After hearing so many of my readers and Twitter friends recommend me the Klipsch range of headphones, I decided to give these new Image S4As a go. Got them before I left for the US trip and they did not disappoint.
When you go on a work trip (with some side recreation) that involves as much driving as ours (we drove from California to Arizona to Nevada in the space of 10 days), you get a lot of downtime. Ryan was responsible for the driving and I was the navigator. When I was not busy navigating (leaving that to the "lady" in the rental car's GPS), I put on my Klipsch S4A earphones to listen to my music and podcasts, without disturbing my driving buddy.
After listening to the S4As for so many days and so many hours, I have to say, yes, my readers were right. These are very very good earphones. What did I like about them? Well, the sound, first of all. For a pair of earphones that cost about S$169, they sound way above their price point, doing very well against headphones that cost twice their price. The bass was nice and tight, without overwhelming the rest of the music, and there was lovely clarity.
There is a balance in these earphones which I like a lot, and it played my very wide range of music competently.
The ear tips are oval in shape, which is unusual. Most other brands use round tips. Apparently, Klipsch found that our ear canals are oval, not round. And after wearing these oval ear tips for long periods, I have to agree with them. The comfort is better, the sound isolation also very good. I wore them on the 20-hour plane ride to LA from Singapore, in place of the free headphones that Singapore Airlines supplies, and found that they were snug and kept most of the sound out. Even the crying baby in the aisle across from me was only a distant annoyance.
Still, don't expect the isolation that you get from noise-cancelling earphones. Though frankly, the only time I find noise-cancelling earphones useful are on planes.
The Image S4A comes with a remote for controlling Android phones. The control allows you to answer and end calls, mute the mic, use the voice commands, play and pause, change tracks and control the volume of your 'Droid. It worked nicely with my Motorola ATRIX.
It is rare to find earphones designed for Android phones, since the market is full of earphones designed for iPhones (there is an Image S4 for the iPhone too, called the S4i). So I am sure you Android lovers will be happy to have something like this.
Despite the remote on the S4A, the earphones worked fine on all my other devices, as long as the jack was a 3.5mm standard headphone jack. I also like the little black pouch that you can carry the S4A earphones in. The Klipsch S4i had a little silver tin can, also cute, but the S4A black pouch is more compact.
The earphones come in black and white and Tat Chuan Acoustic is the sole distributor. There is a contest where you can win S4A and S4i earphones if you LIKE their Facebook page and submit your particulars to: www.facebook.com/KlipschSEAsia
I reckon if you like listening to music even a little, you should chuck the free earphones that come with your iPhone, Android or mp3 player and get an awesome third-party pair like these. You don't have to break the bank to do it too.
Do remember to let your new Klipsch earphones (or any new earphones for that matter) "burn in" for about 50 hours first. By that I mean you play music through your new earphones at slightly higher levels, when you are not using them. It loosens things up inside and makes them sound at their best.
And in case you are wondering, yes, that is my cheap Las Vegas motel room in the background.