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Klipsch Headphones/Earphones


dtel's wife

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Buddy, our grandson thought they sounded really good too. His wish list includes the 700 and Klipsch earphones. In that order....sorry![;)]

Welcome to the forum and we hope you guys come chat with us more often.

Good to know you also. I couldn't believe how easy it was for Buddy to slip the IMAGE proto's in his ears. Instant smiles...[:D] I understand his interest in the 700 it sounded too big for it's britches in the demo.

Thumper

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I also thought he may have a problem with the proto's because his ear canal is small. Thank you for checking with him to make sure they fit. It made him feel right at home with all the grown-ups in the room.

He really enjoyed his trip to the 2007 Pilgrimage in Indy! I appreciate all of you making him and us feel welcome.

Now that you put it like that the "700 does sound too big for it's britches". It ought to work nicely in his bedroom![:P]

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All I know is I had bought a new set of headphones shortly before the Pilgrammage. Then Klipsch sprung these on us and I was very interested because I had identified a variety of "issues" with mine. After evaluating a number of different models, I identified THE Klipsch headphone to have. Clarity, loudness and comfort were my concern and I was thrilled because the cost was relatively cheap... THEN that head engineer pointed out I was mistaken and had selected the most expensive model. Just my luck.

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All I know is I had bought a new set of headphones shortly before the Pilgrammage. Then Klipsch sprung these on us and I was very interested because I had identified a variety of "issues" with mine. After evaluating a number of different models, I identified THE Klipsch headphone to have. Clarity, loudness and comfort were my concern and I was thrilled because the cost was relatively cheap... THEN that head engineer pointed out I was mistaken and had selected the most expensive model. Just my luck.

Hi Anarchist,

Being a design engineer has many great advantages and a few bad ones. You should probably know that the payoff for an engineer is similar to the crowd's roar for the performer on stage. Every time I launch a new product i get butterflies in my stomach cause you never know what way the product is going to go for consumer acceptance. You can compare me to an expectant father whose wife is in the third trimester and then the OR waiting room. We are preparing for MP launch so when the switch is turned on at the production line there will be thousands of parts spitting out the end of it. Gee i hope we thought of everything. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

Brad our wonder boy genius and first time father to mass produced product has been a pleasure to watch. I am the lucky guy who gets to break the FNG in. Thank goodness he went to Purdue. I couldn't even tell you how many hours Tom, Brad and I talked about the correct way to design a micro speaker for your earhole. I know it was closer to 60 hours a week. It's not really about the money; our payoff is seeing that little baby grow up, taking her first steps and eventually flying. Designing speakers for your living room or HT is one thing but designing this little gal is MUCH more personal. People are really sensitive about sticking something in their ear canal and pushing it towards what feels like your brain. (Actually your ear canal takes a couple of turns and ends up going more up and forward...less I digress) This is Klipsch's first product in this category so the headphone team is setting precedence which others will compare to for a long time. So it is real important to get it correct. Now the design is in final polishing phase. Voicings are 90% complete, although the debate never goes away because everyone hears slightly differently and it is such an emotional decision that you can't just put it on paper and say it should measure like this. You really need endless hours of audition to make sure every track (if recorded properly!?!) sounds perfect. Oh did I mention your manager says you are already late! (that is an inside joke we have, you were late before you started cause everyone wants and needs it sooner!)

Now your baby has his first day of school and you worry that the teachers will take care of her. In K language, all the other departments have to kick in and executed. Marketing needs to get the word out to the public. And the big issue is that we are looking at all kinds of new and novice users. So there are so many facets to the image of the product that has to be considered. From what I am seeing Marketing will be knocking this baby out of the PARK! They are all excited about headphones on the web. Kevin P has this undertaking and we will be calling him the Wizard of Web very soon. Press releases and FAQ's are being wordsmithed so you Forum folks will have an answer before you even ask the question. We hope this will cut down on all the false rumors that always occur with public perception. Sarah is trying to crawl in my nerdy engineering head and pull out words that the rest of the world can understand. That is big challenge, but she has been calling me all week with her questions which I really appreciate. Big Shooter our Sales Lead is introducing this product to all our potential buyers. Our baby is in their hands. Without these key people accepting our concepts the product will have a hard time launching. It is so good to see so many people taking an interest in this product and molding this child into the rock star we think she will be.

