Klipsch Image One Review

I cannot believe it has taken me this long to write a review of the Klipsch Image One headphones. It was last November that I first posted about these over ear headphones, the first on-ear headphones made by Klipsch. And yes, one of these days, I will write a review that doesn’t take an hour to read. Brevity is not my strength.

I’ve decided to edit the introduction to this review with a summary of my thoughts. The full review is posted below, but if you’re in a rush, digest the following.

These headphones sound great. Their sound quality and output with even low-powered sources is impressive. From the moment you pick up the box, you know these headphones are made for the discerning Apple product lover. Klipsch’s attention to detail is evident from the start with high quality packaging, premium leather-lined memory-foam ear cups and superb remote control and microphone optimized for use with iDevices.

You won’t find the transparency expected of high-end headphones like the Sennheiser HD600 or Grado 325i, but who expected that at this price? That being said, you won’t be disappointed. Punchy bass that isn’t overly-boosted that cleanly transitions to midrange and treble. The relative flatness (see full review) from these headphones allows you to listen to them for hours without fatigue.

The headphones that you’ll see sitting next to these at an Apple Store:

  • Monster Cable Beats by Dre – $300
  • Monster Cable Beats by Dre Solo – $200
  • Skullcandy Roc Nation Aviator – $150
  • V-MODA Crossfade LP – $200

The headphones that you’ll see sitting next to these at an Apple Store that are better:

  • N/A

Expect great audio quality, comfort fit and best-in-class remote control all for under $150 with the Klipsch Image One headphones, beating out headphones twice as expensive.

Physical Sound
Comfort: 10/10 Bass: 9/10
Build: 8/10 Mids: 8/10
Remote: 10/10 Treble: 9/10
Mic: 8/10 Soundstage: 8/10
Overall: 9.0 Overall: 8.5

If you want to know more, and in deadly detail, continue reading. Oh and there is a bonus Monster Cable Beats by Dr. Dre rant, no purchase necessary!

Let’s go through each of these one by one.

  1. Yes, after months of thinking about it, the packaging is still worth of an Apple product. (This didn’t really require a month of thought)
  2. The carrying case might not be exactly perfect. While it is sturdy, well made and looks great, check out the cables coming out of the bottom of the headphones. The tight turn they have to make to fit inside of the case can cause unnecessary stress on the cables. The stress relief rubber sleeves (the piece of rubber around the first 1/4″ of wire coming out of the bottom of the headphones) has already torn from this stress. Every time you close the case, the zipper hits these. A simple case modification would solve this. Still, a solid case with that one caveat.
  3. I can wear these headphones for hours. They just disappear, almost as good as the high end Sennheiser HD600 headphones I have. The soft cushions around the ear cups do a great job of isolating a bit of the noise around you without heating up your ears so much.
  4. They do feel light and you might think they are cheaply design based on this alone but you would be wrong. The swinging ear-cups are perfectly engineered. They swing our from your ears for storage which means when they are on your head, the are naturally encouraged to swing close on your ears for a nice seal.
  5. Yep, they still sound great. Robust sound, much more like the Klipsch S4i, Koss Porta Pro or a full-size Sennheiser headphone than a Grado so if you’re looking for the really light sound of the Grado’s, hit up the SR80 instead. Otherwise, these are probably right up your alley.
  6. You can’t expect an on-ear headphone to compete with an in-ear headphone for sound isolation. That being said, on the 20,000+ miles of flights I’ve traveled since getting these headphones, I have zero complaints. They blocked out the neighboring crying babies and engine roar just fine, especially when listening to music.
  7. Unlike most Klipsch headphones which are of the in-ear variety and thus need tiny cables to be as small as possible, the Image One headphones have thick, well insulated and robust cables. These is plenty of air space around the wire and the insulation to keep them flexible, tangle free and less prone to wear.
  8. I have had an under-reported issue with the Klipsch remotes on my S4i and X10i headphones. Warranty service fixed the problem of the microphone picking up too much background noise on those. However, the Image One headphones have had no problems like that. The larger remote control makes controlling my iDevices even easier. The only problem I have with the remote control/mic is how far down it is. The microphone is much closer to your mouth on their other headphones. I find I have to lift it up to have a conversation over the phone.
  9. Better than when I first got them where I thought they were a little light on the bass for my taste. Now, I don’t feel that at all.
  10. Yep! See #5

In the above photo you get a close look at the ear cups. I wanted to use this to point out a few things.

Each side is marked L or R for left or right ear. Sounds like a simple thing but there are a lot of headphones that don’t do this, are aren’t clear about it. Put these on the wrong way and you will immediately notice a difference in comfort and sound.

The fabric covering is super soft, pliable and a bit stretchy. Some headphone makers put foam material here. That’s ok for headphones like the Koss Porta Pro which site on your ears but for supra-aural (headphones that sit around your ear) this is normally to compensate for poor driver design. The foam softens the tinny sound of an undersized or unbalanced driver. Klipsch, on the other hand, uses this great fabric which doesn’t impede the sound coming from the drivers at all. It’s pliability and loose stitching prevents any drop in bass performance while still protecting the drivers and not compromising high frequency reproduction.

The ear cups feature real leather wrapping high-density memory foam. It is obvious right away that this isn’t the same density as the memory foam you are probably used to. If you were to put a Tempur-Pedic style memory foam, your ears would heat up and it would take a much tighter grip on your head to get a good seal. It would be an amazing seal but your ears would be sweating!

A combination of lighter density foam and thin leather keeps the heat to a minimum, keeps the grip on your head equally as light and provides a decent enough seal. As I write this, in a coffee shop, the only things I really hear at the blender and a low rumble of voices. The leather continues as a trim around the ear cups and on the outside edges. The top of the headband also has padded leather for a comfortable first for extended listening period and unlike some headphones, there is no hair pulling! I’m looking at you Porta Pro.

These are some really classy looking headphones.

There really isn’t anything I haven’t listened to on these headphones. Movies, TV shows, music of the classical, hip hop, blues, pop and instrumental varieties all shine. Most headphones in the class of the Klipsch Image One advertise their bass qualities, as if they are a feature when it’s really more of a defect. Dr. Dre, listen up.

Just because you have a larger-sized headphone driver and a bigger price tag, doesn’t mean you need to use them to blast booming bass. I find it almost hilarious how Dr. Dre’s headphones are advertised as headphones that recreate the sound heard in the studio. They do the opposite. Studio monitors are incredibly expensive speakers and for good reason. It takes a lot of work to create a balanced driver and amplifier.

I will point you to this great description from the Wikipedia, emphases are mine:

Studio monitors, also called reference monitors, are loudspeakers specifically designed for audio production applications such as recording, film, television and radio studios where accurate audio reproduction is crucial.

Among audio engineers, the term monitor usually implies that the speaker is designed to produce relatively flat (linear) phase and frequency responses. In other words, it exhibits minimal emphasis or de-emphasis of particular frequencies and the loudspeaker gives an accurate reproduction of the tonal qualities of the source audio (“uncolored” or “transparent” are synonyms), and there will be no relative phase shift of particular frequencies meaning no distortion in sound stage perspective for stereo recordings.

Considering this is what Monster Cable and Dr. Dre say their headphones are built to emulate, studio monitors, I can say with confidence that they have failed. Their sound is more colored than a first grader’s paint-by-numbers book.

Let’s compare what Monster Cable claims their headphones to be compared to how they really perform. Thanks to Headphone.com for the data, which I recompiled into a graph.

Beyerdynamic headphones are known for their balance audio performance which is why I use them in this example. If you’ve never read a graph like this, let me help you. Actually, let me let Headphone.com help you.

How to interpret the line: A “natural sounding” headphone should be slightly higher in the bass (about 3 or 4 dB) between 40Hz and 500Hz. This compensates for the fact that headphones don’t give you the physical punch or ‘impact’ that the sound waves from a room speaker have; so a slight compensation for increased bass response is needed for natural sound.

Headphones also need to be rolled-off in the highs to compensate for the drivers being so close to the ear; a gently sloping flat line from 1kHz to about 8-10dB down at 20kHz is about right. You’ll notice all headphone measurements have a lot of jagged ups & downs (peaks & valleys) in the high frequencies; this is normal and mostly due to reflection cancellations in the folds and ridges in the outer part of the ear. Ideally however, the ups and downs of the frequency response should be fairly small and average out to a flat line. Large peaks or valleys over 3kHz in width usually indicate poor headphone response, and should be viewed as a coloring of the sound. Some small dips in the highs may actually be desirable and should exist in the 2kHz to 8kHz region.

