Price (RRP): $399
The Koss MV1 headphones are different in a couple of ways. First, their cups fully enclose the listener’s ears with the soft rubberised pads pressing up against the head, sealing the ears within the fully enclosed plastic cups. These are very definitely ‘closed’ headphones. They provide considerable passive reduction of environmental noise.
They were reasonably comfortable despite being the heaviest of these headphones by a significant margin. After an hour or so I did feel the need to reposition the headband to a new position on my crown. While the headband maintained a reasonable sidewards pressure, the mass of the headphones did make them a bit wobbly when I shook my head.
The cable was long enough for all purposes and, unusually, was coiled so it was perhaps half-length when not under tension. But the coil was not so tight as to limit it being extended to a good proportion of its nominal length. I found this cable quite useful for avoiding tangles.
The cable was fixed at the headphone end, joining only the left hand cup. At the other end was a 3.5mm plug with a screw-on 6.5mm adaptor plug. The headphones are also supplied with a semi-rigid carry/protective case.
After using the ‘open’ headphone designs, these ones initially sounded very different. I’m ambivalent about the open/closed thing, and I suspect it comes down to individual preference.
Anyway, while these headphones didn’t seem quite as ‘airy’ in sound, they were still finely detailed and had plenty of frequency extension. Their tonal balance a little more like that of the Audio-Technica ATH-AD1000PRM headphones: good but controlled bass and slightly forward upper frequencies, yet without any harshness or sibilance.
I couldn’t make sense of the company’s sensitivity specifications, but I’d say they came in at the lower end. I wouldn’t want to use these with low output MP3 players, but my iPod was okay.