Customer Reviews: Klipsch Image S4i-II Black In-Ear Headphones
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Color: Black/Chrome|Product Packaging: Standard Packaging|Change
Price:$67.95+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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on September 12, 2013
UPDATE 6/3/14 - I placed my warranty request for replacement S4i-II's back in April and have yet to receive them. Apparently they are still on backorder. After inquiring about the delay, the rep offered me the new R6i's instead. It is my understand that R6i's are replacing the S4i-II's, which is likely why Amazon has not been offering this model as the seller for a while. Be aware that buying from a third-party seller may void the warranty if they are not authorized by Klipsch. You may want to stay away from the S4i-II's and check out the new R6i's instead. They have the same MSRP, though are offered for a discount here at Amazon. There are not many reviews available, but a few forum posts have indicated that the sound quality is even better. No word on durability as of yet, as they are too new. I will post a review of the R6i's a few weeks after I receive them.

Klipsch R6i In-Ear Headphones with In-Line Mic and Apple Controls (Black)

SOUND: Plenty of people here have already written about the quality of the sound, so I won't get into it here other than to say I think it's fantastic. Bass is clear, and in no way overwhelming (READ: not like Beats), mids and highs are reproduced richly and accurately, and in general all my music has an added warmth when compared to something like Apple's earbuds.

ISOLATION: When worn properly (read: placed in ears and then rotated forward to create a seal), these headphones do an excellent job isolating noise around me. I wear these regularly on my subway commute and am able to keep my iphone volume right at 50% and still hear my music (and podcasts) loud and clear. It also protects you from the harsh decibels being flung at you by passing trains and crying babies. Your ears will thank you for wearing these, and 20 years from now, when you still have your hearing, you'll look back at your purchase of these headphones and smile.

COMFORT: The ear tips make long-term wear comfortable and painless. For those of you who have experienced discomfort with long-term wear of earbuds, fret no more. I have kept these babies on for hours at a time with nary a tingle. The 3 sizes of ear tips included with the headphones ensure that you will find a comfortable fit for your ears, regardless of how weirdly shaped they may be.

WIRE DESIGN: The flat wire design of these ear buds virtually ensure you will never have to detangle your headphones again. I don't know about you, but tangled wires drive me crazy. My brother's Apple earbuds have gotten so tangled that the once-3 foot long cord is now no longer than a foot. I have no idea how he lives with it. Well, with these earbuds, I never have to worry about that happening to me.

That being said, there is one major downside to the flat design: it literally catches onto everything. Do you listen to your music with an iphone in your pocket? Better not move your head too much, or that cord will stick to the sides of your pocket opening and undo that perfect seal isolating all that horrible noise around you. Oh, and you better be extra careful if you wear a bag with a shoulder strap. One wrong move and these babies will detach from your ears entirely and dangle embarrassingly by your sides.

Klipsch includes a handy little clip that allows you to clip the wire to an article of clothing or the aforementioned shoulder strap, which should help mitigate the catching problem. It works, but it's not perfect. The problem with the clip is that, once it's clipped at the right length from your head, that right length will change if you look up (gets too taut and undoes that wonderful seal) or look down (too much slack and this cord will bow out and start tickling your neck and face).

DURABILITY: I bought the S4i-II's (as opposed to the cheaper S4i's) specifically for the flat wire design that is supposed to be effective against tangles and more durable than the old design. Well, as I said above, it is excellent at preventing cord tangles. It is not, however, extra durable. Something inside the base of the headphone came loose a mere two months after purchasing these beautiful buds, and suddenly my right ear was deprived of that lovely rich and vibrant sound I had come to love. Let this be known: I am not a headphone abuser. I use these headphones on my commute to work -- I do not run with them (or any headphones, for that matter), I do not throw them around, I do not step on them or accidentally put them in the wash. I simply take them out of my drawer in the morning when I leave for work, place them in my drawer when I arrive at work, and take them out again for my commute home. My Apple earbuds survived this treatment for two years without crapping out on me, and yet these new, extra durable, moderately expensive buds couldn't make it two months??? I could not believe it.

UPDATE (1/17/14): 5 months later, the new pair is exhibiting the same problems as the original. I sent Klipsch an email today requesting they send another pair (see below for details on that process).

CUSTOMER SERVICE: I immediately contacted Klipsch via email, instructing them to send me a new pair along with a self-addressed and stamped envelope so I could send the old pair back and attached my Amazon invoice as proof of purchase. I received a response within two days telling me that a new pair has been sent to the address in question, that they do not need the old pair, and that I may dispose of them as I wish. Six days later I had the new pair in hand (or ear, rather). That's decent customer service in my book.

FINAL WORDS: I am pleased with the headphones, and I think you will be, too.

