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  • [Review] Klipsch Image S4 Headphones

    Are you looking to get the best sound you can with small pocket-able headphones?

    If you're an iDevice user who wants to get better sound from that sound jack than Apple's stock headphones can offer, I think that you should try out these headphones, the Klipsch Image S4 series. They come in at a hefty $79.99, but for in-ear headphones, the bass is pretty impressive, the sound isolation is great, and the comfort level is off the charts. It may be a pretty expensive investment, but after trying these, you'll never look back at your stock Apple headphones the same way again. The Klipsch Image S4 headphones have two versions, one has an inline remote and microphone and the other does not. I chose the buy the pair that did not have the inline remote and microphone.

    When you open the box, you see a nice aluminum carrying case and numerous sizes of ear pieces. The stock ones that come on the headphones already usually cut it for most people. The silicon is so soft that you will barely know that they're in your ears. The Bass is so noticeable, but it isn't so brutal, that you can sit back and enjoy what you're listening to without getting sore ears after more than fifteen minutes. That is the effect that I have had with similar headphones such as the Skullcandy Titan series which I would not recommend at all because they have sound problems with the all-around iDevice lineup.

    These headphones are small, and they can reach some pretty impressive lows. Of course, you won't get studio quality bass in something that discrete, however you will be able to mellowly enjoy what you're hearing because you can hear those low frequencies just well enough to... well audiophiles know exactly where I'm getting at. Unless you buy big and bulky headphones that literally overlap your whole head, you won't get true mobile bass. But the Klipsch Image S4 takes the modern day mobile headphones and meets those heavy bass bulky headphones at an intersection. The quality is there, the noise isolation is excellent, and you will feel like you bought a pair of headphones that you can listen to your music with.

    The wiring isn't tangle-prone which means that you can bunch it into your pocket with confidence. Like all wires, it can tangle, but it's not nearly as bad as how tangled the stock Apple headphones can get if you bunch them up in your pocket. Comparing these headphones to a similar pair - the Apple in-ear headphones, you will notice that the Klipsch headphones bring a more illuminant sound. The Apple in-ear headphones simply don't have any boom in the bass at all - just a tick.

    If you're looking for good headphones for your iPhone, iPad, or iPod, I recommend the Klipsch Image S4 (or Klipsch Image S4i if you want the inline remote and microphone). What do you think about these headphones - have you ever tried them? Share in the comments.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: [Review] Klipsch Image S4 Headphones started by Anthony Bouchard View original post
    Comments 29 Comments
    1. jwil736's Avatar
      jwil736 -
      Lmao you wouldnt catch me buying $120 ear buds.
    1. Airwaves182's Avatar
      Airwaves182 -
      I got the dre beats tours and there good so far but doesn't slay in ears that good but sounds & looks great! but expensive :P
    1. Phillip Swanson's Avatar
      Phillip Swanson -
      I bought these for my brother for Christmas two years ago and he absolutely loves them. They easily outperform earbuds that cost three to four times as much. Great isolation, punchy, but not booming bass, and a crisp high-end with fleshed out mids create a headphone with a great sound profile for users with a ton of different listening habits.

      The only concern I had while frequently borrowing my brother's headphones was the durability of the cable. While it doesn't tangle too much, it is very thin and is the only part of the headphone that feels like an $80 pair of buds. But, Klipsch includes a two-year warranty to help ease durability concerns.

      Klipsch hasn't released a successor to the S4A at this price point in two years and once you buy a pair it'll be easy to see why. For someone who has owned headphones from Seinheiser, Shure, Etymotic, Grado, Sony, and probably more than I care to admit, these are an incredible value. For people used to spending $15, or maybe $30 on headphones, the $80 price tag might seem steep, but understand there is another world of headphones out there where $500 is common place, and these headphones sound as good as a pair many hundreds of dollars more. Check Amazon too as they frequently have the Klipsch S4 on sale for as low as $60 or as part of their daily bargains, which is how I snagged mine for $45...what I couldn't keep borrowing my brothers...

