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Another casualty in the earbud wars
on April 30, 2011
One would be wise to read the lower reviews for these ear buds, as they speak to issues I also had with the product.
Simply put, I bought these after reading the hype and was excited...until I opened the box and saw the flimsy wires. These will break in six months, I told myself.
More like three months.
My biggest problem is the durability. Yes, the wires are very thin. Worst of all, and this one really mystifies me, is the actual connector plug that goes into your earphone jack. Most headphones have a curved/L-shaped, hard plastic piece that goes into the jack, which allows for the wire to bend and makes the equipment more flexible (especially when you're carrying your iPod/music player in a pocket). For whatever reason, they've made these babies with a very flimsy wire that goes straight into the ear-phone jack, meaning the (thin) wire will always bend and ultimately become frayed since most people are probably carrying a music player in a pocket.
After less than three months of pretty regular usage, the sound on these ear buds is now dropping out due to this design, and without any real visible fraying of the wire. Just touching the wire now will change the sound drastically, causing it to drop out, dip in volume, etc. I thought this was an issue with the actual (gold-tipped) plug, but I confirmed it on other iPods, so it's the Klipsch buds. If you're walking along and using these, the sound could be all over the place. I expect one of the ear buds to completely stop working any moment now.
Severely disappointed, especially given all of the hype. The salesperson told me these were the best ear buds under $100. The lousy design alone ensures this is not the case. They might be ideal if you listen to music at home, sitting in one place, never moving around, never putting the player or the wire in a pocket or a backpack or a bag, and then putting these things back in the silly tin case they come in. Even that---other companies include a nifty and flexible siicon bag or a cloth bag, but I guess these sensitive things needs a full tin case. Ridiculous. But if you're going to listen to these at home in a sterile environment...go get a set of headphones. Otherwise, if you use ear buds to walk around with your music like a normal user, avoid these.
Just a note on usage, too. Realizing the wire was flimsy, I took special care with these not to leave them all coiled up around the iPod, or stuffed into a pocket to tangle. When not using, I either put them in the tin case or I lay them out so they don't get tangled. Still, the ridiculous design on the jack plug itself is mind-boggling and probably lead to my (and most low reviewers') broken ear buds.
My old Sennheiser sports ear buds---the CX 380s---sounded better, and also lasted longer. While one of those wires did fray eventually, it was a lot tougher, took a heavier beating, and could better last in the rain/wet conditions. The sound on them was also heavier, deeper, and could better handle bass and high frequencies. If you can find those today, they're probably half the money of Klipsch and they're better.
The sound on these is very good, though it didn't blow me away, especially compared with Sennheisers that I've owned. The bass was good, but I noticed they struggled on heavier bass tracks (would get distortion/fuzz). Also, very high ends became too piercing. Overall, they were good, the volume was solid, but I just don't believe there aren't better ear buds for the price. As for comfort, they are good, however if you're interested in slinging these behind your neck, the wires are the same length, so it tends to stretch on your far ear (depending on where you keep your music player).
Is it really too much to ask for a great set of ear buds for under a hundred dollars? Seriously...something durable, because let's face it, most people using these will put significant wear on them. Tons of people (like me) commute every day, use them regularly, coil them up, throw them in bags / on desks / in pockets. What Klipsch likely considers "misuse" of their precious earbuds is probably what a normal considers normal "use" (like actually commuting with a set of earbuds on an iPod). As for "burning in", which means playing music through these babies for 50-80 hours BEFORE using them in your ears so that they're properly broken in, what's the point when the ear buds themselves won't last too much longer when you actually use them?
I know I can send these things back to Klipsch and they can replace them (if I can find the receipt), but the cheap design of the wires is infuriating. Personally, I'm going back to Sennheiser. Even though I've had pairs that eventually wore down, they lasted longer, took way more abuse, and frankly sounded better (or at least as good) as these did. Take your $80 or hundred bucks elsewhere and avoid these. Three months of usage and they crap out----infuriating! Why bother getting another pair except as another backup / sub-par set?