So Professor Thump is pacing the floors of the waiting room. Wondering if this baby girl is going to be healthy and if she can sing and play the guitar as well as he hopes. The doctor will be out of the delivery room soon and I can stop pacing the floors. I guess this is why I have taken the time out of my busy schedule to jump onto this forum and explain our internal process. Now you will know how we feel when we get feedback from all the blogs. Call it a public report card if you will. Some opinions will be good and some may be bad. But that is how we learn as a company to build products for you.

I really get a kick out of hearing people talk about how bad they hate headphones until they try Klipsch new ear gels with the ergonomic fit. When Tom and I first started out with initial concepts for this product we started prioritizing what would be most important to the customer and what had not been considered by our future competitors. (Brad was still in college chasing girls and waking up with hangovers wondering what he had done last night...I mean he was STUDYING for his next test... Yeah Brad like we believe that!!! ) So here is what we came up with...

1. Comfort - We believe that if you can't stick it in your ear and not slit your wrist from the extreme pain it doesn't matter how good it sounds, you STILL are not going to use it.

There are two trades that don't talk much to one another but are inter-related... Audiologist and Audio Engineers. Audiologist go to their hearing aid conventions and Audio Engineers go to AES conferences where ideas are exchanged and papers written. There is one big difference between these two groups. Audiologist normally don't listen to their products because they would damage their hearing (those that do lose their hearing! (Ironic isn't it?) AE's measure their products but the ultimate test is ALWAYS critical listening evaluations. (Brad can tell related stories about this...) Both fields are similar technically but the end use is different.

When I first started researching IE applications, I read a lot of patents to understand the history of IE development. I came across one that was a big cylindrical hearing aid from the 60's I believe. If the hearing aid didn't fit the patient or victim the doctor would literally take a drill to the ear canal! I thought...Egads what are these guys thinking. Did they ever think of the patient? Well technical advances in micro electronics have allowed custom ear shells to be created which has made comfort an obvious improvement. But it made me realize that nobody was concentrating on the fundamental human need...Comfort. I started doing research on ear canals, ear tip patents and ear cheese but didn't find any art related to ergonomic designs. With the help of my friends Eric H and Greg H from Sonion we started making ear impressions of people. Ear impressions are silicone injections into the ear to acquire the exact shape of that individual's ear canal. Every ear is different but there are many similarities. With these impressions 3D scans could be made to get digital data which I could analyze with a computer. If you look at the crossection of most people's ear canal you will find that the shape is generally oval. Hmmmm has anyone noticed this before? Probably... Well I have spent innumerous hours with Jim Hunters help in reviewing patents pertaining to ear tips but I couldn't find any art pertaining to oval ear tips. Thus the patent pending application was born for an oval eartip that created minimal pressure in any one given spot of the ear canal. Now we have reduced tickle, firmer placement and the holy grail a complete AIR SEAL (needed for bass output).

2. Sound Signature - I will be going into greater details about this i.e. whitepapers if I have the time, but it has GOT TO KICK *** or it is not a Klipsch product. But you Cornerloaders already knew this. If it was lamo you would say BULLSHIT! or at least flip your lapel and show us your PWK badge. Sorry for the French Amy, but you can't put it any other way.

3. Industrial Design - We have incredible resources on ID every year, designing great looks under the tutelage of Glenn Fuller. The public won't buy many of these if they look like doggy dudu. Headphones are very personal not only in comfort but looks. We are all vain in some ways and looks are important cause others judge us by our looks first. So this thing needs to be like a fine piece of jewelry that you can be proud to wear every day. Some of the models are more discrete. IMAGE is very unobtrusive you almost can't tell that they are wearing PM's. You also won't get mugged as easily for wearing a white cable cable plugged into your ear advertising your beautifully expensive iPod.

4. Durability - It has got to be rugged because it's Klipsch! Need I say more? We have tested these puppies in so many ways thanks to Boy Wonder Brad's ME Purdue skills and Black Belt Brian M's expertise that Brian has to use a wheel barrel to cart the test documents around. Cables go through tens of thousands of flex cycles at every joint, strain and stress. We actually have a sweat test to see if these babies corrode! Temperature cycle tests beyond the extremes of human safety.

There are more priorities but I will stop there so you don't fall asleep from the details...

