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UE 700 vs Klipsch Reference S4i (which to buy?)

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 

My horrible vmodas died a while ago, and now I'm looking for a new set of IEM's. However, in the meantime I got a very nice home theatre system and now I want IEM'S with balanced sound and good, but not overpowered bass. 

 

Im having trouble deciding between the Reference s4i and UE 700's because no one has really compared the two.  I know the image s4's are despised, but the reference line is said to be re tuned and sound almost as good as the old x5's.... Not sure if that's true. 

But the general consensus on amazon sseems to indicate that. 

 

Im new but I've been reading these forums for a while, so I value your opinions here much more. 

post #2 of 26

I can't comment on the Klipsh IEMs as I've never owned any but I currently own a set of UE700's. The bass is alright, nothing spectacular. If you want a bit more bass I've heard Shure is a good IEM to look at. I think the equivalent is the 315? Something like that.

 

Also, if I'm honest, while I do like how my UE700's sound I'm not overly impressed with the build quality. I've had to send them in twice due to cables becoming loose. I don't know if this is related to their being bought by Logitech and the quality dipping or if there's a flaw in the design. One of the reasons I'd say look at Shure is the cables are user-replaceable.

 

I should mention that UE replaced my headphones both times for free since they were less than a year old.

post #3 of 26

To me there is no question that the UE700 is going to sound better.  For one it has a much flatter frequency response making it produce exactly what you are listening to more accurately.  The S4i has a +15dB bump from bass to sub-bass ( 90hz ) which is simply terrible.  This is going to add bloat, sluggishness, and boom to the low end.  There is no doubt that the S4i is a bass heavy boomer.

 

http://graphs.headphone.com/graphCompare.php?graphType=0&graphID[]=3481&graphID[]=2261

 

The UE700 have their issues.  The first and most important is the build quality.  I avoid the UE700 because they are known for falling apart at the slightest tug of the cable.  I would not risk purchasing an IEM over $100 unless it was built like a tank.  We carry them around, toss them into a book bag, or snag them on a random piece of equipment.  We should not have to worry about the sudden destruction of a an expensive IEM from normal day to day use.

 

Take a look at the impedance curve for the UE700 vs the S4i.  See how the UE700 starts to wave around and show some dependence upon frequency after 1kHz?  This can be an indicator that the drivers are going to be hard to control.  They may still sound nice, but if the impedance is moving around on you your amp / iPod is going to have to work that much harder to control the drivers.

 

http://graphs.headphone.com/graphCompare.php?graphType=7&graphID[]=3481&graphID[]=2261

 

The UE700 do isolate better than the S4i which is a plus.

 

http://graphs.headphone.com/graphCompare.php?graphType=6&graphID[]=3481&graphID[]=2261

 

For the 500Hz square wave response you see that the S4i dips below 0 dB indicating some control issues.

 

http://graphs.headphone.com/graphCompare.php?graphType=4&graphID[]=3481&graphID[]=2261

 

Finally the 50Hz ( bass frequencies ) test show that the UE700 reproduce the 50Hz square wave much more accurately than the S4i.  See how the curve for the UE700 remains very straight and not curved?  This is a good sign of control in the bass region.  The S4i curves up showing it is going to have some issues at low frequencies say sub 40Hz.

 

If you are looking for a compromise as well as a well made IEM I would go for something like the Brainwavz M2.

 

Charts:

http://www.innerfidelity.com/images/BrainwavzM2.pdf

 

They do not have the build issues of the UE700 nor the sound issues of the S4i.  I highly recommend them especially if you want clear bass and really clear and up-front mids.  As with most IEM the treble rolls off, but not as much for the M2 as many other IEM like the Monster TurbinePro Copper seen below.

http://www.innerfidelity.com/images/MonsterTurbineProCopper.pdf

 

post #4 of 26

UE700s in this comparison, you picked very different IEMs to compare.

post #5 of 26

One other question is what will you be using as your source? I run mine direct out of my laptop and iPhone and it sounds quite good all considered. The big flaw is the build quality. It's countered very well by just how good they sound but if you beat your gear then this is not the IEM for you.

 

However, if you want something reference-grade then the alternative you mentioned might not be good, either. In that case I'd look at going Shure or, better yet, look for a used pair of UE Triple.fi IEMs for sale. You can usually find them for around $200. Yes, it's $50 than you planned but they are well worth the price. Plus, the build quality is outstanding and they have a removable cable. Bonus points, it's very common for people to convert them into CIEMs so you will have that option open to you should you ever wish to go that route.

post #6 of 26
Thread Starter 

While I *love* the information you've provided, I would like to point out that I'm talking about the reference S4i, and *not* the Image S4i from klipsch. Everyone says they sound better than both the Images and the X10's from Klipsch. At least the 12 or so reviews on amazon say so...

 

http://www.amazon.com/Klipsch-Reference-S4i-Headphones-Microphone/dp/B005ZNHK4Q/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

 

I don't think these have been reviewed by anyone here (yet). That's why I specifically asked, hoping that one of you *may* have bought them.

 

Also, I will be using my iPhone 4S as the source, but I have some Apple Lossless as well as iTunes + format AAC.

 

 

Also, my Biggest concern is how much I'll like the Bass from armature based speakers vs the dynamic driver speakers... 

 

I've tried the image S4's and didn't hear anything much different from my old Vmoda earphones, but the reference S4's are apparently quite different. I have not tried the UE 700's as of yet, but a friend of mine has the apple in-ear buds, and I'll give those a try just to get a feel for what bass sounds like on armature earphones. 

