TouchMyApps » Klipsch http://www.touchmyapps.com All Things iPhone and iPad for those who like to Touch. iOS App reviews, News, New Apps, Price Drops and App Gone Free Sat, 30 Aug 2014 19:47:58 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.7.4 Klipsch Image S4 in Review – Double the Bass with Twice the Pace http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/08/05/klipsch-image-s4-in-review-double-the-bass-with-twice-the-pace/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/08/05/klipsch-image-s4-in-review-double-the-bass-with-twice-the-pace/#comments Wed, 05 Aug 2009 08:27:43 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=17117 introduction After 2008′s popular Image X5, which debuted at $100 less than the X10, Klipsch began expanding the affordable line of their inner earphones. In 2009, the S2 and S4 join the Image line at the more reasonable prices of $49.99 and $79.99. When Klipsch designed the new earphones, they utilised brand new drivers which … Read more]]>

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introduction
After 2008′s popular Image X5, which debuted at $100 less than the X10, Klipsch began expanding the affordable line of their inner earphones. In 2009, the S2 and S4 join the Image line at the more reasonable prices of $49.99 and $79.99. When Klipsch designed the new earphones, they utilised brand new drivers which were made specifically for their sound signature. So, the S4 houses a special 8mm dynamic driver which packs dual neodymium magnets and the audio performance for which Klipsch is famous. Happily, Klipsch also introduced the iPhone-friendly S4i which features a mic and remote and is priced at $99.99.

Specifications
Variation: Black with Silver Accents only
Transducer: Single KG25, 8mm Dual Neodymium Magnet Dynamic Driver
Impedance: 18ohms
Frequency Range: 10Hz-19kHz
Sensitivity (1mW): 110dB SPL
Weight: N/A
Cord Style: Y-Cord
Mini Jack Style: 3.5mm right-angle gold plated

Accessories
Kllipsch’s crush-resistant aluminium case is the accessory which first attracted my attention. The shiny silver oval houses all the S4 accessories is simple, strong and elegant. The overal accessory package is very neat and well designed, but lacks a few extras. Standing in front of me is one of the best protective cases at any price. Despite this, the Image S4 comes with only an earwax/sound tube cleaner, and an assortment of exclusive silicone oval gels (S,M,L sizes) and a small/medium combination dual flange for the S4.

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Fit
It is easy to be fooled by the design of the S4. Instead of putting the “Klipsch” decal on the front side, facing forward, Klipsch put the decal on the opposite side, so that only those behind you will see which company’s earphones are plugged into you. The Image S4’s housing angle is similar to Ultimate Ears’ design – the concave bend in the earphone faces the same direction you are looking, allowing the S4 to provide an ergonomic seal.

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During first insertion, I found the Image S4 to be extremely comfortable and isolating – in fact, one of the best fits I have ever encountered. In addition to the comfortable and lightweight earpieces, the contour bend to the housing of the Image S4’s is just perfect (for me at least), placing the oval gel in the “sweet spot” for comfort and isolation. Even after long listening sessions, the Klipsch Image S4 isn’t at all irritating; instead, it melts perfectly into the ear.

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Audio
“What a great sound for the price” – should be the preamble for the sound of the S4. I have logged hundreds of hours and lots of music on the S4 and loved what I have heard. However, I noticed that classical and orchestral music are not that well-suited to the S4. Because Klipsch’s earphone lacks some sparkle up top, its sound signature may be considered too dark for those genres. Pop, metal, and trance: genres which go well with the harmony of smooth, rich mids and punchy lows, are better matches for the S4.

