Koss KEB79 Noise Isolating Earphones - Koss KEB79

By Edward Chester



Our Score:


The earpieces themselves are quite small so should easily fit in the smallest of ears and their lightweight construction means they won't cause earache after prolonged periods of use. Also, they don't sit very deep in the ear so don't fatigue the ear canal like some deeper insertion foam tipped models. On the flipside, this means they don't block out as much noise and the murmurings of office chit-chat could easily be heard when listening at low volumes. In fact, an in-line mute control enables you to reduce music to near silence and you can easily have a quick conversation without removing the earphones - very convenient in an office where you're allowed to listen to music. Ultimately, though, if cutting out ambient noise is a major concern when buying your headphones, the KEB79s should probably be avoided.

The cable is split up into two sections with a short (approx one foot) section, containing the earpieces and inline mute control, which is perfect for use with arm band mounted MP3 players and mobile phone headset extensions. A second three foot long extension is also provided so there's plenty of length to get from your ears all the way down to the depths of your trouser pocket. The cable to the left ear piece is very short while the one to the right is much longer and is meant to be wrapped round the back of the neck to keep it out the way. As someone with long hair, I just find this inconvenient compared to two equal length cords running straight down the front but this is purely a personal preference (I have to agree with you there - ed.).

So on balance, the overall package may be just a nod behind the Shure E110s but really the ultimate test comes down to how these earphones sound and in that regard it's a very close call and one that also largely comes down to what sort of sound you prefer.

First and foremost, these most definitely offer a far superior listening experience to the earphones you'll get bundled with your MP3 player, well most MP3 players at least. Bass is fuller, huge in fact. So huge that at times they come close to sounding unbalanced and slightly muffled - much like when you hear a set of surround sound speakers with the sub volume set too high - and they take quite a lot of volume to drive them. At very high volumes with bass heavy music this does lead to a loss of clarity as the single driver is stretched to its limits, however the majority of the time they hold up very well indeed.

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