Image S4i (II) full review
The difference between the Klipsch Image S4i (II) and the original S4 model is basically the new tangle-resistant flat cord, which is also said to be more durable. We had hoped that the flat cord would miraculously stop that noise transference to your ear due to the cable rubbing on your clothing as you walk. It’s one of those unfortunate things about in-ear headphones that you tend to get that amplification as the cables move about. We found that most of the noise was the sound of the earbuds pulling against our ears, rather than the cables rubbing on our clothes, although there was some cable noise. We’ve definitely heard worse.
The earphones themselves are angled, we imagine this is so that you can get a good fit in your ear. Strangely though we found that it was not as comfortable to wear them the correct way round. We naturally put the left ear bud in our right ear and vice versa. We tried it the correct way round, we even tried putting them in upside down, with the wire over our ear, but it just didn’t work for us. Did our ears get put on back-to-front? We’re not sure. We’ve asked for other's opinions and it’s generally considered that these headphones fit better the wrong way round.
It’s unfortunate, and it means that, if you insist on wearing the S4i (II) headphones the wrong way round, as we did, you will be hearing the music back to front (by which we mean that right and left sound is transposed) and not as the musician intended. It’s a shame because the other Klipsch headphones we’ve tried were very comfortable to wear and they come with ear-pieces that fit our ears perfectly for great noise isolation. We must have odd ears.
Speaking of the other Klipsch headphones, we’ve been spoilt by the Klipsch X10i’s, which cost a LOT more. At the end of the day S4i (II) headphones are £89.99 compared to £250, so we would be wrong to expect anything like that quality of audio. Compared to other headphones that are around the £89.99 mark, the new S4i’s were perfectly acceptable with a good range of frequencies and reasonable bass.
Like the X10i’s the S4i’s were let down when we tried to make a phone call. The three-button control and mic is only available with the 'i' version, and the controls only work with iOS devices. The mic on the new version of the S4i’s is said to pick up audio without you having to hold the mic near your mouth, unfortunately the person we were calling said we were too quiet and a bit "tinny".