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Klipsch Image One impressions/review

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 


I've been listening to these most of today and I will definitely not keep them. Alas, I decided to give you a quick summary of what I think. Sorry I couldn't burn these in properly (but I don't believe in that anyway) and I didn't give them at least a one week chance.
If anybody is still interested, here's my one-day review:
Solid build quality and nice looks. I like how the plastic has a rubbery film on top. However, way too much plastic, the faux leather looks too fake and I don't quite get the crocodile skin on the sides.
The cable feels great and the remote/mic feels durable.
There's a problem with the cups, though. They don't turn all the way straight so that you always have more pressure on the back than in the front. That is quite annoying and uncomfortable. Eventually your ears will sweat even though it's 5 °C, thanks to the pleather pads.
What also bothers me is that you can't fold the headphones. I mean all of the headband is plastic and there are no connection cables so why on earth did Klipsch not add any further joints?
To conclude, the Image One has potential but it just feels like a lazy design that's copied by Bose and Phiaton. BTW, Bose's On-Ear model really kicks Klipsch' ass when judging comfort. I mention this because the sound signature is very similar, too.
Bass: Oh please! Seriously, stop it! This is way way way too much! I seriously got headaches from thumping subwoofer bass within 30 minutes. I'm not kidding, it's that strong (stronger than Bose)! Obviously, it's not possible to separate such a strong bass with the mids. In Monster Magnet's "Powertrip," that starts with a low tuned guitar piece, you have the constant bass rumbling out of nowhere. This has nothing to do with hi-fi above a 100$ price range.
What bothers even more is the slow decay of the bass. In Little People's "Breathe Again" the bass track is a total mess. The rhythm drowns in a fake bass echo that's not supposed to be there. I'm 100% sure other reviewers will describe the bass as punchy and detailed, so I will tell you now in advance that they must have spent their past six years doing cocaine in a club in Ibiza!
Mids: I have to separate here into low and high mids as my perception differs from another. First, the bad: the low mids are either extremely recessed or swallowed by the bass. As I already mentioned, low tuned guitars are sucked into the amplified bass of the Klipsch, which makes it sometimes impossible to tell electrical guitar and bass guitar apart. "Sad But True"'s guitar solo disappears as by what must be the local minimum in the frequency graph.
But: the higher mids are not as recessed and female voices actually sound very good. The sound is precise, clean and has great clarity. Voices are colored, though, and they sound darker than they should. This should not be much of a problem if you're into Katie Melua, Christina Aguilera, Rihanna or Beyoncé. There's also some added energy similar to what Panasonic's HJE900 does - sadly without the great timbre.
Highs: the performance actually takes off where I left the high mids. They're clean, no sibilance, occasionally even a little sparkle (no comparison to Ultrasone headphones, though) but again I have to drop a 'BUT': I've noticed what I've only known by Bose before. The highs are cut off at the end resulting in a 'SH' sound where it should sound like a 'TS'. In songs with many cymbals, this can get very annoying. Like I've said, I'm only used to this by Bose, but with the Klipsch it's not nearly as bad.
However, in the end, that leaves little to love about the Image One.
As I already mentioned, the timbre is just wrong. Due to the coloration, Naturespace recordings just sound completely off and it's difficult to tell a crow apart from a parrot. It's not too bad (considering the price minus name minus headset) but now I must add bad instrument separation which is a bad combination. In 'Tallica's "S&M" it's often impossible to tell classical instruments apart. In other songs, like Christina's "Fighter", I've noticed the string instruments just wandering around and just spreading all over the sound stage. Counting background singers is not possible.
Somehow the sound does not sound cramped - it just feels like a fake sound stage compared to what I'm used to by the HFI-780 or HJE900.
I've also tested the headset functionality with an iPhone 4. My wife first complained I was difficult to understand, but once I moved into a closed room she said it was fine. My wife did sound very silent to me, though. Luckily the volume buttons are easily accessed.
To sum it up, the retail price tag of 150 $ is a bad joke unless you're still on cocaine. I got them for 105 € from Amazon.de (they raised the price to 130 € already) 75,90 € on an online sale and I can hardly recommend them at that price. The Image One are like a bad redesign of Bose's On-Ear - an update that even makes some things worse!
As for the good points: These look good, are fully iOS compatible and female voices sound pretty good (RnB, anyone?). These will sell well on the mainstream market, no doubt about it.
I will definitely send these back... too bad for the mic. :(

Edited by Ultrazino - 3/11/11 at 3:05am
post #2 of 11

But it also has to do with your choice of music i think, this is a bass heavy headphone so electronic music and rap will do fine or don't you think that...? still doubting to buy these cause i need a small on ear this size not bigger so this or the k450 cause the akg k518 is also too big i have a small head...hihi

post #3 of 11

Good review, I agree with you about the bass being wayyyy to big.

post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 

My impressions are very subjective and biased and, of course, choice of music plays an important role. If you're into Hip-Hop you probably will like these. I think they perform best with R&B as female voices sound very appealing.


