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Klipsch IMAGE X10 vs UE triple.fi 10 Pro initial & final thoughts

post #1 of 56
Thread Starter 
FYI: future comparison review originally promised in April has been canceled, see my post #12

I received my new UE triple.fi last week, and listened to it heavily over the weekend. So far, only out of my iAudio X5 directly from the headphone jack.

I'll be posting a full review of both IEMs in either July or August (probably August) so I'm going to keep this short.

I can say right now that this is going to be a tough review - both of these IEMs sound really good in their own way. Each has different pros and cons.

The Klipsch is definitely the bassier, more fleshed out IEM, and compared to the triple.fi, the bass is everything the triple.fi isn't! More powerful, deeper, and authoritative. Extremely fun, the Klipsch just rocks out better with any kind of bassy music.

The triple.fi is quite treble-tilted in comparison. But first things first. It shocked and awed me with its sound, even right from the X5! Clear, articulate, and fast, it's a huge earful out of my X5. I had NO idea MP3 could sound this good.

With the Klipsch the bassier IEM and the triple.fi the brighter IEM, this is going to make the match-up tough since there's a competition in preferences. Both sound really good though, I'm impressed. I do like the greater efficiency of the triple.fi, don't need to dial up the volume as high to get equal SPL.

Btw, for those who haven't kept up on the latest news, the original IMAGE released last year is now the X10. There's a new IMAGE X5 that's slightly bigger, see Klipsch's Premier Sponsor forum for more info.
post #2 of 56
If you can, try the Comply T400 tips with your Triple fi. They change the sound signature a bit, tuning it towards bass. Many people listen to the Triple.fi with foams.
post #3 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by antonyfirst View Post
If you can, try the Comply T400 tips with your Triple fi. They change the sound signature a bit, tuning it towards bass. Many people listen to the Triple.fi with foams.
And on another thread, Steviebee is leaning towards the Shure silicon tips. May want to try one or all and see how they change the sound sig.

Me, I had the triple and the Image; sold the Triples, kept the Image. Found them quite comfortable
post #4 of 56
Yeah, definitely try some foam on TF10.

To me, they smooth out the slightly harsh treble and give a better bass response. Unfortunate the foam UE included are some of the worst I even saw, so I have to mod a pair of olive to get the job done. Olive is less comfortable than T400 (obviously), but I like the fact that they'll last longer. SQ wise, they are roughly the same.

Also note that, T400 are very difficult to take out once you put it on TF10 (you have to almost destroy them to take them off), so get the T500 if you can.
post #5 of 56
The X5 is IMHO even better than the X10...despite of being cheaper, the treble extension is a tab better, keeping the same sonic signature and bass...
post #6 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClieOS View Post
Yeah, definitely try some foam on TF10.

To me, they smooth out the slightly harsh treble and give a better bass response. Unfortunate the foam UE included are some of the worst I even saw, so I have to mod a pair of olive to get the job done. Olive is less comfortable than T400 (obviously), but I like the fact that they'll last longer. SQ wise, they are roughly the same.

Also note that, T400 are very difficult to take out once you put it on TF10 (you have to almost destroy them to take them off), so get the T500 if you can.
agree the T-400 is impossible to remove and ruined a few of them trying to do so. Now are you saying the T-500 is easier to remove????
post #7 of 56
T500 has apparently been designed for easy fit/removal on UE, so yes I guess that means they are a whole lot easier to remove.

edit\ to remove T400 I had to use needle nose piers. I would not recommend putting them on Triple Fi. Plus they are not exactly the longest lasting of tips. Olives (recored w/ UE cores) do a far better job, fit & build wise.
post #8 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by tnmike1 View Post
agree the T-400 is impossible to remove and ruined a few of them trying to do so. Now are you saying the T-500 is easier to remove????
Yeah, T500 is specifically designed for UE. Same build as T400 but easier to remove.
post #9 of 56
I like the strong grip of the T400.
post #10 of 56
Am i correct in thinking that the Image X10 is only a single armature driver? If so it is very impressive indeed it stands up to the TF10.
post #11 of 56
I had owned the Triple.Fi previously, but sold it due to fitment problems. Mostly, I could not get a good fit with any of the UE tips, which of course, gave me a loss of seal.

I recently re-puchased them, and I am using the Shure e2c black silicone tips. These are perfect for me. I get (and maintain) a great seal. With a seal like this, I just can't see how people still manage to say the triple.fi is lacking in any type of bass. These naysayers must also love Darth 'fart' beyers.
post #12 of 56
Thread Starter 
Apologies to those who anticipated a future review of these two IEMs, but I'm going to have to cancel it. A full review will not be coming soon or anytime in the future, sorry.

I'll post some closing scattered final thoughts here instead.

1. The Klipsch IMAGE X10 has a much warmer mid-range than the triple.fi, enough that I consider it a stark contrast. I could try to describe the ways in which it's colored but since that's subjective anyway, I'll just say it's very pleasant-sounding.