I don’t have a graph for the Klipsch Image One’s performance but you can expect something similar to the Klipsch Image S4i Performance.

There is an increase in bass performance with the Klipsch, input vs output, but it’s a pretty stable line as opposed to the 40 dB change you get with the Monster Beats by Dre headphones. Generally speaking, every 3 dB of volume increased is twice the measured sound pressure, every 10 dB of volume increased is what your ear hears as twice as loud. Between 10 and 100 Hz the Beats have doubled in volume four times while the Klipsch have decreased in volume by less than a few decibels.

Now do you see why the sound from a Monster Beats headphone sucks?

Klispch’s headphones do a good job of reproducing audio across a great range of frequencies and volumes.  They do not do a great job of changing what the engineers who produced the album and the artists who performed their art originally intended for their product to sound like.

I bring up the Dr. Dre headphones in this review of the Klipsch Image One headphones because it is probably the number one thing asked of me on Twitter and in person. Why would I get the Klipsch over the Beats by Dre? My response is almost always, “Why would you ever want the Beats by Dre in the first place?” Monster has created a… monster. These headphones break more than any other headphone I have ever seen and color the sound as much, or more than, a Bose home theater system’s internal DSP.

I talked to a few friends who work at Best Buy and Apple Stores and asked them about the return/echange rate of the Beats by Dre vs the Klipsch Image One. Not a single person could recall a return or exchange of a Klipsch Image One headphone while everyone brought up several instances of Beats being returned. I followed up asking about how often the Beats available for people to try out at Apple Stores break. I was told that at this particular Apple Store, at least one Beats breaks a week. After a month with the Klipsch headphones, not a single one had to be removed from the floor.

So when people ask me why to get the Image One over the Beats I tell them the following. The Beats sound horrible. They are the equivalent of an overly sauced fettuccine alfredo. At first you love it because it is rich and delicious. But midway through you start to tire of the over-production and heaviness. Then there is the lack of build quality. Also, did I mention batteries are required?

The Klipsch Image One headphones sound better than the Beats By Dre. Their bass response is more representative of the original recordings and their vocal reproduction actually exists, as compared to the Monster headphones. They are more comfortable. They are better built. They are better looking with a more professional appearance. The remote control and microphone are superior and their compact size and light weight design make them more commuter friendly.

Phew. Rant off.

Conclusion:

If you need a fully compatible iPhone/iPad/iPod/Mac headphone, get the Klipsch Image One. I haven’t had a better experience with an on-ear headphone (all things considered) than the Image One.

If you decide the Image One is too much money (well worth every penny) or the sound signature isn’t your style, let me know in the comments. I will personally recommend a headphone for you that will fit your needs. Just please, please oh please, do not buy one of the Monster Cable options.

Physical Sound
Comfort: 10/10 Bass: 9/10
Build: 8/10 Mids: 8/10
Remote: 10/10 Treble: 9/10
Mic: 8/10 Soundstage: 8/10
Overall: 9.0 Overall: 8.5

102 thoughts on “Klipsch Image One Review

  1. Any recommendations on a headphone with similar characteristics to the Klipsch, but at a more affordable price?

  2. Any recommendations on a headphone with similar characteristics to the Klipsch, but at a more affordable price?

  3. Very nice review! I just bought these headphones and I absolutely love them (bought them today after my Klipsch S4 earbuds broke).

  4. Very nice review! I just bought these headphones and I absolutely love them (bought them today after my Klipsch S4 earbuds broke).

  5. I bought these headphones today and I absolutely love them! Your review was very helpfull!

  6. I bought these headphones today and I absolutely love them! Your review was very helpfull!

  7. @js676513 Respond with what you want your headphones to do (iPhone remote/mic?, on ear/in ear/around ear?, music type?, budget?, etc) and I can definitely give you a few options.

  8. @js676513 Respond with what you want your headphones to do (iPhone remote/mic?, on ear/in ear/around ear?, music type?, budget?, etc) and I can definitely give you a few options.

  9. @justex07 @js676513 iPhone remote and on ear, budget <$120, music type: all genres. Currently looking at Aiaiai Tracks and Audio Technica ES7.

  10. @justex07 @js676513 iPhone remote and on ear, budget <$120, music type: all genres.

    Currently looking at Aiaiai Tracks and Audio Technica ES7.

  11. Amen Brother Justin! But you’re preaching to the choir here. I ordered the Custom 2 the night before they were officially available for sale (Thanks Amy!) and the following December managed to get some Image X10. That said my favorite Klipsch in ears are the X5s…. Still haven’t tried the Image One’s. I have a doctor appointment in Indy next month, maybe next week. I think I’ll have to stop in and say high to Professor Thump. .

  12. Amen Brother Justin! But you’re preaching to the choir here. I ordered the Custom 2 the night before they were officially available for sale (Thanks Amy!) and the following December managed to get some Image X10. That said my favorite Klipsch in ears are the X5s…. Still haven’t tried the Image One’s. I have a doctor appointment in Indy next month, maybe next week. I think I’ll have to stop in and say high to Professor Thump. .

  13. But of course if I try the Image One’s I’ll probably have to have them. I was thinking of upgrading my Grado SR60s before my first Klipsch Pilgrimage and was totally blown away of course by the Klipschorn and other demo’s but even more so by the in ear monitor demo. When they were all prototypes though the original IMAGE and probably Custom 1 were closer to production prototupes. That was just mind blowing. The Legendary Sound of Klipsch that fits IN your ears.

  14. But of course if I try the Image One’s I’ll probably have to have them. I was thinking of upgrading my Grado SR60s before my first Klipsch Pilgrimage and was totally blown away of course by the Klipschorn and other demo’s but even more so by the in ear monitor demo. When they were all prototypes though the original IMAGE and probably Custom 1 were closer to production prototupes. That was just mind blowing. The Legendary Sound of Klipsch that fits IN your ears.

  15. @BSam1961 You know, back in the fall I did a side by side comparison of the Klipsch Image One to the Grado SR60 and SR80 partly thanks to my friend samuelaveryhunt who has the SR80s.

    We both felt each had it’s own strengths and weaknesses. The transparency of lightness quick response of the Grados was great, soundstage was spot on and of course they were pretty darn comfortable. All three strengths of the Grados, great for rock and any vinyl lover.

    But as with most Grado headphones, which are about as colorful as coal, bass response really just wasn’t there. You got the “I’m at a rock concert” feel not the “I’m listening to this in a balanced studio setting” feeling /most/ people look for these days.

    I’d actually go as far as to say bass withstanding, the Grados sound more like Heritage Klipsch while the Klipsch Image line sounds more like Reference. A hard description for many people to get but I’m sure you know what I’m saying,

  16. @BSam1961 You know, back in the fall I did a side by side comparison of the Klipsch Image One to the Grado SR60 and SR80 partly thanks to my friend samuelaveryhunt who has the SR80s.

    We both felt each had it’s own strengths and weaknesses. The transparency of lightness quick response of the Grados was great, soundstage was spot on and of course they were pretty darn comfortable. All three strengths of the Grados, great for rock and any vinyl lover.

    But as with most Grado headphones, which are about as colorful as coal, bass response really just wasn’t there. You got the “I’m at a rock concert” feel not the “I’m listening to this in a balanced studio setting” feeling /most/ people look for these days.

    I’d actually go as far as to say bass withstanding, the Grados sound more like Heritage Klipsch while the Klipsch Image line sounds more like Reference. A hard description for many people to get but I’m sure you know what I’m saying,

  17. @BSam1961 I got to beta-test the Klipsch headphones before they released any of them. It was fun playing headphones that were literally duct-taped together in some places haha. Tried every one they made at that time and the Customs were just awesome. Fit and function, perfect. I had just killed a pair of UltimateEars headphones (headphone jack shorted out) so the test couldn’t have come at a better time.

    I was on the fence on what to buy to replace my UltimateEars and after that test, I was certain of the replacement. Since then, I haven’t purchased a single in-ear headphone from any competitor. Which makes writing reviews a little difficult haha.

  18. @BSam1961 I got to beta-test the Klipsch headphones before they released any of them. It was fun playing headphones that were literally duct-taped together in some places haha. Tried every one they made at that time and the Customs were just awesome. Fit and function, perfect. I had just killed a pair of UltimateEars headphones (headphone jack shorted out) so the test couldn’t have come at a better time.

    I was on the fence on what to buy to replace my UltimateEars and after that test, I was certain of the replacement. Since then, I haven’t purchased a single in-ear headphone from any competitor. Which makes writing reviews a little difficult haha.

