Klipsch Image S4A II headphones

These in-ear headphones are comfortable to wear and they produce excellent quality sound for all types of music

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Klipsch Image S4A II headphones
  • Klipsch Image S4A II headphones
  • Klipsch Image S4A II headphones
  • Klipsch Image S4A II headphones

Pros

  • Comfortable fit
  • Excellent sound

Cons

  • Can easily fall

Bottom Line

These stylish in-ear headphones from Klipsch are comfortable to wear and their output is excellent. We enjoyed using them for all types of music. The only problem we had is that they too easily fell out of our ears when we were a little too active or accidentally pulled on the cord.

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  • X11i In-Ear Headphones Home Audio Headphones Ea... 300.96

The Klipsch Image S4A II in-ear headphones have a patented design that is supposed to make them more comfortable to wear and easier to fit than many other in-ear designs on the market. Instead of being round, the silicone tips that are attached to the ear buds are oval, which more closely resembles the shape of an ear canal. But do they sound any good?

In fact, they produce exceptional sound and we think they're great for any type of music. They are clear at high volume, and they supply a full, well-rounded sound. We didn't notice any bias in the music at all when we played it back without the aid of any equaliser settings; highs were crisp, low frequencies were deep and rich, and voice didn't get cluttered in between. We were particularly satisfied by the bass response of these little buds at high volume, but low-volume listening also allowed us to here subtle low-frequency sounds.

We listened to a wide variety of music through these headphones: trance, folk, scratchy-sounding hip-hop, Greek popular music, guitar-heavy rock, and also live performances. File quality ranged from 192Kbps to 320Kbps in our tests, and we also did a lot of streaming from Google Play Music and Amazon Cloud Player over Wi-Fi — both services sounded just as good as our local files did. Klipsch says it tries to create products that recreate the live music experience, but all of the music we tried, live or studio-recorded, polished or grimy-sounding, was a joy to listen to through these buds. Tracks with heavy bass (such as the GZA's Auto Bio, for example) sounded tremendous, with the bass hitting heavily and, most importantly, with the clarity we expected of the track, even at full blast on our Samsung Galaxy II Note.

To get the best sound out of these headphones, you have to make sure that you use the appropriately sized tip for your ears. The most common size is medium, according to Klipsch, but the headphones are supplied with small and large tips, too. The tips need to form a seal around your ear canal in order to give you the sound response they are designed for, and we found them to be easy to insert and comfortable to wear. They didn't feel harsh on the ear, and they also didn't feel heavy.

However, we did have a problem with them falling out easily. Excessive movements while walking, or accidentally tugging at the headphone cord, made the ear buds pop out. We made sure that the line on the tip was aligned with the line on the bud's nozzle when we attached the tips, but the way the buds sat sticking out slightly from our ears made them a little unstable. If you use them while sitting, or while walking slowly, they should stay in place. Basically, don't use these while performing activities.

They do a decent job of isolating sound due to the seal that's formed between the tips and your ears, but they don't block everything out. During quiet tracks, you can still make out external noise if people around you are talking, for example, but for the most part they do a great job of blocking most external noise so that you can hear subtle sounds while outdoors or on public transport.

The Image S4A II headphones that we looked at are for Android, and they have a four-pole plug along with an inline control that can pause and play music with one tap (and answer calls), as well as skip tracks with multiple taps — though you'll need to install Klipsch's app from the Play store. The cord is flat and didn't get tangled, even when we just threw the headphones in our bag without caring. You can also get an iPhone version of these headphones (called Image S4i).

Apart from the issue we had with them falling out of our ears occasionally, we think these headphones are great. Their sound was superb to our ears, for all types of music, providing output that sounded clear, vibrant and true to the source.

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