2. The IMAGE also has considerably more bass output in terms of both extension and force. It extends at least an audible octave lower if not more. It easily pushes plenty of bass around the 40-80 Hz area, enough that it more than satisfies for my electronica music. The triple.fi works well enough for electronica too but it's nowhere near as satisfying with the thumps and booms.

3. In the same way that the IMAGE has bass, the triple.fi has treble. Clear, clean, and articulate - not quite as much treble definition as my full-sized headphones, but still very acceptable and surprising for an IEM. It separates fast sequences of notes easily and closes snaps nicely.

4. Both isolate very well when music is playing. I've tested both on flights & a bus and both worked very well at blocking out at least 85% of ambient noise - the last 10-15% usually being engine noise.

5. Both are very comfortable, for my ears anyway. Achieving a seal with the IMAGE is faster though than with the triple.fi, since the triple.fi's cable is designed to hook over the ear and the tips don't just easily slide in - the IMAGE is more like "poke it in and voila!"

6. The triple.fi is clearly more efficient than the IMAGE and picks up background noise more easily. Its suitability for lower volume settings also makes it more friendly for battery life on portable devices.

7. The triple.fi's cord is a thicker, almost rubberized type that doesn't kink easily, which is nice. In contrast, the IMAGE's cord kinks too easily when being stored haphazardly and it's always a relative hassle un-kinking it.

8. The plastic driver housing of the triple.fi feels cheap. There I said it. The IMAGE doesn't feel as cheap with its metallic housing and its aesthetic actually makes it look state-of-the-art.

9. I'm keeping the IMAGE. There, I said that too! I vastly prefer its combo of mid-range and bass over the cleaner, clearer sound of the triple.fi for my personal application of using it as a single ultraportable solution for all my music genres.

I'll be posting pics of the IEMs and accessories sometime within the next several days.
post #13 of 56
Thanks for the quick impressions, but I still have some questions:

-I'd like to know if the Image have not only more extended and louder deep bass than the Triple.fi, but also more bloated midbass, that I wouldn't find pleasing for my ears.
-Did you notice any sibilance out of the Triple.fi? If so, how the Image behave in regards to that? How strongly (or weakly) do cymbals crash?
-Are the Image vocals "chesty" by any means (which I wouldn't like at all)?
-Which one has the larger and deeper soundstage and precise imaging (the Triple,fi have some depth thanks to the particular way of insertion)? Can we call it a tie?
-At what treble frequency do you think the Image roll off?

Thanks.
post #14 of 56
It was around the time I first discovered head-fi and was uing the wealth of information here in deciding upon my first set of IEM's and indeed high quality audio gear that you put up your poll for a set of IEM's to review the images against and so yes I am gona be openly somewhat disappointed that after such a lengthy period of gestation you've suddenly canned the task. I think you could of at least explained a little as to why rather than just making an empty statement. However, thats selfish disappointment. Your rough thoughts on the two hp's and how they compare and contrast is still pretty thorough and provides some curious reading, so thanks for that! They are both two ets of IEM's I am very interested to try out at some point so I do find the comparison intriguing.
post #15 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by antonyfirst View Post
Thanks for the quick impressions, but I still have some questions:

-I'd like to know if the Image have not only more extended and louder deep bass than the Triple.fi, but also more bloated midbass, that I wouldn't find pleasing for my ears.
-Did you notice any sibilance out of the Triple.fi? If so, how the Image behave in regards to that? How strongly (or weakly) do cymbals crash?
-Are the Image vocals "chesty" by any means?
-Which one has the larger and deeper soundstage and precise imaging (the Triple,fi have some depth thanks to the particular way of insertion)? Can we call it a tie?
-At what treble frequency do you think the Image roll off?

Thanks.
- Well I don't find the mid-bass of the IMAGE to be bloated. I usually don't like mid-bass bloat and I find nothing really wrong with it on the IMAGE, it's certainly not on level on headphones that I do think have bloat (super.fi 5 Pro, DT770, etc).
- I don't find the triple.fi sibilant at all, not even recording-dependent either. No sibilance on the IMAGE either. The IMAGE has some fairly weak treble compared to the triple.fi so cymbals don't quite crash or simmer that much but it's enough to discern a cymbal crash at least.
- Vocals on the IMAGE are quite chesty, yes. The warm mid-range allows that.
- The IMAGE has the smaller soundstage - intimate and personal. The triple.fi's soundstage is something like the AKG K701's - not as open, wide, and deep of course, but in a similar "open" vein. I like the IMAGE's soundstage though, it's more similar to the AD2000's, my perennial favorite headphone. Vocals are presented in a similarly forward style as the AD2000.
- I'd say the treble starts to drastically weaken above ~14 kHz or so.

Another point I forgot to mention about the two IEMs, the IMAGE exhibits a wider dynamic range rather than a kind of lock-step range that the triple.fi has. Loud and soft contrasts come across clearly on the IMAGE, in fact there's a nice swell to them. The triple.fi tends to act like it's stuck at a volume preset, which is really disappointing for a >$300 IEM.
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Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › Klipsch IMAGE X10 vs UE triple.fi 10 Pro initial & final thoughts