Note: This review is part of a roundup of 11 canalbud headsets. Visit the roundup page for more information and comparative buying advice.
Venerable hi-fi vendor Klipsch has recently branched out to produce in-ear headphones, including the Image X10 ( ), the company’s priciest offering. The $100 Image S4i is a headset version of the much-less-expensive Image S4.
Included with the Image S4i are three sizes of clear-silicone eartips, a cleaning tool, a shirt clip, and a suede-like carrying pouch. The headphones themselves are an attractive glossy black with a silver Klipsch logo and silver highlights. A long, thin, three-button remote/microphone module is located at the cable’s Y-junction. Like Apple’s In-Ear Headphones, the Image S4i’s microphone offers poor low-frequency performance, making male voices sound thin, but provides acceptable sound overall.
I was able to easily get a good, comfortable fit with the Image SRi’s small earpieces, producing relatively high isolation. Sound quality is good overall, with notably nice treble detail—though not as good as that of the Apple and Maximo iP-HS5 headsets. The S4i’s emphasis is on mid-bass and upper bass, which at times dominate the other frequencies—the opposite of the problem with Apple’s in-ear headset. This leads to a bass-heavy sound, that, while not tuned to my preferences, will make some listeners happy. Still, I found the Image S4i to be likable and easy to recommend, particularly to bass lovers.