almost perfect, with that treble caveat. Still, paired with the hip-dac, Q1, or K5 Pro helps a bit.

YAY, SYNERGY!

The 7506 comes in third because of the earcup issues, annoying non-detachable coiled cable, and sometimes overly bright treble. Still, it’s a solid option and I think everyone should have one in their headphone cabinet.

Both the 9500 and 7506 have some treble issues but by and large, are still products I recommend because of how amazing they both sound. They currently reside in the #1 and 2 spots in my Budget Kings series, but the 30i will most certainly take the top spot after this review.

This is also significant because the 9500 has held the crown since I started the series back in 2018. Many headphones have come and gone, but the 9500 always occupied the top spot.

As of now, everything drops a spot and the 60e is gone.

HE GONE!!

Good riddance.

Amplification

You won’t need an amp for the 30i, but I’ve found it to work quite well with anything I may have lying around. How to Choose a Headphone Amp [Definitive Guide]

I think a great pair would be something like a BTR3K. You can listen at home wired or on the go via Bluetooth. It’s incredibly convenient because the 30i’s cable is short and compact, and the headphone is highly transportable. You can wear this bad boy on your neck without looking like you just walked out of a Head-Fi meet with a duffel bag full of overpriced DACS.

Final Word

If The 7506 is pure sound, and the 9500 is pure-er, the 30i is definitely the pure-est. It’s an experience you won’t soon forget and a headphone that personally changed my life and made me re-evaluate music all over again.

So buy one today. It’s $20. Chump change. You really have nothing to lose, and most certainly everything to gain. This is a headphone you’ll cherish for a long time, perhaps even forever.

 

Ready for the next article in the series?

 

Well, that’s about it for today my friend! I hope you’ve enjoyed this Koss KPH30i Review and Discussion, and came away with some valuable insight.

If you love what I do here and want to support the blog and channel in a more personal way, check me out on Patreon and discover all the value I have to offer you.

Questions? Comments? Requests? Did I miss the mark on something? Please let me know down below or Contact me!!

What do YOU think about the 30i? Is it a perfect headphone? I would love to hear from you. Until next time…

All the best and God bless,

 

 

-Stu

[Xtr@Ba$eHitZ]

Can’t decide which headphones to purchase? Interested in a complete buyers guide outlining over 40 of the best options on the market? Click on over to the best audiophile headphones to learn more!!

Be sure to also check out my Reviews and Resources page for more helpful and informative articles!

Photo Gallery

Click to enlarge!

Koss KPH30i

4.7

Value

5.0/5

Sound

5.0/5

Build Quality

4.5/5

Comfort

4.0/5

Imaging & Soundstage

5.0/5

Pros

  • Insane value
  • Better than the majority of audiophile offerings
  • No need for an amp, but does well with one
  • Highly transportable
  • Tremendous sound

Cons

  • A tad flimsy
  • Comfort isn't the greatest

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12 comments

Lukas March 2, 2021 - 2:05 pm

How would you say it compares to Porta Pro? Is there a noticeable difference?

Reply
Stuart Charles Black March 2, 2021 - 3:05 pm

Hey man, that one is coming next, but there is more mid-bass on the Porta Pro for sure. I guess I would say it’s a tad more of a V-shaped type sound (without the harsh treble) vs. the more uniform, even sound of the 30i. I will be doing an official Porta Pro review and then a shootout to round out this series, so stay tuned! 🙂 Let me know if that helps.

Reply
Lukas March 3, 2021 - 1:57 pm

It definitely helps, thanks for your reply! I bought both Porta Pro and 30i which is yet to arrive. KPH30i is harder to get outside the US so I had to buy it from abroad. Both of these headphones are pretty hyped online and I must admit I was somewhat disappointed by Porta Pro because of muddiness (mid-bass?) and lack of detail. Although it really works well with some songs. Obviously they are cheap so not sure if my disappointment is warranted. Your description of the differences to 30i makes me think that I might enjoy 30i more.

Would you say either of these is worth ~50USD shipped? This is what I paid and I guess what many non-Americans would have to due to regional price differences.

Also, sorry if I accidentally left a double comment 🙂

Reply
Stuart Charles Black March 4, 2021 - 4:21 am

Hey man no worries! So you’re saying Porta Pro 50 USD shipped and 30i 50 USD shipped for 100 total or 50 total? I think the 30i hits way above its price point at what I paid ($20 on Drop), so yeah! The only thing is that it’s flimsy and can get a bit uncomfortable. The sound is impeccable and you’re going to love it! I think you’ll probably end up returning the Porta Pro.

Reply
Graham August 5, 2021 - 2:05 pm

Hi Stu,
Thanks for all your budget king reviews and this one in particular. It really is amazing that Koss have such a sound built into a set that many would immediately skip over due to build/look compared to traditional ‘sturdy’ over ears.
Love your clarity, explanations and links that add extra value and comprehensiveness to your reviews.
Really helpful.
Thanks

Reply
Stuart Charles Black August 7, 2021 - 10:11 pm

Hey man thank you so much! And my pleasure. Glad you enjoyed it. I certainly skipped over this one for quite awhile haha. Your kind words encourage me more than you know!

Reach out anytime.

-Stu

Reply
Robert Hamilton February 8, 2022 - 3:24 am

Have you ever mod a headphone? Mine broke easily. I got some couple of pair but prefer something more durable.
And the driver still good, so it’s a bit waste to throw it out.

Reply
Stuart Charles Black February 11, 2022 - 3:36 pm

I have actually never aside from pad swaps and stuff. I’d like to do the detachable cable mod for the 7506 though. Perhaps you’d like the 400se which is priced really well: https://homestudiobasics.com/hifiman-he400se-review/

Reply
Man April 7, 2022 - 1:21 pm

Hi! I just stumbled over your youtube channel and just saw you have a website so yeah here i am lol. So i just saw this budget king today and looking at your review it seems impressive. but i have question regarding the build quality, it scores 4.5 / 5.0 which strange because all i see about this headphone is that it looks so fragile. So my question is, what makes this headphone’s build quality so good?

Reply
Stuart Charles Black April 7, 2022 - 5:48 pm

Hey man!

Those claims could very well be true, I just haven’t personally experienced them. Also, keep in mind that I didn’t have the 30i for 2+ years. I included it in a giveaway in 2021. I’d have to buy another pair and keep them for a long time, but there’s not much to it that can break down other than it snapping so I wouldn’t worry about it too much. That and it’s so cheap you could always just buy another pair. The sound most certainly makes up for any of that and as long as you’re not throwing them around, you should be okay xD

Reply
ahmed924944 May 27, 2022 - 6:40 pm

Stu: You are so right on with your review of the Koss KPH30i headphones! I bought a set, pretty neutral sound, with some mid bass thump (which I like). Can you please start reviewing wireless earbuds too? I like the fact that you seem to listen to every possible brand / model you can. ahmed924944

Reply
Stuart Charles Black May 28, 2022 - 6:02 pm

Hey Ahmed924944!

Thank you for the kind swords! I do have a Wireless earbud coming in very soon and there are some others I also need to get to as well 🙂 Be on the lookout!

Reply

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