Lively sound like a ksc75?

I bought a ksc75 after reading about it here, and I’m kind of floored by it. Listening to them side by side to my higher end cans they lack resolution and refinement. I find the treble is a bit grainy, but I like the presence they have. Lack of bass isn’t an issue since I have planars to complement them.

I don’t have any other headphone that has this very lively sound signature. Please recommend me a lively headphone with a similar sound to the ksc75, but better resolution and more present mids. Budget can be anything from $1-$1000.


Might want to check out Sennheiser’s 600 series (HD600 / 650 / 6XX / 58X). I also like the Focal Elex (much better mid range and lows) but my pair had a driver failure and I’m awaiting a replacement so… YMMV.

Thanks for the reply, but I already own an Elex. I don’t think the hd6xx sounds lively from when I previously tried them.


Hmm… you probably are already listening to the best mid range cans in that price range then. I still think you’d have a bunch of fun playing with modding some T50RPs. Otherwise, you might want to consider some mid-range planars (2020 Sundaras are great) or looking for some used Stax stuff (I hear good stuff about L300 and love my L700).

Haha, I’m sure I’d have a ton of fun modding t50’s. When I have more time, I probably will. I already own the Sundara’s big brother, the Ananda’s, but the neither the Ananda or Elex are lively like the ksc75. It’s sad Koss didn’t try to refine this driver/sound for the last 30 years.

Yeah, I don’t know anything that sounds like Koss. Kind of a guilt pleasure listening to them. You know it’s not the best in the world, but it’s just enjoyable.

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Some times you want fun, cheap and uncomplicated instead of classy, expensive and high maintenance. I guess it applies to a lot of things in life haha. Definitely a guilty pleasure right now.


@RenEH Hee, hee. I use my ksc75’s everyday. Mostly for quick screening directly from my chromebook, then further cking the good stuff with my regular rig. However just last night I unplugged the Sundaras from my Asgard 3 and popped in the ksc’s for a while. Guilty pleasure indeed, lol!! I absolutely agree that they are lively…also have a GREAT soundstage and sense of immediacy to them. I have several pairs of them, most with the parts express headband and Yaxis, and one pair stock for my rare portable usage. They’re just Enjoyable!!


Does the resolution increase with the headband and pad swap? I guess I could just balanced mod the drivers and pimp them out . I wouldn’t cry if the kids broke them so I can leave them wherever and buy another pair for the wife and the bedroom.

That headband creates a slight bit of clamping force, which improves the bass response. The yaxis seem to help with that too, but imo with a slight loss of midrange (vocals) presence. Not enough to lose lyrics though. AND they really improve the comfort. Mine are all well broken in, and that’s important for new users to know. ie, they get better, as a lot of gear does. Equipment and brain burn in, lol. I find the ksc 75 to be my hands down favorite of the 3 “low end” Koss headphones.

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I feel part of the uniqueness to the KSC75 is the soundstage that comes from being a clip on. Even if the soundstage is not the widest, the lack of clamp male them feel more like small speakers hovering by my ears rather than a proper “headphone.”

The KDE250 does not have the same intensity in treble as the the KSC75, but it is quite a bit more mid forward with better bass extension and better resolution. Smaller soundstage that is sort of inbetween IEM and full-size headphone. It’s a very colored sound, but I like shouty tuning.

Recently gave into the temptation of buying am ATH-EW9, so I’ll see how that goes. Would be my first wood models haha.


I haven’t heard any grado before, but maybe someone could chime in? They could be a nice upgrade to these koss

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The monolith M570 definitely has a lively sound. By extension, prob means all the Sendy Aiva clones too

Grado does seem to be the next logical step at the moment, but I heard their treble is a lot more peaky than the ksc75. Can anyone that has heard both please chime in.

I’ve been interesting in trying a Grado myself, never have, but I have a couple headphones that peak around 1-3kHz in various degrees.

AFAIK I think peakiness is less of an issue than where it peaks. My Pro4AA has huge mountains (resonance peaks maybe) at 3khz and 8khz with a lot of roughness inbetween, but on practice it sound pretty good and natural for the most part. It just hurts like hell if a fundamental note or major overtone lies on the apex of the peak, but this is only seems to be an issue with EDM for me. Classical, jazz, rock all sound pretty nice.

The thing you sould worry more about is can you handle the extreme 2khz boost in a Grado. Depending on your ears and choice of music, peaking in the upper midrange will either be the most amazing and natural thing in the world or the absolute worst way to throw off tonality and kill your ears with shout.

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Drill two holes in the outer ring of the plastic grill, you’ll have bass for days. I’d recommend another two or three in the second ring as well to pick up the mids (I’d actually argue this is the more necessary mod, mids are whispers by default).

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I’m surprised you don’t find the Elex lively enough, as it’s easily on of the most dynamically ‘alive’ headphones I’ve heard. Out of wonder, what are you using as your source chain? KSC75s scale stupidly well. If you haven’t already, you could try some different pads to bring out the mids and bass a little as well, and swap drivers to a headband to improve clamp.

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I’ll probably do this later today, thanks. Just for the mids though.

Don’t the ksc75 also have the big 2khz peak?

Elex is dynamic and no doubt a great headphone, but I only keep it around so I have a dynamic driver to compare with my planars.

The ksc75 are just lively as heck. Not dynamic though. That’s fine. It has wonderful sound that’s fairly flat as in not dynamic, but really pleasant. The freq response looks similar to grados though.

My chain is currently allo digione>thx 789>Denafrips Ares 2… or at least once the ares 2 arrives in a week it will be.

Even more obscure question. Has anyone tried an Alessandro ms1? I think 14 year old me was drooling over one over 20 years ago.