  19. @js676513

    You might stay away from the Aiaiai Tracks. While the reviews online from Amazon are pretty highly rated, and people seem to love the bass response, if you’re looking for a more balanced headphone, it wouldn’t be a good choice. Plus, the remote control leaves a lot to be desired. And if you don’t want people to listen to what you are listening too, ie, hear the sound coming out of them, not a good choice. Open headphones leak out sound pretty badly. I love open headphones, but if I’m on a plane or mass transit, I never wear them because of that. Also, if you’re leaking sound out, it means you can hear the sound from around you. Could be good if you need to hear the phone or a doorbell but annoying if you just want to sit with your music.

    I won’t deny they are sexy in their minimalism, they just don’t win all the way around.

    The Audio Technica ES7 is a pretty well liked headphone, especially for the price. It is a closed design so much less sound leaking, but in return they can get hot on your head if you wear them a while. Some people don’t have this problem, some do. The Klipsch headphones are small enough that your ears don’t really get hot, plus they provide a solid distance between the speaker and your ears, more air = cooler on your head.

    Durability is an issue with the ES7, not that they aren’t built well, it’s just that they are built to be pretty and rarely do looks and strength work. Just like shiny and smudgy go hand-in-hand.

    Also, the ES7, while a great headphone, does not have the iPhone mic/remote control you wanted. So that doesn’t really work out for you unless you can make a compromise there.

    The ES7 and the Aiaiai are both great on low-powered devices (like iPhones/iPods etc), they don’t need any middle-man amplifier. Many of the “better” full-sized headphones do.

  20. @js676513

    You might stay away from the Aiaiai Tracks. While the reviews online from Amazon are pretty highly rated, and people seem to love the bass response, if you’re looking for a more balanced headphone, it wouldn’t be a good choice. Plus, the remote control leaves a lot to be desired. And if you don’t want people to listen to what you are listening too, ie, hear the sound coming out of them, not a good choice. Open headphones leak out sound pretty badly. I love open headphones, but if I’m on a plane or mass transit, I never wear them because of that. Also, if you’re leaking sound out, it means you can hear the sound from around you. Could be good if you need to hear the phone or a doorbell but annoying if you just want to sit with your music.

    I won’t deny they are sexy in their minimalism, they just don’t win all the way around.

    The Audio Technica ES7 is a pretty well liked headphone, especially for the price. It is a closed design so much less sound leaking, but in return they can get hot on your head if you wear them a while. Some people don’t have this problem, some do. The Klipsch headphones are small enough that your ears don’t really get hot, plus they provide a solid distance between the speaker and your ears, more air = cooler on your head.

    Durability is an issue with the ES7, not that they aren’t built well, it’s just that they are built to be pretty and rarely do looks and strength work. Just like shiny and smudgy go hand-in-hand.

    Also, the ES7, while a great headphone, does not have the iPhone mic/remote control you wanted. So that doesn’t really work out for you unless you can make a compromise there.

    The ES7 and the Aiaiai are both great on low-powered devices (like iPhones/iPods etc), they don’t need any middle-man amplifier. Many of the “better” full-sized headphones do.

  21. js676513. As a followup, since my last comment was basically don’t get the Aiaiai and the Audio Technicas don’t have a mic, here is another one I’d stay away from. The Urbanears Plattan is pretty and again, gets OK reviews, but it lacks the bass response you probably want and the highs roll off far too quickly for my taste.
    What they have in beauty, they lack in balanced sound fidelity.
     
    Another option that directly competes with the Klipsch are the DENON AH-D310R and Sennheiser HD 218i.
     
    They both are over ear headphones, they both are well under $100 and they both have an iPhone mic/remote control.
     
    The Sennheiser HD218i is just the 218 with an “i” for iPhone mic/remote. So if you are searching for good reviews, do both searches. I tested the 218, was on the fence for a new set of cheap headphones for work and they didn’t blow my mind. Bass was good, comfort was definitely there but the highs didn’t shine like I was used to with my home theater speakers or Klipsch headphones. Build quality seemed fine, ultimately I owned them for about a week before returning them and getting the even cheaper, and better, Koss PortaPro. Again, neither of these have iPhone mic/remotes but that was not needed for me and the 218 is the same thing as the 218i just lacking the mic/remote.
     
    Denon has been making headphones for a while too and they have a decent one in the DENON AH-D310R. Bass response is a little low and can make the entire experience sound a little muddy, but overall an OK performer. Basically where it lacks the Sennheiser wins and vice versa. 
     
    But this is the case with cheaper headphones, they have to make compromises so you’ll spend the extra bucks for their $150, $200, $300 and higher headphones. 
     
    The thing is, if you currently are using ear-buds that came with your iPhone, or some other cheap, crappy headphones, any of these headphones will sound MUCH better than what you have. The Denon’s can be had for $50 and the Sennheisers for around $80. 
     
    But before I go, have you heard of the Sennheiser PX 100-IIi?
     
    I wrote about the  js676513. As a followup, since my last comment was basically don’t get the Aiaiai and the Audio Technicas don’t have a mic, here is another one I’d stay away from. The Urbanears Plattan is pretty and again, gets OK reviews, but it lacks the bass response you probably want and the highs roll off far too quickly for my taste.
    What they have in beauty, they lack in balanced sound fidelity.
     
    Another option that directly competes with the Klipsch are the DENON AH-D310R and Sennheiser HD 218i.
     
    They both are over ear headphones, they both are well under $100 and they both have an iPhone mic/remote control.
     
    The Sennheiser HD218i is just the 218 with an “i” for iPhone mic/remote. So if you are searching for good reviews, do both searches. I tested the 218, was on the fence for a new set of cheap headphones for work and they didn’t blow my mind. Bass was good, comfort was definitely there but the highs didn’t shine like I was used to with my home theater speakers or Klipsch headphones. Build quality seemed fine, ultimately I owned them for about a week before returning them and getting the even cheaper, and better, Koss PortaPro. Again, neither of these have iPhone mic/remotes but that was not needed for me and the 218 is the same thing as the 218i just lacking the mic/remote.
     
    Denon has been making headphones for a while too and they have a decent one in the DENON AH-D310R. Bass response is a little low and can make the entire experience sound a little muddy, but overall an OK performer. Basically where it lacks the Sennheiser wins and vice versa. 
     
    But this is the case with cheaper headphones, they have to make compromises so you’ll spend the extra bucks for their $150, $200, $300 and higher headphones. 
     
    The thing is, if you currently are using ear-buds that came with your iPhone, or some other cheap, crappy headphones, any of these headphones will sound MUCH better than what you have. The Denon’s can be had for $50 and the Sennheisers for around $80. 
     
    But before I go, have you heard of the Sennheiser PX 100? I mention it in these posts, see here:
    http://itsjustjustin.com/when-you-pay-a-premium/1131
    http://itsjustjustin.com/klipsch-s4i-initial-review/2330
     
    It is basically a Koss PortaPro clone only a bit more restrained. See my PortaPro thoughts here:
    http://itsjustjustin.com/you-dont-always-get-what-you-paid-for/2622
     
    Actually, I write about the PortaPro in almost every headphone review…
    http://itsjustjustin.com/page/2?s=koss
     
    So basically, the PX 100 was a great headphone at a great price (less than $50, sometimes less than $30).
     
    Apparently they have made it even better by adding the mic and remote control and improving the sound quality from the PX 100 to the PX 100-II, the “IIi” moniker shows only the addition of the iPhone features.
     
    if it were me, and I only had $80-90 for a headphone, that I didn’t care was open so sound leakage, I would buy this headphone. In fact, I might buy it anyways because who doesn’t love a good backup headphone?
     
    These headphones are super comfortable, lightweight, they collapse down to really small and really do sound great. Bass is definitely there, curves up a bit faster than the Klipsch but starts a little lower. The high are spot on and it has the mic and remote.
     
    If you want to wait, I will buy these and review, can even do a side by side between the Koss PortaPro – Klipsch Image One – Sennheiser PX 100, PX 100-II and PX 100-IIi. You might have to wait a few weeks for me to get back home (on a business trip right now) but I will write it.
     
    As it is, if I were in your boat, I’d buy the PX 100-IIi. And I think they might even come in white to match the new white iPhone 4 haha.
     
    Let me know what you think. And don’t forget, the Klipsch Image One headphones are only $135 on Amazon, that’s only $15 over budget for you. Skip a few coffees and you’ve got a great set of headphones.

