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The headphones that brought me into the over-ear/on-ear realm

A Review On: Klipsch Image ONE Premium On-Ear Earphones

Klipsch Image ONE Premium On-Ear Earphones

Rated # 93 in Over-Ear
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thepiper92
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Pros: Bass, lighweight, surprisingly strong, look nice, good quality ear pads.

Cons: "Paint" on the headband, Size (feel like they should be over ears, but my ears are too small), fall off easily

The Image One's were the first over-ear/ on- ear headphone I purchased. I was always concerned about them not being as loud as in ears, and the portability issues as well, but with an amp, I was no longer concerned with volume, and I actually now find full sizes to be as portable as in ears. At the store, I was torn between a few in-ears, and the reference versions of these, which as far as I know are the same sound, just the reference series has a different look, and perhaps better materials (better as in better looking material perhaps). The Image Ones are truly a great pair of headphones, and I loved them even more when I was more of a bass head. Not saying I don't enjoy them still. The bass they provide is a powerful as Beats, but cleaner and more accurate, especially amping them. They have decent mids and highs, but they are muffled when they are not plugged into an amp. With an amp, the mids and highs are good, but not sparkling, for the headphones are really meant for bass. In the sound department, I would give them a 10/10 for bass heads, but now an 8/10 for my taste, as I would no longer consider myself a basshead. Really, there isn't much else to say about sound. The bass can be lessened with an amp, revealing a great sound when you don't want to be analytical about sound, just have something to listen to when doing things like writing a paper.

 

Comfort wise, the Image One's are quite comfortable really, but due to having smaller head, the headphones were just always too big for me. I find this with many headphones, but the Image One's also have zero clamping. If my head were larger, adjusting the headphone band would increase clamping actually, for as with most headphones, they go in a horseshoe shape to allow some clamping, and making them taller also would make them to have to be stretched further to be put on ones head. I still think the Image One's clamping force would be lower regardless. MY other gripe with the Image Ones' is that I don't know if they are over ears or on ears. My ears are not huge, but not tiny, and the pads extended on parts of it slightly past my ears, and this stopped any isolation. They were not initially like that, but after use, the pads clearly flatten out a tad, and seemed to push outwards.. The pads never got widen enough to go around ny ears. If clamping force were stronger, the force would make the foam widen inwards and outwards, and conform to my ears better, offering a better seal. As a result, I found myself needing to push the pads towards the center of the driver to reshape them. This would work for some time, but another issue came about: The material holding onto the drive casings would stretch and the pads became somewhat easy to take off from the housings. Unfortunely, it a not easy to pop them on again. Even with this dislikes, the Image Ones where never uncomfortable, and with their lightweight design I hardly felt them, but during listening, I could feel sound leakage at times.

 

The Image Ones are light, but well built overall. The cable seems like it would be a weak place, but it worked well until something caught the wire on the left driver as I stood up and ripped it out. This was after a lot of use and a few good yank on the wires from similar incidents, mind you. I have another pair though, which will be discussed soon for why I do. While not a build weakness, the "paint" stuff on the headband that makes it flat black and also give it a texture that is hard to explain comes off very easily, leaving behind a different luster black. This just was annoying, for the headphones are nice looking, with a very conservative, professional look. I did have one breakage, the left drive swivel cracked, but this crack never got any worse. The crack gave the area more flex, and I was initially worried, so I contacted Klipsch. This is when I saw how great of a company they were. I told them the issue, they asked for shipping information. I thought they were going to send a new swivel, but no, I got a whole new pair of headphones. They didn't ask for proof of the damage. That is very impressive, especially when after my SoundMagic amp broke after a week of using it at home, MP4Nation wanted it shipped all the way back to China to get it repaired or replaced. It was an okay sounding amp, but was horribly made. I just tossed it and didn't bother sending it back. Even though my original Images Ones are toast, I still have a never used pair in a case sitting in my closet, and it is nice to have customer service like that. Of course the Image One's are marked up in price, like any headphone, but I like that a company would trust a customer and not require proof, and better yet, send a whole new pair, and not just a replacement part. Klipsch is an excellent company to deal with. While I prefer the Shure SE215's over Klipsch's S4's, Shure never responded back to me after I complimented them on how pleased I was with the cabling they use. Customer service is, I feel, extremely important, and whether you find a product to be better or worse than another, the company that cares about their customers is a good company. I've had great support from ClarityOne and Comply, if that helps anyone.

 

Back to the Image Ones, they are a good set of headphones, and the muffled mids and highs disappear with the use of a half decent amp (I was using an E11 with them before I lost the E11, and when they broke not long after).  They are no doubt bass heavy and they will impress most bassheads with delivering punchy, boomy, yet clean bass. One who wants neutral and analytical sound should probably look at another set, but for anyone, they have a fun sound, and with bass turned down, one will hear a sound that is great for listening for background music. They are a comfortable pair of headphones, but would be better with more clamping and/or smaller size. They would also be better if they were over-ears, or even smaller pads that are more  on-ear rather than in between. Someone with small ears will find these to be just large enough to be over-ears, and one with large ears will find them to be great on-ears. For me, my ears are just in the middle, and with a pad size that is right in the middle, sound leakage occurs. Overall a good buy, especially for $80. I got them for almost $150, but everything is more money in Canada it seems.

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