 

I'm *not* a bass addict, but I want to hear bass if it's there, and it had better give a nice thump. If it's *not* there, I do not want to hear it. 


Edited by Winter Charm - 2/24/12 at 7:37pm
post #7 of 26
Thread Starter 

Also, let me add a few excerpts from Amazon reviews for the Reference S4i's....

 

 

Quote:
Musically these are much more detailed then the Images in my opinion. The imagery and depth of the music is incredible, almost 3D in nature practically making you feel like you are in the recording studio. I have only experienced that same sound stage feeling with large tower speakers. Crystal clear voices, guitar strums, piano. Bass is clean and precise, and very well balanced. They are termed Reference for a reason. And I'm sure just like the Images people will complain about them sounding really bad, and still I will bet money it is because they haven't properly fit them into their ears. Foams buds will help with that.

 

 

Quote:
The only problem I had with the S4 and S4i's are the slightly overpowering bass. I say slightly, because it's very slight and not noticeable to most people, but me being a self-proclaimed audiophile, I notice. The stronger bass makes sense for pop and hip-hop music, which is the music most of the target audience of the headphones listen to, but for jazz, classical, and even rock, the bass can be a little overpowering at times. I love bass, but I love treble just as much, and I would like both to be balanced out equally.

That's where the Reference S4i's come in. The headphones are re-tuned to sound more like the Klipsch Reference speaker line, and speaking as an owner of these very speakers, they achieve it. If you love hearing subtle things in a song, these headphones are fantastic. Soft symbol and tom hits on the drum track while playing jazz are clearly heard; something I couldn't always say with the S4i's. Strums of individual strings are heard with vivid detail. Even egg shakers in the background can be heard! It's amazing what new things you'll hear in your favorite songs with these headphones!

 


So, basically,Even the people on Amazon say that there is a noticeable difference. So I'm seriously wondering if they do stack up to the UE 700's.

 


Edited by Winter Charm - 2/24/12 at 8:08pm
post #8 of 26

I don't understand why you would come to a specialized headphone forum to ask about headphones if you're going to go by amazon reviewers... if that's your metric you might as well get some Beats and be done with it.

post #9 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MartinDF View Post

I don't understand why you would come to a specialized headphone forum to ask about headphones if you're going to go by amazon reviewers... if that's your metric you might as well get some Beats and be done with it.



:P well that's the issue. I specifically came here because I don't trust amazon reviews. The only reason I cited those quotes from amazon reviews is to show the others that these seem to be discernibly different from the image s4's. Apparently, so different that even the average person could tell.  Not because I believe what they say. I'm really sorry if that insulted you. I value the opinions of the people on these forums well above the opinions of amazon reviewers. 

 

I just really can't decide between two IEM's

post #10 of 26

You didn't offend me, it just seemed silly to me to go to a site where you will find knowledgeable people in the subject you're researching, and then quote them opinions of regular people from another site... it kinda doesn't help you make a decision. Also, if you take the time to research, you will find that these kinds of threads are not "allowed" since there is already a lot of information for new people. You could, for instance, find comparisons between the UE700 and other IEMs that are not necessarily the Klipsch. For the same money as the Klipsch set you're looking at, you could buy this http://www.head-fi.org/t/595244/re262-for-sale which is regarded as one of the best IEMs you can get for the price. 

 

EDIT: I found you another very worthy set. If it were me I would get these instead of the 262s http://www.head-fi.org/t/593224/fs-sony-mdr-ex600


Edited by MartinDF - 2/24/12 at 8:21pm
post #11 of 26

In terms of balance, the UE700 will leave the S4i in the dust...

post #12 of 26

As I posted in a thread I made, I emailed Klipsch and asked the difference between the regular S4is and the Reference ones. Klipsch said its only the new color and wiring.

post #13 of 26

UE 700 is superior by a wide margin.

 

Those who exaggerate UE 700's lack of build quality obviously have not owned the new revision and need to get their fact straight. I have both the old plug design and the new. While the old only lasted me 4 month (got replaced with a brand new pair no question asked thanks to Logitech, since sold it but then bought another pair). The new one is holding strong. I sleep with them in, I run/walk with them. I cannot tell you how many times I wake up in the morning with the UE700s under my body, being pulled/tugged/crushed all night, with the source - my iPhone 4, on the other side of the bed by the night stand. "Falling apart at the slightest tug of the cable" ??? Could not be further away from the truth. 


And I believe UE700's sound doesn't require any more praises. Just do a search. 


Edited by Yggdrassilious - 2/25/12 at 6:50am
post #14 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yggdrassilious View Post

UE 700 is superior by a wide margin.

 

Those who exaggerate UE 700's lack of build quality obviously have not owned the new revision and need to get their fact straight. I have both the old plug design and the new. While the old only lasted me 4 month (got replaced with a brand new pair no question asked thanks to Logitech, since sold it but then bought another pair). The new one is holding strong. I sleep with them in, I run/walk with them. I cannot tell you how many times I wake up in the morning with the UE700s under my body, being pulled/tugged/crushed all night, with the source - my iPhone 4, on the other side of the bed by the night stand. "Falling apart at the slightest tug of the cable" ??? Could not be further away from the truth. 


And I believe UE700's sound doesn't require any more praises. Just do a search. 


Just pulled the trigger and ordered the UE 700's from Amazon smily_headphones1.gifsmily_headphones1.gif
post #15 of 26

Sounds good, hope you like them

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