  22. @js676513 As a followup, since my last comment was basically don’t get the Aiaiai and the Audio Technicas don’t have a mic, here is another one I’d stay away from. The Urbanears Plattan is pretty and again, gets OK reviews, but it lacks the bass response you probably want and the highs roll off far too quickly for my taste. What they have in beauty, they lack in balanced sound fidelity. Another option that directly competes with the Klipsch are the DENON AH-D310R and Sennheiser HD 218i. They both are over ear headphones, they both are well under $100 and they both have an iPhone mic/remote control.

    The Sennheiser HD218i is just the 218 with an “i” for iPhone mic/remote. So if you are searching for good reviews, do both searches. I tested the 218, was on the fence for a new set of cheap headphones for work and they didn’t blow my mind. Bass was good, comfort was definitely there but the highs didn’t shine like I was used to with my home theater speakers or Klipsch headphones. Build quality seemed fine, ultimately I owned them for about a week before returning them and getting the even cheaper, and better, Koss PortaPro.

    Again, neither of these have iPhone mic/remotes but that was not needed for me and the 218 is the same thing as the 218i just lacking the mic/remote.

    Denon has been making headphones for a while too and they have a decent one in the DENON AH-D310R. Bass response is a little low and can make the entire experience sound a little muddy, but overall an OK performer. Basically where it lacks the Sennheiser wins and vice versa.

    But this is the case with cheaper headphones, they have to make compromises so you’ll spend the extra bucks for their $150, $200, $300 and higher headphones.

    The thing is, if you currently are using ear-buds that came with your iPhone, or some other cheap, crappy headphones, any of these headphones will sound MUCH better than what you have. The Denon’s can be had for $50 and the Sennheisers for around $80.

    But before I go, have you heard of the Sennheiser PX 100? I mention it in these posts, see here:

    http://itsjustjustin.com/when-you-pay-a-premium/1131http://itsjustjustin.com/klipsch-s4i-initial-review/2330

    It is basically a Koss PortaPro clone only a bit more restrained. See my PortaPro thoughts here:

    http://itsjustjustin.com/you-dont-always-get-what-you-paid-for/2622

    Actually, I write about the PortaPro in almost every headphone review…

    http://itsjustjustin.com/page/2?s=koss

    So basically, the PX 100 was a great headphone at a great price (less than $50, sometimes less than $30).

    Recently they have made it even better by adding the mic and remote control and improving the sound quality from the PX 100 to the PX 100-II, the “IIi” moniker shows only the addition of the iPhone features. if it were me, and I only had $80-90 for a headphone, that I didn’t care was open so sound leakage, I would buy this headphone.

    In fact, I might buy it anyways because who doesn’t love a good backup headphone? These headphones are super comfortable, lightweight, they collapse down to really small and really do sound great. Bass is definitely there, curves up a bit faster than the Klipsch but starts a little lower. The high are spot on and it has the mic and remote.

    If you want to wait, I will buy these and review, can even do a side by side between the Koss PortaPro – Klipsch Image One – Sennheiser PX 100, PX 100-II and PX 100-IIi. You might have to wait a few weeks for me to get back home (on a business trip right now) but I will write it.

    As it is, if I were in your boat, I’d buy the PX 100-IIi. And I think they might even come in white to match the new white iPhone 4 haha. Let me know what you think.

    And don’t forget, the Klipsch Image One headphones are $135 on Amazon, that’s only $15 over budget for you. Skip a few coffees and you’ve got a great set of headphones.

  23. @justex07 @BSam1961 Hey so did I. Though the Custom 3 proto was falling apart so I didn’t try those but was just blown away by the IMAGE prototypes which I spent the most time with.

    Even came back around during sneak around engineering time. And listened to the IMAGE at really low volumes. CP1, Trey, Thump and others were talking and I couldn’t hear them (really low volume) but they were talking when I took them out. Other than the fact they weren’t at all paying attention to me I almost thought they were messing with me.

    I ended up getting Custom 2 as just couldn’t wing the IMAGE or Custom3. About cried with some of the IMAGE sale prices or more recent Image X5 sale prices and I just didn’t have the $. Though did get the Image X10 December 2008.

  24. @justex07 @BSam1961 Hey so did I. Though the Custom 3 proto was falling apart so I didn’t try those but was just blown away by the IMAGE prototypes which I spent the most time with.

    Even came back around during sneak around engineering time. And listened to the IMAGE at really low volumes. CP1, Trey, Thump and others were talking and I couldn’t hear them (really low volume) but they were talking when I took them out. Other than the fact they weren’t at all paying attention to me I almost thought they were messing with me.

    I ended up getting Custom 2 as just couldn’t wing the IMAGE or Custom3. About cried with some of the IMAGE sale prices or more recent Image X5 sale prices and I just didn’t have the $. Though did get the Image X10 December 2008.

  25. @justex07 Yeah. I’m a long time owner of the SR60’s so I do know what you’re talking about. Still pull out the SR60’s when I just don’t want to stick anything in my ears. Before the Pilgrimage 2007 sneak preview I was thinking to upgrade and would still like to own a pair of the cool wood bodied ones someday…. when I have too much money to spend or find some at a thrift store…

    My coworker fellow pen dweller would just grab my chair and shake abit when he had a question with the Image X10’s in. The SR06’s I’ve had a long time. Been back to Grado for repairs twice. Headphone plug went bad while still under warranty. The yoke on one side cracked so the steel rod would fall out. After having them for around 14 years just before getting the Custom 2 or maybe after? Came back better than new with updated reinforced yokes on each side and repaired head band. Customer service second to none. Actually spoke to John Grado the first time as bad plug idiot me goes to Rat Shack and gets a replacement. Two problems – which wire is left / right / ground and how to fit this thick cable into this chintzy though pretty gold plated replacement. John said to send ’em in so I did and arrived back crazy fast like within a week.

    Took a little longer the second time but I had just emailed pictures of the problem with question will plastic epoxy work for repair or can I get new yoke…

    Anyway I think I like the Heritage models best though the Reference sound really awesome too. As so the Palladiums and Jubilees – though I’ve only really head Jubilles with the right channel without the PEQ’s loaded. Still awesome but not as good as the left channel…

    I’d say the Custom 3 and Image X5 sound leans more towards the Heritage while the Custom 1 and 2 and Image X10 sounded more like Reference. But it’s crazy how the Image X10 and X5 both sound so great but a lot different. The Image X5 is probably the closest sound to the Custom 3 of the currently available models.

    The Custom models were kind of difficult to use correctly but I think well worth the effort. Wish I’d been able to get the Custom 3.

    Can’t wait to try the Image One. But then I’ll have to have a pair….. So if they can build sound that good for $150 just how good would a $300 pair of Klipsch headpones be.

    Interesting statement that the Grados are great for rock and vinyl lovers, even being shy in the bass. Live rock concerts usually have plenty of bass. Sometimes too much though with today’s electronics it’s got to be a rally bad venue sound wise or less than expected sound engineer….

  26. @justex07 Yeah. I’m a long time owner of the SR60’s so I do know what you’re talking about. Still pull out the SR60’s when I just don’t want to stick anything in my ears. Before the Pilgrimage 2007 sneak preview I was thinking to upgrade and would still like to own a pair of the cool wood bodied ones someday…. when I have too much money to spend or find some at a thrift store…

    My coworker fellow pen dweller would just grab my chair and shake abit when he had a question with the Image X10’s in. The SR06’s I’ve had a long time. Been back to Grado for repairs twice. Headphone plug went bad while still under warranty. The yoke on one side cracked so the steel rod would fall out. After having them for around 14 years just before getting the Custom 2 or maybe after? Came back better than new with updated reinforced yokes on each side and repaired head band. Customer service second to none. Actually spoke to John Grado the first time as bad plug idiot me goes to Rat Shack and gets a replacement. Two problems – which wire is left / right / ground and how to fit this thick cable into this chintzy though pretty gold plated replacement. John said to send ’em in so I did and arrived back crazy fast like within a week.

    Took a little longer the second time but I had just emailed pictures of the problem with question will plastic epoxy work for repair or can I get new yoke…

    Anyway I think I like the Heritage models best though the Reference sound really awesome too. As so the Palladiums and Jubilees – though I’ve only really head Jubilles with the right channel without the PEQ’s loaded. Still awesome but not as good as the left channel…

    I’d say the Custom 3 and Image X5 sound leans more towards the Heritage while the Custom 1 and 2 and Image X10 sounded more like Reference. But it’s crazy how the Image X10 and X5 both sound so great but a lot different. The Image X5 is probably the closest sound to the Custom 3 of the currently available models.

