|Parent ASIN for Klipsch Image Earphones
- Good sound quality with decent noise isolation and comfortable fit
IMPORTANT NOTE: My review here is for the Image S4 model. Amazon's review system seems to be mixing reviews for different Klipsch Image headphones together. I'm reviewing the S4.
Anyway, I actually like the S4 a lot, but it's not the dream earphones I've been looking for. My setup is simple: an iPod classic (6th gen) 120GB, and I listen to mostly classical music (and mostly Beethoven at that), although I also listen to many other genres. I've mainly been using lower mid-range Panasonic and Toshiba earphones. BTW, I do not like the feel of over-the-ear headphones, even though the high-end ones (like Sony's studio headphones) give truly great sound.
Compared to my previous workhorse Panasonic and Toshiba, the S4 sounds about the same as those cheaper earphones. Leaving my iPod's equalizer off, I hear little bass boost, despite the claim on the S4's packaging. Compared to the iPod classic 120's stock earphones, this is a big improvement: there's more dynamic range as well as more clarity, which are important if you plan to listen to music for an extended period of time.
So, in terms of audio quality and performance, I think the S4 is solid. Another way to describe the comparative quality is, it's middling: you get exactly what you pay for. Don't expect the more dynamic response you get from a Bose or high-end Sony or other premium brands, but I think for most listening, from classical to jazz to heavy metal to Asian traditional music, you'll find the S4's output quality quite acceptable.
As other in-ear headphones of this type, the S4 comes with 3 pairs of fitting gelcaps. I use the large pair, and both sides fit really well -- a first in my case. Like many people, I move around a lot, and these earbuds stay in my ears well. They're also quite comfortable, exactly because of the good fit. Kplisch says you won't feel them there; I find that more marketing hype (or maybe mis-advertising) than real. Esp. when you have the bass turned up, you definitely feel the S4 vibrating in your ear canals. But still, the S4 is the first in-ear phones of this type that I find acceptable in terms of comfort.
Given the good fit, it also does a decent job at isolating out noise. I tested this by simply playing music (Celine Dion and Britney Spears) at mid-volume on my micro hi-fi while I listen to the iPod (Beethoven's piano sonatas) on the S4 about 6 feet away. I can defintely focus on my iPod music instead of getting distracted by the background music. The downside to this is, if you turn off the music in you ears, you might feel a little dizzy from the noise isolation.
In short, I think the S4 is solid in performance, if not as outstanding as some of the other reviews would lead you to believe. What it excels is comfort of fit, and a good price. It'll now be my everyday earphones.
- Great sound, great looks, great comfort!
Purchased a pair for my GF, I tested them and now I want a pair too!
They are incredibly light, look stylish and have enough ear gels to make them comfortable... and the sound quality... it is really good!
I tried listening to some songs I have heard tons of times before and its awesome how I was able to identify new sounds or know how many people was singing on the chorus, things I never heard before with normal earphones.
If you want the better-looking, light and comfortable earphones, with the best sound quality please go ahead and buy some Images, I know I will order another pair soon :D...more info
- Superb in-ear phones
I primarily use earphones with my iPod, particularly when traveling by air, which I do a lot. The Klipsch Images replaced an older set of Shure E3c in-ear phones that I had been using for about three years. The Klipsch phones are very light, and I found that their earpieces fit me better and were more comfortable to wear than the Shures. They sealed out noise very well. Most importantly, however, the sound of the Klipsch phones is superb, and noticeably better than the Shure phones, any iPod earbuds and even my full-size Grado SR125s. Bass response is astonishingly good. These are expensive, but if you want something small, light and of very high quality, these phones are a great choice....more info
- Klipsch "Image" v. "Custom 3"
I think that the Klipsh Image earphones are practically miraculous. Earphones have plenty of treble and bass. Ocassionally, the sound gets "fuzzy." They are so small and comfortable with a very good variety of silicon tips that are very comfortable and isolate sound very successfully. They produce full rich sound, and are the most comfortable earphone that I have ever worn. I believe that all earphones benefit from using a separate headphone amplifier, but it is not really necessary with these earphones. If you are pairing them up with a Nano, then you have a fabulous portable stereo system that practically disappears on your body while you are using them. You wound believe your eyes or your ears. They are so light weight that it does not feel like you have earphones in your ears. The quality of the actual chord is a mystery. They are very lightweight which adds to the comfort, but they also crimp very easily. In the future, Klipsch should consider making these same cables replaceable for a reasonable cost. The storage case that the earphones come it is truly wonderful. It essentially has two containers. You could put your earphones in the small leather "box" and include your mp3 player in the zipper case. They do not need a headphone amplifier. They come with a number of gel pieces that should fit most any ear.
