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on March 6, 2012
Let me start by saying that I really do like my Reference s4i headphones. But I want to point out that there may be some misinformation floating around, including info within the reviews here on Amazon.

I was struggling to detect any noticeable difference between my Reference S4i headphones and my wife's "Image S4i". After letting it mess with my head for a while, I sent an email to Klipsch asking exactly what the difference is between the 2 models. I got a reply back from Klipsch saying that the only differences are the "earbud color, style and cable color. The specs are the same for both".

So don't buy these thinking they are going to sound any better (or different for that matter) than the "Image" model. And if you think they do sound better, enjoy your $20 placebo effect!
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on December 12, 2011
My dad introduced me to Klipsch speakers at a very young age, and since then I've bought nothing else when it comes to audio products. Headphones are no different: I got a pair of Klipsch S4's not long after they came out, and the S4i's basically the day they came out. They've been fantastic for me, they sound like headphones that should cost hundreds of dollars more. Once I used them once I could never go back to the crappy headphones iPods come with. The only problem I had with the S4 and S4i's are the slightly overpowering bass. I say slightly, because it's very slight and not noticeable to most people, but me being a self-proclaimed audiophile, I notice. The stronger bass makes sense for pop and hip-hop music, which is the music most of the target audience of the headphones listen to, but for jazz, classical, and even rock, the bass can be a little overpowering at times. I love bass, but I love treble just as much, and I would like both to be balanced out equally.

That's where the Reference S4i's come in. The headphones are re-tuned to sound more like the Klipsch Reference speaker line, and speaking as an owner of these very speakers, they achieve it. If you love hearing subtle things in a song, these headphones are fantastic. Soft symbol and tom hits on the drum track while playing jazz are clearly heard; something I couldn't always say with the S4i's. Strums of individual strings are heard with vivid detail. Even egg shakers in the background can be heard! It's amazing what new things you'll hear in your favorite songs with these headphones!

The aesthetics of the headphones enjoy an upgrade as well. I want to note that I immediately switched the included ear tips with foam ones, which I prefer, so I won't comment on the included tips other than that they're the same that comes with the S4 and S4i's. The earbuds themselves have copper accents rather than the chromatic ones in the S4's. They're made to match the Reference series of speakers (hence the name), and they look fantastic. I really prefer the copper look over the chromatic one, it makes them unique and gives them the Klipsch flavor. The cable is upgraded as well, and it's also for the better. If you've ever handled speaker wire, that's what you can imagine when you think of the cable. Though it's still the same thickness as the S4's, it's much more durable, and I'm not afraid it's going to break on me like I was with previous models. They also chose to have a clear cable, showing off the twisted copper wires inside. It's a good look, and personally I like it a lot. One more thing I'd like to note, though the 2.5mm connector isn't an L-shaped connector, the top of the connection has been upgraded to be much more flexible than the S4i's. As this was one of the main problem areas of the S4i's (I've had to replace two because the wire was stripped at this spot), this small upgrade is very much appreciated.

But at the end of the day, sound quality is king when it comes to earbuds, and as I've said earlier these don't disappoint. The bass being slightly turned down can be a pro or a con to some people. For me, it's a huge pro, since I found the S4 and S4i's bass to be a little punchy. Many people like this, and to those people I say buy the S4's, you most definitely won't be disappointed. With that being said, the bass is still very much present in these headphones (I love bass as much as anyone), but just slightly subdued, opening up other sounds to be heard. If you're the type of listener who appreciates the subtle things, then these headphones are perfect. You'll be shocked at how much music you're missing.

I've only been testing these for a few hours, and they already sound better than the S4i's I came from. With a work-in period, they should only sound better. I'll upgrade the review in around a month's time to comment on that as well. If I haven't made myself perfectly clear by now, buy these headphones! Even though they're not cheap, they'll be the best thing you've ever bought.

UPDATE: After using these for a solid two months, I can say that the sound has gotten even better. Sound-staging is much more open than when I first got them out of the box. I feel like the music is more in front of me, rather than in my head. Earbuds usually have a touch time getting this effect, but the Reference S4i's do it effortlessly. Audio doesn't go out of date like most technology does, so if you treat these right, these headphones should last you a long, long time. Conclusion: buy these now, you won't regret it.
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on May 8, 2013
If you purchase this at normal retail prices, the cost is usually around $40. But many listeners, myself included, find that the sound quality equals that of even more expensive standalone headphones: clear, full, and accurate. Some users may find a few tip will be helpful:

1. Experiment with tips. These come with a selection of rubber tips, and the majority of listeners will find one that fits their taste in music. You can also gain substantial sound quality by using a third-party maker like Comply, who even provide a selection of foam tips. The larger tips allow fuller closure, and deeper bass (if that's what you're looking for).

