Combining a comfortable fit with excellent sound for the money, Klipsch's original Image
Well, Klipsch has apparently heard those criticisms and smartly made a tougher version that's simply called the Image S4i Rugged.
Like the original S4is, the S4i Rugged earphones, which come in
As you can see from the pictures, the S4i Ruggeds have a sportier look than the original S4i earphones and have been toughened up with a sturdier cable, thicker rubber moldings, and a sweat-resistant design. Klipsch says the "all-weather design resists moisture and functions through extreme elements," which presumably means very hot and cold weather. Since I've only been able to use the earphones in milder weather, I can't vouch for how they'll hold up for skiing or just walking around the streets in the dead of winter in Minnesota (or New York for that matter), but I did take them on a few runs and wore them on the treadmill at the gym.
The key to what makes the S4i Rugged earphones and their predecessors so good is the angle of the earphones' post (what the eartip attaches to) and the oval shape of the silicone eartips, of which three sizes come included. The combination creates a comfortable fit and Klipsch arguably makes the best-designed silicone eartips, giving a tight seal.
As for how securely these earphones fit, for sporting use that will depend on a variety of factors. The way you're supposed to wear them is, once the tips are in your ears, to wrap the cord over and around your ear from front to back. I never particularly liked wearing earphones like this but in theory it helps create a more secure fit and helps stabilize the cord. However, a lot of folks will simply wear them with the cord dangling down from their ears.
I'd say they work well for treadmill and elliptical use at the gym, but I think a model such as the
The remote has bigger buttons and looks a little like those TV remotes with jumbo buttons that are marketed to seniors. It's not quite that big, but Klipsch refers to it as an "extra-large three-button remote for easy control during outdoor activity."