Klipsch released their first on ear headphones, the Image ONE, this fall. Klipsch entered the headphone market just three years ago and quickly shot to the top of nearly every gadget sites’ “Editor’s Choice” list. With the massive success of the Image S4i, their first iPhone optimized headphones, Klipsch is back with a new breed of headphone.
With a sound signature modeled after the Klipsch S4i, an iPhone/iPod/iPad remote control, carrying case and full-sized drivers, the Image ONE headphones are certainly ready to take on the competition.
I picked up my pair of Image ONE headphones yesterday and have only had a few hours of listening to them but here is what I can tell you so far.
The packaging is worthy of the Apple products these headphones are made for.
The carrying case is perfect.
The headphones are comfortable and incredibly light.
The headphones are so light they might feel cheaply made to some.
The sound isn’t cheap.
Isolation doesn’t compare to their in-ear headphones but works well enough.
The cabling is solid, best headphone cables I’ve had lately. Thick, well insulated and yet pliable.
Remote control is improved over the previous Klipsch iPhone headphones.
Headphones started out harsh but have warmed up after some time.
Similar sound signature to the Klipsch Image S4i, which was the goal.
I plan to post a review of these headphones after some more listening in different environments and after some tests with the microphone. Hopefully this will be done by tomorrow but no promises!
Today Steve Jobs and Company announced iPhone 4.0, the future operating system for their iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad devices (don’t like the iPhone moniker throw you off. While the actual announcement came as much a surprise as did the huge number of sales for the first generation of the iPad (450,000 as of today), the predictions from John Gruber were spot on.
Here’s the short list. Multi-tasking, unified inbox, custom wallpapers, better enterprise data encryption, multiple Exchange accounts, background tasking (uploading photos to Flickr, running Pandora, SkypeSMS/calls etc) as well as nearly 100 other major and minor improvements. I recommend reading this post from TUAW for all the details.
Gruber said multi-tasking and used Pandora as his example. So did Jobs today. Gruber also predicted a unified inbox. Jobs showed that off today.
But what really caught my attention, and the attention of many others I’m sure, was the Skype news. Still no Google Voice here but get this. You will soon be able to run Skype in the background, all the time. If someone calls your Skype number you simply slide to answer, just as you do now with regular calls to your iPhone.
Obviously we’re all seeing how cool this can be. We’re on the same level with the possibilities here. But what about this. What if you are like me and love your iPhone and have an iPad 3G on the way. What does this 4.0 update mean for me? It means, for the first time in my iPhone life, I might dump my iPhone!
Do the math. If you dump the iPhone for the iPad 32gb WiFi + 3G, you will make a saving of $590 in your first year, including the cost of the iPad! The second year, and every year after that, you save $1,020! How does this happen? Simple.
Get the iPad 32 WiFi + 3G, pay $30/m for AT&T unlimited 3G coverage, pay $30 for unlimited Skype in/out calls within Canada/USA for a year (it’s on sale right now, 15% off), pay $30 for a Skype in/out number (it’s on sale for 50% off right now from its normal $60) and you’re done.
I made a handy chart that explains the savings.
My good friend Ryan @rzhale pointed out how cumbersome it would be to answer phone calls on an iPad. Remember all the jokes about people carrying around iPads as a phone? Holding them up to their faces as they would an iPhone? Well get that out of your head because the iPad allows A2DP stereo, two way bluetooth. That means the stereo headsets with microphones, the bluetooth in-car systems, or simply bluetooth headsets you’re already using with your iPhone to do handsfree phone calls will seamlessly be integrated into the iPad.
With Skype you will have unlimited calls within the USA and Canada (not offered on AT&T at this price) and unlimited SMS for $60 a year. That’s less than one month of access from AT&T.
Will I be giving up my iPhone once this comes to my iPad in the fall? Maybe, who knows. But the possibility here is pretty awesome. I can see the iPad replacing desktop office phones while you’re at work on WiFi, a nice dock and Skype interface for that. When you head out, slide the iPad in your bag, briefcase, backpack and continue your call over 3G as you drive to lunch. As long as you are within thirty feet of your iPad, you’re good to go.
For the travelling entrepreneur, you’ve just gained a new level of freedom. iPad’s 4.0 operating system will allow you to make and take calls and sms while reading email, while writing a Pages or Numbers document, or updating your Twitter status. You will no longer need your iPod, your Blackberry, your laptop. You just need your iPad. Lighter than your laptop, more powerful than your Blackberry or iPod and more functional than an iPhone.
Yeah I know, there are use cases where you need a laptop but for someone like my brother, sister-in-law, mother, father and grandmother, all professionals with corporate-type jobs that travel a lot, the iPad is all they need and something they’d all love to have. Especially if it means not having to carry so many other devices on their person.