Highs
At first, classical instruments such as violins were disappointing, but after giving them more time, I feel that the Image S4’s treble is rather good, if not mellow, for the price and that strings, such as the violin are decently rendered. High edges are audible, but dampened. Though devoid of sibilance or irritation, they lack clarity and are quite dark – not giving up the “ring” which can enrich certain instruments. Listening to any sort of music: orchestral, classical or pop, Soprano vocals are darker than some competing earphones – listening to the remarkable voice of the Celtic Women is just short of what I would have expected to hear. The Highs of the Image S4 disappointed me on one of the Chinese songs which I have listened to for years: Little Love Song by SodaGreen. The song’s Piano and its high-pitched singer’s voice are dulled, lacking the crisp sound which I crave.Overall, the highs are very good, but not nearly as good as other earphones, especially when compared them to similarly priced offerings fron Etymotic.

Mids
Smooth with a good amount of detail, the S4 renders Celtic Woman’s Mo Ghile Mear fabulously. Each voice is detailed, with great depth, body and feel. Instruments are lively, drawing the listener in. If you’re a BIG BANG fan or listener, you’re in for a treat. Since I am a BIG BANG listener myself, Lie and Last Farewell, whether in Korean or the English, is powerful. It’s presented as one of the most enveloping sound experiences in the price bracket. In fact, only Altec Lansing Backbeat Pro has been similar. All in all, midrange frequencies are detailed, full bodied, and deep in buttery-smooth wrappings.

Lows
The low frequency is the S4′s “Sweet-Spot”. Listening to pop and metal is extremely good with deep, thumping drums, full body, and impact. For this reason, the drum-heavy Dulaman by Celtic Women, is captivating. Trance is detailed enough, catching every focal and non-focal beat; as the S4 catches its rhythm, this genre is lively. Last Farewell was the party piece with the Image S4, the kick drum and bass drum in it is so powerful yet accurate it brings the song into “hyper” mode where you just want to tap your foot and dance! Overall, the Image S4’s bass is powerful, quick, and full-bodied with an ocean-like depth. In fact, its bass is one of my favourites even compared to much higher-priced earphones.

Soundstage
The Image S4’s soundstage isn’t spectacular, but definitely not disappointing. While decently wide, the Image’s front to back musical tapestry isn’t very deep. The soundstage of the Image S4 leaves your music sounding as a really well done recording: tight, but not too expansive. For orchestral music, instruments tend to cram together, losing some of the essence of the massive collection of players and instruments. But for most faster music, the S4 does a good job for the price, but there is definitely room for improvement.

Quality
Like the S2, Klipsch’s higher-end earphone is rigid and smooth and of great build quality. While not metal, the S4 isn’t the most expensive looking of earphones, but don’t let that fool you! The Cable is designed to be sweat, chemical, and crack resistant (and doing its job well in this Vancouver summer which has reached above 40 degrees!). Relatively flexible and thin, there is little microphonic noise in Klipsch’s earphone which means walking around is great. Thankfully, it is also lightweight and won’t drag your earphones from your ears or put excessive pressure on your ear canals. Plug is a gold-plated right angle 3.5mm, with a soft flex end that acts as a strain relief. Taking all into consideration, the quality of the Klipsch Image S4’s is better than many earphones in its pricerange.

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Conclusion
Klipsch’s attempt to bring an affordable, high-quality earphone to the market was successful with the S2 and is equally so with the S4. Offering good, yet laid-back highs, excellent mids, and mind blowing bass, Klipsch S4 is definitely a top-tier performer. Quality is great – certainly among the best at the price, and despite lacking some accessories and some detail and clarity on the high frequencies, we would recommend these the Image S4’s to anyone entering the “High-Fi” world. This especially rings true for listeners of Pop, Metal, and Trance music. In the end, though the Image S4 is highly recommended in the under $100 category, it lacks a few accessories which hold it back. Never mind though, the S4 is grabbed with two big thumbs up from an over-eager TMA!

