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Klipsch IMAGE S4 In-Ear Enhanced Bass Noise-Isolating Headphones

79% Positive Reviews
Rated #63 in Universal Fit

Posted

Pros: Good overall sound quality, nice aesthetic design, one of the better "consumer" headphones you can buy at retail

Cons: Poor fit and durability, harsh sibilance

These were the first IEMs I bought that were over 50$ after reading good reviews on it. Unfortunately I don't think they live up to the hype. They are definitely better than some of the other consumer-oriented brands such as Beats, Bose, etc. but they are not worth 70 or 80$.

 

Note: I do not have my fully functioning S4 anymore because I recently lost it. (long story) The one I mention in this review comes in the blue CNET box (no cleaning tool, straight plug).

 

Sound quality

The sound quality is a V-shape signature with an emphasis on the highs. The bass is rather boomy but it does not overpower everything else and quite detailed still. The mids are a bit recessed when you first get these but they sound better after burn-in and using the bi-flanges clears them up while reducing sibilance. At first I found the highs to be rather metallic though this settled after burn-in, but the sibilance is still there. Overall, the highs are crisp but not very detailed. The soundstage is pretty good in size for an IEM. As these only go up to 19 kHz, they are a bit forgiving of lower bitrates. For my ears it is a bit harder to tell 128kbps from 320kbps compared to some other headphones. They also seem to amplify any sort of hiss.

 

 

Fit and comfort

This is probably one of the more disappointing aspects of the S4. Although I found the regular and large tips to be quite comfortable, the medium ones fall from my ears easily and moving them slightly off will kill the bass. Both cause the harsh sibilance I noted earlier. The "small" biflanges, on the other hand, take away this sibilance but take a while getting used to.They do take off a bit of detail from the highs unless you absolutely stuff them into your ears and keep it in that position (which I do not recommend because it has got stuck in my ear once). At the same time, they also bring out the mids and bass quite a bit more. Because the biflanges are small size, the noise isolation isn't as good as the large tips, although they still do isolate sound nicely. Like the medium eartips, they are hard to fit for optimum sound. Just moving them slightly off kills the bass.

 

Durability

Another problem is durability. The strain reliefs are especially weak and mine ripped within 3 weeks of use. That said, this isn't much of a problem as the cords still hold very well from the cans, and Klipsch has improved upon it in their latest version in addition to flatter cables. The cables in my version feel flimsy and do tangle when scrunched into your pocket, though they are springy so it's a bit easier to untie them. The straight plug on the other hand is poorly built. Putting these in my bag it somehow got bent to the extent that the center channel was removed like a karaoke. Fortunately, Klipsch sent me a free replacement (though I just recently lost this pair). It seems rather normal the plug is very slightly bent and not perfectly straight out of the box.

 

Value

If they were under 40$ (which you may find on the internet) this would be a decent pair of cans. Unfortunately, durability and fit are the two main problems the S4 faces. That said, it's still one of the better consumer-level headphones you can easily buy at retail stores like Best Buy or RadioShack, stores that don't always sell the best type of headphones. if you are still interested, get the S4 II because of its better build quality (and watch out for the prices as it is often more expensive if they sell the original S4).

Posted

Pros: Sound good, Comfortable, iPhone-compatible

Cons: large button, ear mold plastic could be firmer

I got a pair of these to use with my iPhone for listening to music as well as making calls. So far I'm pretty pleased. I agree with raghunath that they are a little bassy, at least compared to my last cheap pair. But I don't mean that in a bad way. I like the way they sound.

They're a very comfortable fit and come with 4 different sets of plastic tips in different sizes so you can use the one that fits your ears best. I am having a little trouble with my left ear - I can't seem to get the fit to be as snug as I would like. It slips out sometimes. It seems that if the plastic were a little firmer it might make a better seal. But it's a minor issue which I hope will go away with more use.

It's great to have a quality noise-isolating headset to use for phone calls. Whew. So much better for talking. And the remote button on the cable will operate with your iPod/iPhone as a pause / skip / call answer button. There are also volume up/down buttons. The piece of plastic that houses these buttons is a little larger than I would like and makes coiling them a bit harder. But it feels solid, which is more important.

Overall happy with the purchase, except for the fact that I bought them on impulse from the Apple Store and therefore paid a terribly high price. Ugh. I should have checked the "buy now" prices on the right side of this page first!!!

Posted

I feel these are good earphones for Indian Classical vocal, (which is what I listen to) because of the inherent nature of ICM. Mids are clear. The only real base in this kind of music is tabla, which is really laid back compared to vocal in most of the cases. Therefore even though they are a little bassy, it does not affect the quality much.