I remember going over the details with Anarchist at the Pilgrimage. He was bummed that he picked the most expensive model. I do that all the time. But it is a precise operation designing micro small, ultra light designs that kick booty! That is why they cost more money. It is hard to compare it to other single armature designs because of these benefits. I believe this is why you are going to love this product. It is simple to use, easy to load and unload, very comfortable oh and it sounds great!

Our baby is all grown up...

IMAGE Earphones

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In the near future I will be going over the details of each design so you the consumer can make an easier decision as to which IE/PM you should buy. This will include the best applications of each design and how I believe each ergonomic design and voicing will benefit the user.

Mark,

I am looking forward to the details as I spent most of my time at the Pilgrimage listening to the IMAGE model. VERY comfortable and AWESOME sound and so incredibly tiny. Definitely wins in the coolness factor.

The entry level model (I think) I tried was also surprisingly comfortable and delivered AWESOME sound. I can't say that I yet know which model is THE Klipsch earphone to have though I do really LOVE the IMAGE model. I can say that the bendable wire model I tried was also very comfortable. I'm not sure it was as comfortable as the IMAGE but not sure it wasn't, a bit more effort to insert correctly and not as cool, but it's the sound that matters anyway and I don't think I'd be disappointed with any of the models when it comes to the sound. I'd been thinking it was time to upgrade my headphones for quite some time before the Pilgrimage and am very glad I didn't.

If the public cares at all about sound quality, the Klipsch phones should sell like crazy. The IMAGE model will also appeal to those who just got to have the coolest.

The Legendary Sound Of Klipsch that fits in the palm of your hand, or maybe that you can wear would be better?. How cool is that?

Congratulations on an AWESOME line of products.

Ben

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In one of my previous lives I was a legal secretary. I was extremely proficient in shorthand, but the attorney I worked for preferred to use a "Dictaphone". I hated that thing. The ear plugs were awful. The black foam rubber was itchy and scratchy. The earphones did not have a secure fit, which required constant adjusting in your ear. You could hear everything going on in the office around you, over the dictator's voice. The phones ringing, typewriters(computers weren't in everyday office use in the early 80's), secretaries talking about their weekend adventures, all while trying to type a ten or fifteen page pleading. All of the outside noise influence would require turning the volume level up on the Dictaphone earphones, which then caused distortion, not to mention severe headaches.

After leaving that position I don't think I have used earphones/headphones for more than two hours total. I couldn't stand having anything play directly in my ear. That is....until I tried these earphones.[Y]

Listening through the earphones at the Klipsch Pilgrimage made me think back to those days. While shorthand is almost obsolete, Dictaphones are still widely used in many office applications. The use of the Klipsch earphone (if adaptable) with a Dictaphone would definitely be a major improvement over the standard black foam rubber earphones.

Just thinking out loud, again![:P]

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Professor Thump said: "I guess this is why I have taken the time out of my busy schedule to jump onto this forum and explain our internal process."

Your presence here has not gone unnoticed or unappreciated! I think I can speak for the entire group when I say "Thank You" for taking the time to talk with us about this wonderful product.

It was very hard to not say anything on the forum before now. As a matter of fact, I think Jay (winner of a pair of earphones) almost spontaneously combusted because he couldn't open his pie hole and tell everybody what he had won![;)]

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Your presence here has not gone unnoticed or unappreciated! I think I can speak for the entire group when I say "Thank You" for taking the time to talk with us about this wonderful product.

It was very hard to not say anything on the forum before now. As a matter of fact, I think Jay (winner of a pair of earphones) almost spontaneously combusted because he couldn't open his pie hole and tell everybody what he had won![;)]

No... I need to thank all of you! If it wasn't for your support Klipsch wouldn't be where they are today. I think I am gonna cry...[:'(] But seriously, how many companys have the kind of loyalty that we have? It is because of you that we can pursue our dreams and dink around with cool stuff every day. This is a huge reason why we have been growing at the rate we have. While other companies have been drying up financially we have become worldwide.

I imagine you were climbing the walls not talking about our little secret project. I bet Jay can't wait to see his new headphones.

Jay, I got a pair at Kmart for you. It was a blue light special. [:o]

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Ben,<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

It will be interesting to see how the IE/PM launch goes. From my perspective I get a kick not only out of people enjoying our products but also seeing how well our predictions were for consumer needs and opinions on our new IE sound signature. I will explain this a little further. It gets messy describing inner ear EQ so bare with me...

Developing The Klipsch Sound Signature...