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App Summary
Title: Klipsch Image S4 Developer: Klipsch
Price: $79.99
  • Smooth highs
  • Excellent and detailed mids and lows
  • Excellent build
  • Ergonomic design
  • Excellent cable and low microphonics
  • Lack of Accessories
  • High frequencies lack clarity and body

If you are like the geeks at TMA, you can’t get enough of headphones. Check out some of our latest reviews below:
Mingo WM-2 Inner Earphones in Reviews-Jays Inner Earphones in ReviewMonster Beats Tour Earphones in ReviewKlipsch S2 Inner Earphone in Review

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Klipsch S2 Inner Earphone in review – Budget price, Millionaire Build http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/07/20/klipsch-s2-inner-earphone-in-review-budget-price-millionaire-build/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/07/20/klipsch-s2-inner-earphone-in-review-budget-price-millionaire-build/#comments Mon, 20 Jul 2009 10:06:29 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=15869 Introduction Klipsch, a leader in consumer and professional speaker systems since 1946, began production of premium earphones in 2007 with the Custom Series and the Image X10. In 2008, the X5 joined ranks in alongside the X10 in the Image line, and in 2009, two new members, the Image S2 and the Image S4, become … Read more]]>

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Introduction

Klipsch, a leader in consumer and professional speaker systems since 1946, began production of premium earphones in 2007 with the Custom Series and the Image X10. In 2008, the X5 joined ranks in alongside the X10 in the Image line, and in 2009, two new members, the Image S2 and the Image S4, become the newest entrants from Klipsch. Both house new dynamic (moving coil) drivers, a departure from the X5 and X10, which use balanced armatures. Today, we have the Klipsch’s cheapest model, the Image S2, a $49.99 earphone which contends with many other affordable earphones. Be on the lookout for this earphone from electronics’ vendors in August as Klipsch have not yet released the new S2 and S4 earphones.

Specifications

  • Variation: Black Only
  • Transducer: Single KG15, 5.8mm Neodymium Dynamic Driver
  • Impedance:  18 ohms
  • Frequency Range: 12Hz-18kHz
  • Sensitivity (1mW): 106dB
  • Weight: N/A
  • Cord Style: Y-Cord
  • Mini Jack Style: 3.5mm right-angle gold plated

Accessories
For $49.99, I didn’t expect the S2 to move heaven and hell and, was rewarded: inside are soft, oval gel sleeves that come in small, medium, and large sizes. There is also a simple, suede carrying pouch that when squeezed, snaps open to gobble the S2. Sadly, my favourite: a dual-flange, oval sleeve isn’t included.  However, everything else in the package is very well-made; in particular, the pouch is top notch – no complaints on my part.

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Fit
“Noise-Isolating, Comfortable, Lightweight Design” is quoted on Klipsch’s package. They chose their marketing words well. When these little charms went into my ears with the medium sleeves, I could barely feel them! It is probably because the S2 is so light and has such a slim, yet long body which allows rather deep insertion without the earphone touching the inner ear. Likewise, the slim body prevents the outside of the ear from being irritated. The sleeve, or tips as some may call it, keeps the earphone fit and sealed within the ear very well. The S2′s extraordinarily light body is largely supported by the sleeve alone, a fit fact I found to be wondrous.

Whether mowing the lawn, or on busy streets, I couldn’t be happier with isolation. Under every circumstance, I am able to simply enjoy the music without outside interference. And, as for comfort, even after long listening periods, I have tended to forget that I am wearing the earphones until, that slight inner earphone itch comes along.

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Audio
The tiny  KG15 drivers of the Image S2 are custom made for the slim body, and at 5.8mm, are among the smallest neodymium magnet toting dynamic inner ear drivers. But, how does this new and miniscule technology affect quality of sound? Let’s find out shall we?

TMA ‘burns in’ all dynamic driver/moving coil driver earphones like the Image S2 with a minimum of 100 hours to allow the diaphragm of the driver to loosen, helping each earphone to perform to the best of its potential.

Highs
High frequencies perform a bit below my expectations – they are far too warm, lacking both detail and crispness. When listening to soprano singers’ high voices, vocals lack richness, detail and body. Simply, when listening to Granuaile’s Dance by Celtic Woman, violin pieces were a little soft, not as agile as they could be. Separation of instruments, which often is defined by crisp treble, therefore is not a huge strength of the S2. If you are someone who prefers a bright, detailed, and crisp high end, I recommend looking at something from Ultimate Ears MetroFi series or MEElectronics. If you are looking for a less intrusive high frequency band, then these may just be perfect for you.

