The headphone market is heavily saturated, and we can all thank that for the existence of many worthy earbud contenders in the sub-$100 price range. Still, despite the fact that we've come across plenty of decent earbuds with reasonable pricing, nothing prepared us for the Klipsch Image S4.
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Photo by: Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive / Caption by:
These supercomfy noise-isolating earphones offer shockingly stellar sound quality, certainly much better than their $80 price tag suggests. If you've been on the market for a headphone replacement for your MP3 player, look no further.
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Photo by: Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive / Caption by:
The Klipsch Image S4 earpieces do not feel as high-end as those of its sibling, the X5, but then the S4 only costs one-third as much, so we won't knock them for that. More important is the fact that the 'buds are ultrasmall and offer a tapered, bent shape that fit our ears perfectly. This combined with the soft, oval eartips gave us a supercomfortable fit that sealed out external noise.
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Photo by: Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive / Caption by:
Klipsch includes two sizes of standard tips and one double-flanged model, but all of them are on the small side, so those with larger ears may have some fit issues. The package also contains a metal box for storing the earphones and an earwax cleaning tool.
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Photo by: Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive / Caption by:
Our only real design concern about the Image S4 earphones is the cable. It's very thin, from the Y section descending from each earpiece to the gold-plated 3.5mm plug at the end. This raises some concern for durability, though this is allayed slightly by Klipsch's inclusion of a two-year warranty.
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Photo by: Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive / Caption by:
Also, the reinforced L-plug should help prevent breakage that typically happens where the wire connects to the plug. The thinness also makes the cable quite tangle prone, though a slider at the Y helps this a bit.
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Photo by: Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive / Caption by:
Truly, the Klipsch Image S4 headphones inspire little complaint, especially when it comes to sound quality. Straight up: these earphones sound stellar. In all honesty, we have trouble believing that the Image S4 earphones only cost $80. Klipsch somehow managed to create an exceptional sound space for very little money, and we'd be very surprised if anyone was not impressed by what these have to offer for the money.
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Photo by: Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive / Caption by:
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