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Klipsch Image S3m In Ear Headphone - Red
|Price:||£18.99 FREE UK delivery.|
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- Single-button remote and mic which gives you total control of both your playlist and phone calls on virtually all of your mobile devices
- Customized 5.8mm moving-coil driver to deliver smooth, full-bodied sound
- Utilizes the patented Klipsch oval ear tip design making them virtually impossible to feel and perfect for long-term wear
- Durable, tangle resistant cables to alleviate the anguish of un-kinking a clump of wires
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|Sold By||Hale Communications||Betron Limited ( VAT Registered)||Amazon.co.uk||EBISU Japan Market||TT WARES||Branded and New Limited|
|Colour||Red||gold black||Black||Black||Clear||Spaced Out/Clear/Black|
|Headphones Form Factor||earbuds||Earbuds||Earbuds||earbuds||earbuds||earbuds|
Colour Name: Red
Universal Headphone for Any Device. Specifically engineered for mobile devices, the Klipsch S3m headphones give you a front stage pass to your music collection whether you are an Apple, Android*, Windows or BlackBerry user. This is the ultimate hassle-free headphone thanks to a nifty single-button remote and mic which gives you total control of both your playlist and phone calls on virtually all of your mobile devices. The S3m also features durable, tangle resistant cables to alleviate the anguish of un-kinking a clump of wires. No matter your device, the S3m brings the best possible sound, producing dazzling highs and lows befitting of the Klipsch audiophile heritage. The S3m utilizes a customized 5.8mm moving-coil driver to deliver smooth, full-bodied sound that can hold its own
Headphones can sound great, but if they don't fit, you're not going to want to put them in your ears. Unlike traditional, circular-shaped ear tips which don't fit properly in your oval-shaped ear canal, the S3m utilizes the patented Klipsch oval ear tip design making them virtually impossible to feel and perfect for long-term wear. Oval ear tips fit better, feel better and only Klipsch has them. The excellent seal gained from the oval ear tips allows the S3m to have superior noise isolating capabilities, blocking unwanted background noise from reaching your ears
Using the S3m's one-button remote and microphone, it is possible to: Answer/end calls, volume up/down. play/pause and track forward/track back
Three pairs of different-sized oval ear tips
Top customer reviews
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The buds are comfortable to wear and don't pop out. Their marketing spiel is the oval-shaped buds result in a better in-ear fit. Without going into how valid that claim may be scientifically, my personal experience is that unlike other brands where buds pop out very often, this is not the case with Klipsch. The thin wires make it so that it doesn't drag down on the buds, despite having an inline mic.
The single-button for picking up calls, skipping tracks etc is a neat system that worked well with my Lumia phone. Very useful for operating with minimal hand interaction.
The wires ARE incredibly thin, at all joints and throughout the length of the headphones, and that might be a cause for concern for some. However, I've used these in very punishing usage: I travel often, and I usually just chuck these into my backpack without keeping them in carry pouch. Or tugged on them when it got underneath something. Or carry them in tight jeans' pockets (accidentally put them into the washing machine as well, once). Or, sometimes, I have a habit of chewing on the wires absent-mindedly while working. This pair took all of that beating without the headphones cutting out or getting damaged functionally.
If you're looking for a pair of headphones with mic / inline controls below £50, this is a highly recommended buy. Stay away only if you're the kind who like bass-heavy headphones.
Cons: Lows, accentuated highs, straight jack, no volume control, microphonics, price
Packaging & Accessories: 8/10
Build Quality: 6/10
Design & Look: 6/10
Microphonics (higher ratings means lower cable noise): 6/10
Audio Quality: 7/10
My final Rating: 7/10
Packaging, accessories, box content, overall first impressions (look wise)
The packaging I received seemed to have been a pre-opened package, that had then been authorised by Klipsch and re-packaged. The packaging is quite flashy and you'll be able to see it on shop floors quite easily.
The accessories provided are sufficient for earphones of their price. You get a set of small, medium and large tips along with a small compact case.
I must say I was very sceptical about the case fitting the earphones, as it is extremely flat and doesn't look like it can contain anything inside it. However I was mistaken as the case fits the earphones and the tips comfortably. You just have to ensure the earphones are properly wound up, before they go into the case. It would have been nice that said, to have been provided with a little more selection of tips and some other accessories, like a shirt clip.
Overall first impressions:
Overall, my first impressions were positive as the overall package provided is more than adequate for the price paid. That said, I wasn't too confident on the wire of the earphones as they felt quite thin.
The build quality of the earphones seems very much like the S4's one, however there were a few things that stood out for me on the S3M's.
First and foremost, the jack that comes with the S3M is a straight line jack. As much as a straight line jack can be useful in some situations, I've often found that straight line jacks cause problems with longevity and furthermore do get put under quite a lot of stress whilst in pockets. Thus, I'm not a fan of the straight line jack that Klipsch used.
On the subject of the jack and its strain relief, I found that the wire is extremely thin and this cheap feeling is extended throughout the earphone. Starting from the jack, the wire feels flimsy and looks like it can be easily snapped. I don't believe the earphone will last long, by the jack. As we move up the wire, towards the spitter, the wire becomes thinner. To the point that if I push my nail into the wire, I can easily see the pressure of it being applied on the other side of the cable. The finally, the wire goes into the earphone itself via a strain relief is again quite weak and feels flimsy. It is a worrying that if I put a little pressure on this strain relief, my mind tells me to stop immediately, in fear of breaking/snapping them.
