For people who are really serious about audio quality--generally referred to as audiophiles--the majority of ultraportable headphones on the market just aren't going to cut it. It's this fact that gives companies like Klipsch a very compelling reason to make something like the Image X10i. This sleek, in-ear headset will set you back $350, but for that pretty penny, you'll get exceptional sound quality and plenty of compelling extras. However, potential buyers should know right off the bat that this type of investment is only truly justifiable if you listen to mainly lossless or very high-quality audio files.
The Klipsch Image X10i is a close relative of theand this is immediately apparent in the design. The X10i features the same superslim and tiny copper earpieces, which are ideal for anyone with smaller ears or who finds standard earbuds uncomfortable, because of their strictly round shape. Klipsch includes five sets of contoured silicone eartips--three sizes of standard sleeves and two sizes of double-flanged tips. The standard sleeves come in small, medium, and large, though the actual sizing is closer to extra-small, small, and medium. This is worth noting for those who have larger ears. In addition to the fittings, the package contains a handful of notable extras: an airplane adapter, a quarter-inch adapter, a cleaning tool, and a hard-sided case with a magnetic flap closure.
Descending from each Image X10i earpiece is an ultrathin black cable. The wire is very flexible and Klipsch employs a proprietary method to make it durable, but it's still quite tangle-prone, which can have some implications for lasting durability. To allay these concerns, however, Klipsch offers a two-year warranty and fantastic customer support. At the junction of the Y-cable, you'll find the reason for the "i" at the end of the product name: a module with an integrated mic, volume controls, and a call answer button that does double-duty as a playback control for the iPhone and the iPod. Below the module is a clip for affixing the mic closer to your mouth. The cord measures 48 inches in all and terminates in a reinforced, gold-plated straight-plug.