However, sometimes, the sound is slightly less than clear. It can ocassionally sound just a bit blurred. It has only one driver. It is remarkable that Klipsch gets such impressive sound from something so small. Many of the one driver earphones are cleal and dynamic, but slightly thinner sounding than a great over the ear headphone. The upper end Shure SCL5, 530, 420 and Ultimate Ear Tri-10 have a lushness of sound that comes with multiple driver earphones.
The price is steep and I do not know how well they will hold up. The wires are very thin. I suspect that they could be very fragile. They come with an excellent case. It is also kind of strange, but I have owned a couple pair (one set for work and one set for home). The material that covers the actual wires kind of smells funny. It makes not sense, but there it is. If a person was careful to make sure that they are put away properly after each use, I would think that they would last pretty well. I am not sure that they would be the best for rigorous exercise.
I believe that anyone that hears these earphones will be amazed. I think that it would also be fair to say that these earphones are colored in their sound quality. If you want flat, accurate and slightly analytical sound, the Etymotic would be a better choice.
Lastly, I have tried the CUSTOM 3 earphones. at first, I was very disappointed because I simply could not make them fit. It is kind of strange because the actual silicon earpieces that come with both the "Image" and "Custom 3" both are wonderful. They are very comfortable, of varying sizes, and make for a complete seal with the Image. With earphones, you must get a seal or the earphones will not produce any significant bass, weak midrange, and strangely thin and strident treble reproduction. Nothing I could do would make the Custom 3 fit for me. (I suspect it is because the Custom 3 is denser, bigger, and weighs more. The tips alone could not support the weight of the Customr 3 and hold it in the right place in my ear. I have the Sennheiser IE 6 and 7, the 300, 500, Beyerdynamic, Audio Technica CK 7, 9, and 10, Sony's new top of the line earphone, Panasonic's top of the line import, both top end Denon's Shure SCL5, 530, 420, and 4RP, Ultimate Ear Tri-10, Westone UM2, Etymotic 4P and 4S (unbelievable precision and clarity than can be warmed up with a headphone amplifier), and Sleek Audio earphones (excellent combination of great fit, good sound, flexibility in replacing cabling or positioning in the ear at a very competative price). Obviously, I am compulsive to own so many earphones in addition to all the best headphones, but the point is that only the Custom 3 by Klipsh would not fit my ears despite my best efforts. Pretty strange.
SINCE I WROTE THE ORIGINAL REVIEW ON THE CUSTOM 3 EARPHONES, I HAVE PUT THE BLACK OLIVE FOAM EARPIECES FROM SHURE AND THE COMPLY COMFORT FOAM TIPS ON THE CUSTOM 3 EARPHONES. I HAVE DECIDED TO STICK WITH THE SHURE BLACK OLIVE MEMORY FOAM TIPS FOR THE CUSTOM 3. I DON'T USE THE EARTIPS SUPPLIED BY KLIPSH FOR THE CUSTOM 3. THE SOUND HAS IMPROVED IMMEASURABLY. I CAN UNDERSTAND WHY CUSTOMERS WOULD HAVE A COMPLAINT THAT AT THESE PRICES, ONE SHOULD NOT HAVE TO PURCHASE SEPARATE EARPIECES. HOWEVER, I THINK IT IS WORTH THE PRICE. THE BASS REALLY HAS A KICK NOW. OVERALL THE CUSTOM 3 SOUNDS BETTER THAN THE IMAGE, BUT THE IMAGE IS AN AMAZINGLY PORTABLE, COMFORTABLE EARPHONE. THESE EARPHONES HAVE BECOME MY FAVORITE EARPHONES FOR JAZZ RECORDINGS.