Mids
The mid frequency band is recessed compared to the other frequencies, however, they perform smoothly.For the price of $49.99, the S2 is among the better-performing earphones along with MEElectronics Ai Series, and Head-Directs RE2. “Whenever You Call” by Mariah Carey and Brian McKnight is detailed with smooth voices that carry a good hint of emotion. However, one thing lacking in the mid range is that instrument and voice separation isn’t the greatest; sounds may tend to mingle a little too much at times, sometimes causing music to ‘mumble’.

Lows
Despite the small driver, (which I’m sure of you may be worried about already), low frequencies are in fact the most dominant and powerful frequency of the Image S2. They are just powerful enough with perfect depth, giving rock the liveliness that it needs. There wasn’t a particular piece of music where the Image S2 disappointed; whether it is bass guitar or drums, the Image S2 performs well above its price. The only “con” about the lows frequencies is that they are not nearly fast enough for trance music. Even if the S2 can keep up with the more powerful beats of slow trance music (slower at least…) the little beats in between couldn’t be picked up with these little baby Klipschs. Big trance fan? The Image S2s aren’t for you.

Soundstage
Soundstage isn’t one of the parts that were “astonishing”, the soundstage was above average for earphones competing in this price range, with great width, but less extension front to back. Pinpointing arrangements like: “the drums are on my right, guitar on my left, singer in front of me”, was not as easy as some other earphones. While listening to “Mo Ghile Mear” by Celtic Woman, the S2 didn’t impress me as much as phones that have a wider soundstage such as the similarly-priced MEElectronics’ Ai-M6.

Quality
The quality of the Klipsch Image S2 is in fact far above average in this price range. The earpieces are made extremely tough plastic. I wouldn’t want to take a knife to the S2, but it has survived my efforts to snap the nozzle off – not even a budge. They are that well-built. Cables too, are well made, but thin and in fact, very similar to the more expensive Jays earphone cables, but with more flex and no Kevlar® filling. The earpieces and the plug have a soft, rubber piece which acts as a strain relief which works very nicely, just not as great as a real, moulded strain relief.

Out and about with the S2
Microphonics isn’t a problem for the Image S2, though they do complain a bit from when you rub the cables with your fingers. Even with wind blowing against the cable or the cable rubbing against your shirt, wagging back and forth, there is no annoying noise. So when listening to your music, there’s no unwanted guests in the audio party you’re hosting.

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Conclusion
Priced at $49.99, these are going to be a strong contender in the affordable earphone sector. Good looks, good price and a great upgrade, the S2 will especially draw teenagers and people who are looking for good sound quality and a great warranty (2 years) without breaking the bank. Despite highs that lack detail and recessed mids, these are earphones that are very good value for the money. Comfort, isolation and build quality of the Klipsch Image S2 are all above and beyond expectations at the $49.99 price point. I would recommend these to people who are looking to wear earphones for a long period of time, and those who are slightly rougher on their gear than those at tma (sic)who polish and watch for every scratch that happens on our earphones and headphones. Overall, the Image S2 are very good-sounding earphones that feature an excellent build quality. Sadly, these little babies from Klipsch won’t come till August, but they are worth a ‘Grab’ from behind!

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App Summary
Title: Image S2 Developer: Klipsch
Price: $49.99
  • Excellent build quality
  • Modern and great looks
  • Accessories’ quality is high
  • Fantastic fit and comfort
  • Minimal microphonics
  • Good mids and bass
  • Affordable Price
  • Warranty
  • Poor High frequency presentation
  • Minimal accessories

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Can’t get enough headphones? Check out our headphone section and budget earphone reviews.
Meelectronics Ai-M6 and M9 in ReviewHead Direct RE2 Inner Earphone in ReviewNuforce NE7M mobile phone compatible earphones in review

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