2. De-kink the cable. Some users have complained about the cables, which seem inflexible out of the box. Don't bother trying to smooth them out manually; instead, make sure they're straight while using a warm hair dryer.

3. Don't pull the terminal ends. Klipsch products are pretty sturdy and long-lasting, but a key to a long product life includes avoiding stress of the terminal ends of the buds. Instead of tightly wrapping the cables, roll them loosely.
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on February 17, 2012
At my age it is not very often that I get to say that something is the best I have experianced. Sad right? I'm not an engineer or expert on sound, at most perhaps an amateur audiophile. Music has always been an important part of my life and I have always tried to listen on the best equipment I could afford which after the bills get paid was never enough to buy the top of the line, but decent enough components. I remember going from mono to hifi, it was the best I ever heard. Then going to a true stereo system was the best. Then quadrophonic - nevermind on that. My first Dolby cassette player was as good as it gets followed by the the first time I heard a CD with decent speakers I was floored again. Up to now the absolute best listening experiance I have had was using Bose headphones plugged into a good music system. Well I'm happy to report that the Klipsch Reference S4's have delivered my new best music experiance. I have tried cheaper earbuds and was never impressed. There was no way that I was going to spend over $100 for another pair. After receiving an Amazon gift card for Christmas I decided to give these a try and was blown away by the clarity of the sound without any ear discomfort. These have replaced my Bose headphones in my travel kit. They are much easier to travel with as I can put them in my top pocket with an Ipod in the terminal before boarding the plane leaving my hands free to deal with luggage etc. Couldn't really do that with my overear headphones. They seem sturdy enough, but the case that comes with them is not up to the same quality. It is small and difficult to load. Other then that I am very pleased. Maybe some day I can afford the more expensive in ear headphones mentioned by others here and experiance another best, but until then these will do fine and I heartily recommend them.
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on January 9, 2013
First, a tip: try putting the Right earphone in your LEFT ear, and vice versa. I get a much more comfortable fit, better seal and sound this way. I think it looks better, too. If you're not getting a good seal at first, twist them slightly.

My first earphone purchase was Bose, I had trouble keeping them in my ears, and the Bass was very boomy, I looked for something else. I've been a Sennheiser earphone fan and user for years, starting with their $80 model (I don't remember the name) and working my way up to their very good IE6 unit. I thought they were really great, loved the sound. I listen to some classical, some jazz, some acoustic, and a lot of pop.

Almost all of my music is in AIFF or ALE encoding, very few MP3's or AAC's. Can't have as much music on my iPhone, but the quality of sound is worth it to me.

Was very satisfied with the IE6's. But after several years of daily use, they were literally falling apart.

My budget is much tighter than it was when I bought the IE6's, so I searched the internet reviews on dozens of earphones. I decided to try the S4i Reference, bought them directly from an Amazon reseller in mid December 2012 (don't know how I wound up not buying through Amazon).

One of the best purchases of any kind I have ever made. The quality of sound is much better than my $249 IE6's (okay, I paid that several years ago, the current IE60's are less expensive).

The S4i's comfort is outstanding. I bought a set of Comply foam tips to use with these, but to my surprise, I find the standard Klipsch tips more comfortable. As mentioned above, I wear them in the "wrong" ears, and I can wear them for 8 hours in complete comfort. Noise isolation is good, but don't expect total silence (I have children, so that's a good thing, I don't need to be completely out of touch).

They do have a somewhat boosted bass compared to Sennheisers and other brands I've listened to. But it's definitely NOT booming or muddled. The Bass (especially the kick drum) is tight and thumping, which I have come to really love. Mids are clear, maybe a bit warm, Highs are clear and crisp. I can hear more detail than with the IE6's, and more instruments.

Absolutely excellent sound all around. Incredible sound for the money.

As many have noted, the cord stays in the shape it was folded into in the package. The cord is thicker than most earphones I've seen, maybe that's why it doesn't straighten out. I usually have the cord running under my shirt and keep my phone in my pants pocket, so the cord doesn't get in the way, and the bends don't show. Even wearing it that way, the microphone works very well, callers hear me perfectly.

