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Preview: Klipsch's New Headphone Lines

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klipsch headphones
The new Klipsch S4 II and X7i headphones.
Courtesy of Klipsch

The speaker company Klipsch recently unveiled notable additions to its 2012 product line at a showcase in New York. Among other products, the company displayed a variety of new and updated headphone models.

Perhaps one of the most useful updates comes in the company's signature line of in-ear headphones, the Image S4 – now known officially as the S4 II and retailing at the basic model for $79.99. For the new line, which includes models for iPhones, iPads, iPods and Android phones and will be available later this month, Klipsch has done away with traditionally round wires in favor of ribbon-like flat ones that don't tangle. As with previous models, which Rolling Stone reported were the top-selling headphones in their price bracket last year, the sound quality is warm and balanced. One possible deal-breaker for active music fans, though, is the straight jack (as opposed to one that bends), which leaves an easily broken-off protrusion coming from the top of your phone. The other downside is that even with the flat cable, a noticeable-enough amount of booming noise comes through the wires when walking around or when the phone vibrates for an email.

Another new addition to Klipsch's in-ear headphone offerings is the Image X7i, a smaller set made with ceramics that is designed for use with iPhones, iPads and iPods. The sleekly designed sets, which come in white and black, also come with flat wire like their more moderately priced cousins in the S4 II series. The sound quality is nearly identical to that series as well, though the treble range seemed a little overpowering; it retails for $199.99 and will be available later this month. Another notable update is the wireless Image ONE Bluetooth; the compatible headphones, which will retail for $249.99, use a hi-fi Bluetooth codec for lossless streaming and operate on a built-in rechargeable battery for up to 10 hours of listening, according to Klipsch. As for the original Image ONE, which will retail for $149.99, it boasts flat wiring and flat padding on the earcups. Both models seemed to have the same high sound quality and the updated Image ONE line will be available in September.

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