Post Script: I keep extra Comply Comfort Tips (made from memory foam) and the Shure Black Olive (memory foam) as well as the Shure large silicon tips at the house. Between the Shure and the Comply, I am able to solve virtually any "fit" or "comfort" issues with earphones. Sometimes the Comply tips help to make the earphone sound better just because the opening which lets in the sound from the earphone is larger on the Comply rather than on the original tip....more info
- The most comfortable plugs ever
This review is for the new IMAGE S4 Model.
I've used many different kinds of headphones and ear plugs in the past, including some that cost many times more than this set, and some that cost less than half. To say I'm addicted to headphones would be an understatement.
The reason I was interested in the S4s was because they were supposed to be comfortable, and have nice bass (was really interested in this). The isolation effect is sometimes appreciated, but for me, not a real requirement.
I have a very wide taste when it comes to music and my use of these earphones. I enjoy listening to brainwave beats, soundtracks (like battlestar galatica), as well as rock / metal and some rap on occasion.
Since these phones say they are good at bass, the first thing I did was put in some rap. I could honestly tell no bass. They sound quite weak (but not really any weaker than any other plugs I have, like the shures). I mention this because I don't want you buying these thinking you might get some decent bass response over what you are already getting (you wont).
The next major thing about these headphones are how comfortable they are. So I was looking forward to putting them on and seeing first hand...
3 minutes in I was sold, it's like nothing is in my ear. You feel no pain, your ears dont feel like they are getting "decimated" by the overly large plastic pieces found in some phones. In fact, the whole time I had them on I felt quite comfortable.
When listening to brainwaves, audiobooks, and soundtracks, I really did enjoy these phones. It's like the sound was just emanating from my mind and not from a set of phones. It's like you're "there".
The fact that these phones can put you in that state with that level of comfort is something to behold.
However, there is one thing I Must mention. Since these are noise isolation phones, when you put these on, you will not want to do much moving around, as every step, every swallow, etc, is amplified throughout these phones. Meaning you hear some things more clearly (they do block out some of the external noise).
For the gym, I still use my sports headphones that wrap around my head (and hurt my ears!), but now at home I use these phones over my larger sennheiser's (I find it easier to lay down with these than with large phones).
Incredibly comfortable set of phones
Great sound, they put you "in the music"
Comes with a carrying case
Include additional pieces for your ear
The Bass is not that strong (didn't get these for that "feature")
Noise isolation phones can be "uncomfortable" when you're out jogging or running making these phones great for stationary use.
As long as you're not buying these for the gym, and plan on using these at home or on the go, you will love them. I do recommend them, they are much cheaper than other plugs with similar prices.
The fact that they put you in the center of the music, and are so very comfortable (can't begin to tell they are there (except for the somewhat short cable)) you will NOT be disappointed.
Please Note, When I talk about how noise isolation headphones are, what I said might be somewhat over stated (just trying to be thorough), I don't want people turned off because of it, but if you have not experienced this before, it can be off putting. I still recommend these plugs.
The comfort and spatial qualities are beyond belief....more info
- OMG- awesome sound & comfortable
I have Ultimate Ears (UE) super.fi 5 pro, and Audio Technica's ATH-EC7 GM (among other lesser portable headphones). The Klipse Image trumped both of these.
The UE is not comfortable over the long run- it sticks in your ear and feels like a brick- and compared to Klipsch Image- the bass is bloated. If you never compare the two side by side, you won't feel bad about the UE's bass, but once you hear how the Klipsch Image reproduce bass notes- there's not going back.
The ATH-EC7 have trouble making the seal, which means weak bass most of the time (but it sounds better than the super.fi 5, and pretty much on par with the Klipsch sound excepting bass).
The Klipsch Image have an amazingly natural sound- listen to instruments and you'll immediate notice how much more real it sounds, and the bass is so very tight and accurate sounding. You can walk around with the Klipsch Image all day long and never tire of having it stuck in your ear.
Slight weakness (most other portables have these problems as well)- vibrations on the wire will transmit to your ears; impossible to tell right and left side (tiny white letter R & L, on copper color). Not sure I buy into the 45 degree plug- I think I like the 90 degree ones more.
