T.H.E. Show Newport 2014: KingSound Electrostatic Headphone Systems

The king of low cost electrostatic headphones for a long time has been the $999 Koss ESP-950. Well, that particular horse race seems to be heating up with the introduction of the KingSound KS-H3 electrostatic headphone and M-10 solid-state amp that sell bundled for $1350. I've been checking out the KingSound booth regularly for a couple of years now, and with this new iteration they've obviously made significant strides with these low cost electrostatic headphones. I think I'm going to have to get a KingSound and Koss system in for a shoot out. Also available is the M-20 tube amp for these headphones that brings the bundled price up to $2150.

For more info check out the KingSound website, and give a shout to Affordable Audio if you're looking to buy.

Seth195208's picture

..walking by while I was watching this and commented on how beautiful that headphone is. She's never done that before. I would love to see some beautiful measurements to go along with it!

jherbert's picture

during the High-End Show and was quite impressed. Though it was much to noisy for a real judgement.

jherbert's picture

420 grams for the KS-H2 and 460 grams for the KS-H3.

Beagle's picture

.....and I am mighty sad to report that I was disappointed in them, particularly the top end. I also found a bit of a hollow honk in the overall character. I did let them warm up thoroughly and ran them in for a good 12 hours....also a lot of resonance in the metal parts. I returned them. I much preferred the Koss SRH-950/E90 system.

Caveat: I ran them out of a Stax SRM 2525, although none of the above characteristics were in place when using the Stax headset.

toucano's picture

I tend to like large full-range speakers and enjoy room sound. i work in radio and we use Sony h/p.
I was blown away by the sound of these headphones. If I needed a pair for all the various reasons people need them (neighbors, babies sleeping, listening privacy, etc) I would definitely buy a pair. I also liked the set up the Headphonium room had for listeners to experience these.

Jimmyf1312's picture

I wonder how well these will hold up against the Koss... Will be a super interesting comparison/ review. I wonder if Tyll has a review unit yet...

Colin's picture

I found them to be unusable. However, the initial impression was superb - listening with both the KingSound solid state and valve amps, they sounded wonderful. The KS-H3's have a superb mid-range, sweet treble, adequate base and the same effortless transparency and clarity as the HD 800's.

But after 25 minutes of listening, I noticed that a significant hiss had developed on the left channel. The problem went away after I took off the headphones for 5 minutes, but left the music playing. So it is related to the act of physically wearing them and my guess is that the problem results from static discharge due to water vapor.

In any event, two other pairs that I tried had exactly the same problem and after demonstrating it to the staff at AudioVision SF with everything disconnected except the solid state amp, they agreed that it was very noticeable and graciously offered me a refund.

To reproduce the problem, I suggest dressing warmly and listening continuously with the headphone snugly fit for 25 minutes, then turning off the music or unplugging the RCA jacks from the amp entirely. You should hear silence.

I would be very interested in learning what you do hear....