Koss PortaPro Headphone Review

I reviewed the Sennheiser PX 100 headphones last year and really liked them. I had gotten the Koss PortaPro’s about the same time, but hadn’t really used them much. Listening to the PX100’s at work for extended periods of time started making my ears hurt (maybe I have sensitive ears) and replacing the pads didn’t improve things much, they’re still clamping down on your ears to stay in place.

The Koss PortaPro’s feature a “Comfort Zone” that places an additional pad above your ear where it can be set to transfer most of the “clamping” feeling from your ears up to the side of your head. This makes the PortaPro the most comfortable open, over the head headphones I’ve ever used. Ear discomfort is gone and I’m able to wear them for extended periods.

Along with being comfortable, they sound great. In fact I think I like how they sound better than the PX100’s. The PortaPro’s pump out some very nice low end while staying balanced and clear. The PX100’s are a little more laid back and sound darker. The PortaPro’s just have that extra bit of punch.

As of this writing the PortaPro’s are $32 at Amazon while the PX100’s are $50. Between the comfort, price and sound quality of the PortaPro’s they are easily my favorite headphones now. They definitely get my sound geek stamp of approval.

Koss PortaPro Headphones at Amazon

Koss PortaPro

20,000th Track Play on Last.fm

I started scrobbling on Last.fm back in 2006 and last week my track odometer rolled over to 20,000. My musical tastes have evolved since high school and I’ve definitely explored more since graduating college, but my top 15 artists aren’t too surprising. If this list was populated during high school then punk and ska would make up almost all of the scrobbles. Since then bands like Fountains of Wayne and The New Pornographers have crept into the top 5. Taking a look at more recent tracks I’ve branched out a bit with more indie like Vampire Weekend, but didn’t stray far from my roots by getting into The Vandals.

19999. Slick Shoes – Tired Of You
20000. Motion City Soundtrack – This Is For Real
20001. The Presidents of the United States of America – Last Girl on Earth

Top 15 Artists Overall Plays
1 The Presidents of the United States of America
2 Fountains of Wayne
3 Less Than Jake
4 The New Pornographers
5 Gnarls Barkley
6 Reel Big Fish
7 MxPx
8 Cake
9 Beck
10 The White Stripes
11 Goldfinger
12 The Hippos
13 Five Iron Frenzy
14 Incubus
15 Ben Folds Five

Noticed Paddy is coming up on 20k scrobbles too and we only share 1 Top 15 Artist yet our compatibility is VERY HIGH.

Acura RSX Stereo Upgrade – Aftermarket Head Unit Install with Auxiliary input for iPod/MP3 player

A couple of the buttons on our Acura RSX’s stock radio were dying and I wanted an auxiliary input to plug in an iPod or other MP3 player so it was time for a replacement stereo. Compared to the install of a new radio in my 2005 Tacoma this was a cakewalk. The stock stereo is a standard single DIN size so there was no need for a dash kit or anything extra.

There were a couple things I wanted on the replacement stereo: black face and red backlighting to match the rest of the dash and a front auxiliary input for easy and cheap iPod integration. The Kenwood KDC-MP208 matched this pretty good and the price was hard to pass up, $59 shipped from one of the third party sellers at Amazon. If you are hooking an iPod up to an auxiliary input I highly suggest a cable that gives you a line level output like this Cables To Go – 4ft iPod Dock Connector to 3.5mm Cable.

Type-S Owners: If you own a Type-S with the premium stereo (no pocket, like this) you will need to get a replacement dash kit to accept either a single or double DIN aftermarket stereo. This Scosche installation kit allows for either single or double DIN and comes with the pocket if you go with a single DIN unit.

Installing Double DIN unit: If you want to install a double DIN unit then you’ll need the Ssosche kit linked above.

Head Unit: This JVC unit looks interesting as it has built in HD radio and customizable colors: JVC KD-HDR50. These units look like good matches to the RSX’s red/orange backlighting too: Kenwood KDC-MP142, Sony CDXGT430U, and Sony CDX-GT330. I got the Kenwood KDC-MP208 but it is no longer available at Amazon.

Wire Harness: Scosche HA08B Power Speaker Connector for 1998-Up Honda

Installation Steps

  1. Pull off bottom plastic dash cover that houses the power adapter plug. There are little tabs on the side to get a screwdriver in. Pop one side out and firmly work the rest of it out. It might be tough at the end, just give it a good tug straight out and it will give.
  2. Unplug power adapter to get it out of the way
  3. Using a small ratcheting wrench with 8mm socket or stubby Philips screwdriver, unscrew the two screws going up towards the stereo. They’re at a funky angle and there’s not a whole lot of room to work. Might be a good job for someone with smaller hands. I loosened the screws and backed them out by hand to avoid the risk of dropping them into the bowels of the dash.
  4. Once the screws are out the whole stereo and hazards section will slide out with a little force. Grab the back of the stereo mount through the dash and give it a real good pull. Mine had never been removed and it took some pretty good yanking to get it to budge. I used a screwdriver to pop a clip on the top right corner above the hazards switch. Slide it out a few inches and disconnect the hazards wiring harness and then the stereo’s harness.
  5. Unscrew the stock stereo from the bracket and replace it with the new unit. Plug it in with your prepared wiring harness and test to make sure everything is working. Pan to each of the channels to verify the speakers are connected correctly.
  6. Plug the hazards harness back in or your turn signals won’t work. Wonder how I know that?
  7. Slide the whole thing back into the dash while trying to keep all the new wires on top of the stereo so they don’t get smashed behind it
  8. Replace the 2 screws and pop the dash cover back on. That’s it.


I’m really happy with the results. The sound on the inexpensive Kenwood unit is much better than the stock stereo. The bottom end was very lacking before, but now it is more than adequate with the stock speakers. Radio reception is good and overall this is a nice cheap way to get your MP3 player hooked up in an RSX.

Enjoying Unordinary Music

When I say “unordinary” I mean out of the ordinary for myself. If you asked me if I would like Icelandic post-rock with an ethereal sound I’d probably say no, but here’s an example that would prove me wrong.

Sigur Ros – Gobbledigook:

Any bands or songs that you’ve come across that you were surprised you liked?