    The Custom models were kind of difficult to use correctly but I think well worth the effort. Wish I’d been able to get the Custom 3.

    Can’t wait to try the Image One. But then I’ll have to have a pair….. So if they can build sound that good for $150 just how good would a $300 pair of Klipsch headpones be.

    Interesting statement that the Grados are great for rock and vinyl lovers, even being shy in the bass. Live rock concerts usually have plenty of bass. Sometimes too much though with today’s electronics it’s got to be a rally bad venue sound wise or less than expected sound engineer….

  27. @justex07

    Excellent review by the way. Listening to the Beats I though the (rhymes with hose) might sound pretty good by comparison…..

    So many snickered when Klipsch introduced the Custom models and IMAGE … until they listened to them. Then many of the faithful, about the S2, S4, and even the cute new S3, S5 etc… but guess what speakers the owners of the S models might think to try some day.

    Many co-workers and friends don’t want to try the Image X10 as they are expen$ive but a bargain given the sound quality… though one did give them a good trial while jogging – a real strength for the Custom models – sure lose the bass but out for a run I’d think I’d want to hear what’s coming up on me…..I need to get some S3’s for them to try. And for our youngest daughter with really tiny ear canals…. so small the Image X5 are too big. Who now has a hearing aid so clips on an ear bud near her single hearing instrument. Not willing to let her take a bobby pin to the Custom 2 or X10’s but maybe some S3’s ….. especially if can find on sale again for $30 as a few colors were a few weeks ago…

    Time for my tranquilizer. When I stay up too late I often get wired. Bass ackwards.

  28. @justex07

    Excellent review by the way. Listening to the Beats I though the (rhymes with hose) might sound pretty good by comparison…..

    So many snickered when Klipsch introduced the Custom models and IMAGE … until they listened to them. Then many of the faithful, about the S2, S4, and even the cute new S3, S5 etc… but guess what speakers the owners of the S models might think to try some day.

    Many co-workers and friends don’t want to try the Image X10 as they are expen$ive but a bargain given the sound quality… though one did give them a good trial while jogging – a real strength for the Custom models – sure lose the bass but out for a run I’d think I’d want to hear what’s coming up on me…..I need to get some S3’s for them to try. And for our youngest daughter with really tiny ear canals…. so small the Image X5 are too big. Who now has a hearing aid so clips on an ear bud near her single hearing instrument. Not willing to let her take a bobby pin to the Custom 2 or X10’s but maybe some S3’s ….. especially if can find on sale again for $30 as a few colors were a few weeks ago…

    Time for my tranquilizer. When I stay up too late I often get wired. Bass ackwards.

  29. @justex07 Speaking of rants I’ve ranted on FB and some site called VLane or somthing like that about our 2005 Grand Caravan which recently caught on fire…….. probably soon to the BS section or Oh @^$% Moment of the Day

  30. @justex07 Speaking of rants I’ve ranted on FB and some site called VLane or somthing like that about our 2005 Grand Caravan which recently caught on fire…….. probably soon to the BS section or Oh @^$% Moment of the Day

  31. @justex07 OK a Klpsch rant or two … what’s with that otherwise great packaging and no place to put the cord without excessive bending…. And I did have the splitting X10 strain reliefs but took a long time to develop and never got worse though did send them in for replacement while still under warranty…

  32. @justex07 OK a Klpsch rant or two … what’s with that otherwise great packaging and no place to put the cord without excessive bending…. And I did have the splitting X10 strain reliefs but took a long time to develop and never got worse though did send them in for replacement while still under warranty…

  33. @justex07 @js676513 Grado SR60’s just don’t work on an airplane.

    But I put passive Pro Ears hearing protectors over my Custom 2 or Image X10 to mow or do other noisy yard work….. so skeptical of Image One on airplanes but I think 80 db at home is loud..

    It’s the difference from the noise floor…. Bar band pushing 110 db at the board didn’t really sound louder though of course it is a lot louder… but noise floor between sets about 90 db.

  34. @justex07 @js676513 Grado SR60’s just don’t work on an airplane.

    But I put passive Pro Ears hearing protectors over my Custom 2 or Image X10 to mow or do other noisy yard work….. so skeptical of Image One on airplanes but I think 80 db at home is loud..

    It’s the difference from the noise floor…. Bar band pushing 110 db at the board didn’t really sound louder though of course it is a lot louder… but noise floor between sets about 90 db.

  35. @justex07 @js676513 I wore out a pair of PortaPro’s before getting my Grado SR60’s, years before Kllpsch made ‘phones…..

    Back in the day when portable music was a portable CD player (a good buy at $200 at the time) and a case of CDs. Before that a Koss portable cassette player with am/fm tuner cassette and a bigger case of CDs…. Now my Creative Labs Zen xTra seems like a dinosaur, even next to a classic iPod.

    So if you’re budget is < $120. Hold out for Image One's on sale if you can. Klipsch 'phones aren't on sale often but often are even from authorized sellers such as Audio Advisor which had the $250 MSRP Image X5 for $129 including shipping a few months ago when the packaging was changed..... So maybe when the make the case for the Image One's just a bit longer to better accomodate the cord.

  36. @justex07 @js676513 I wore out a pair of PortaPro’s before getting my Grado SR60’s, years before Kllpsch made ‘phones…..

    Back in the day when portable music was a portable CD player (a good buy at $200 at the time) and a case of CDs. Before that a Koss portable cassette player with am/fm tuner cassette and a bigger case of CDs…. Now my Creative Labs Zen xTra seems like a dinosaur, even next to a classic iPod.

    So if you’re budget is < $120. Hold out for Image One's on sale if you can. Klipsch 'phones aren't on sale often but often are even from authorized sellers such as Audio Advisor which had the $250 MSRP Image X5 for $129 including shipping a few months ago when the packaging was changed….. So maybe when the make the case for the Image One's just a bit longer to better accomodate the cord.

  37. @justex07

    Holy crap, information overload lol. Just to give some background information; I haven’t purchased on the head headphones since 1996; I bought a Sennheiser HD475. I have owned IEM’s in the past such as the Etymotic ER6i, Sennheiser CX300, and Creative ep-630, but I no longer want IEM’s. Regarding the iPhone mic, volume control; it is not a big of a deal, but it’d be nice to have you know?

    I had a listen to the Klipsch Image One, Aiaiai Tracks, and Aiaiai TMA-1 today in store and they all sounded great, I also had a listen to the PX100 (good; sells for $199.95), PX200 (don’t like), Skullcandy Aviators (good), Sennheiser HD228 (not so good) and 218 (not so good). The Klipsch Image One was really good, I was impressed, especially coming from a severely bass-lacking headphones (Sennheiser HD475), but with some songs, it seemed a little overpowering?

    Also, Amazon doesn’t ship to Australia, so that rules out that. The Klipsch Image One costs $259.95 in the Apple Store in Australia ($AUD is currently stronger than USD, weird) and the Aiaiai tracks costs $99 here, and the ES7 costing $145.

    I’m currently looking at the Aiaiai tracks because its got decent bass, decent sound, only costs $99 (compared to $259.95 Klipsch), portable; but only one problem… it leaks sound. I had a test of how bad it leaks sound today and at 3/4 volume on the iPhone, it started to get pretty bad, but half volume was decent.

    Whilst, I am looking at the ES7 because so many people recommended it on head-fi and other various headphone forums, but I have yet to listen to it. I have also looked at the Denon AH-D1001 (Creative Aurana Live) which only sells for $75 (pretty good deal in my opinion), but it seems bulky, especially since you can’t fold the headphones.. (given that you can’t fold the Aiaiai tracks, but the tracks are tiny).

  38. @justex07

    Holy crap, information overload lol. Just to give some background information; I haven’t purchased on the head headphones since 1996; I bought a Sennheiser HD475. I have owned IEM’s in the past such as the Etymotic ER6i, Sennheiser CX300, and Creative ep-630, but I no longer want IEM’s. Regarding the iPhone mic, volume control; it is not a big of a deal, but it’d be nice to have you know?

    I had a listen to the Klipsch Image One, Aiaiai Tracks, and Aiaiai TMA-1 today in store and they all sounded great, I also had a listen to the PX100 (good; sells for $199.95), PX200 (don’t like), Skullcandy Aviators (good), Sennheiser HD228 (not so good) and 218 (not so good). The Klipsch Image One was really good, I was impressed, especially coming from a severely bass-lacking headphones (Sennheiser HD475), but with some songs, it seemed a little overpowering?

