We’ve taken a look at the modestly-priced S4i in our previous review, and how it truly is one of the best bang for the buck IEM earphones today. This time around, however we’re going up the food chain by bringing you what I consider to be one of the best-sounding IEMs by Klipsch that’s not custom-moulded. I bring to you, the Klipsch X10i.Take Note
As I’ve mentioned in the S4i review, the X10i is made specifically for iPhones, so it won’t work with Android phones and WP7 phones, when I tested it. Upon checking Klipsch’s website, I also found that the original X10 are already discontinued, though if you’re lucky you may still be able to find them at your favourite local audiophile store.
Review Continues After The Jump!
Wearing the X10i is a pretty straight forward process, unlike the S4i, however much like the S4i, it does look a tad bit awkward as the earphones stick out a bit, sort of like if you’re sticking matchsticks attached to cables in your ears. The X10i also uses the same oval-shapped silicon earbuds that comes in different sizes to cater to earholes with different sizes. The package also comes with a small hard leather case to fit the X10i’s styling, which adds to the X10i’s classiness, in my opinion.
You may be wondering now what exactly goes inside such a tiny little hole in the driver that makes this thing such a premium product? The answer lies in the balanced full-range armature micro-driver made exclusively by Klipsch, providing a very rich and dynamic tone across various music genres.Audio Projection At Its Best
Audio quality is quite a subjective topic, as different people have different tastes in music, and the X10i is no different. As far as sound quality is concerned, I personally feel that these do not require any amping whatsoever as they already sound excellent out of the box. The high and mid tones are very much audible, yet low enough that it does not hurt your ears, especially if you love listening to songs by artists like Celine Dion.
As a matter of fact I would recommend the X10i for those of you who love to listen to live albums, as the X10i’s soundstage is very broad, and bright enough to make me feel as if I’m actually standing in front of a live performing band. Strong words, perhaps, but this is where I truly feel these earphones shine in terms of sound quality and feel. Some of the bands I listened to whilst trying out the X10i include Metallica, The Black Keys, The Reign of Kindo (Nightingale and October’s Storm are a couple I highly recommend) and X-Japan.
Faults And Such
While the X10i is excellent in terms of sound quality, its build quality is a bit more suspect. Remember when we mentioned that the S4i had some cable issues? Unfortunately with the X10i this problem is amplified even further, as the cables are a lot thinner than its counterpart. This poses problems in a couple of situations, the first of which makes you wonder when the cable might strip and snap by itself, and the second, more prominently involves the cable sleeve part near the driver.
The problem with having such a thin line of cable is that that a portion near the tip of the X10i that connects the cable and the driver is actually made of rubber. If bent enough times, it would cause the cable to cut through the rubberized part (ridiculous as it may sound) and expose the enclosed area bit by bit. In no way does this affect the sound quality of the earphones, but in terms of aesthetics, it does make you groan inward if something that expensive gets even slightly damaged somehow.
The Klipsch X10i is in my opinion one of the best premium IEMs you can buy almost solely due to the fact that it sounds beautiful without having to spend extra cash on portable amps and DACs for it. With a bit of tender loving care, the Klipsch X10i will open you up to some pretty exciting audio escapades. The Klipsch Image X10i retails for an RRP of RM1,499
Contributed by our on-call audiophile Mr Shah Shah-ington
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