These headphones don’t come in burnt sage or sun-dried tomato; Klipsch’s Reference R6i are either black or white. But play Hot Chip’s These Chains and you find the colour.
There’s weight in the bass, the rhythm is lively, the padded synths have substance and there’s room for the vocal to wash over the top.
Heft in the lower end offers the solidity through the mid-range to let a track like this groove. Fundamentally, it’s fun.
Subject that low end to Slipknot’s (SIC) – a chance to use the three-button remote-and-mic unit to turn the volume all the way up – and the R6is remain unfazed; the double kick drum is heavy but detailed and cuts through the bass and low-strung guitars, whose riffs are clear and time perfectly, like machine-gun fire – all the dirt, without any mud.
On the other end of the scale, feed them The Rapture’s Echoes and the guitar jangles above the bass groove without scraping its head on the ceiling. The kit sounds natural and keeps its bounce underneath the crashing cymbals – the cowbell, when it arrives, feels like it’s rattling around inside your head.
On Django Reinhardt’s Minor Swing, an older and more subtle recording, there is space between the instruments and the light and shade in Django’s sprightly guitar playing is expressed well.
The R6is are comfortable too. Their patented ear tips, “anatomically designed to accurately fit inside the human ear canal”, come with four options of bud, and the whole thing weighs just 15.2g.
The only reason you’ll know you’re wearing them is the cable noise, which isn’t helped by quite a wide, rubbery cord (there is a clip to help reduce this by tagging it to your clothes).
The Klipsch Reference R6is feel as natural as they sound. You’re unlikely to spend a better £55 this month.
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