Let’s start off with the bass. The bass quantity is slightly lacking here and extension isn’t too deep either. This alone may turn off a lot of consumers who are used to hearing lots of bass but nonetheless, bass is tight and fast although it’s slightly lacking impact. That being said it’s free of mid-bass hump and if you’re fine with the overall quantity in this area, you would find the bass satisfactory to listen to.
From the first time I listened to this, I immediately knew the midrange is forward and it is. The bass is recessed relative to the midrange and that is easily noticeable listening to RnB and pop music. However, I find the midrange to be dry-sounding and that certainly doesn’t feel good considering the midrange is the most prominent area of the spectrum. Dry is the opposite of warm and what this means is that the headphone’s midrange sound isn’t resolving.
Upper midrange to treble transition is likewise the same. I find that this headphone is trying to be analytical and because it tries to, the treble part is a bit harsh sounding. There are certain tracks where I feel the high frequency notes are a bit too hot for my liking.
The overall signature is analytical (definitely not neutral) and I feel the target of this headphone is mostly budding audiophiles on budget. It certainly lacks refinement relative to the more expensive headphones but if you like analytical sound, then the Koss Pro 100 maybe a good starting point.
Amping with Fiio E11
Since the E11 is the only portable amp I have here that I can test headphones with, I decided to use it with Koss DJ 100. The headphone can be driven by portable devices however I feel it requires more power than what a portable player can provide.
So I tried with E11 and found some minor improvements. First is the bass impact has gotten a tad better. The quantity still not too much but I found that I can switch the bass booster of E11 to 2 and that helped add good bass quantity to the signature. I also felt it got driven better with the E11 amp (subjective) in terms of it sounding smoother and less dry. Treble sounds less grainier though it can be harsh still at times.
Overall, I like the improvements that the E11 did to Koss Pro 100 but again they’re minimal so don’t expect it to completely change how the headphone sounds.
At $40, this headphone is definitely a steal if you are the right person for it. Most budget headphones try to play it safe by producing a slightly bassier and warmer signature that will suit more consumers and fit in with more genres. This is not what Koss did here.
If you decide to nitpick based on details, then Koss DJ 100 may not do too good. It is uncomfortable, doesn’t isolate noise well, can be bothersome to get a good seal and is analytical. An individual won’t take risk with those aspects beings liabilities however if you can sacrifice those things and believe the sound signature is for you, then Koss DJ100 is a serious contender especially at $40.
If you can add $40 more to your budget, then the AKG K518LE is a better choice sound-wise. It is also a DJ headphone and it isolates way better. If you don’t mind an open-headphone, you have the Panasonic RP-HTF600 and Superlux HD 668B as better alternatives.
Let us know what your comments are!