I plugged it into an iphone and it will play music! :) Now anxiously waiting for iphone 2.0 to come out...
If you're into squeezing the last drop of audio performance (price not an objection in your vocabulary)- then you MUST audition this. Apple store sells it with a return policy....more info
- The earphones are exceptional!
For their size, the Klipsch IMAGE earphones are the ticket for ambient noise attenuation and audio clarity while riding a motorcycle. I have always had issues with other brands as they were always a hassle putting on and taking off a full face helmet. While the price is a little steep, you get what you pay for! ...more info
- Great Earbuds
The earbuds are a lot smaller than I initially thought, which is a good thing. The styling, look and build quality is what you would expect from a good name like Klipsch. I am more into HiFi speakers and not really headphones so I cant get too technical. But I have owned and used a pair of Shure E2C before as well as higher end ones like Audio Technica. The Klipsch compares very well to the E2C, although accurate I felt there was a lack of bass on the E2C which is much better on the Klipsch S4. Also the S4 is more comfortable for daily use. So at the end of the day I prefer the Klipsch S4. What really seals the deal is the S4 comes with a nice tin case and cleaner for the earbuds. The tin case is pretty nice and can also be used to store other things. The cleaner is also very useful. Both items are very minor things to mention but to me are important for daily use. ...more info
- klipsch image earphone
I have purchased and used for the past year three high end earphones Klipsch Image,Klipsch Custom 3 and the Shure 500's. In my opinion the Custom 3's have the best sonic reproduction followed by the Image then the Shure's. The Custom 3's are very comfortable they can be worn for hours the sound is very warm and there is absolutley no distortion at high volume levels. The Image comes in at a close second they are a very comfortable earphone but the sound is not as warm and the bass is less prevalant than that of the Custom 3's. The Shure's are somewhat bulky and although the sound is of high quality it is a bit to bright to listen to for long periods of time. ...more info
- Klipsch Image ongoing review
This review runs a little long, because it was originally written for a forum [...] where detailed audio reviews are important, and copy / pasted here. Short answer is hearty thumbs-up. 5 stars.
I just got my Klipsch Image IEMs in the mail last night. I've been tremendously excited about getting them, lusting through the weeks after any scrap of information I could get on them until that frightening moment I clicked the "Buy" button. So, I'm not pretending to review these objectively yet, I'm still in the "they're here! they're here!" phase, but I thought it would be interesting to document my observations as they evolve, as they have done in the hours that I've spent with the Images so far.
Current overall impression (with over a month of use): 9.5 out of 10 stars
About a year and a half ago, I had a brief encounter with a pair of Shure E4c IEMs. Bought them used off craigslist, sold them the same way. I didn't like how they felt. Didn't like the sound. Not enough bass. Excellent for Vivaldi, not so much for M.I.A. But mostly, I couldn't stand to wear them for more than half an hour at a time, and then I had to spend a couple minutes each time trying to get them in properly. Not a convenient IEM, not the sound I wanted.
Since then I've had a pair of Grado SR60s and Sennheiser HD595s, and picked up a maxxed-out AlienDAC and MisterX XP-based amp, been generally happy with everything, but with the head-fi itch, I wanted more. There wasn't enough bass. The headband presses against my head and over the span of 8 hours gives me a headache and flattens my hair. They slide off my head if I look up, down, stretch, etc. I wanted to try IEMs again, and the timing was such that Klipsch was building a buzz about the Images so I spent a good deal of time investigating them. Dramatic bass? Surprising comfort? Good reviews.....hmmm....
Enough history, Impression #1 "Opening the box":
Well, yes, lots of packaging, lots of small bits of tape, obstacles obstacles. Done! In my ears with the default tips, and the sound? It's... alright. Highs are clear and well rendered, mids too, but rolling off quickly as mids turn to low and not much low to speak of. I quickly go through all the tips and meet with the best results on the large double flange tips, but I'm still not especially excited. Certainly not as much as I wanted to be. So for sound, I'd give them a 4 out of 10. Comfort? They are uncomfortable. Not as bad as I remember the E4c's being, but I don't understand how anyone can forget they are there. Perhaps it takes time getting used to. Let you know how it goes. Comfort: 5 out of 10. Wire is much shorter than I'm used to from the Grados and Senns, but I suppose they are geared toward more mobile uses where a long cord would just get in the way. It's long enough, just shorter than I was expecting.
