Excellent fit and sound, very comfortable to wear.
Cord is thin and tangles easily, and looks to have suspect durability.
I was looking for a good pair of in ear canal-phones that would help reduce the outside noise of NYC. I started with the SuperFi-3's from Ultimate Ears, and despite good sound quickly became frustrated with fit. I could not walk a block without having to push the earphone ... Read full review
I was looking for a good pair of in ear canal-phones that would help reduce the outside noise of NYC. I started with the SuperFi-3's from Ultimate Ears, and despite good sound quickly became frustrated with fit. I could not walk a block without having to push the earphone back into my ear.
The design of the Klipsch's caught my eye, and they seem to incorporate the best of both Shure's and UE's designs. Shure relies on the silicon tip to hold the ear piece in place, and Ultimate Ears also incorporates a stiff (but bendable) bit of wire that fits over the ears to help keep them in place. The problem I found with this is that any movement transfers along the stiff cord to the earphone and can dislodge it from your ear). While some people use foam inserts to help with stability and fit, I do not like them and wanted a good fit with the silicon tips.
Enter the Klipsch Custom-1's. They use a thin, soft, woven cord (more on this later) that runs into the ear buds through a hollow plastic channel that fits over the outside of the wearer's ears. This allows the earphone to be supported without any movement of the cord transferring to the earphone itself.
Every ear-phone manufacturer supplies a fit kit of ear tips, but I think that Klipsch's is one of the better ones. It includes 3 sizes of single flange and both a large and small size of the double flange. Furthermore, Klipsch touts their tips as being softer and contoured to fit your inner ear better. I can't speak to these claims directly, but my experience seems to indicate there's something behind them. I get a much better fit (and seal) that I can wear for extended periods of time without any discomfort than with other earphones I've tried. As a bonus, after you find what size tip you like, when you register your earphones Klipsch will send you some replacements for free (I registered both online and sent in the warranty card and got 2 packages of ear gels, so I'm set for a good long while against lost tips).
The one problem I did have was during the winter months. These need to sit at the right distance from the side of the ear, and if you push on them, the gels and compress too much cutting off the sound. This would happen when I wore a winter stocking cap pulled down over my ears and earphones. While this is a problem, it seems to be an issue with any in ear canal-phone.
The meat of a review should be on the sound quality, but I use mine mostly for listen on the subway and while walking around the city, so audiophile I am not (and I listen to a lot of podcasts and distortion heavy post-rock to boot). When listening to music I find the sound to be clean and true, not base heavy (if you're into the V-Moda scene). I think they stand up well with other in ear canal-phones in the same price range.
The big concern for me with these is the cord. It is a bit longer than the cords on other sets of earphones (50", or over 4 feet of cord) which is a matter of taste. The cord exterior is actually woven, so it feels like nylon or cotton string rather than a plastic cord. This makes it very flexible and light, but does cause some problems: I've managed to get it stuck to the velcro closures of my messenger bag a few times, and it winds up tangled very easily, so digging them out of a pocket takes an extra minute to get everything straightened out. Of serious concern is the junction where the cord splits from the single cord to the 2 going to the earphones. It is very small; it seems like Klipsch is intentionally going for a slim profile, but I worry about the reinforcement on this area which is slight. Of course I've had my ear phones for over 2 months and they don't show any signs of wear or damage; we'll see. This may be an area where Klipsch's customer service would be an important factor.
Overall I think these are great for someone looking to enter the premium canal-phone market, especially if you have problems getting a good fit with other brands.