Earphone-loving readers of Crave will have noticed our recent coverage of the new Klipsch Custom earphone range, notably the s and s -- two earphones driven by dual armatures. But there's one more model in the range, and that's the entry-level sound-isolating Custom-1s, which we're looking at today.
Unlike their bigger, more expensive older brothers, the £69 Custom-1s feature single armatures in each pseudo-triangular enclosure. But they sport the same solid designs, including the pipe cleaner-esque 'memory wire' that gives the Custom series its name. About 75mm of this stiff wire protrudes from each enclosure and allows the wearer to bend it permanently behind the ear into a position most comfortable to them.
It's not a design we're overly fond of, but it does work. And after a fair bit of playing around, the Custom-1s prove themselves to be pretty comfy. Not the most comfortable in the world, but pretty good. We had problems with fitting the range of silicone tips Klipsch provides, and found that the compatible tips from competitor Shure's SE range of earphones allowed an easier fit and more comfortable wear, despite their larger, less ergonomic design.
But the sponge in the cake here is sound quality, and although, as expected, the Custom-1s don't offer quite the same fidelity as the models above them, they deliver the same Klipsch voice we're used to.
These earphones are extremely balanced in tone, with a clear and warm mid-range that's particularly suited to vocal music. But they're also proving themselves to be pretty decent all-rounders, reproducing pop, rock, jazz and folk with impressive results.
What they don't offer is heaps of bass or a shimmering treble, so fans of electronic music won't be too impressed. And we found that at higher volumes they hold themselves well, but they can become a little harsh on the ears, which may prove a problem for particularly long periods of listening.
It's weird: they're almost exact mirror images -- sound-wise -- to thes, which offer massive bass and treble, but at the slight expense of the mid-range.
Anyway, they're on sale now for around the £69 mark and we'll have a full and concise review for you very soon. For now, check out our concise gallery of close-up hands-on photos over the next few pages. -Nate Lanxon
The entire Custom series has this unusual shape, but it fits pretty well in the ear.
The gold-plated 3.5mm plug helps ensure pristine transmission of audio signals.
The entire Custom series: Custom-3 on the left, Custom-2 on the right, Custom-1 in the centre.
The memory wire can be twisted into any shape your ear requires, though if you need to bend it as pictured here, please go and see your GP.
Finally, the complete range of supplied silicone tips, including standard sleeves and double flanged sleeves.