Overall first impression: 4.5 out of 10
Impression #2, "The next day":
I've worn them on and off throughout the workday today, played with tips some more, and discovered that I need to shove them much farther into my ear than I'd thought. The sound is substantially better. There's not much of a sense of soundstage, I don't get the impression of "the lead guitar over in that corner, the drums are over here", but the sound quality itself is good. Sounds are crisp, subtle background noises in the music come through well, and the bass has finally come to the party. It's still not the "it sounds like I should be feeling it in my chest too" that I've read from others, but it's dramatically better than it was. Doing A/B with my 595s, the Image's bass is much better. The only thing I haven't liked about the sound in my 595s has been the relative lack of bass. So I'm pleased the Images pick up that slack.
Sound: 8 / 10
Comfort-wise, they are still not comfortable. I really have to shove them as far into my ear as I can to get a proper seal, and the outward pressure inside my ear is still a new and generally unpleasant experience. But there's a lot to be said for them being IEMs, and not pressing the temples of my glasses into my ears and head like regular headphones do.
Comfort: 6 /10
So overall second impression: 7.5 /10 (weighted average)
Impression #3, about a week later
I've been using the Images for a about a week now. I'd been using them at my desk at work, hooked to my computer, and I decided to try them out on the bus ride home last night. I'd tried the various other tips from time to time, and had left on the medium sized buds, that come on them in the package. And I got a seal! Repeatedly! I guess I hadn't understood what soozieq meant by twisting them "towards you", but it worked! Basically, pretend there's a pole sticking through one ear and out the other... that's your axis of rotation. Try putting the headphones in, and rotating them clockwise or counterclockwise around that axis. Not very far, a quarter turn or less. I've had no luck doing the "pull out slightly" method, but the twisting method works well for me.
So I have a seal with the regular buds. In the past few days, I've found the good bass, although strangely, I can really only get it by NOT using my DAC and amp, but rather by plugging straight into the audio out on the front of my computer. So I'm having to choose between good bass, and clean sound. But plugging the Images into my A2 when I was on the bus, the sound is wonderful. I wish I could use my A2 at work, but I'm an computer animator and I need to hear the sound clips on the computer as I scrub back and forth across my animation. If I can't figure out how to get good bass out of my DAC and amp, they may find themselves on the for sale forum, along with my 595s.
I still get better sound from my earlier method of ramming the double flanges deep into my ear, but I really think I am very close to poking my eardrum and it's not all that comfortable anyway. I'm looking forward to playing around more with the regular buds. I've already sent in the request for the 2 free ear gels as being the large double flanges... who knows, maybe I'll still stick with those for superior SQ.
So I've found the good bass, managed to get a good seal from the regular buds, what's my thoughts now?
Sound: 9/10 (probably should be higher, but my setup is limiting me)
Comfort: 7/10 (getting better... my ears are still not used to having these in them, but I can see how the regular gels will be more comfortable)
Overall third impression: 8.5/10
I'm much happier with them now than I've been since getting them, and considering how much they cost, I feel like I need to be pretty happy with them to justify keeping them. I know audio gets a lot more expensive than a pair of $350 headphones, but not for me. I can't imagine there being more than one more follow-up impression to this review, as I become more (or less?) comfortable wearing these.
And I intend to post a review comparing these in more detail to my 595s, KSC75s, and the Grado SR60s that I sold to the guy that sits next to me at work, DAC'd, amp'd, and not.
Final impression, a month and a bit later
Unless there is interest in my doing a thorough listen thru my setup, I'd prefer to sum up with saying that I wish I could wear these all the time. Listening to the Images for a while and then going the 595s makes me feel like I'm missing out on something with the 595s. The 595s have a much more recessed sound, possibly due to the differences between IEMs vs headphones, and not an issue particularly with the 595s. My setup is not extensive enough to test this, but the verdict remains. The music sounds how I want it to with the Images.
