Klipsch Image X10i review

Comfortable, light earphones that are the ideal premium partner for your iPhone. Best in-ear headphones £140+, Awards 2011 Tested at £210

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

Best in-ear headphones £140+, Awards 2011. Comfortable, light earphones that are the ideal premium partner for your iPhone.


  • +

    Rapid, substantial and purposeful sound

  • +

    tiny and lightweight


  • -

    Don’t have across-the-board compatibility for remote functions

Why you can trust What Hi-Fi? Our expert team reviews products in dedicated test rooms, to help you make the best choice for your budget. Find out more about how we test.

From their 2008 launch, the Klipsch Image X10 in-ears were our premium in-ear headphones of choice – other contenders came along in that time, and all found themselves dashed, to a lesser or greater extent, on the rocks of the Klipsches' unshakeable poise, fearsome attack and vanishingly small dimensions.

It seems reasonable, then, that if any company was to overthrow the Image X10s, it might just as well be Klipsch itself. And then in 2010 along came these X10is.

The ‘i' suffix indicates that these Klipsches feature an iPhone-friendly in-line remote control (play/pause, skip forwards, skip backwards, volume up/down) with in-built microphone.

That increased functionality aside, the Image X10is sound remarkably similar to the outgoing X10s.

Organised and expressive
An uncompressed file of Slaughter & The Dogs' Cranked Up Really High enjoys the requisite pop-eyed levels of attack, punches hard in the low frequencies and is organised and separated impressively.

The midrange is expressive and detailed, the treble end remains crisp yet unthreatening.

The Klipsches have considerable powers of resolution. They are able to offer meaningful tonal and textural variation to instruments even on a packed soundstage – and they can marshal a soundstage confidently too, as a matter of fact.

Tempos and rhythmic patterns cause these remarkably slim units no alarms, either.

Just that little bit louder
In fact, the one area where the X10is are meaningfully different from the X10s is where out-and-out volume is concerned. If we had a criticism – just a tiny one –of the old 'phones, it was in their ability to go punishingly loud.

But these X10is are not as tentative as the 'phones they replaced. Good news all round, then - and a second Award win for the X10i earphones.

One final thing: if you're interested in a pair, do shop around - there are bargains to be had.

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What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

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