Don’t forget, airlines are even thinking about charging for carry-on luggage, not just your checked bags. Spirit Airlines is the first to do this. Yet another reason to decrease all that gadget bloat.
Are you excited about this prospect? Would this get you to drop your iPhone and contract? Would this get you to get an iPad now or in the fall?
UPDATE: So how about this? You don’t want the iPad but still want to take advantage of some sort of savings with this iPhone OS 4.0 release. Check this out. Did you know AT&T has a Data for the Deaf plan? Unlimited data and SMS for $40/m. Now, this might not be as ethical as the above option but it is certainly an option for the penny pincher who wants all the latest gadgets!
How would that break down for you? Pretty sweet actually. Here’s the chart.
I would like to thank all those that provided me with tips on which books I should get for my mother for Christmas. Living in Saudi Arabia, getting American books can be a bit difficult at times.
My dad and I thought, what better gift than an Amazon Kindle to solve this problem?! With new latest version she will be able to use Wispernet, even in Saudi Arabia, to buy books, get the latest New York Times and sync her reads between her Kindle and perhaps her iPod Touch. Pretty amazing technology we have these days.
It’s this sort of ubiquitous wireless internet and background syncing that will prove to the victors of the future. It will form the backbone of future operating systems, from the desktop to the tablet to the phone. I’ve already setup something like this for myself, combining systems like Dropbox, MobileMe and SugarSync with my iPhone, laptops and iMac. Amazing to think of how far we were away from this technology just a few years ago.
Ah, but I digress, back to the Kindle.
I got lots of recommendations on how to properly give the Kindle as a gift and especially on recommendations for books based on my description of my mom through Twitter.
I loaded up the Kindle with four books and one audio book of my favorite audio books.
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion is one that I started while on the plane. You might think, wow, using the gift you’re giving your mother for your own?! Well, how else to make sure it works? Just like how she used to eat one of my candies or part of my dessert at a restaurant to “make sure it wasn’t poison.”
This book, recommended to me by @MaryMG, so far is just incredible. Within the first several pages I found my eyes tearing up. Didion has a sensational way of turning ordinary words into a phenomenal, emotionally rich story.
I can’t wait to read more of this book. Experiencing the Kindle has convinced me that it’s something I need to invest for myself. A slick eReader that makes reading more enjoyable and easy than I’ve ever known it to be.
Sure makes some twenty-four hours of travel more exciting, less annoying. And the girl in front of me who refuses to give me any legroom, your constant seat adjustments might keep me from watching any inflight movie or using my laptop but it certainly will not keep me from enjoying a good book!
Peter Mayle – French Lessons: Adventures with Knife, Fork and Corkscrew
The first three I strongly recommend. I”m about half way through The Year of Magical Thinking, I enjoyed Fraud when it came out a few years ago (anything David Rackoff does is worth a read or listen) and Malcolm Gladwell has never disappointed, really exited about his latest book, a compendium of his library of articles.
Mom absolutely loves her new Kindle and the book selection we (me and all my Twitter friends chose!)
It’s been nearly five years since I had my first set of Comply headphone tips. They came with my UltimateEars SuperFi 5 Pro dual-driver, in-ear headphones. My first impressions were nothing too spectacular.
The UltimateEars headphones are large and never really felt secure. The noise isolation was great but only if they were in just right. Since the diameter of the ear tip was so wide, getting a deep placement was difficult and I soon found the headphones falling out or losing their proper seal.
I switched to the rubber or silicon ear tips that came with the headphones and found that while the seal wasn’t necessarily that much better, if the seal broke, I could easily remedy the situation. Eventually I got so good at putting on the headphones that losing a seal was no longer a problem.
Now to the present. The inevitable finally happened with me UltimateEars SuperFI 5 Pro headphones, they became tip-less (really surprised I didn’t lose them faster). Meanwhile my new favorite in-ear headphones, the Klipsch Image S4i have proven their ability to kick ass, take names and leave all my other headphones getting dusty. I went to the Klipsch Bulletin Board to do a bit of tech help for my fellow audiophiles and saw a few people discussing ways to further improve their Klipsch investment.
One thing that popped up a few too many times to be ignored was the inclusion of Comply foam ear tips. I bit the bullet and, with the generosity of Comply giving me a review discount (full disclosure for all those Federal Trade Commission agents reading my blog…), I bought two sets (6 pair) for my two favorite in-ear-monitors.
For those who don’t know, Comply makes memory-foam ear tips for many popular in-ear headphones, as well as their own line of sound isolating headphones. They the brand of ear tips to buy, period. Here is why…
My Comply headphone tips came in the other day, a set for my UltimateEars and another for the Klipsch headphones.
So what are my thoughts?
Well, first off, it’s a definite upgrade to the UltimateEars branded options and seem to be an improvement on the Comply models I had several years ago.