    Also, Amazon doesn’t ship to Australia, so that rules out that. The Klipsch Image One costs $259.95 in the Apple Store in Australia ($AUD is currently stronger than USD, weird) and the Aiaiai tracks costs $99 here, and the ES7 costing $145.

    I’m currently looking at the Aiaiai tracks because its got decent bass, decent sound, only costs $99 (compared to $259.95 Klipsch), portable; but only one problem… it leaks sound. I had a test of how bad it leaks sound today and at 3/4 volume on the iPhone, it started to get pretty bad, but half volume was decent.

    Whilst, I am looking at the ES7 because so many people recommended it on head-fi and other various headphone forums, but I have yet to listen to it. I have also looked at the Denon AH-D1001 (Creative Aurana Live) which only sells for $75 (pretty good deal in my opinion), but it seems bulky, especially since you can’t fold the headphones.. (given that you can’t fold the Aiaiai tracks, but the tracks are tiny).

  39. @justex07 Do you recommend the Marshall Major headphones? They seem to be Urbanear Plattan OEM’s with some minor improvements?

  40. @justex07 Do you recommend the Marshall Major headphones? They seem to be Urbanear Plattan OEM’s with some minor improvements?

  41. @js676513 Ahhh, didn’t know you were in Australia!

    If you are used to Sennheiser HD475 headphones, HD series headphones for that matter, anything that has rich bass response might sound bassier than expected. That is the case with the Klipsch. Listen to some Grados and then Klipsch and you will go, WOW, those are bassy. But listen to some Dre’s and then the Klipsch and you will disagree with yourself haha.

    The Sennheiser PX 100 is $200?! That is way overpriced, or did you mean the PX 100-IIi? And yes, I agree, the PX 200 is a downgrade in sound quality to the PX 100 series, even though it costs more.

    If you don’t mind the microphone and remote, I’m not sure I’d buy a headphone without one after having it, there are a plethora of options out there. Denon AH-D1001 is a fine headphone. Not exactly super-portable like the PX 100-IIi or with the nice carrying case of the Klipsch Image One, but also not gigantic.

  42. @js676513 Ahhh, didn’t know you were in Australia!

    If you are used to Sennheiser HD475 headphones, HD series headphones for that matter, anything that has rich bass response might sound bassier than expected. That is the case with the Klipsch. Listen to some Grados and then Klipsch and you will go, WOW, those are bassy. But listen to some Dre’s and then the Klipsch and you will disagree with yourself haha.

    The Sennheiser PX 100 is $200?! That is way overpriced, or did you mean the PX 100-IIi? And yes, I agree, the PX 200 is a downgrade in sound quality to the PX 100 series, even though it costs more.

    If you don’t mind the microphone and remote, I’m not sure I’d buy a headphone without one after having it, there are a plethora of options out there. Denon AH-D1001 is a fine headphone. Not exactly super-portable like the PX 100-IIi or with the nice carrying case of the Klipsch Image One, but also not gigantic.

  43. @js676513 When the Marshall Major’s were announced, I admit I started to drool. Being a wanna-be rock star, I always sat on my friend’s Marshall amps as they rocked out. So the Marshal headphones sparked my curiosity.

    Build quality is good, they fold into themselves to be pretty portable, coiled cord is gimmicky to me, supposed to be like the coiled cables of an electric guitar. They look great, feel comfortable and light but sound wise, just wasn’t my bag. The sound was a little muddy, not as dynamic as I was used to.

    They are good headphones, don’t get me wrong. Just didn’t work for me due to the short, coiled cord and the sound just wasn’t my taste. For <$79 I'd say a solid buy but for whatever reason, the extra $20 ruins it for me. But maybe not for you 😀 They certainly look really badass.

  44. @js676513 When the Marshall Major’s were announced, I admit I started to drool. Being a wanna-be rock star, I always sat on my friend’s Marshall amps as they rocked out. So the Marshal headphones sparked my curiosity.

    Build quality is good, they fold into themselves to be pretty portable, coiled cord is gimmicky to me, supposed to be like the coiled cables of an electric guitar. They look great, feel comfortable and light but sound wise, just wasn’t my bag. The sound was a little muddy, not as dynamic as I was used to.

    They are good headphones, don’t get me wrong. Just didn’t work for me due to the short, coiled cord and the sound just wasn’t my taste. For $79 I’d say a solid buy but for whatever reason, the extra $20 ruins it for me. But maybe not for you 😀 They certainly look really badass.

  45. @js676513 I wanted to do a little more research on the Marshall Major headphones and understand why I personally didn’t like the sound. Here’s what I discovered as measured by Headphone.com

    I compare them to the balanced Beyerdynamic DT880 (which I mention in the review as a good reference headphone) and to the Sennheiser PX 100-II which I also recommend and you have had a chance to listen to and enjoy.

    Click to the graph:

    http://itsjustjustin.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/graphCompare.png

    Notice how the Marshal Majors’ bass response starts waaaaay after the Sennheiser and Beyerdynamic, how it goes from -30 to -5 in an instant where the others go from -5 to just under 5 in the same time. That 35 point jump vs a less than 10 point jump is what bothered me about the Marshall Majors sound.

    Going higher up the frequency sweep you see how the Beyerdynamic and Sennheiser roll off the highs while the Marshal drops around 20db in the same space that the others dropped less than 10.

    It is the inbalance of these headphones that bothered me, the lack of low-frequency bass that rushes up to a level that is still below the other two topped off with high frequency irregularity, not a smooth roll-off, a more turbulent one that you might like.

    And yes, this is just another example of classic Justin information overload! 😀

  46. @js676513 I wanted to do a little more research on the Marshall Major headphones and understand why I personally didn’t like the sound. Here’s what I discovered as measured by Headphone.com

    I compare them to the balanced Beyerdynamic DT880 (which I mention in the review as a good reference headphone) and to the Sennheiser PX 100-II which I also recommend and you have had a chance to listen to and enjoy.

    Click to the graph:

    http://itsjustjustin.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/graphCompare.png

    Notice how the Marshal Majors’ bass response starts waaaaay after the Sennheiser and Beyerdynamic, how it goes from -30 to -5 in an instant where the others go from -5 to just under 5 in the same time. That 35 point jump vs a less than 10 point jump is what bothered me about the Marshall Majors sound.

    Going higher up the frequency sweep you see how the Beyerdynamic and Sennheiser roll off the highs while the Marshal drops around 20db in the same space that the others dropped less than 10.

    It is the inbalance of these headphones that bothered me, the lack of low-frequency bass that rushes up to a level that is still below the other two topped off with high frequency irregularity, not a smooth roll-off, a more turbulent one that you might like.

    And yes, this is just another example of classic Justin information overload! 😀

  47. @justex07 I think what I’m going to do is go down to a DJ store and compare the PX100 (my bad they’re only $110, i got mistaken with the PX200 which is $199) and Tracks side by side and then make a choice.

  48. @justex07 I think what I’m going to do is go down to a DJ store and compare the PX100 (my bad they’re only $110, i got mistaken with the PX200 which is $199) and Tracks side by side and then make a choice.

  49. @justex07 I also had a listen to the Monster Beats at an apple store and Klipsch Image One at another store, and I liked the Klipsch more, the Beats was bass-overkill. I just found the Klipsch online for $179 AUD, worth it? $79 more than Tracks and PX100.

  50. @justex07 I also had a listen to the Monster Beats at an apple store and Klipsch Image One at another store, and I liked the Klipsch more, the Beats was bass-overkill. I just found the Klipsch online for $179 AUD, worth it? $79 more than Tracks and PX100.

  51. Hey, are these headphones recommended to listen to music genres such as trance, DnB and dubstep? And electronic music in general?

  52. Hey, are these headphones recommended to listen to music genres such as trance, DnB and dubstep? And electronic music in general?

  53. @js676513 Personally, the sound isolation, quality full featured remote control/mic and performance is worth the extra $79 AUD. It does suck that it costs $50-60 USD more for the Klipsch headphones in Australia, seems it has always been that way. When Klipsch released their incredibly popular/successful/amazing ProMedia v2.400 speakers, I think they were nearly twice as expensive in Australia as compared to the USA. I think I paid $279 for them, worth every penny.

    Back on topic. I think that is a good idea, do a side-by-side. Make sure to pay special attention to the Aiaiai Tracks remote button. It is a single button that only does track control, no volume and can be non-responsive/hard to get to work properly. Also test both’s microphone because it sucks if you have a decent headphone setup and you have to take them off because your mic blows.

    if you have any doubt that it is the right decision, go for the Klipsch. And come back to let us all know what you choose!

