FAQ: Headphones

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What Apple products are compatible with your "i" headphones?

All of our headphones with iPod compatible remotes are made for:

iPod touch (2nd, 3rd, 4th generation)
iPod classic (120GB, 160GB)
iPod nano (4th, 5th, 6th generation)
iPod shuffle (3rd, 4th generation)
iPhone 5
iPhone 4S
iPhone 4
iPhone 3GS
iPad (3rd generation)
iPad 2
iPad Mini

The remote and mic are supported only by iPod nano (4th generation or later), iPod classic (120GB, 160GB), iPod touch (2nd generation or later), iPhone 3GS or later, and iPad. The remote is supported by iPod shuffle (3rd generation or later). Audio is supported by all iPod models and iPad.

Because they feature an Apple chip, we cannot guarantee what level of functionality they will have with other cell phone brands. The Image S4A is compatible with most Android phones, while the S3m is compatible with all Apple, Android, Windows or BlackBerry phones.

What is the difference between “S” headphones and “X” headphones?”

The S-family of headphones (S3m, S4, S4i, S4A) all using dynamic moving-coil drivers (similar to your typical speaker woofers), while the X-family of headphones (X4i, X7i, X11i) all use balanced armatures. So how do you decide what’s best for you? If you’re in the mood for a full soundstage and thumping but tight bass, and you’re on somewhat of a budget, we recommend the S-family. If you’re looking for clear, crisp, impeccable detail with warmth in the lower octaves like you’ve never heard before, the X-family might be more your cup of tea.

I see three different X-family choices in varying price points.  What’s the difference?

As mentioned above, you can’t go wrong with any of the three. The X4i has a cast-zinc housing which gives a quality look and robust feel, with a driver that provides solid bass with an overall buttery oozing of melodes that make your favorite tunes sound even more endearing. The X7i has a ceramic housing with a clean, crisp response that will bring new life to piano, jazz, and guitar heavy tracks. The X11i has an anodized aluminum housing with one of the tiniest drivers on the planet to provide you with the best balance and greatest depth you’ve probably ever heard between your ear canals, not to mention that this headphone is one of the lightest and most comfortable.

What is a balanced armature speaker?

A balanced armature is the tiny specialized speaker that’s inside your headphones. You have one for each ear and they turn electrical signals into acoustical sound waves. Like a traditional speaker, an armature features an internal diaphragm that’s driven by an electromagnetic motor system to produce sound. Armature benefits include: smaller size, higher output, extended frequency response and improved high frequency detail compared to a traditional moving coil speaker.

Why is X11i headphones unique and worth the price?

These headphones represent the world’s smallest, lightest full-range earphones. Meant to be heard and not seen, these tiny headphones are big on performance, style and comfort. X11i is loaded with our most advanced comfort features, plus its remarkably lightweight design places minimal pressure on the ears.

Why is it beneficial for X11i ito be small and light?

First of all, your ear is a sensitive area; the lighter the headphone the better, as it puts less pressure on the ear canal, resulting in extreme comfort. Secondly, X11i’s small size allows it to automatically adjust to the center of the ear canal, meaning users can easily insert and remove the headphones, as well as find the perfect seal. Thirdly, X11i’s compact dimensions make toting them around virtually hassle-free.

What is the difference between the old X10i and the new X11i?

The X11i is identical to the iconic X10i with a few subtle improvements – The cables on the X11i are square instead of round to be tangle-resistant, and the cables are also re-inforced with woven synthetic fiber for added strength and robustness. The tail has been improved by being made of a tougher durometer of elastomer to prevent breakage. The color of the aluminum housing is now dark silver instead of copper. The same great acoustics that the X10i is known for are identical to the X11i, as well as the fit and comfort.

What makes Klipsch headphones so comfortable?

Unlike other in-ear headphones on the market, our patented oval ear tips are anatomically shaped to accurately fit inside the human ear canal. These soft, oval silicon tips reduce ear fatigue and provide excellent noise isolation for superior audio performance.

Why should I choose an in-ear design over a traditional on-ear headphone model?

First of all, the music source is closer to your ear drum, which in turn, makes the sound more accurate. Secondly, your ear lobes won’t get hot and sweaty after hours of use. Not to mention, in-ear designs won’t mess up your hair.

Are in-ear headphone designs bad for your hearing?

Anytime you put something in your ear or listen to loud music, there is a health risk involved. However, when you wear an in-ear design with a good seal, you typically don’t have to turn up the volume as much because a good seal dramatically reduces background noise.

These headphones are too loud and my ears are ringing! What should I do?

You have your volume set too high. These products offer a far higher quality of sound than most people expect from headphones, and you might not always realize that you are listening too loud.

Why am I not getting enough bass response?

It’s probably because you don’t have a good ear seal. Be sure to try out the various ear tip sizes, as you may find that you need the double flange design for the best possible seal. You may also want to try pulling the ear tip out slightly, as it may have collapsed.

How do I know if I have a good seal?

When no music is playing, your voice should sound louder and ambient noise should sound quieter, very similar to wearing a pair of ear plugs. Creating a tighter seal is simple. Insert the ear tip into the ear canal and then gently pull it back. This adjustment eliminates virtually all external noise so you can play your music at a lower volume, for a longer period of time, without experiencing ear fatigue.

What compression format should I use to get the most from my headphones?

When it comes to the superior delivery of your digital music, the compression format you choose to import your songs makes a huge difference—especially when you listen with high-end headphones. The more compression, the more sound quality is lost. In iTunes, you can select between five different compression encoders when ripping music files from your CD collection: AAC, AIFF, Apple Lossless, MP3 and WAV. Which is best?