Although I enjoy some Tech N9ne and Eminem from time to time, my preference lies within guitar fireworks à la Monster Magnet or Hellacopters. Here's the main problem: low tuned guitars create a rumbling bass although they technically should still play in the mids. Classical sounds equally bad.

In case of the Hippo VB, for example, I don't think of it as a big problem, but with the Klipsch the bass is just too slow and muddy resulting in a mess on fast tracks. Sadly, this alone ruins the whole experience!

post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
post #6 of 11

I was about to buy them for 100$ but I think I won't after your review. You compared them to BOSE OE but could you tell me how they compare to BOSE AE. Because I like AE much and this is my second choice to buy as I had AE before but I destroyed them.. Are they more or less comfortable than Bose AE?

post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 

Never tried the Bose Around Ear. I can imagine their bass quantity is insane as well.


Short comparison with Bose On-Ear (not Quit Comfort):

- Bose sounds completely flat, Klipsch has some depth

- Bass bloated with both

- Klipsch is dark sounding, but Bose is colored even more

- both have a forward, aggressive presentation

- Klipsch has crisper highs, Bose cuts off highs more obviously

- Bose is a lot more comfortable

- both made out of plastic, build quality is similar


It's been a while since I put on the Bose, though. I sold it couple of months ago.

Edited by Ultrazino - 3/11/11 at 5:41am
post #8 of 11

I was trying both Bose AE nad OE.I am not and audiophile and I can say nothing about the sound. But for me  Bose AE are more comfortable than OE event thou OE are very comfortable as well.


That is why I am thinking that AE must be much much more comfortable than Klipcsh. Thank you for your help.

post #9 of 11
Originally Posted by Ultrazino View Post

... they must have spent their past six years doing cocaine in a club in Ibiza!

To sum it up, the retail price tag of 150 $ is a bad joke unless you're still on cocaine.

The only review on here to ever mention cocaine not once but twice.


Best.  Review. Ever.

post #10 of 11

I've had the headphones for about 3 days now, and I don't think I'm keeping them either. On the first listen I had, I listened to a Jazz album "Taking Chances" by Terell Stafford, and the bass was rediculous. It was much louder than the rest of the spectrum, and drowned out the rest of the instruments a bit. However on the second day of use the so called burn-in kicked in (I guess) and the bass got a little more reserved but its still a bit much. Then theres the mids and highs, they sound unnatural, in fact thats the best way to describe the sound of the head phones as a whole "Unnatural". The highs seems lifted almost to the point of sounding shrill, thin and completely disconnected from the lower end. And thats what I can't stand right now. Last night I was listening to another Jazz album called "First Light" by Freddie Hubbard and I did something I thought I'd never do, and that is set the EQ preset in my iPod Touch to Treble Reducer, and I actually still got decent treble! Thats how exaggerated they are. They just don't have the same neutral and accurate sound as the Klipsch's IEMs Custom 2 and Image X5.

My sources were the Samsung P3 with Flac encoded music and an iPod Touch, with MP3s encoded in the eVBR preset. I tested Jazz and some orchestral soundtracks.


I had heard that the Sennheiser HD 555 sounded excellent, but I don't know if they are overkill for PMPs, what do you guys think?

post #11 of 11

I just bought these for $120 at nebraska furniture mart the other day. they do have ridiculous bass, but that's okay for the type of music i listen to, and my ipod has an equalizer, so it's fine. I wanted to get M50's, but my mom wouldn't let me use her credit card. I had to choose between these and the bose ae2, which was $30 more. The klipsch just sounded a little better to me. Once I've got some money, i WILL be buying some M50's, and giving these to my girlfriend. they're pretty hot, and not extremely comfortable, but they are pretty light, and if you turn down the bass a little, they sound pretty good. this is comparing to the cheap philips clip ons that i was using before, that i found in the street, and the skullcandy G.I.'s that i bought when i was young and stupid.  I'm sure I'll hate them when I've got some really good headphones, but i just needed something that didn't sound like ****. Compromise sucks, but I'm happy.

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