The headphone market is heavily saturated, and we can all thank that fact for the existence of many worthy earbud contenders in the sub-$100 price range. Klipsch is one company in particular that has impressed us with earphones in this price range, and its latest entry is no exception. The Image S2m is a stereo headset with an integrated mic and call button that sells for a very reasonable $60.
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The Image S2m headphones are similar in design to the Image X5, with long, slender earpieces that are capped off by silicone sleeves. However, the S2ms are housed entirely in plastic and do not feel or look as high-quality as the X5s--a reasonable fact, given the sharp price difference.
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The cable, which measures about 4 feet long in total, is rather thin and stiff like that of the Image S4; although Klipsch has assured us that the cord has undergone strength testing, we're still a bit concerned for durability, especially given the straight-plug termination of the S2m.
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The package does include a soft-sided pouch to protect the earphones somewhat while you're not using them. Klipsch's signature contoured eartips in S, M, and L sizes are also included.
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Thanks to the contoured eartips, we found the Klispch Image S2m earphones to be plenty comfortable for several hours of wear. They also stayed secure in our ears during some light activity, though we wouldn't necessarily recommend them for working out.
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The in-ear design affords some passive noise isolation, but it's not as much as you can expect from foam tipped 'buds. The inline mic and call answer module is a nice touch for music phone users who are after a stereo headset.
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Despite some minor gripes, we think these headphones feature great audio response for the money--we've certainly heard worse from earbuds that cost the same or even more. Plus, you get the added benefit of an integrated mic. All in all, the Image S2m is a great value for music phone owners with discerning ears.
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