It would seem that a wave of 3rd party Gen 3 Shuffle compatible headphones are ready to hit the market. A few days ago we saw iLuv’s offering and today we’ve got a similar set of buds from Klipsch called the Image S4i In-Ear Headset. Integrated into the cord is a mic that packs a double punch with integrated controls that will allow you to skip tracks and increase volume on the Talking Shuffle as well as take calls on the iPhone.
At $99.99 there certainly more pricey than iLuv’s version, but they seem to include higher end components such as dual Neodymium magnets in each of the 8.5mm drivers that the company claims “allows kick drums to ‘attack’ and Intermodulation distortion, or IMD, to be significantly reduced.” No specific street date has been set but you can expect them at Apple, Amazon and other retailers this August.
Full release after the ‘leap’
New Breakthrough Product: Klipsch® Image S4i In-Ear Headset
One of the first third party headphones with integrated microphone and remote
INDIANAPOLIS, IN (July 21, 2009) — Klipsch plans to re-define the music listening experience with its new Image S4i, an in-ear headset that combines the company’s acclaimed sound performance and amazing comfort value with a unique in-line microphone and remote.
“Designed for iPhone and iPod users, the Image S4i is a breakthrough product that simplifies on-the-go lifestyles—you can take calls while commuting or exercising, as well as control your music library,” said Don Inmon, Klipsch director of marketing and product development for personal audio.
The Image S4i works seamlessly with the iPhone 3GS, third generation iPod shuffle, second generation iPod touch, fourth generation iPod nano and the iPod classic 120GB. The headset features Apple’s advanced three-button microphone and remote system that easily handles the voice and/or music control of these Apple products.
Furthermore, the S4i remote is among the first to be fully compatible with the Apple VoiceOver feature on the third generation iPod shuffle, which allows you to hear the name of the playlist, song or artist with just the press of a button.
According to Paul Jacobs, president and COO of Klipsch Group, Inc., when you combine Apple’s incredible products with our 63 years of experience in high-performance audio, you can expect one of the coolest, most advanced headset designs out there. “It’s definitely a platform that will dynamically change the music experience for our customers.”
Unlike most headsets, the S4i positions its in-line microphone and remote at the yoke—where the two cables meet at chest level—to create a more natural feel when answering calls and controlling music. Because the microphone is a highly intelligible 360-degree design, you don’t have to talk down into it; you can speak as if you’re having a face-to-face conversation. Additionally, the microphone features echo cancellation, which keeps it from picking up the external noise around you.
Because durability is a major concern when it comes to headphone and headset cables, Klipsch has gone to great lengths to ensure the S4i cables are a well-balanced combination of being robust as well as discreet. The company has added appropriate strain relief at every cable connection point to help prevent wire damage, while also putting them through extensive “real world” testing.
The Image S4i utilizes the company’s exclusive oval ear tips that provide comfortable long-term wear. Unlike circular-shaped designs that put stress on the pressure points inside the ear, Klipsch’s oval ear tips naturally fit the contours of the ear canals. These ear tips also offer superior passive noise-cancellation, blocking out almost all ambient noise and providing excellent bass.
“Once you have the right fit and seal, these headsets are virtually impossible to feel,” said Mark Blanchard, senior acoustic design engineer for Klipsch and inventor of the company’s oval ear tips. “When we began studying three-dimensional ear impressions, it was discovered that nearly everyone has an oval-shaped ear canal. We couldn’t believe that no one else had yet considered the anatomical shape of the ear canal when designing in-ear headphones.”
Blanchard also mentioned that when you wear Klipsch headphones or headsets, you don’t need to turn up the volume as loud because a good seal dramatically reduces background noise—a feature that could definitely help preserve your hearing.
The key to the S4i’s dynamic music performance is a moving coil micro-speaker with controlled damping, a feature that allows it to deliver smooth, full-bodied sound similar to a more expensive design. A dual neodymium magnet motor structure, in each of the 8.5 mm drivers, establishes the S4i’s damping characteristics. It’s a quality that allows kick drums to “attack” and Intermodulation distortion, or IMD, to be significantly reduced.
Available in a piano black finish with chrome accents, the Image S4i comes with a two-year warranty and includes a premium carrying pouch; small, medium and large ear tips; small/medium dual flange ear tips; an ear tip cleaning tool; and a clothing clip. Priced at $99.99 (U.S. MSRP), the S4i will be available for purchase at klipsch.com, Apple, InMotion and Amazon in August.
Founded in 1946 by Paul W. Klipsch, one of America’s most celebrated audio pioneers, Klipsch has long been a high-end name in speaker design. Today, the brand continues its success as a leading global manufacturer of premium sound solutions for home, personal and commercial use. From massive professional cinema speakers to tiny headphones, Klipsch remains committed to delivering the most powerful, detailed and emotional sound experiences. Family owned and operated, chairman Fred Klipsch and vice chairman Judy Klipsch set the vision and strategy for the brand as well as the entire Klipsch Group, Inc. organization. For more information, visit klipschspeakers.com.