Klipsch Image ONE - Acoustic Asylum
While it sounds European, Klipsch is actually in the same league of American old-time audio equipment manufacturers such as JBL and Altec-Lansing. The company can trace its roots all the way back to 1946, where it began life making loudspeakers for theaters and public address systems. In fact, it was only as recent as 2007 that Klispch started making headphones, and even then they focused solely on in-ear headphones. Late last year though, they released the Image ONE, the first on-ear model in their Image series.
If there's one word to describe the Klipsch Image ONE physically, it would be "sumptuous". The ergonomics of the headphones are simply fantastic, although not immediately apparent. At first glance, they look like an unassuming pair of headphones, clad completely in black, save for the silver borders on the leather-textured portion of the earcups and the silver Klispch logos. Put them on though and you get treated to its incredibly soft ear and headband cushions. We're not exactly sure what material Klipsch used, but it is a lot better than what we're used to. It looks like the usual faux leather but feels more like foam, smothering your ears and the top of your head like a marshmallow. Needless to say, these headphones are very, very comfortable. Like some of the other Image series headphones, Klipsch fitted the Image ONE with an inline iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) music controller, which doubles as a microphone for taking calls when using an iPhone.
We were lucky enough to have a pair of Audio-Technica ATH-WS55 headphones on hand to provide a comparative reference point while generating this review. The ATH-WS55, like the ATH-XS7 which we saw a few months ago, provided the same tack sharp sonic detail that Audio-Technica is known for. In comparison, the Image ONE was also quite detailed, but also much warmer and fuller, especially in the bass frequencies, where the kick was extra deep but not distorted or jarring. This meant longer listening sessions without fatigue. Unfortunately, the extra warmth means that the highs had a harder time making themselves heard, so some of the tracks on our multi-genre playlist sounded slightly muddy and narrow.
Generally speaking though, the Klipsch Image ONE was able to to create a very rich listening experience for us, which was made extremely comfortable thanks to its exceptionally plush cushioning. Our experience with the Image ONE was a convenient one as well, thanks to extras like the inline iOS playback controller, carrying case, and other bundled accessories. It should be available now in electronics shops around the country for PhP 8,950. A little pricey at first glance, but in our opinion it is money pretty well spent.
For more information on the Klipsch Image ONE, please visit www.klipsch.com.