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Home > Hardware Reviews > Mobiles

Thursday, November 29, 2007
Klipsch IMAGE Earphones

1. Introduction

As I mentioned in a previous review, it is Earphone season. What a perfect gift for the music lover - a pair of amazing Earphones for their iPod or other MP3 player! Most of the earphones I have tested and reviewed come from premier companies who make earphones/headphones exclusively, or other audio products. Few, if any of the manufacturers making amazing Earphones are known for making great Stereo Speakers. It is not an easy thing to make the transition from full sized stereo reproduction to in-ear sized drivers.

Also, most premier Stereo Speaker manufacturers have a unique "Sound Stage" that is all but impossible to capture in a pint sized form. Until now, that is. Klipsch, one of the premier Speaker manufacturers has just entered the Earphone marketplace and the competition should be scared......very scared. Read on for a full review on the new Klipsch IMAGE earphones and an exclusive interview with the lead designer, Tom Gospel.

About Klipsch:

logoSince 1946, Klipsch Audio Technologies has been building no-compromise, premium-quality audio products. As one of the first U.S. loudspeaker companies, Klipsch is now a leading global manufacturer of high-performance loudspeakers and other entertainment products for homes, computers, professional cinemas and commercial venues.

From state-of-the-art home theater to hidden multi-room sound, Klipsch offers high-performance audio solutions for every application and lifestyle.

Klipsch distributes its "best of class" Reference Series loudspeakers and home theater systems to audio/video specialty stores worldwide. The company's Synergy Series, which represents the world's greatest value in high-performance home entertainment, can be found at Best Buy stores nationwide, Eldorado electronic stores throughout Russia and many other fine retailers worldwide.

A Legend in Sound

kwp-photoPaul W. Klipsch (PWK), one of America's most celebrated audio pioneers, revolutionized the way people listened to recorded music in 1946 when he humbly founded Klipsch & Associates in Hope, Arkansas on the promise of corner horn-loaded speaker.

Unsatisfied with the sound quality of phonographs and early speaker systems, PWK made it his mission to reproduce the dynamics and excitement of a live orchestra performance in his living room. "I wanted something with a closer approach to accuracy in production," he once said. And that something turned out to be the company's foundation product, the patented Klipschorn.

An engineering breakthrough when it was introduced, the Klipschorn remains one of the most highly praised loudspeakers in the world and is the only speaker to be in continuous production for over 60 years.

In addition to spearheading the "Hi-Fi" era with his Klipschorn, PWK was a relentless perfectionist who earned 23 patents during his lifetime. He was also inducted into the Engineering and Science Hall of Fame in 1997, putting him in the company of Thomas Edison and the Wright Brothers, among others.

Klipsch Headphones

Fusing decades of proven audio expertise with the latest in comfort technology, Klipsch IMAGE and Custom earphones let you connect with your music like never before. You'll be front row, center stage without even realizing you're wearing headphones. The secret lies within proprietary, oval-shaped Contour Ear Gels that delicately form to your ear canals, minimizing pressure and providing superior noise isolation.

The "Official line" on these Earphones, from the Klipsch web site, reads:

Not only is it the world's smallest and lightest full-range in-ear headphone design, IMAGE fuses lifestyle, technology, and fashion to offer a personalized fit and deliver a precision-tuned acoustic experience.

Features

  • True-to-life sound immersion
  • Uniquely small, fashionable design
  • Unparalleled comfort, amazingly accurate fit
  • Exceptional durability
  • Includes great traveling accessories
  • Works with iPods, iPhones and other portable devices

Complete Comfort
IMAGE earphones utilize translucent patent-pending Contour Ear Gels that are anatomically designed to accurately fit inside the human ear canal. These soft, oval silicon tips reduce ear fatigue as well as provide an amazing seal for excellent noise isolation and increased bass response.

Because ear canal measurements vary, each IMAGE model comes with five different washable ear gel sizes: small, medium, and large single flange designs as well as small and large double flange designs. Extra small sizes can be ordered via the klipsch.com web store. Such variety allows these headphones to fit more of the population than the competition.

Complete Immersion
Inside these compact gems, you'll find over 60 years of audio expertise ready to let you hear what you've been missing. Exclusive extended-frequency KG926 balanced micro-armatures deliver a superior acoustic experience with all the delicate accuracy you'd expect from Klipsch. And if you find yourself not completely blown away by IMAGE's performance, you probably don't have the right seal. So be sure to try out various ear tip sizes.  

Complete Allure
A must-have audio accouterment for fashion-forward listeners, IMAGE earphones feature aluminum bodies finished in beautiful anodized copper and sleek, streamlined black “tails.” Aside from aesthetic appeal, these flexible “tails” reduce cable stress and serve as an acoustic dampener to minimize cable noise.

Complete Satisfaction
Klipsch has gone to great lengths to ensure the long-lasting durability of IMAGE, up to and including its 50-inch-long vinyl cables. Put through extensive “real world” testing, these headphones feature appropriate strain relief at every cable connection point to help prevent wire damage.

Added Frills
Great iPod headphones, IMAGE also works with the iPhone and virtually any device with a headphone jack. These earphones come with a faux-leather carrying case and compact pouch, a ¼-inch adaptor, an airline adaptor, five sets of ear gels and an ear gel cleaning tool. 

IMAGE Specifications

sensitivity 110 dB
nominal impedance 50 ohms
drive components Full Range KG 926
enclosure material Aluminum body; 50" vinyl cable
input connections 3.5mm
dimensions Packaging: 7.25” H x 5” W x 3.5” D
weight 0.353 oz., 10 grams
accessories Faux-leather carrying case and compact pouch; ¼-inch adaptor; airline adaptor; five sets of ear gels; ear gel cleaning tool
finishes Anodized copper
built from 2007

Now, on to the review.....




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