Reference on ear headphones sitting on top of a guitar amplifier

Klipsch Reference On-Ear Headphones

Our fundamental goal in the development of Reference On-Ear headphones was to set the benchmark, raise the bar and implement the Klipsch Reference sound signature into an on-ear headphone. What we developed is the most comfortable fit and natural sounding headphone in its category. Reference On-Ear transparently represents everything Klipsch stands for.


Unlike most headphones in the category, Reference On-Ear headphones simply disappear from the stage and put the music in your head. The frequency response curve is smooth and accurate, with no spikes in bass, midrange or high frequencies.


Klipsch’s custom 40mm driver is the perfect size for an on-ear. Any smaller and distortion-free bass is hard to come by. Any larger, and it’s too big for comfort and higher frequencies start to roll off unless completely enclosed by an over-ear cup.

Klipsch Reference On-Ear - The Klipsch Joint A closer look at Reference On-Ear headphones' custom full-range neodymium driver.


By accurately presenting the transition from bass to midrange and not boosting the lower octave of instrument frequencies, Reference On-Ear headphones create great balance in transition to midrange frequencies. This allows for a natural smoothness in lower notes played by a bass guitar and vocals that are forward and complete.


Reference On-Ear headphones deliver tight bass through a combination of components. The full-range 40mm driver, premium acoustic foam and a transparent wrap equate to accurate bass.


The 15mm deep ear cushions accommodate all ear sizes and favored positions. Narrow cushions are comfortable for a small range of ears as the way the headphone is worn will govern the amount of pressure applied to different parts of the ear. Deep ear cushions and narrow ear cups mean the majority of the headphone acts like a pillow and helps Reference On-Ear headphones stay comfortable for long listening sessions.

Klipsch Reference On-Ear - The Klipsch Joint Klipsch Reference On-Ear headphones' ultra-comfortable, deep ear cushions.


Arguably the most important component in proper sound and fit is the foam that rests between the driver and your ears. It’s objective is to create the necessary front volume to give the driver room to breathe and to funnel sound directly into your ear canal. Competitors make sacrifices here by using low-density (basically packaging) foam. Low-grade foam has a very fast rebound when pressed and leaks sound in all directions. High-density foam has slow recovery and very good acoustic properties.


For an optimal listening experience, secure fit and maximum comfort, the headband's clamp force must be equally distributed on your head. In order to achieve the best fit, the top of your head must help absorb the force used to keep the headphones on your ears. Reference On-Ear headphones use additional padding under the headband to create a comfortable damper and equal pressure distribution throughout the headphone.

Klipsch Reference On-Ear - The Klipsch Joint Padded headband and optimal clamp-force distribute the weight evenly on your head.


The next fundamental component for acoustic transparency and comfort is the protein-enhanced polypropylene wrap. The amount of sound the outer wrap passes through is vital to midrange and high frequencies. Through engineering, we have maximized the amount of openness the wrap provides while decreasing the amount of sound leaked outside your ears. This is evident through the egg-shape of the ear cushion which mimics the ear’s size and shape. This anatomical composition follows our famous oval ear tips design.

Multiple components of Reference On-Ear add up to a headphone that can be comfortably worn for hours. Oftentimes, the most comfortable position to wear on-ear headphones is not the best position for optimum acoustics. Reference On-Ear addresses that by having a combination of 360° ear cup articulation, deep ear cushions, hidden head band extension, and extra padding in the headband.

The mechanism for expanding and contracting the length of the headband is hidden from view. Reference On-Ear headphones fit a full gamut of different head sizes and has a wide range of extension for both the largest and smallest heads. Hiding the mechanism improves not only the look but also the reliability of the components within.

Klipsch Reference On-Ear - The Klipsch Joint Reference On-Ear hidden headband extension.


Reference On-Ear headphones collapse into a small form ideal for travel.

Reference On-Ear - The Klipsch Joint Reference On-Ear collapsable design for easy storage and travel.


The jacquard monogramed travel pouch is padded to take advantage of the protection typically only provided by a hard case and compact form factor only available from a soft cloth bag.


Reference On-Ear uses an Apple-approved headphone remote and microphone that is compatible with all Apple devices. Other devices are compatible for audio only and partial functionality of the remote.

Reference On-Ear Control - The Klipsch Joint Multi-purpose control pad for accepting/hanging up calls, volume control, and music selection.

Check out the Reference On-Ear demo playlist from Spotify put together by Vlad Grodzinskiy - Klipsch Sr. Product Manager and the brains behind Reference On-Ear. Use the playlist as a reference, but be sure to grab the songs in high resolution to get the most out of the music.

You can purchase the Reference On-Ear headphones today at


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