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Klipsch Image S4A (II) in-ear headphones review

The Klipsch Image S4A (II) headset, as its name kindly suggests is the second generation of the manufacturer’s in-ear headphones, designed specifically for use with Android devices. Part of the company’s award-winning Image Series, the headphones aim to deliver good balance between sound quality, ergonomics, and price.

Klipsch products have been among the benchmarks in their field for a good reason – the company is one of the first in the United States to manufacture premium audio speakers. With a product range covering everything from in-ear headphones to professional cinema speakers, and heritage going back to the 1940s, there was plenty to look forward to when I opened the Klipsch Image S4A (II) box.

Retail package

The Klipsch Image S4A (II) headphones come in a compact retail box, which promises “a concert in your cranium” even before you open it. Inside it, you find the headset, a soft carrying pouch, three additional ear tips, as well as a clip for attaching the S4A (II) to your clothes.


The retail package ticks all boxes

The retail package of the headphones covers all bases. I found nothing to frown at on this instance.

Design and build quality

The Klipsch Image S4A (II) headphones unsurprisingly look a lot like their predecessors, and understated is the best term to describe them. With a black/grey color scheme and modest chrome elements on them, the headphones won’t grab attention the way some of their competitors do but, given their heritage, they don’t really need to.



Klipsch Image S4A (II) live photos

Build quality is solid. I’ve been carrying the headset as a daily driver for several weeks now and it hasn’t shown any sign of wear. The headphones are made from high-quality plastic, while the cable is flat and reinforced in all the right places.

Ergonomics

The Klipsch Image S4A (II) headphones are very easy to live with. The headset weighs 11.9 grams, so you barely feel that you’re carrying it. Each earpiece is slightly angled at the ear tip section for better fit, and the trick works quite well. The patented oval ear tips themselves are easy to swap and are all but certain to offer the right one for every user.

The remote control and the cable of the headphones are the most obvious improvements over the first generation S4A headphones. In the Klipsch Image S4A (II), the cable is flat and tangle-free, which is an essential feature in my book. The remote control on the other hand, features a significantly larger button, compared to the one found in its predecessor.

Klipsch Control app

The dedicated Android app for the Klipsch Image S4A (II) is not the first time I’ve encountered such a solution, and its function is pretty straightforward. It controls the music player through the headset’s remote control. Each function is accessed via a dedicated number of clicks, with the exception of the volume control – it is accessed via a long press of the remote control button.


The Klipsch Control app

When using the Klipsch remote control app, I noticed that the long press feature doesn’t change the volume on my device, running Android Jelly Bean. Instead, it opens the Google voice search feature.

I looked at the Play Store reviews of the Klipsch Control and it looks like I am not the only one with such an experience. Hopefully, Klipsch will come up with an update to address this issue soon.

Sound

The Klipsch Image S4A (II) headset comes equipped with a dual-magnet micro speaker, whose driver has a diameter of 8.5mm. The frequency response ranges between 10Hz and 19 kHz, while sensitivity is rated at 110dB. The impedance is 18 Ohms at 1 kHz.

For their price range, the Klipsch Image S4A (II) headphones are among the best in-ear headphones I have experienced. Sound is powerful and clear regardless of the music style played even at the maximum level possible – there is no tone range to take over the sonic experience, as is the way with most of the similarly priced competitors. Klipsch have left up to the user to make the S4A (II) sound the way he or she prefers by fiddling with the EQ and this ranks really high in my book.

The quality of the phone calls on the headset was superb – there’s nothing to frown at over here.

Final words

The Klipsch Image S4A (II) headphones are a worthy replacement of their already popular predecessor. Klipsch has kept the changes simple, and have improved only the areas which matter, most notably the overall ergonomics of the headset.

My biggest issue with the headset was that the Klipsch Control app didn’t perform completely as advertised. However, its use is optional and it doesn’t take away from the overall appeal of the S4A (II). Hopefully, an update in the immediate future will make things right on this instance.

The Klipsch Image S4A (II) headset is priced at $99.99. For the price range, you get arguably one of the best performers available at the moment. Therefore, if you are an Android user, looking for in-ear headphones, you should definitely have those on your list if they fit your budget.

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