I can't give them a 10/10, though because of a couple usability issues. One: I can't wear them for more than a couple hours at a time. Just the feeling of them in my ears, the pressure of having "something" in my ear canal will give me a headache if I wear them longer in a single stretch. Two: microphonics. As long as I'm sitting forward so the cord doesn't touch anything, things are great, but if I lean back and the cord drapes across my shirt, the crunching grinding muttering of the cord transmits right across everything any time I move at all, and I move a lot. I'm a fidgeter, bouncing a leg, bouncing to the music, looking around, or just moving my head a bit to look at various parts of the screen.
However, despite those two annoyances, which I expect are common to IEMs, and not particularly the fault of the Images, IEMs DO have killer qualities of staying in your ears when you stretch, and not placing pressure anywhere else on your head (ears, scalp), which, come to think about it limits my headphone listening time to a couple hours at a go, too... but do yourself a favor if you've never tried IEMs... don't try eating with them in. It's not pleasant.
So my final score for these (assuming they remain reasonably durable in the coming years): 9.5/10
I wish I could wear them all the time, and I hope the more I wear them the longer I'll be able to. The sound is involving. I find myself enjoying what I'm listening to more often (well, assuming it's FLAC nowadays... it'll be ok hard drive, shhh shhhh, it'll be ok). And I can listen to whatever retarded song I feel like as loud as I want without worrying about the guy next to me raising an eyebrow when "Billy Jean" comes on.
You can drive these easily from whatever sound source you have, but you will appreciate the difference as you upgrade your source.
I'm not sure who this review has been aimed at. Me, I guess. People who have headphones and are looking at IEMs for the first time? Hope it was useful.
- maxxed out AlienDAC and MisterX XP amp
- Klipsch Image, Senn HD595, Koss KSC75
- Cowon A2
- Grado SR60...more info
- Me Gusta
So I just got my Images S4's in the mail and I must say, me gusta. They were a little smaller then I was imagining, but that is definately not a bad thing. In fact, i'd say it's a plus. The first thing I notice is the beautiful styling of the earbuds. They look and fell well made, which I'm sure they are. They fit comfortably in the ear and don't move around during some headbanging :). Now for the best part: the sound. It's incredible. The sound is clear; not at all drowned out by the bass, like some others out on the market. But that's not to say there isn't much bass, there is. It is that the bass is in the perfect amount. Anyway I think I will cut this review a bit short so I can enjoy the S4's a bit more. I would recommend these earbuds to anyone who likes clean, crisp sound with plenty of bass. That's all for now....more info
- Klipsch Delivers
My wife has it easy when picking out my presents. Anything audio will do. Well, not just anything.
I've been dissatisfied with earphones. There are decent ones for $40 when mowing the lawn. It's the high-end earphones that have been troublesome. Some even cause physical pain.
Then along comes Klipsch. Klipsch has a long standing reputation for value and innovation. I started searching the internet for reviews on the Image headphones. The pattern was, not enough treble and pricey.
The discount offered on Amazon, more than I see now, took them substantially out of the $350 category. Then I found a video on youtube from Klipsch discussing earphone design. They figured out that ear canals are not round yet their competitors all have round ear gels. Klipsch was able to patent their oval design.
My Image earphones fit perfectly on the first try out of the box with the medium (standard) earbud. I tried all of the earbuds and went back to the standard. They are so comfortable I literally forget I have them on. I've read about people sticking them deep into their ear. Mine achieve a perfect seal with minimal insertion. They don't fall out. The oval ear gels and miniature construction are the golden ticket.
The frequency response is balanced at the lowest volume levels. I compared them to my other high end earphones and I did not run across any problems in the treble range. The detail of the brush striking the cymbal is incredible. The reviews about the bass pan out. I ended up flattening the equalizer settings on my MP3 player.
These headphones provide great presence to digital sound. When I hold my hand over my ear the sound is unchanged. This is the first time I can lay on a pillow in comfort wearing earphones.
I highly recommend the Klipsch Image earphones. The only problem I've had is having to take them off. Hats off to the audio engineers at Klipsch for exceeding my expectations!