Posted

Pros: Bass, high quality, carry case, (comfort, isolation)

Cons: Mids, highs, comfort, isolation

Brought these way back in 2011 for what seems like a total rip off today of $80 or so. 

 

Good: Bass, I think the bass is too dominant with these, it makes the mids sound bad and the highs are just absolute crap. Build quality is good, my right one's cable was not very securely attached to the stress relief but still held up no problem over the years. Stock tips didn't work the best for me, my ears and IEM's hate each other. I brought triple flange tips and the isolation is improved, as well as comfort and no changes to sound quality. 

 

Bad: Stock tips not for me. Mids sometimes taken hostage by the bass. Highs were shot long before, they didn't stand a chance!

Posted

Pros: Sounds half decent, bass not too woolly and treble not too harsh

Cons: Cable will fail you, even if you treat it like it an angel. Cost doesn't reflect quality.

I've had a very bad experience with these headphones and as such will personally not be buying Klipsch again. I'm now on my third pair of the the S4A (II)'s - the version specifically for Android smartphones. All three developed the same issue, losing sound in one channel. There appears to be a significant design flaw in the cable as in all three cases I was wither walking along with the phone in pocket or doing another everyday activity like mowing the lawn and the channel just cut out to such a degree I was never able to determine the location of the break by manipulating the cable, plug or joints. 

 

The local Klipsch local distributor replaced the first and second pair (begrudgingly), but now says Klipsch have told him that they won't replace any more devices purchased outside of New Zealand - (these were a gift from my father in law from Amazon UK). That's understandable I guess though, so I will try going back directly to Amazon and claim they aren't fit for purpose, but they are outside the 1 year warranty now of course. I have to say that I am really disappointed that the product appears to have not been tested to cope with normal use - it's not as if I was jogging or doing cartwheels or yanking the plug out of my phone sideways etc - just walking or mowing! It is especially annoying, as after the first replacement I have been ridiculously careful with the cables knowing how fragile they are, yet they still failed after only 3-6 months each!

 

I am happy enough with the sound quality, it's certainly a significant jump up from bundled headphones, but they weren't mind-blowing in any particular regard. OK bass and mids, treble a bit muted but I prefer that to shrillness. Isolation was very good, with the oval tips fitting my ears well, and they're comfortable over moderate periods. One unwelcome thing I noticed however was that when making calls, there is no feedback from the mic to your ears, meaning with the isolation you can't tell how loud the environment around you is, nor hear your own voice well and therefore can talk too loud - it's a bit disconcerting at first. Things are actually better if you pull the tips out to reduce the isolation. FYI the mic appears to work OK in quiet environments, not very well in noisy places, and is located not hanging in mid-air underneath your right ear like Apple, but rubbing on your centre of your shirt, Also, the lazy blanking of the Apple remote buttons to leave one available for Android means the controls are unnecessarily oversized and heavy. 

 

OK, enough ranting. Get these only if you see them cheap, say US$30, otherwise buyer very beware!

Posted

Pros: exciting sound, comfortable and light weight, excellent design and quality, shiny!

Cons: straight plug? for some people

To clarify: I have the normal s4, not the inline mic/remote edition (these http://www.bestbuy.com/site/image-s4-stereo-earphone/9422369.p?id=1218105502820&skuId=9422369&st=klipsch s4&cp=1&lp=3) I picked these up the other day just for the heck of it and because of their legendary status as excellent budget iems. I really wasn't expecting jaw dropping sound, especially since I was currently pricing some iems several price brackets above these. I am however very pleased with my purchase. Here's my short review :)

 

Reasons the s4 have made such a positive impression on me: comfort, quality and excellent design. The driver housings fit neatly in my ear and get a nice deep seal (I've had issues with getting a comfortable seal on other iems). The s4 are light weight and compact; I was even able to sleep with them in! (not that it was particularly comfy, but I forgot my earplugs and I've never been able to do that with other iems :3). The nozzles are angled and tips are oval shaped for a more ergonomic fit, and work especially well over ear. I really like the flat cable; it is an adequate length, has a nice texture, and low microphonics. While I wish klipsch had used an angled jack, the straight plug is well made and compact enough to use with my picky iphone case. They come with a nice little zipper pouch and easily coil up to fit in it. Overall very compact, portable and convenient.

 

For it's price category, the s4 definitley sound good. They have a v shaped sound signature that emphasises punchy bass and treble. It's worth noting this signature does not bring out the best in all genres and might not be suited to midrange heavy music. The sound stage is pretty good to boot! Overall an exciting sound, although not super detailed. I think the MSRP is a little high for the s4, but that's true for most headphones. At street price I think they are a stealer deal. They might not be the best sounding iems in the category, but the overall package is definetly impressive.