  54. @js676513 Personally, the sound isolation, quality full featured remote control/mic and performance is worth the extra $79 AUD. It does suck that it costs $50-60 USD more for the Klipsch headphones in Australia, seems it has always been that way. When Klipsch released their incredibly popular/successful/amazing ProMedia v2.400 speakers, I think they were nearly twice as expensive in Australia as compared to the USA. I think I paid $279 for them, worth every penny.

    Back on topic. I think that is a good idea, do a side-by-side. Make sure to pay special attention to the Aiaiai Tracks remote button. It is a single button that only does track control, no volume and can be non-responsive/hard to get to work properly. Also test both’s microphone because it sucks if you have a decent headphone setup and you have to take them off because your mic blows.

    if you have any doubt that it is the right decision, go for the Klipsch. And come back to let us all know what you choose!

  55. @BSam1961 Well, when I refer to rock concerts, I’m thinking like classic Dylan concerts haha. In my head there is a difference in rock concerts versus popular rock concerts. Things like Muse on Grado headphones makes me wince for bass. But drums, guitar and vocals sound so great on the Grados. So do string instruments, love a good string piece on Grados.

    I’ve actually been debating an investment in the Grado SR325i to replace my Sennheiser HD600s which, honestly are perfect but I want to convince myself I need to replace…

    Why are we “audiophiles” so crazy like this? LoL

  56. @BSam1961 Well, when I refer to rock concerts, I’m thinking like classic Dylan concerts haha. In my head there is a difference in rock concerts versus popular rock concerts. Things like Muse on Grado headphones makes me wince for bass. But drums, guitar and vocals sound so great on the Grados. So do string instruments, love a good string piece on Grados.

    I’ve actually been debating an investment in the Grado SR325i to replace my Sennheiser HD600s which, honestly are perfect but I want to convince myself I need to replace…

    Why are we “audiophiles” so crazy like this? LoL

  57. @Frankk Yeah absolutely. They aren’t meant to shake your head with bass but their bass response is fast and tight which is much better for dubstep than overly powerful bass that causes the drivers to fall behind the beat, becoming muffled.

    I don’t listen to a ton of transe, drum and beat or dubstep but all three are incorporated into many of the songs I love the best. If I REALLY want a great sub-bass experience I either have to go to my real-deal speaker system at home which would probably get me evicted, or some solid in-ear monitors. Most in-ear monitors are able to go much faster and lower than any standard headphone.

    All that being said, these headphones do all of the above just fine. If you want to test them out, go to any Apple store and plug in your MP3 player/iDevice and listen to YOUR tracks.

    Never trust the tracks that they provide for you, like the Beats By Dre albums they put on the iPhones at some Apple Stores and Best Buys to show off those headphones. They are tuned for that particular headphone.

  58. @Frankk Yeah absolutely. They aren’t meant to shake your head with bass but their bass response is fast and tight which is much better for dubstep than overly powerful bass that causes the drivers to fall behind the beat, becoming muffled.

    I don’t listen to a ton of transe, drum and beat or dubstep but all three are incorporated into many of the songs I love the best. If I REALLY want a great sub-bass experience I either have to go to my real-deal speaker system at home which would probably get me evicted, or some solid in-ear monitors. Most in-ear monitors are able to go much faster and lower than any standard headphone.

    All that being said, these headphones do all of the above just fine. If you want to test them out, go to any Apple store and plug in your MP3 player/iDevice and listen to YOUR tracks.

    Never trust the tracks that they provide for you, like the Beats By Dre albums they put on the iPhones at some Apple Stores and Best Buys to show off those headphones. They are tuned for that particular headphone.

  59. @justex07 By the way, when I first tested the Aiaiai tracks, I was dumbfounded because there was only one button (I was looking for the 2 other buttons). The button was super hard to press too, but when I got home, I googled up the Aiaiai tracks and some of the newer models have a 3 button setup.

    See here: http://www.noisymotel.com/resources/AIAIAI_TracksMicGrey_large3.jpg

    Described as: “3 Button in-line Microphone with call/music/volume control”

    So yeah, I’m going to try the side by side next week and I’ll let you know what I end up purchasing. Cheers for the help.

  60. @justex07 By the way, when I first tested the Aiaiai tracks, I was dumbfounded because there was only one button (I was looking for the 2 other buttons). The button was super hard to press too, but when I got home, I googled up the Aiaiai tracks and some of the newer models have a 3 button setup.

    See here: http://www.noisymotel.com/resources/AIAIAI_TracksMicGrey_large3.jpg

    Described as: “3 Button in-line Microphone with call/music/volume control”

    So yeah, I’m going to try the side by side next week and I’ll let you know what I end up purchasing. Cheers for the help.

  61. @justex07 @js676513 I went with the Aiaiai tracks, for $99 it was a great price. I don’t mind the sound leak, it wasn’t as bad as I would’ve thought.

    I just can’t afford the Klipsch Image one because of my current financial position (unemployed), but I did recommend my friend the Klipsch and he loves it.

  62. @justex07 @js676513 I went with the Aiaiai tracks, for $99 it was a great price. I don’t mind the sound leak, it wasn’t as bad as I would’ve thought.

    I just can’t afford the Klipsch Image one because of my current financial position (unemployed), but I did recommend my friend the Klipsch and he loves it.

  63. Hi, I’m a noob at technical stuff such as these. I know this is a thread for headphones, but just wondering if Beyerdynamics in-earphones are worth the penny? Are there other in-earphones around the same price that performs better?

  64. Hi, I’m a noob at technical stuff such as these. I know this is a thread for headphones, but just wondering if Beyerdynamics in-earphones are worth the penny? Are there other in-earphones around the same price that performs better?

  65. @CloudyyBoyy I don’t have any experience with Beyerdynamic MMX 101 iE (and the rest of their iE line ofheadphones). They do make good over/on ear headphones so I have no reason to doubt their in-ear solutions wouldn’t be good. I have found that the ear-tip type that they use don’t really work for me. They tend to fall out or provide less than stellar noise isolation which hurts bass response.

    Their headphones aren’t the ones blasting through review sites for their amazing performance or great value either. I would go for a better known entity like Klipsch, Shure, Etymotic Research or UltimateEars. But that’s just my personal opinion on the matter.

  66. @CloudyyBoyy I don’t have any experience with Beyerdynamic MMX 101 iE (and the rest of their iE line ofheadphones). They do make good over/on ear headphones so I have no reason to doubt their in-ear solutions wouldn’t be good. I have found that the ear-tip type that they use don’t really work for me. They tend to fall out or provide less than stellar noise isolation which hurts bass response.

    Their headphones aren’t the ones blasting through review sites for their amazing performance or great value either. I would go for a better known entity like Klipsch, Shure, Etymotic Research or UltimateEars. But that’s just my personal opinion on the matter.

  67. @Danton.meh let me rephrase thatwhich are more balanced. the Marshalls or these?I’ve heard that these have an overbearing bass is it true?

  68. @Danton.meh let me rephrase thatwhich are more balanced. the Marshalls or these?I’ve heard that these have an overbearing bass is it true?

  69. @Danton.meh let me rephrase thatwhich are more balanced. the Marshalls or these?I’ve heard that these have an overbearing bass is it true?

  70. @justex07

    Hmmm, any recommendations? I’m still quite new to headphones and earphones as I used to not know what I want, until now. I’m looking for an affordable earphone, have decent bass but not too much that the treble gets shallowed, and also a good noise isolation one.

  71. @justex07

    Hmmm, any recommendations? I’m still quite new to headphones and earphones as I used to not know what I want, until now. I’m looking for an affordable earphone, have decent bass but not too much that the treble gets shallowed, and also a good noise isolation one.

  72. @Danton.meh In my review I talked about the bass from these headphones.

    Punchy bass that isn’t overly-boosted that cleanly transitions to midrange and treble. The relative flatness (see full review) from these headphones allows you to listen to them for hours without fatigue.

    ….

    There is an increase in bass performance with the Klipsch, input vs output, but it’s a pretty stable line as opposed to the 40 dB change you get with the Monster Beats by Dre headphones. Generally speaking, every 3 dB of volume increased is twice the measured sound pressure, every 10 dB of volume increased is what your ear hears as twice as loud. Between 10 and 100 Hz the Beats have doubled in volume four times while the Klipsch have decreased in volume by less than a few decibels.

