What Hi Fi Sound and Vision Tue, 8 Feb 2011, 2:00pm

Klipsch Image One

Tested at £140
80100
4

If you love your bass, these are perfect. If not, a long audition is in order

Write your own review

For

  • Lavishly finished
  • generally composed and balanced sound

Against

  • Except in the bass, which threatens to capsize the whole thing

All the Klipsch headphones listed in our Buyer's Guide have one thing in common: they're in-ear designs.

These Image Ones are the first on-ear design we've heard from the American company, and it's used the additional surface area to pile on the perceived value.

Build quality is reassuring, for instance, and the large ear-cups are trimmed in a chrome'n'leather combo that wouldn't shame a Lexus interior.

The padding is so luxuriant it offers quite a degree of noise isolation while keeping the wearer' ears absolutely as warm as is acceptable.

Both ear-cups are wired with fairly hefty cable, the union-point of which features a 360-degree mic and three-button remote for use with the most current iPods, iPads and iPhones.

Authentic poise
Plugged in and playing Common's Like Water For Chocolate, the Image Ones show authentic poise. The treble is beautifully judged, attacking crisply without becoming unduly hard even at volume.

There's an exciting combination of immediacy and integration about the mids, where voices communicate without becoming overbearing. The extreme hip-hop dynamics are dealt with confidently, and the Klipsches create a spacious, detailed soundstage.

No, where ‘overbearing' is concerned, it's the low frequencies that win the prizes. There's no shortage of speed to the Image Ones' bass reproduction, and they're gratifyingly keen to start and stop the low-end stuff promptly but, crikey, there's plenty of it.

The result is a classic squeeze on the rest of the frequency range, which has to play second fiddle.

That sort of thing will be ideal for some, of course, but we can't help hankering after a bit more of an even-handed performance.

See all our headphone Best Buys

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