 

Even though I purchased the s4 on a whim, already they've become my go to portable headphone. I might even start using them for sports and exercising instead of my yurbud focus. In summary, I believe the klipsch s4 live up to their reputation as one of the best budget iems.

Posted

Pros: ...

Cons: Everything for a headphone that's not free

I bought the klipsch s4i along with the iPhone4 on iPhone4's launching day cause I thought my new phone deserves a good earbuds.  Boy was I wrong. klipsch s4i is nothing more than a piece of sh*t! Please excuse my language or if I offended any klipsch fans, but im just trying to speak of my mind. The sound will break when the note is too high and there is absolutely no bass. I really thought the old model earbuds made by Apple that came with the iPhone4 is better than the klipsch s4i.

Posted

Pros: great bass, just right highs and treble

Cons: casing loosens after a while

You will always remember your first, and these earphones are probably the best first's i could ever get at that time. For someone who had never used anything besides apple earphones and equivalent quality earphones, so the s4's where a huge jump in terms of audio quality. It was great for most types of music that i listen to, anything from fall out boy to Andre Bocelli, so I'd say its a great starter for anyone looking for a cheap and good pair of entry level earphones. It has a really nice and mellow tones, especially in the mids where Andre Bocelli's ringing voice completely envelops you.

 

the build is great mostly, really nice design and the cable is thin but not fragile. only thing is that after a while the casing gets a bit loose,but not really enough that you would notice unless you really go and wobble the casing. Overall a great buy for anyone looking for something nice and simple that won't burn a hole in your pocket.

Posted

Pros: cheaper than Ethiopian dirt, good construction, glorious bass, perfect fit.

Cons: no in-line volume controls, or remote/mic.

This was the first pair of headphones that I truly fell in love with. I remember it like it was yesterday, I asked my roommate of I could borrow his headphones while I studied for my upcoming computer science midterm.  He handed me a tangled mess of black rubber wire, and said "here, they suck but they're the only ones I have".  Laughing, I put them in my ears, and was surprised at the immediate ease of insertion.  Hmm, I put on some Deadmau5, Sofie Needs a Ladder, and then it happened... WHAARRRGLARBLE Is this what music sounds like!?  How have I gone my whole life listening to this skullcandy crap!?  I could hear ever note, the vocals were like someone was standing right next to me! I experienced the "3D" effect for the first time, and the Bass rumbled deep within my eardrums. 

 

Weeks later my love for headphones grew.  Over the years I purchased pair after pair, looking for an improvement, but I have found none.  Note ever headphones in the $100-$200 price range can complete with the Klipsch Image S4's.  If you have never heard these, you need to go on ebay right now, and get yourself a used pair in the $20 dollar range. God speed my friend.

Posted

Pros: Decent SQ

Cons: booming bass

Audio quality-pretty good. Bass can be overbearing.

Design-it is comfortable. Sticks out at an odd angle if you don't swap ears, and then the stereo is reversed.

Comfort-As above. Don't notice it in my ear with the Comply TX-100s I added. With silicone it can be annoying.

Isolation-Pretty good with silicone. Awesome with Comply.

Klipsch IMAGE S4 In-Ear Enhanced Bass Noise-Isolating Headphones
Description:

Tune out the external environment and tune into your own private concert experience anytime, anywhere with the Image S4. These noise-isolating in-ear headphones deliver dynamic sound and unequaled comfort for a price that's easy on the wallet.These reasonably priced, high-performance earphones go above and beyond what you'd expect from the stock earbuds that come with your MP3 player or music phone.In fact, you'll find Klipsch headphones are far superior to other brands - delivering unequaled comfort, noise isolation, musical accuracy and bass. Furthermore, Klipsch has managed to take its decades of research and development experience to value engineer the Image S4, while staying true to its audiophile heritage.

Details:
DetailValue
BindingElectronics
BrandKlipsch
ColorBlack
EAN0043878021296
FeaturePiano black finish with chrome accents
Height10 inches
Length5 inches
Weight0.03 pounds
Width8 inches
LabelKlipsch
List Price$79.99
ManufacturerKlipsch
ModelIMAGE S4
MPNIMAGE S4
Package Quantity1
Product GroupCE
Product Type NameHEADPHONES
PublisherKlipsch
StudioKlipsch
TitleKlipsch IMAGE S4 In-Ear Enhanced Bass Noise-Isolating Headphones
UPC743878021295
Batteries Included0
Is Autographed0
Is Memorabilia0
Product Type Subcategory2300799
StyleImage S4
Models:
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
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