Klipsch R6i II review

What Hi-Fi? Awards 2018 winner. These affordable in-ear headphones are our new favourites Tested at £90

TODO alt text

Our Verdict

Stylish, snug, and sounds great – what more do you want in a pair of in-ears?

For

  • Good build quality
  • Tight timing
  • Dynamic and enthusiastic
  • Punchy bass
  • Snug fit

Against

  • Presentation could be more spacious

When it comes to Klipsch’s headphones output over the past few years, its track record is particularly solid.

The company is no stranger to a five star review, and with the previous iteration of these headphones getting top marks, we are expecting great things from the Klipsch R6i IIs.

MORE: Klipsch Reference R6i review

Build and comfort

Much like the original R6is, this updated version keeps a dual magnet, moving coil driver design, hidden behind some patented oval ear tips.

The seal on these tips provide is particularly good, fitting snugly in the ear without ever becoming uncomfortable.

The general aesthetic of these headphones is worthy of mention. Made of aluminium and elastomer, the housings are slightly curved at the back so your finger or thumb sits neatly in the space when sliding them into your ears.

The three-button playback control gives good feedback when you click it, and looks stylish too.

MORE: Best in-ear headphones

Sound

These headphones sound as good as they look. No matter what you’re playing, the transparency you’re met with is really impressive.

Playing Radar Love by Golden Earring, the guitar riffs that punctuate each line almost leave sparks as they scorch through the track. The R6i IIs’ dynamism and enthusiasm, combined with an ability to go loud, gets us off to a great start.

Unlike some headphones that ‘round off’ your music to make it more pleasant in exchange for pure fidelity, the R6i IIs take no prisoners.

They’re more likely to reveal flaws in your tracks or your equipment than other headphones, but with a good set-up, you’ll get noticeably more out of your music.

MORE: Best headphone deals: in-ear, over-ear, wireless and more

Moving on to the airy 2002 by Anne-Marie, the R6i II’s sense of timing and organisation puts it ahead of the competition. As well as the midrange, these headphones manage to keep track of the acoustic guitar and the rapid, synthesised sound effects well – each element in balance to deliver the essence of the song.

And all of that’s done with a sophisticated tonal balance – the treble doesn’t come across too sharply, nor is the bass overly deep or lax. It’s almost the opposite: because of the recent trend that in-ear headphones overstate bass weight, these headphones almost sound lean by comparison, despite providing a more accurate and enjoyable balance.

We finish our testing with I Just Can’t Wait To Be King from Disney’s The Lion King, using that song (as well as others) to compare Klipsch’s headphones with previous Award-winners, the Sennheiser Momentum M2 IEi.

MORE: How to choose the right pair of headphones

There are areas where the Momentum M2 IEis perform better – they have a slight edge when it comes to conveying a spacious sound, giving you a little bit more distance between instruments.

Sennheiser’s headphones are laid back and easy, while Klipsch’s are more focused and forward.

However, in every other area, the R6i IIs provide a better balanced, more refined and more engaging sound.

MORE: How to avoid buying fake headphones

Verdict

The Klipsch R6i IIs are a great pair of headphones that look and feel as if they should be more expensive, and give you a five-star sound quality without an ounce of reservation.

The bar was set high as they entered our testing room, and we’re pleased that they’ve passed with flying colours.

See all our Klipsch reviews