As I wrote above, the UltimateEars have a really wide sound channel that is probably too wide for most people’s ears. That being said, the Comply tips make a significantly better seal than the rubber ones from UltimateEars, despite the physical obstacles of the sound port of the headphones.
The fit on the Klipsch S4i is just perfect, they seemed to just disappear once in my ears. Klipsch made noise when they released their first headsets and a good deal was written regarding their unprecedented comfort for in-ear-monitors. Klipsch’s oval tips (instead of round) fit the ear more naturally. I would love to see Comply incorporate this design element with a future model of their ear tips for even an even better fit.
The sound isolation is dangerously good. I missed several phone calls and a couple knocks on my door! They completely silenced my local Starbucks. On the flight from St. Louis to Austin, not even the roar of the jets next to my window interfered with my music listening. Eyes closed, you’re in a different world.
When you get these tips you’re doing so for really three reasons. Replacement for lost tips, sound isolation and comfort. UltimateEars SuperFi 5 Pro owners will enjoy a significant increase in comfort and sound isolation with the Comply ear tips. However, if you have the Klipsch S4i, you probably already enjoy amazing comfort and decent sound isolation so if sound isolation is your need, the Comply headphone tips will fill any gaps left by your current tips. However, if comfort is your biggest concern, the double-flange tips from Klipsch are just as comfortable and perhaps better, to me.
In regards to any improvement in audio performance… You will certainly notice an increase in bass response which decreases your desire to turn up the volume. The sound isolation coupled with a nearly airtight seal in your ear really makes the bass lines in songs like Muse’sUndisclosed Desires perform at its best. Lower volumes means less stress on your ears which allows a longer listening with less fatigue and hearing damage.
There are really only three downsides I see to the Comply ear tips.
Price – At $5-7 a pair, it’s not overwhelmingly expensive but an extra cost not associated with most headphones.
Ease of Use – Putting the headphones on and off becomes a hassle. Definitely not something you want to keep doing. I got so frustrated with people coming up to me to talk causing me to redo my headphones every few minutes that I went back to the regular tips at one point. Definitely not as easy to take in and out than the original ear tips.
Sanitation – you have to replace the ear tips at least once every three months. Though to me, there is something kinda gross about putting these in your ears even after a couple of weeks use. You can wipe them down with a moist rag after use to keep them clean. Make sure they are dry before you use them again, and of course, clean ears means cleaner tips.
Let’s break it down.
Isolation – 9.5/10
Comfort – 9/10
Performance – 9/10
Value – 9/10
Overall – 9.1/10
Will this improvement in audio quality, comfort and sound isolation have you taking a second listen to your music catalogue? No. But it might be that small difference that takes a 9 out of 10 headphone closer to a 10.
One a lesser set of headphones, such as the Griffin TuneBuds you will notice a significant improvement in audio quality, isolation and comfort with the Comply headphone tips.
I’ll get some pictures posted later but here’s the short, sad news.
July 6th, I went to the Apple Store to get a new, better suited, laptop/camera bag. I wanted something that held my laptop more securely than my Tamrac bag. I picked out this great Incase bag, tried my laptop in it, tried it with the camera too, fantastic.
Put my laptop back into my Tamrac bag, put my camera in my Tamrac bag, zipped everything up and then headed to the checkout.
My laptop fell out of my bag! Just as I was buying a new one, a new one being purchased because I feared this would happen.
The laptop screen was cracked, the side of the computer bent up. Even the top of the computer has some hills and valleys in the aluminum. I was very sad.
After my four insurance policies denied coverage (what the f*ck) I finally decided to buy a new one today.
The purchase was complicated, card was marked for fraud, Apple Specialist Mark forgot to add the free iPod Touch/photo printer… But in the end everything worked out. I was told by a couple of Apple Stores and Apple.com that they could add the iPod Touch/Printer on my original receipt when I get to my store in Houston.
I bought the top of the line 15″ MacBook Pro with the 512mb video ram. It’s so beautiful, so pretty, so fast, so awesome. I haven’t decided what to do with my old MacBook Pro, sell it, turn it into a desktop (if the computer portion still works)… who knows.
Meanwhile, I have a new, even better, computer so hooray for everything working out, even if it did cost me $2,400 more than I had expected to spend on my vacation.
Labor Day weekend was proving to be really awesome. Had fun hanging out with my friends, working, having a three day weekend… and then shit happened.
Some one felt the need to throw a football sized rock through my window causing damage to the interior of the car and obviously destroying the window. Oh, and they stole my 30gb iPod Video and my UltimateEars ifi5 Pro headphones.
Did you know insurance doesn’t cover stolen items from your car?Â True story.Â Beyond “permanent installations”, you are fucked just like me.