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Audio

Klipsch X11i: Balance between quality and portability

Published on Apr 11, 2014 5:29 PM
 
Klipsch X11i

Testing a brand's flagship product comes with its own high level of expectations.

You want them to be the best, but having tested and liked a few of Klipsch's earlier earphone models, my fear was on how much improvements the company could have made with their new high-end X11i, to justify the introduction of a new model.

Especially as this new one is replacing the X10i and is priced at an incredible $569.

Not surprisingly, Klipsch has managed to outdo itself.

With a crisp delivery of acoustics, the X11i stands out for its excellent soundstage reproduction, from vocals in the foreground to the instruments in the background.

There is a great mid range to the earphones and, while I found the bass to be slightly lacking, the overall dynamic presentation balances out this lack of punch.

What makes the X11i even more surprising is that they are ridiculously small and light, weighing just 10g in your hands. Each in-ear unit is a thin sliver of angled metal which is no wider than Apple's Lightning connector.

This means the X11i's balanced armature drivers are some of the smallest available, which makes the acoustics even more amazing.

The earbuds are barely noticeable when inserted, which brings a new level of comfort to the user.

Their barely there weight helps as they will not fall out while you are walking or running.

Because they are more fragile than most other headphones, I am glad that Klipsch provided a stiff carrying case for storage, either in your bag or pocket.

Of course, a perfect fit for noise isolation must be supported by the proper size of rubber eartips and five sizes are provided here.

They worked fine but, personally, I would have preferred the tips to be slightly stiffer for a more secure fit in my ear canal.

This pair comes with an attached controller for music playback, but like with every Klipsch earphone, they are designed to work with Apple devices, where users can press the three buttons to control the volume and skip music tracks.

Alas, the controller has limited capabilities on my Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and I could use it only to skip songs, but not to adjust the volume.

  • The price is steep but the X11i offers the right balance between quality and portability.

By Sherwin Loh

Background story

TECH SPECS

Price: $569

Driver: Balanced armature

Frequency response: 5hz-19khz

Sensitivity: 110dB

Impedance: 50 ohms

Noise Isolation: -26dB


RATING

Features: 4/5

Design: 5/5

Peformance: 5/5

Value for money: 3/5

Overall: 4/5