As I said, this is one of the best purchases I have ever made, I am extremely happy with the S4i Reference, and highly recommend them. If you want really excellent sound and comfort, get the Klipsch S4i Reference.
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on March 15, 2012
These headphones are excellent. The sounds are very crisp and clear, and bass notes don't muffle out all of the other frequencies. I have been using iPod headphones and the headphones that came with my android phone for a while and these are much better quality. I find my self going back and listening to all the songs just to find new things I have never heard before. Lyrics are much clearer and you can differentiate between the levels of sounds and different instruments.

I also find these to be the most comfortable in-ear headphones I have ever worn. I can wear them all day and not get the ear fatigue that I would get with my iPod headphones.

I use these headphones with my android phone. Although they are designed for iphone and ipods, you can use the full functionality with your android phone. I cannot use the volume buttons on my particular phone. However, I believe some android phones allow you to use three button control. I downloaded the Klipsche control app onto my android phone and using just the center control button you can control play/pause, forward, back, and volume. It's really easy to use. You can even set up the app to launch an application of your choosing when you plug the headphones in. I have spotify pop up when I plug my phone in. It makes everything easy.

update: The wiring on this model of headphones is a little stiff... I'm hoping it softens up with time. I have only had them for a couple of weeks so they still might be a little stiff. But currently the stiffness of the cables causes the ear pieces to loosen and come out of my ears every once in a while. This only happens while weight training. When I am moving in weird angles. Otherwise, for running they work fine.
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on March 9, 2013
I own several brands of in-ear headphones. The sound of the Klipsch S4i is my favorite. The fit is average. My ears must be right between sizes, because either the earphone wants to fall out, or else it becomes uncomfortable after about 30 minutes of listening. I like this pair enough to re-purchase after I damaged the previous pari.
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on December 30, 2011
I recently bought these headphones a few weeks ago and gave them time to break-in. Bottom line: They are some of the best in-ear headphones I have ever heard. They sound great, have great bass, mids and highs and are definitely reference quality. Minor Break-in time, seam to be durable enough to wear for a long time, cord might the be the only issue later to arise, but I don't forsee an issue anytime soon. I love Klipsch products and was excited to get and review some of their headphones and these sound great - pretty much perfect for the price. They sound great with hip-hop, classical, metal, rock, you name it, they are very clear and accurate phones - worthy of Klipsch's Reference line-up. All in all, probably some of the best buds you can get for around $100.

My only gripe, and because of the 4-star review and it is part of the product as a whole, so it does count as a part of the review; is the case, this thing is way too small. I feel like I have to shove the headphones into it to get it to fit and then Im lucky if it will close all the way. I wish Klipsch had made the case a little thicker and easier to put headphones or at least reduce the foam inside. I hope that in the future they can rectify this - it is definitely too small and can take me up to 3 minutes or so just store headphones in them to where they fit, I feel like sometimes I might damage the ear buds in doing so.
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on December 27, 2012
Pro 1: The ear canal tips are oval shaped (the only manufacturer doing this) which means it fit the shape of you ear canal perfectly and seals out the air, this in turn allows you to hear the bass and other details of your music better.
Pro 2: The microphone is good and making calls with this headset does not lead to complaints from listeners that i sound distance, or like i am in a tunnel.
Pro 3: The sound reproduction of these headphones are great for many different types of music. They are a bit fuller on the bass, but not like sony's tend to be and there is mid-range in these unlike bose. I own many sony, bose, sennheiser, grado, shure, and etymotic headphones and find that i prefer to use these daily.
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on December 14, 2011
I have 3 pairs of Klipsch Headphones...the Image 10xi's which are not as good as the Image S4i's to me so I really only use the Image S4i's...but the Reference S4i's sound is so amazing..The bass is tight and better to me and although i have only had them since Monday, after they burn in they will only get better...The Image's are good but they lean more on the high's.....If Klipsch had not come out with these I would have been content with the Image S4i's...Not anymore....I just hope the cable doesn't come apart at the rubber on the left and right earbuds..they will stop working shortly after...good thing they carry a 2 year warranty. I was on my last pair of free replacements and my 2 years were up...Now...I've started the 2 year cycle on these. They are worth every penny just for the replacement factor..Oh...and they are the best sounding earphones on the market as of today.
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