Monday, December 3, 2012

Klipsch Image S4 Review

Design: 8/10

The Klipsch Image S4s are are an extremely well-designed pair of earphones. They look pretty sleek without being too 'quirky' or 'outstanding' unlike the Beats Tour by Dr Dre.

Sound Quality: 10/10

Since I'm no audiophile, to put it across in words for the average consumer, I would say that the Klipsch S4 really excels in having a balanced EQ with sufficient bass, resulting in details being brought out of music. The sound quality difference between these and 50 dollar earphones are like night and day (or between the S4s and Tours haha, the Tours suck, seriously). You will suddenly start hearing the twang or vibrato of string instruments, the piano keys in much more detail. 

Bass - Enough bass to be sufficient for any genre of music without bass boost, but it doesn't come across as being over powered. The bass is also not muddy at all as compared to the Beats Tour which I recently reviewed, in fact, you can hear almost every single detail. Overall, I would describe the bass signature as a slightly sharper 'thud', as compared to Sennheiser's deep 'thump'.

Mids - The mids frequencies are truly brought out in the Klipsch S4.

Treble and Vocals - The trebles are extremely good, and doesn't drown out the other frequencies. But what's exceptional about these earphones are the vocals. The vocals are perfectly tuned for almost any song I listened to, and they sound just right, which is having the limelight without sounding too harsh and piercing unlike most other earphones I have heard.

Sound Signature:

The sound signature of the Klipsch Image S4, to someone switching from the 'warm and deep' sound signatures of Beats Tour or Sennheiser, might sound a bit 'harsh' and 'crisp' at first but not in a bad way. Thus, soundstage might not have as much depth to it as Sennheisers, largely due to the lack of 'oomph' in bass, unlike conventional headphones or earphones such as Beats and Sennheisers. But after listening to it for sometime, you will pretty much get used to it.

Durability: 6/10

Urgh. One thing I hate about premium materials are they never tend to be durable, Klipsch should really just follow Sennheiser and provide durability over a more premium feel. The part where the driver chambers and the wire meet (at the top) is the most fragile part of the earphone, as the connector design will almost certainly rip apart after a period of use.

My friend's Klipsch S4 had totally ripped apart on both sides, so a note to all readers if you purchase these earphones, be extremely careful and take good care of them! I wouldn't say they are even suitable for chucking into pockets either. Hmmm...

*Update: After one year, my Klipsch are falling apart*

Usability: 9/10

These earphones are one of the most comfortable earphones I have ever worn for an in-ear earphone. Their patented oval in-ear gels work extremely well, and you can definitely tell Klipsch did pump in some R&D money into developing the ear gels to be fitted for human ears (like the Apple ear pods), unlike other brands like Sennheiser, which probably just pack in cheap rough ear gels even for their mid-range models.

The oval ear-gels also fit in so well that even if I walk briskly they show no signs of falling out at all. Surprising for an earphone with such a large driver housing design.

Overall score: 8/10

If these earphones were somewhat more durable and can take much more of a 'beating' (Being chucked into pockets), I'd have given them 9-10 points. But too bad they aren't and I'm giving these 8 points because they aren't very durable.