Pros The Klipsch S4's overall sound is so good I was truly shocked the first time I used them. Though they have a definite bass bias, the S4's bass is professionally done, startlingly appropriate, even welcome when it's noticed (not a boomy drone, etc.).
Cons This product's sound is all you're going to get when you buy one these. Klipsch includes almost nothing with these phones. The aluminum "carrying case" is beyond pathetic.
Summary Sound is subjective. My ears have heard lots of different kinds over the years, from the best to the worst. I played music professionally for 14 years and know a thing or two about sound quality. Bose? Please. Clarity? These phones have it. Bass? They have bass that punches you in the chest, that "feels" more powerful than the likes of even the Monster Turbines (perhaps due to their NOTHING BUT BASS overall sound). These phones DESTROY the Bose in-ear phones, as they do nearly every other IE phones I've listened to. They're also incredibly comfortable, hardly noticeable after a short while wearing them. They'll do well for those who need phones that'll stay in place during workouts and such, that are light but tough - quality all around. Considering their sound, Klipsch asks an impossibly low price for these phones. But, considering the accessories? Think cereal cartons and Kleenex boxes that come included with stellar, superior IE canal phones. If you want a product that comes with pretty parts and sexy packaging but delivers ultimately mediocre and unimpressive sound, go with V-Moda, Bose, most of the Shure range, many others. If you want awesome sound and nothing more, get a pair of these suckers. Simple as that.
Pros excellent lows and mids, lightweight buds, unbelievable value
Cons a bit weak on the highs (although my opinion is a bit skewed - read the summary for more details),
Summary I got these S4s out of curiosity - originally I bought a pair of Monster Turbines, but they didn't fit my listening preferences (way too much bass) and so I did a partial exchange with the S4s after reading glowing reviews on Cnet.
For reference, I own 4 pairs of earbuds - Shure E3G & E500PTH, Ultimate Ears superfi 5 pro (*NOT* EB) & triplefi 10 pro. As you can see, my tastes run expensive and the Klipsch are by far the cheapest earbuds I own.
IMO, they're frigging amazing. Outright they beat my Shure E3s in all aspects, and I don't just mean sound - they're lighter and more comfortable to wear too. Low end outperforms both of my Ultimate Ears as well, although I do think the triplefis have a cleaner bass sound (albeit not as strong as the S4s). Mid range is amazing - close to par with the E500 and triplefi 10. The highs are the only letdown - I found both Ultimate Ears and Shure E500s to have much much brighter and crisper high notes. The Klipsch sound tinny in comparison.
Outside of sound reproduction, the Klipsch S4s also have a huge ace in the hole in that they're so compact. Both the Shures and Ultimate Ears have tons of technology, but that's because they pack em into earbuds the size of lego blocks. I have no idea how Klipsch was able to pack in such great sound reproduction into an earbud that's literally 1/2 of the length and 1/3 of the weight of a Super.fi 5 pro. They're also very light - yes, that *could* mean they're flimsy as the Cnet reviewer reported, but until they actually break, I'll give Klipsch the benefit of the doubt.
My overall conclusion: If you're looking to upgrade and have a budget of $130 or less, stop reading and get these - no way no how is there anything better period. Even my brother's Bang & Olufsen Earpiece 3 sound like crap compared to this.
If you have a bigger budget, then musical preferences come into play. Personally if I had to pick only 1 pair of earbuds, value for money it would be the Ultimate Ears Super.fi 5 pro (no EB - the extra bass screws up the sound) for around $200. If low end bass is your thing, try out Monster's new Turbines - it has unbelievable bass, but I'm not sure if it's worth the extra $50-60 over the Klipsch.
As I said though, you literally CANNOT GO WRONG with these S4s. The fact that I was comparing them to $200-$500 earbuds speaks volumes about how much quality is packed into an $80 package. And they will be used regularly by me - nobody wants to use $500 lego blocks while running outdoors or working out in the gym. Not only are these compact and lightweight, the bud design doesn't require you to loop the cord over your ear for support - they hand straight down so no sweat trickling down the cord into my ear *AND* they don't get dislodged when I wipe my face with a towel.
"Superb S4i"on by NeONGeneSAr
Pros sound quality, clarity of mids to highs, depth of bass, relatively inexpensive, small size, comfort, lightweight
Cons soft carrying pouch
Summary As the title notes, I'm reviewing the S4i version of these headphones, which has the in-line mic/3-button remote for use with the iPhone 3GS and 3rg gen iPod Shuffle, neither of which I have, so I can't review that feature. As for the headphones, I like the sound from these MUCH BETTER than my Shure SE530. While the Shure's excel in overall clarity, one can "hear" the bass, but with the Klipsch, one can "feel" the bass, which is what I personally prefer. My only con is the soft carrying pouch the S4i comes with unlike the aluminum case the S4 comes with, which makes no sense to me as the S4i is a slightly more expensive piece of equipment. Despite this, my 4.5 rating is solely based on the earphone's sound performance, which hit all the highs and lows just the way I like them!
Pros Sound is superb, design is comfortable and stylish, a lot smaller than I expected. Best with 320 k/b mp3's.
Cons Takes some time to get used to wearing them properly, but no big deal. May be uncomfortable for some.
Summary I got these today in the mail, I was having a lot of trouble at first adjusting the earphones to fit right but after a got it down, the sound was superb. If you go to the klipsch site they will tell you how to put them on properly. Good luck!
Pros These headphones are definitely worth it, especially the S4i's for hotkeys n' mic users. The quality is very high, it's just as good, if not better than the Bose On-Ear headphones I bought, they fit almost perfectly in my ear.
Cons For $79.99 (or $99.99 for S4i's), these may not be worth it for people who hardly can tell a difference between $20 earbuds and these Klipsch Image S4's. The earbuds are not all confortable, the cords do not look durable.
Summary I really liked this product, all the way. It was a hard decision of choosing Klipsch Image S4 with some more expensive headphones/brands such as the Bose On-Ear headphones. Now comparing the two, Klipsch Image S4, beats it in price and performance is very similar. I really like the sound quality, it was definitely worth it compared to the Apple In-ears or the Bose Triport Mobile In-ear earbuds. The bass is noticable, and is decent, pretty balanced. When I put these into my ears, I really liked how they do fit almost perfectly, even though they are not super comfortable; they fit and feel better than some of the Skullcandy Ink'd eartips. The bag carrying case was confusing for the first 10 seconds, but once you get the idea of how to use it, it is much more convenient than box cases. For the S4i's, the mic has average performance, a little less than the Razer Moray+ (which I think is a good cheap alternative to the Klipsch Image S4i), but the hotkey system (for volume, pause/play and skip forward/backwards buttons) was pretty nice and can be a really good companion to the iPod Touch; keep the iPod Touch's screen blank but control your environments with the hotkeys. For iPod Shuffle 3rd Gen users, this will be 100% worth it in EVERY perspective.
I am very impressed, I thought it would be as good as some $50 headphones from Sony. I thought that CNet was crazy to give these earbuds a 4.5/5 stars before I bought these, now I've heard them, these are GREAT, even though I was 10% disappointed that either I purchased the Bose On-ears a day before I purchased the Klipsch Image S4i's or that the quality is comparable to the On-ears.
Clarity of Voice: 9.5 or higher
Clarity of Insturments: 9.5
Other Features: 8.5