I also gave a test drive of the Pro and CAP to musicians and tech enthusiasts in the area for a few days. Here are some snippets of what they thought:
“Wow, it’s light”
“I couldn’t get it to connect sorry”
“Why can’t I change tracks with it on my iPhone?”
“Rock, Ambient, and Electronic music sounds great. Classical, not so much.”
“I’m always walking around the shop, this would be great to have.”
“Why would I be more than 30 feet away from my phone?”
“The stream sometimes drops”
“My router doesn’t see it”
“I wish I could wear these at work.”To The Point
So is STRIVA a “revolution” in the music listening experience? Perhaps, with all the possibilities built in. With a steady growth of what could be a new platform, I would say that it’s more of an evolution - it improves over time. The firmware and the myKOSS website are still labeled in the beta stages, and the scenarios where STRIVA could be beneficial to listeners aren’t immediately recognizable. For now, it’s difficult to gauge the potential success of what Mr. Koss firmly believes is a “bleeding edge technology”. WiFi headphones have popped up here and there over the past decade, but what KOSS is doing is looking to create a new niche of music enthusiast, one who searches for a consistent and convenient system regardless of location.
If you’re feeling adventurous, here’s another factor to consider: the Pro model is already available for sale off the KOSS website for $450 USD. Coming soon, for $50 more, the Tap in-ear monitors will also be in stock, cramming the same technologies into an even smaller package. Before succumbing to sticker shock, as most of those I’ve introduced STRIVA to had, there isn’t a similar system out there (to my knowledge) that offers any competition. It’s one a kind.
STRIVA yearns to be its own category of wireless entertainment, and KOSS needs to think of new ways to gather more listeners for their “revolution”. Early-adopters will either get a kick out of STRIVA because it has promise, or be confused about how it could fit into their mobile lifestyle. It’s very exciting in concept, however the execution, like the experience itself, needs some time to grow.
Special thanks to Matt Braun and Michael Koss Sr. for making this review possible, and to Hytham and Kevin at KOSS technical support for helping me get started!
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