      Quote Originally Posted by jwil736 View Post
      Lmao you wouldnt catch me buying $120 ear buds.
      Trust me, once you listen to a quality pair of headphones you will never be able to go back to the standard iPhone headphones or the cheaper headphones found at most department stores. Expensive headphones aren't for everyone, but for those who want the most out of their sound an after market solution is a must.
    1. gurndog16's Avatar
      gurndog16 -
      I bought a pair about a year ago online for around 50 bucks although I cant remember from where and I have to say i am very pleased with them, they are lightyears better than the apple earbuds and for what i payed they couldnt be beat, so do your research if you are interested you definitely dont have to spend full price for these but they are probably worth it
    1. Phillip Swanson's Avatar
      Phillip Swanson -
      I completely agree, there is no reason to pay full price for headphones ever. I've been an in-ear audiophile since early on in high school and the market has never been more competitive. The only headphones I see constantly over priced are Beats By Dre. Good cans, not worth the price of admission though.
    1. mrsancheezz's Avatar
      mrsancheezz -
      i brought the S3 in-ear headphones and thier awesome. i love them. got them new for 15 bucks. Bass is good, also the Treble is great.
    1. Cellular's Avatar
      Cellular -
      Well dr.dre head phones do sound better but since iTunes compression filters out "unused sounds" you don't get full and complete sound
    1. mindblown's Avatar
      mindblown -
      i'll stick with my jvc marshmallow, they are good enough for me
    1. Jahooba's Avatar
      Jahooba -
      I've had a pair of Sennheiser CX-300 in-ear headphones for five years or so, and they sound fantastic. You can usually find them on sale on Amazon for like $24 to $30, but originally I had bought them for $80 when they first came out. I've been through a couple of them (my dog chewed the cord on a pair) and Sennheiser replaced them, which was nice of them!

      Now that I've read this glowing review, I'll look into the Klipsch next time I go shopping for headphones.

      Edit: interestingly enough, I did a search on Amazon for my Sennheisers, and the Klipsch Image S4's shows up in the list. They're in good company, I see!
    1. Rob_1980's Avatar
      Rob_1980 -
      Very nice, but how far do you go where iPod audio is concerned?

      How many of you actually have lossless quality audio files on your iPod or iPhone as opposed to compressed mp3s?

      I'd pay that price if I had spent the time ensuring my whole music library was at the highest quality feasible, and there was a recognisable difference between those and my sennheisers.

      Without a doubt, the stock headphones are extremely poor quality, designed for somebody with massive ear holes who doesn't care about quality.

      Any other in ear headphone that simply fits in your ear properly would be a great improvement!
    1. KraXik's Avatar
      KraXik -
      Well I followed your advice on Dropbox and now I've just paid for a pair of these buds on eBay. New for 40 doesn't seem too bad at all!
    1. Zeke Gates's Avatar
      Zeke Gates -
      The S4 is definitely a pair of great sounding buds. But I had a little trouble keeping them in my ears. Which is a persistent problem for me with other earbuds as well. So for my last set I decided to go with a pair of Etymotic HF3's. All I can say is wow...amazing
    1. anmiller07's Avatar
      anmiller07 -
      I have been using (only) the image S4i for about two years now and could not be any happier. Great pair of earbuds, so comfortable you will forget that they are in. Like any IEM, finding a good seal is key to getting a great sound, but once you do so you wont EVER want to go back to a $15 headphone. And the warranty is great, I have had to have mine replaced because I stupidly stepped on them and ripped the cord in the process. Completely my fault but the folks at Klipsch had no qualms about swapping me out. Also their customer service is great, you go straight to a real live English speaking person!!! And they are super durable as well, I have also left them in my pants accidentally, so they've been through a wash and dry cycle....still work perfectly. The only thing I wish they had was replacebale cables but trust me....this is a good set of monitors. I will be sticking with them for sure until I get some custom's.
    1. 1shuttle1's Avatar
      1shuttle1 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Phillip Swanson View Post
      I bought these for my brother for Christmas two years ago and he absolutely loves them. They easily outperform earbuds that cost three to four times as much. Great isolation, punchy, but not booming bass, and a crisp high-end with fleshed out mids create a headphone with a great sound profile for users with a ton of different listening habits.