The earphones are made out of plastic, which seems to be finished by a glossy look. I personally feel that it makes the earphones look a little cheap and slightly flashy, whilst being in your ears. That said, it does make the earphones very light in-ear and means that it can be worn for extended periods of listening.
I should also note that the microphonics of these earphones wasn't great - thus I could hear cable noise when I ran these straight down. It was slightly hard to run these over-the-ear, due to their design. Cycling, for example, with the earphones on was unbearable due to the constant cable noise.
Finally, the earphones have an in-line mic, which I found to work with my Samsung Galaxy S 3. I was able to play/pause, skip/previous tracks, receive calls and use Google search via the button. It would have been a nice inclusion to have a volume rocker too. I should also point out that the earphones din't work with my Galaxy S 1. I've always had a problem with mic-enabled earphones working with my S1 and this was no exception, even though the S3M's are designed "for Android" devices too. Unfortunately, not all devices by the looks of it, thus it might be worth checking with Klipsch before purchasing them. My guess is that it will work on newer devices (S2 and onwards) but not older Android devices (no matter what firmware they are running).
Overall the build quality isn't something that I would rank highly about the S3M's - their wire is its biggest concern, especially seeing as earphones are supposed to be portable and thus can experience a certain amount of wear and tear.
Now the overall look, comfort and isolation
As described above, I wasn't a fan of the look fo the earphones - I find them a little cheap looking and slightly flashy. That said, I know these earphones can appeal to a younger crowd, due to their vivid looks and their colour - especially seeing as they do come in four colours: Black, white, blue and red.
The isolation of these earphones is decent, however I did find that blocking louder noises was near impossible with the stock silicone tips provided. If there were foam tips provided, I think that would have helped with the overall isolation of the earphones. I also found that the medium tips, after a little bit of sweating tended to start falling out. I checked to see if the large or small tips would fit me better, but they did not and almost immediately were falling out instead. Thus the medium tips, have always been my go-to tips and in this case, it felt that with time the earphones liked to slip out, especially if I was moving about.
Finally the comfort:
The comfort was decent, but due to the earphones falling out every now and then I wouldn't call them totally comfortable. I do like the design of the earphones and do feel that with foam tips the comfort would be much better. Furthermore, due to their plastic design they are very lightweight in-ear.
The sound quality is what was the most intriguing part of these earphones. If anyone has heard the S4's, I think will be able to related slightly to these earphones. They sounded exactly like the S4's, however were a dummed down version of them. I was told at the Digital Summers event that the drivers were similar to the S4's one - and it showed. I should note that the earphones, when compared to the FA range, such as the Silver Bullet and Consonance was a lot less louder. Thus I needed to crank up the S3M's at full blast on my Samsung Galaxy S 3, whereas with the FA earphones I was at 60-70%. I found that a big problem as people would then be forced to buy amps to go up tot he volume they desire.
The lows, unlike the S4's that provided a nice clean extension, that was also rolled off - the S3M's on the other hand couldn't really handle bass all that well. The bass sounded a little bit muffled and uncontrolled. When it came to EQ'ing bass or adding bass via amps, the earphones simply couldn't keep up, meaning the bass was a little all over the place. Unfortunately, I wasn't keen on the bass the S3M's provided. I knew this before listening to them, due to my impressions of the S4's, however I would have thought that same controlled sound would be present in the S3M's.
The mids, like the S4's is extremely good. I found this main quality on the S3M's too, where the mids were well presented, didn't sound artificial nor dipped. When comparing these to my Audeo PFE232's it was clear that they weren't as clear and the PFE's, but with that said, they did an extremely good job, for their price range.
The highs on the other hand, were a little too accentuated. I found myself reducing the volume at times to reduce this sibilance and harsh high tones. However, on the positive side of things, the highs were well presented, they weren't really rolled off nor felt out of place in any of the songs I listened to.
The soundstage of the S3M's is similar if not identical to the impressions I had of the S4's. It has a nice soundstage, with a decent amount of space and depth. I feel that the soundstage is quite perfectly suited for personal listening. Not too wide, nor too deep - just right.
Sound Quality Ratings
Conclusions and final thoughts:
Overall the Klipsch S3M's provide a nice sound at a reasonably affordable price. However, when compared to the price of the S4's I don't see why anyone would buy the S3M's. Furthermore, when compared to other products that have in-line mics (although don't skip and go to the previous song) like the FA Consonance and Silver Bullets, I find that the S3M's are outclassed in every single area, including the S3M's being more expensive than other earphones out there.
I thus find it hard to recommend these earphones to everyone at the given price of £40. If these were £25 on the other hand, I could see a bigger appeal for them and a much bigger demand.
Hope you enjoyed my review!
The sound is...well, I bought them because I didn't want bass-heavy headphones, and these don't disappoint. But, depending on the song, the bass can be totally washed out or just about right. Having listened to a wide range of music, I've concluded that it depends on the quality of the digital music you're listening to - I've heard tunes from the 1960s and 1970s that sounded better than recent tunes.
The headphones at first didn't seem like they would stay in my ears for long. In fact, I thought they would fall out, but they never do. I've had a pair of AHG's that kept falling out of my ears, but this size is just right (I used the default earbud size). The microphone is nice and clear and allows me to walk around and do things hands free.
At first I couldn't quite understand how it would work if you were listening to music and answer the phone as there's only one button on it, but I've found you can answer calls and even dial calls using that one button. It would have been nice to have had a volume button as well but at the price, I can't complain.
The sound is down to personal preference, but if you want non-bassy earphones with a mic that is pretty straightforward to use, you can't go wrong with these.
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