If you’re into serious audiophile listening and want to get the full impact of our headphones’ performance prowess, you’ll need to select a WAV, AIFF or Apple Lossless format for your music. While WAV and AIFF are raw audio files from CDs in computer-readable formats, Apple Lossless preserves a CD’s original quality, while cutting its size in half. You might compare this lossless encoding to a zip file: smaller than the original, but with no data loss. Keep in mind that these three formats take up a lot more file space than the standard AAC and MP3 encodings. In other words, you’ll get fewer songs on your iPod or other device, but they’ll be delivered at a much higher quality.

Another thing to consider when choosing these compression formats is that only iTunes and the iPod can support Apple Lossless files and just about every other piece of music-playing software will be able to play WAV files. AIFF files are specific to Macs, so if you are planning to listen to music on a PC, WAV is your best choice.

Because they sound pretty good and achieve the best compression of the five formats, most iPod users choose between AAC and MP3. AAC, or advanced audio coding, is the standard default on iTunes. When compared to an MP3 format, AAC gives better sound at the same bit rate. However, only iTunes and the iPod can support AAC; MP3s can be played on just about every digital music player.

PC users can make their compression selection in iTunes by going to the edit drop-down box, selecting preferences and then clicking on the importing tab. Mac users can go to the iTunes drop-down box, select their preferences, then click on the importing tab.

How does bit rate influence headphone sound performance?

The second variable to consider when trying to get the best sound performance out of your digital music files is “bit rate.” Bit rate refers to the rate that data is flowing in bits per second. The greater the bit rate, the more data is played back every second.

Most often, files are compressed to 128 kbps, 160 kbps or 192 kbps. The standard bit rate default in iTunes is 128 kbps, but you can customize your rate to go as high as 320 kbps (you make your bit rate selection when choosing your compression format). Kbps means kilobits per second—the higher the number, the better the sound and the more space a music file will consume on your computer or iPod. Conversely, the lower the number, the lower quality of audio will be and the less file space you’ll take up.

To give you an example of how bit rates works, a 4-minute song requires about 3.7 MB of iPod/hard disk space at 128 kbps and about 4.7 MB at 160 kbps. If you go to 192 kbps, you’d have a 5.6 MB file, and file sizes increase accordingly each time you move to a higher bit rate.

You may find that your music sounds fine at the 128 kbps rate, but if you want true audiophile-quality sound to fully appreciate your Klipsch headphones, you should go to a 192 kbps or 256 kbps rate. Bit rate and file size don’t usually pose a problem unless you have tons of music and want to fit it all on your iPod. That’s when you have to make a choice: better sound quality and fewer songs, or lower sound quality and more songs.

How durable are Klipsch headphones?

Klipsch put their headphones through extensive “real world” testing to ensure long-lasting durability. You’ll find reliable strain relief at every cable connection point to help prevent wire damage. However, cable wear occurs over time, so you should always take special care of your headphones.

Why are Klipsch ear tips oval-shaped instead of round?

When Klipsch started studying three-dimensional ear impressions, it was discovered that nearly everyone has an oval-shaped ear canal. The company couldn’t believe that no one else had yet considered the anatomical shape of the ear canal when designing in-ear headphones. Aside from their comfort value, our oval ear tips load quickly and easily into the ear canals as well as virtually disappear from view.

Why are there a variety of ear tip sizes?

Ear canal measurements vary. Therefore, each model comes with multiple ear tip sizes. Such variety allows Klipsch to fit more of the population than its competition.

How do I know which ear tip size is right for me?

We recommend trying on various sizes. The tip that offers the most comfort and the best ear seal is the right one for you. You may even find that using a different size tip in each ear is the best option.

Will the ear tips get stuck in my ears?

While we can’t guarantee this will not happen, Klipsch’s patented earphone nozzles are designed with mechanical retention rings to help reduce the chance of the tips getting lodged in the ear canal. However, make sure that the ear tip is fully seated on the nozzle and that the ring is engaged by pulling on the ear tip before inserting into your ear. If it comes off easily, then it is not positioned properly.

What if my ears are wax magnets?

If used regularly, it is natural for you to experience wax buildup in the ear tips. You can clean the exterior of the silicon ear tip with rubbing alcohol.

Will I still be able to hear my music if I am traveling on a noisy bus, train or plane?

Yes, that is the best reason to use our noise-isolation headphones. Keep in mind though; you must have a good seal. By inserting Klipsch earphones properly, you’ll easily be able to tune out screaming children, brake sounds, tire squeals, and engine roars. You CHOOSE your audio environment.

Will Klipsch headphone plugs fit my iPhone?

All Klipsch headphones are size-compatible with the headphone output jack for iPod, the iPhone and any device with a standard 3.5mm headphone jack.

What makes the i-version headphones (S4i, X7i, etc) so unique?

The “i” in the model name of some of our headphones means that the product has an Apple chip in the three-button remote system which has the technology to handle the voice and/or music controls of iPhone 3GS and later, third generation iPhone shuffle and later, second generation iPod touch and later, fourth generation iPod nano and later, and the iPod classic 120GB.

What makes the A-version headphones (S4A) so unique?

The “A” in the model name of the S4A means that the product will work with any Android device.  Because of the open-source platform of Android, however, the guarantee of having the single button work the exact same between all Androids is virtually impossible.  But to solve this problem, Klipsch has developed an Android App as a free download for you to be able to customize the single-button to control your music and calls however you would like. 

Why is mic and remote located at the yoke of the cable?

This is a unique trait that puts the mic and remote at chest level, creating a more natural feel when answering calls and controlling music.

When taking calls do I have to talk directly into the microphone?

No. All of our headset microphones have amazing intelligibility, which allows you to speak as if you are having a face-to-face conversation.

Where can I purchase replacement ear tips for my headphones?

You can purchase replacement tips from Klipsch directly.