UPDATE (1/17/14): It is clear that the durability problem is endemic to the entire line. That being said, Klipsch offers an excellent two year warranty and has speedily replaced my headphones in the past. Is it worth the full $99.99 MSRP for this minor headache? Probably not. But I have seen the price fluctuate here on Amazon -- even as low as $39.99. At that price, and probably up to $60, it is well worth it. The sound quality and comfort is too good to pass up.

NOTE ON WIRE NOISE: This is something that is endemic to all in-ear sound isolating headphones. It is known as the occlusion effect, and it is not nearly as terrible as some reviewers have made it out to be. The thickness of the wire may exacerbate the effect, but just know this comes with the territory of any in-ear headphones. My purple Roku headphones have the same problem, and though it is not as severe, it also is not as good at isolating the noise around me. This is something that will have to come down to your personal preference and what you plan to use the headphones for. If you are commuting or walking around, it is not so terrible--especially because noise isolation is so important in those scenarios. If you are running, the more extreme movements of the wire may create more noise than the noise isolation is worth -- and noise isolation is not nearly as important during exercise. I hope this clears up the issue so that you may make a more informed decision on whether to purchase these headphones.

I finally received my new (3rd including original) pair of headphones today, 13 days after putting in the request to Klipsch. The product came in a different box than the original and earlier replacement, and came with an addition set of ear tips (for a total of 4) -- a new extra small set. In light of the new packaging, I suspected that the product may have been redesigned to fix the durability issues that have plagued this line of headphones. After comparing the base of the new set (the part that plugs into the iPhone) with the base of the old set, it was readily apparent that some adjustments were made. Overall, the new base seems more durable -- and considering this was the part that failed on the previous two sets, I am hoping that this redesign puts the durability problem to rest. I will post an additional update in a few months to let everyone know how the new pair is holding up.

I have also posted a picture comparing the new base and the old base, so that you may see the difference for yourself. If the redesign solves the issue, I stand by my 4-star rating. If not, I will likely downgrade this product.

It appears the redesigned base of the headphones did little to alleviate the durability problems. I am now on my third pair (replaced under warranty) since I purchased the originals back in July 2013. Unlike the previous two pairs, the headphones continue to function but the remote no longer works. This is peculiar because the microphone is still functional. I emailed Klipsch on Tuesday and received a response today (Friday). They assured me that the headphones will be replaced, but that they are currently on backorder. For now, I have to live without a functional remote. As a result, I have downgraded my rating to three stars.
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on September 12, 2012
After purchasing these earbuds from the Klipsch website, and after a thorough burn-in period, here is a review of this product.
The sound quality of these earbuds continues to carry on the tradition of well tuned sound that Klipsch prides itself on. They sound very similar to the older model Klipsch S4's.
The main difference that these second generation headphones offer is the flat cord design, as well as a slightly slimmer remote. The flat cord can be seen as either a negative or a positive, based on your preferences. Personally, because I use the S4's in a very active type setting, on the go, the flat cords are quite helpful. With the previous cord design, tangling was not much of an issue for me, however the flat cords remedy that problem very well. It also makes the cord more visible, and it gives it a sturdier look. However, it also increases the weight of the product, which may provide an issue if you do not have a proper fit for the ear pieces. The flat cord overall is a good addition to the design, in my opinion. The remote size does not matter to me very much, as you do not notice the change unless you take the time to measure it. The remote is always welcome, as being able to change the song without fishing for your device in your pocket is a good thing.
Another change is the case they provide. The last generation S4's came with a tin case. Not intending to be mean, but that case is a total waste. You cant properly keep the earbuds in the case with the foam insert, and without it, the abrasive tin had me worried that it would damage the gold plug. The case now is a lot more efficient. It is a clamshell case with a fabric interior and a still exterior. Its nicely labeled with the Klipsch label, and it looks sleek while retaining usefulness.
All this being said, this product is a worthwhile purchase if you feel the need to simply update your current pair of headphones. I still use the first generation S4's though the roles I use them in are slightly more rugged. Buy if you have the money, the sound is fantastic and the compliments you get will be too.
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on August 21, 2013
I have had multiple Klipsch Image S4s and S4is. Since I needed a new pair I decided to try out the newest iteration, the S4i II. As other reviewers have mentioned, the biggest difference is the cord. The rest of the product is incredible! Great noise-cancellation, light, comfortable, good mic/controls, tight fit, multiple ear-buds and all for a great price. The problem is the new cord design. While I appreciate Klipsch's effort to remove tangling (a legitimate complaint with the S4i I), they have added a major drawback to this product that did not exist with the S4i I, cord noise. I am not a huge snob/sensitive to this sort of thing, however, this cannot be overlooked. It is awful, I have to turn the volume higher than I am comfortable with to overcome the constant sound of the cord brushing up with my shirt or whatnot and even then it is still noticeable and very annoying. I reiterate that I am not an audiophile or any thing like that, so this problem will annoy just about anyone. It saddens me to give the ear-buds such a low score for an otherwise nearly flawless product, but I wish someone had done it prior to my own purchase. I recommend sticking with the S4i I, the cord tangling is absolutely worth avoiding the insane cord noise on the S4i II.
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on May 22, 2013
The sound from these headphones were good. The problem with these headphones are that they don't last long. This was my second pair of Klipsch headphone in less than a year. This set only lasted me 3 months before the right headphone stopped working. I will never buy Klipsch headphones again. I would recommend to look elsewhere for good DURABLE headphones.
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on January 28, 2013
Gonna make this short. Sound is pretty good. Earbuds didn't fit too great but it was ok. However I have gone through two sets of these within the past 3 months. One side will just stop producing any sound. Quality control is seriously lacking.
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on May 31, 2013
like the other reviews, this earphones sounds good but it gave up on me in just 5 months of light usage. very frustrating since only one side is working and the problem seems to exist on the 3.5mm connector wirings. to sum up, durability is very poor.
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on July 2, 2014
It's really too bad. The sound quality is great but the build quality is absolutely not.

