The Good The Klipsch Image S5i Rugged earphones feature a durable, water-resistant design, and the in-line remote's buttons are large enough to be operated by gloved hands. The earphones provide thumping bass and solid overall audio. Includes a hard-sided case with an integrated flashlight.
The Bad The Klipsch Image S5i earphones don't offer the most secure fit, since the remote adds weight and there are no ear loops.
The Bottom Line For the skier, snowboarder, or skater who doesn't have a helmet with headphones built in, the Klipsch Image S5i Rugged earphones are the next best thing.
Klipsch Image S5i Rugged
Fitness fanatics everywhere understand the value of motivational music when it comes time to get the blood pumping. Luckily, so do headphone manufacturers, who have been churning out rugged, water-resistant sports models for years now. The key is finding the set that's best suited to your activity, and if that happens to be skiing or snowboarding, the Klipsch Image S5i Rugged headphones are right up your alley. These $130 earphones are compact, durable, and designed with outdoor sports in mind.
In fact, the design of the Image S5i earphones isn't a sharp departure from the popular S4i earphones. The earpieces are supercompact and angled ever so slightly, though the S5i's earpieces are coated in a texturized rubber rather than shiny plastic. The cables are similarly thin but the S5i's is reinforced and water-resistant. In fact, everything from the plug housing to the earpieces to the remote module is designed to withstand a reasonable amount of moisture, a statement we found true when testing the earbuds in the snow.
The other marked design features of the Image S5i Rugged earphones are the in-line mic and remote module. While the mic is the standard pinhole variety, the remote is noticeably different from those found on other models. In addition to being water-resistant, it features large, rubberized buttons that are usable even if you're wearing gloves. The module features volume controls as well as a Play/Pause button (which also serves to skip through tracks if you're using an iOS device). The one downside here is that the module adds some weight, and while there is a removable shirt clip in the package, detachable ear loops would have been a welcome addition.