      The only concern I had while frequently borrowing my brother's headphones was the durability of the cable. While it doesn't tangle too much, it is very thin and is the only part of the headphone that feels like an $80 pair of buds. But, Klipsch includes a two-year warranty to help ease durability concerns.

      Klipsch hasn't released a successor to the S4A at this price point in two years and once you buy a pair it'll be easy to see why. For someone who has owned headphones from Seinheiser, Shure, Etymotic, Grado, Sony, and probably more than I care to admit, these are an incredible value. For people used to spending $15, or maybe $30 on headphones, the $80 price tag might seem steep, but understand there is another world of headphones out there where $500 is common place, and these headphones sound as good as a pair many hundreds of dollars more. Check Amazon too as they frequently have the Klipsch S4 on sale for as low as $60 or as part of their daily bargains, which is how I snagged mine for $45...what I couldn't keep borrowing my brothers...


      Trust me, once you listen to a quality pair of headphones you will never be able to go back to the standard iPhone headphones or the cheaper headphones found at most department stores. Expensive headphones aren't for everyone, but for those who want the most out of their sound an after market solution is a must.
      I agree these are great sounding for the price. I also own more sets of headphones then anyone man should. Got these right after my wife washed the big brother to these headphones in the wash. Tough way to see 400 dollars vanish in front or your eyes. Anyway I was surprised how well these sounded. Ebay is always a good way to find this price range set of phones for a lot less then retail. I think mine were 58 dollars.

      Just remember the better the headphone the better the quality of the recording better be. Crappy compressed music sounds even more crappy when heard through good headphones. But on the other hand Lossless or 320 kb or better really shines and you will be glad you spent the money.
    1. oddphone20's Avatar
      oddphone20 -
      Try some westone 4's. Blow these away. ($400+ they better) you can't understand what a true in ear is capable of until you do. Please don't listen to 128 bit recordings. If great sounding music is your thing, you can't go wrong with any westones'. Westone 1s are in the same price range and are better. Westone only makes higher end in ear headphones, professional in ear monitors, and hearing aids.
    1. mr117's Avatar
      mr117 -
      Ultimate Ears offers a nice variety of buds from a little $ to a lot. I've worked my way up to the TripleFi 10 (3 speakers in each bud), the priciest (list for $400, Amazon has them for $172 right now) below the custom-molded $1200 musician set. With the Comply ear cushions (included), easily the best buds I've ever used. If you are the kind of person that is bass crazy, probably not the buds for you, but for a full, wide, smooth audio spectrum with incredible clarity, these are the ones. I use only lossless files, so the sound is there in the iPhone (I'm using the "dj for iPhone and iPad" app right now, which does segues between songs, also have used EQu for a while) for good playback. If all you want to do is listen to music over a string and a couple of tin cans, use the supplied Apple buds with MP3s. But, if you care about music, consider using better buds and try lossless files. You can hear the difference.
    1. sTrAnGe mOdS's Avatar
      sTrAnGe mOdS -
      Although not earbuds, I got the Dre Beats Studios and the sound is so much better than any other headphones I've ever used. I used to use the stock Apple earbuds, but I don't think I'll be going back to those again!
    1. Spyruf's Avatar
      Spyruf -
      forget these get skullcandy 50/50s

      forget these get skullcandy 50/50
    1. AfterMercyFM's Avatar
      AfterMercyFM -
      I bought these for my trip to Iraq. They sound great. Awesome clarity. Rich deep lows. They sound awesome, and not only that, they're VERY comfortable.

      Price is steep, but you get what you pay for and I wouldn't trade them for another pair.
    1. mbaker675's Avatar
      mbaker675 -
      And the successor to the S4I is now the Klipsch Reference S4I, it makes the best earphones sound even better. It's currently priced at $119.00 and it looks pricier with its copper accents.

      Reference S4i Headphones