I've owned two pairs of these and had the exact problem with both. Each has died within six months of purchase after about a week of me fiddling with the jack to try and get the stop cutting in and out.

Not worth the time, money and frustration.

When I contacted Klipsch to have them replaced under the warranty, I was told they would not because I had purchased through an Amazon seller, not Amazon itself. Be aware.
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on January 3, 2013
First thing I noticed when I fit these in my ear is that they FIT in my ear. This is easily the first pair of headphones that haven't hurt after hours of use (over-ear) or fallen out after a bit (other-in-ear (cheap) headphones).

The second thing that hit me was the base. I don't believe I have heard base like this from in-ear headphones before. (Granted, free or 10 bucks was my previous purchase levels for in-ear headphones.) As far as upgrading goes I am really impressed. I had kind of given up on finding decent headphones because over-the-ear headphones, while they deliver great sound, just hurt my head after an hour or more.

These deliver pain-free use and fantastic sound. Almost makes me want to upgrade the quality of my music now because now I can actually feel like I can hear the difference. I have NO ide how these compare against higher end (~$300+) in-ear headphones, but I got the tip from that these were pretty great, and I have to admit, I am loving them. (Plus they aren't white... =) )

[Edit: (A few days later) The more I use these things the more impressed with them I am. If you enjoy good sound but aren't a huge audio-phile then I would suggest buying these. Great sound, I bought them for 70 bucks, so keep an eye on the price if the default retail is too high. Since this is the first pair of decent headphones that haven't hurt my ears I have spent a LOT more time listening to music as I work.

A downside I would have to them is that there seems to be a "sweet spot" in my ear, if I just push them in it sounds kind of muffled but if I pull them out a little ways the sound quality cleans up.

Take note iOS user vs Android users. These are for iOS and the controls work great with anything Mac. There is an Android version where the controls work better with Android. (IE: The buttons don't work the same in my Android phone as they do on the Apple products...)

After owning these a few days now I would buy them again without any question.]
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on May 29, 2014
Unless you are planning to lie down perfectly still without moving - for instance, a coffin - the noise these earphones will generate from the cord rubbing on your clothes will often overpower the sound coming into your ears. Furthermore, if you're having a telephone conversation while moving, the cord noise will overpower the conversation.

My wife refuses to talk to me while I'm hiking or running with these headphones. For some of you, I expect I've convinced you to purchase multiple pairs of these. I know you're thinking 6 stars (minimum) for that feature alone.

However, for those that DO want to listen to music, or have a telephone conversation while on the move...they are a dismal failure. It's unfortunate because the flat cord on the model II doesn't tangle like the thin cord on the model I (which I also owned and loved - hence the purchase of the model II). But the cord noise kills the deal and I'm looking to replace these ASAP.

Buyer beware.
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on January 21, 2014
I was very excited to wear these headphones, as I had similar ones in the past, but this model fell far short of my expectations

Ear fit: every single piece included with the earbuds falls out of my ear with the slightest head movement. I can't even walk without fixing them constantly

Weight: the weight of the cord is too great for the fit inside my ear, so the wight itself pulls the earbuds out.

Sound: after burning in the earbuds for approx. 15 hours at 75% volume, they still don't sounds as nice as my old apple headphones.
Also, whenever you rub the cord against ANYTHING, it sounds like an earthquake in your ear.

The length of the cord is far longer than it needs to be, and wobbles around all the time. Im not trying to listen to music i a separate room from my device, it just sits in my pocket.

Bottom-line: these headphones are essentially unusable, and i highly regret buying them. it was a waste of 30$
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