    I also discussed the Marshalls directly in an earlier comment…

    I wanted to do a little more research on the Marshall Major headphones and understand why I personally didn’t like the sound. Here’s what I discovered as measured by Headphone.com

    I compare them to the balanced Beyerdynamic DT880 (which I mention in the review as a good reference headphone) and to the Sennheiser PX 100-II which I also recommend and you have had a chance to listen to and enjoy.

    Click to the graph:

    http://itsjustjustin.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/graphCompare.png

    Notice how the Marshal Majors’ bass response starts waaaaay after the Sennheiser and Beyerdynamic, how it goes from -30 to -5 in an instant where the others go from -5 to just under 5 in the same time. That 35 point jump vs a less than 10 point jump is what bothered me about the Marshall Majors sound.

    Going higher up the frequency sweep you see how the Beyerdynamic and Sennheiser roll off the highs while the

    Marshal drops around 20db in the same space that the others dropped less than 10.

    It is the inbalance of these headphones that bothered me, the lack of low-frequency bass that rushes up to a level that is still below the other two topped off with high frequency irregularity, not a smooth roll-off, a more turbulent one that you might like.

    My latest conversation: http://itsjustjustin.com/apple-releases-lion/4118

  73. @Danton.meh In my review I talked about the bass from these headphones.

    Punchy bass that isn’t overly-boosted that cleanly transitions to midrange and treble. The relative flatness (see full review) from these headphones allows you to listen to them for hours without fatigue.

    ….

    There is an increase in bass performance with the Klipsch, input vs output, but it’s a pretty stable line as opposed to the 40 dB change you get with the Monster Beats by Dre headphones. Generally speaking, every 3 dB of volume increased is twice the measured sound pressure, every 10 dB of volume increased is what your ear hears as twice as loud. Between 10 and 100 Hz the Beats have doubled in volume four times while the Klipsch have decreased in volume by less than a few decibels.

    I also discussed the Marshalls directly in an earlier comment…

    I wanted to do a little more research on the Marshall Major headphones and understand why I personally didn’t like the sound. Here’s what I discovered as measured by Headphone.com

    I compare them to the balanced Beyerdynamic DT880 (which I mention in the review as a good reference headphone) and to the Sennheiser PX 100-II which I also recommend and you have had a chance to listen to and enjoy.

    Click to the graph:

    http://itsjustjustin.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/graphCompare.png

    Notice how the Marshal Majors’ bass response starts waaaaay after the Sennheiser and Beyerdynamic, how it goes from -30 to -5 in an instant where the others go from -5 to just under 5 in the same time. That 35 point jump vs a less than 10 point jump is what bothered me about the Marshall Majors sound.

    Going higher up the frequency sweep you see how the Beyerdynamic and Sennheiser roll off the highs while the

    Marshal drops around 20db in the same space that the others dropped less than 10.

    It is the inbalance of these headphones that bothered me, the lack of low-frequency bass that rushes up to a level that is still below the other two topped off with high frequency irregularity, not a smooth roll-off, a more turbulent one that you might like.

    My latest conversation: http://itsjustjustin.com/apple-releases-lion/4118

  74. @justex07hey buddy im just about to order a marshall majors i want to knw wil theas work with havey metal kinda stuff! i do listen to death metal and thrash metal alot! so??? can u tell anything about that????????

  75. @justex07hey buddy im just about to order a marshall majors i want to knw wil theas work with havey metal kinda stuff! i do listen to death metal and thrash metal alot! so??? can u tell anything about that????????

  76. @sylaw Any headphone will work with any music type, others just do a better job. I don’t know what music you are talking about, give me a band, album, song. “Metal” can mean a lot of different sound signatures.

  77. @sylaw Any headphone will work with any music type, others just do a better job. I don’t know what music you are talking about, give me a band, album, song. “Metal” can mean a lot of different sound signatures.

  78. @sylaw Any headphone will work with any music type, others just do a better job. I don’t know what music you are talking about, give me a band, album, song. “Metal” can mean a lot of different sound signatures.

  79. @sylaw Any headphone will work with any music type, others just do a better job. I don’t know what music you are talking about, give me a band, album, song. “Metal” can mean a lot of different sound signatures.

  80. @justex07 @sylaw sorry man … wt abt “sepultura” – inner self? and “My Dying Bride – cry of the mankind” im nt a audio pro bro! but i do bechmark my headsets with those two songs 🙂 will u tell me are those tracks feel good with marshall majors? i need that thrashyness and the out of the head music experiance 🙂 thanks for replying plz reply to this too m/

  81. @justex07 @sylaw sorry man … wt abt “sepultura” – inner self? and “My Dying Bride – cry of the mankind” im nt a audio pro bro! but i do bechmark my headsets with those two songs 🙂 will u tell me are those tracks feel good with marshall majors? i need that thrashyness and the out of the head music experiance 🙂 thanks for replying plz reply to this too m/

  82. @sylaw If I were you, I would look elsewhere. The Marshall Majors aren’t great at low bass, their midrange is runs hot and the treble can be exhausting.

    Depending on your listening style I’d recommend Grado headphones starting with the Grado SR80i or in-ear headphones. The Grado headphones are known for their quality build and reproduction. It would be worth the money to look at the more expensive Grados like the SR 225i.

    There are few headphones as fast as these and as accurate for the price. You won’t get the rich and powerful bass you so easily get from the Klipsch Image One headphones but you will get some serious rock and metal headphones.

  83. @sylaw If I were you, I would look elsewhere. The Marshall Majors aren’t great at low bass, their midrange is runs hot and the treble can be exhausting.

    Depending on your listening style I’d recommend Grado headphones starting with the Grado SR80i or in-ear headphones. The Grado headphones are known for their quality build and reproduction. It would be worth the money to look at the more expensive Grados like the SR 225i.

    There are few headphones as fast as these and as accurate for the price. You won’t get the rich and powerful bass you so easily get from the Klipsch Image One headphones but you will get some serious rock and metal headphones.

  84. @justex07 but dude i kinda feel theas gadros are too bulky! cuz… bro i travel alot… i stay at road more than i live in home.. + gadros seems to leak sound alot .. but i notice their sound qulitys is awsome.. 🙂 and bro sry for me beaing a pain in the ass… but if u can at least get me sm other suggetions would be great …… Peace man !

  85. @justex07 but dude i kinda feel theas gadros are too bulky! cuz… bro i travel alot… i stay at road more than i live in home.. + gadros seems to leak sound alot .. but i notice their sound qulitys is awsome.. 🙂 and bro sry for me beaing a pain in the ass… but if u can at least get me sm other suggetions would be great …… Peace man !

  86. @sylaw I travel all the time, over 60,000 miles of air travel since January and I don’t find Grados bulky.

    They do leak sound. If you let me know all the qualifications before I make a suggestion, that makes things easier. Why not go to an Apple store and try the various headphones there? Bring your iPod/iPhone/MP3 Player and try the Klipsch Image One headphones and see how you like them. They are my go-to headphones for air travel.

    That is until I get my hands on the Klipsch Mode headphones.

  87. @sylaw I travel all the time, over 60,000 miles of air travel since January and I don’t find Grados bulky.

    They do leak sound. If you let me know all the qualifications before I make a suggestion, that makes things easier. Why not go to an Apple store and try the various headphones there? Bring your iPod/iPhone/MP3 Player and try the Klipsch Image One headphones and see how you like them. They are my go-to headphones for air travel.

    That is until I get my hands on the Klipsch Mode headphones.

  88. @Danton.meh Gave the Marshall Majors another try last week and have to say, the Klipsch are much more comfortable and have a richer, more pleasant sound. Hope your headphones.

  89. @Danton.meh Gave the Marshall Majors another try last week and have to say, the Klipsch are much more comfortable and have a richer, more pleasant sound. Hope your headphones.

  90. I disagree with the opinion that the bass is not overly-boosted. I think it is. But if you use the bass reducer EQ setting, you’ll get very good and quite natural sound. So I think these earphones are great, but only if you use the EQ to actually equalize the frequency response.

  91. I disagree with the opinion that the bass is not overly-boosted. I think it is. But if you use the bass reducer EQ setting, you’ll get very good and quite natural sound. So I think these earphones are great, but only if you use the EQ to actually equalize the frequency response.

  92. I know you reviewed this product a long time ago but I was wondering if you could help me understand the difference between Klipsch’s image one and reference one headphones.

  93. Really nice article, though i will admit the second gen of these isn’t as good as the first, they sound great but aren’t as durable. Today the right swivel joint snapped in half on mine and i have contacted Klipsch to repair or get a new pair or whatever needs to be done. Klipsch is still a great company though, my image S5i ruggeds are still strong and work well for running and stuff.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *