Tiny earbuds made of aluminum have been a Klipsch specialty for a couple of years now, and now the company adds to its stable of the world's tiniest cans with its high-end Image X10i in-ear headset, now sporting iPhone capability. Let's give them a listen, as well as try them out on our iPhone 3GS, determining if they're really worth their unusually steep $350 price.
When Klipsch says it wants you to "feel your music, not your headphones," it's not kidding. These little suckers are so small, you can barely tell you have them in, yet there's a tight seal between the oval-shaped ear buds and your ear canal. That's one reason why you can clearly hear all the bass and glorious fidelity these delectable baubles have to offer.
Comparing these minuscule ear speakers with our favorite iPhone-friendly headphones of the moment, the comparatively gigantic Dr. Dre Beats, the Klipsch Image X10i holds its own. Even though it's about 20 times smaller than the huge and ear-smothering Beats, the X10i's bass feels and sounds almost as thunderous, while its highs are every bit as crisp and its midrange equally well-defined. They're the best-sounding, most comfortable earphones I've ever encountered.
This headset is built specifically for Apple cellphones, but its sonic quality far exceeds the usual compressed fare we listen to on our iPhone 3GS. The new features of the X10i include easy volume adjustment, play/pause/track skip controls, call answering, and good-sounding mic for iPhone. These functions worked beautifully on the iPhone 3GS. Too bad the volume control doesn't work on the iPhone 3G. Nevertheless, these are some fantastic earbuds, perhaps worth $350 if music, comfort and coolness are that important to those of you with golden ears and lightly compressed music. If not, opt for the slightly bigger Klipsch S4i with similar features for $250 less.