Image X10i full review
The Klipsch Image X10i were first launched back in January 2010 at the rather high price of £249.99. Luckily you can pick them up at around £149.99 on Amazon these days.
We wouldn’t normally look at headphones that were a couple of years old, but we were sent a pair to test so we started using them and we are probably at the stage now where we wouldn’t be too keen on giving them back.
Back in 2010 these were Klipsch’s flagship in-ear headphones and it appears that they are still at the top of the range, despite the company launching an update to the S4i in-ear headphones, reviewed here, and the X7i, which feature a ceramic design.
The X10i also have another boast that appears to have stood the test of time: they were claimed to be the “world’s smallest, lightest in-ear headphones” and they are certainly smaller and lighter than any other headphones we have tested.
Along with being incredibly light, the X10i’s are comfortable to wear. They come with a collection of ear tips of various shapes and sizes and we were pleased to find two tiny ear pieces which fitted comfortably in our ears. Klipsch actually have a patent on the design of its oval ear tips, and they really do fit the shape of your ear canal beautifully. Some headphones become so uncomfortable after wearing them for a while that it makes our ears ache, but these headphones are a joy to wear.
The benefit of a good fit is that you get a perfect acoustic seal, which minimizes outside noise and means you can enjoy your music at lower, safer volumes. We can vouch for the X10i’s ability to block external sound - we settled down to write this review while a school fete, complete with live music, was happening down the road. We’re talking pretty loud audio, we could hear every word. Luckily we were able to completely block the sound of the amateur bands and listen to our own choice of audio without interruption.
And the audio we listened to, a mix of classical, electronic and 80s tunes, sounded superb. Sometimes we think that headphones over emphasize the bass as if to make a point, these had it just right; it felt real, and everything else was clear and bright. We tried listening to other headphones to compare, and frankly we’ve been spoiled now. Klipsch even states on its website that if you haven’t bought high quality audio (in otherwords if you’ve been downloading tracks from file sharing sites) you can expect these headphones to show up just how bad the quality is.
There was one area where we felt let down. The X10i headphones have a mic as well as volume controls, so they can be used for taking calls on your iPhone. Apparently this microphone features echo cancellation, which keeps it from picking up surrounding noise. Perhaps because these headphones are so good that they will uncover the flaws in the music you listen to, they also pick up all the flaws in the audio delivered to you via the phone call. We struggled to hear the person we were speaking to amid all the background noise where they were. This wouldn’t be so bad but they told us that we sounded: “Distorted. A bit like a robot”, which wasn’t what we were going for.
We came to the conclusion that the best mic for making handsfree calls is the mic that is built into your iPhone.
Our only other complains, they are a bit bling-tastic with their gold ear pieces (actually they are anodized copper). But that’s just a matter of taste.
They come with a two year warranty, which is reassuring when you are spending so much money. If you have that sort of money to spend, and you are looking for a good, comfortable, pair of in-ear headphones, but don’t care so much about making phone calls, then these are a very good buy.