Early on Tom Gospel and I gathered all the guru's of Klipsch engineering and had discussions about who we were going to be in regards to headphone products. What does the public like about our products and how can we translate these traits into headphones? We realized that this comparison is apples and oranges. A speaker radiating into a room has certain characteristics. Sound bounces around then it bounces on your body and then to one or both ears depending on the frequency. These are the effects of reverb and Head Related Transfer Function (HRTF). To make things more confusing, sound bounces off your Pinna and Concha (flappy things that are on the side of your head that we call ears) and into your ear canal after making a couple of cork screw turns to your ear drum. We call this location at your eardrum the "earDrum Reference Position" or DRP. ...........................................Are you confused yet? ............................................

Stand up take a break and come back in 5 minutes cause were going back in to your head.................................Okay, I feel better and hope you do too.....

Now where were we? I forgot. (isn't that a big surprise...The professor CRS!) Okay now I got it. I am back in your head, or my head or that little green man's head we call HATS........................

The frequency response that you want to hear at the DRP is not flat.

What? Okay think of it like this. When you design a speaker most people generally design it so the frequency response is flat. Some people don't measure it at all. Which is stupid cause it's not flat. But I digress. Not too long ago I talked with Mead Killion of Etymotic. Mr Killion is a legend in the IE industry. Mr Killion has done a lot of research on DRP response which lead to the development of his ER4. Nice headphones but not very comfortable. Sorry Mead, don't mean to dog you. To me this IE sounds similar to a studio monitor but a little bright for my taste. He hears differently than I do, no surprise, just the reality of our ears. How did he come to this conclusion? He used his IE microphones to measure subjects in a controlled environment.

Quoting Mead..."There have been three major studies of the sound pressure developed at the eardrum by a sound field: Wiener and Ross (1946), Shaw (1976), and Killion and Monser (1978). All showed a nearly identical frequency response that included a 15 dB boost in pressure at 2.8 kHz coming from the combined resonance and horn action of the concha and ear canal." So in other words your DRP curve or transform has a 15 - 17 dB rise from nominal at 2.8 kHz due to your funny looking earhorns and the resonance of the canal. I would think this is pretty accurate data for flat anechoic response with so many correletive studies. But is this what you really want to hear at the DRP? Definitely not. Things like room gain and master mixes need to be considered.

My Ears Are Burning!

I don't know about you guys and gals (Amy and D'tel's wife?) but i have listened to a ton of speaker in my days. I have had a bunch of speakers (ask Mrs Thumper) in my home. Many of them I would love when I first got them. Wow! What sound. And then the day came that I listened to this one particular track that made my ears ring. (You pick the track it happens to most speakers) Once I hear that problem with the speaker it bugs me to no end, like a little scab you keep scratching. This is mental ear fatigue my folks or as I call it the case of the spikey speaker. Woof! You finally found the weak spot of that speaker and you can't get that song out of your head. You now hear it on more tracks cause you are looking for it. This is something I always looking for when I design a product. Speakers or in this case micro speaker that doesnt burn your earballs out. Am I picky? Heck ya. It's my JOB!

How is it done? If I told you all my secrets it wouldn't be fun...<?xml:namespace prefix = v ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:vml" />

There is more to explain on the Klipsch Sonic Signature Epic but I will give your brain a rest for today.

Stick it in your ear! .................................................... Please?


Professor Thump

Filed under: Earbuds, Sonic Signature, Earphones: Headphones

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That's my boating shirt. Thanks for noticing how awesome it is. I always wear it when I go boating... 7 years of use now. It's missing a few buttons, but I can deal with that.

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Brad,
I am going to start calling you Gilligan from Gilligan's Island. Oh I forgot you don't know who he is cause you weren't even born yet. Wait a minute... the Howels had the Hawaian shirts. Didn't they? Any way I will bring in some VHS tapes from that TV show. Oh do you know what those are? Your dad probably has some VHS tapes.[:|]

Let's get back to headphones. What topics are people interested in? Where will you use them the most? Exercising? Commuting? (except drivers) at home? When you are trying to block out your significant other?

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.metrotimes.com/sb/79411/CS_ZIAM_Headphones.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.metrotimes.com/editorial/story.asp%3Fid%3D5179&h=200&w=200&sz=15&hl=en&start=2&um=1&tbnid=CdOvVp9boD2Y4M:&tbnh=104&tbnw=104&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dfunny%2Bheadphones%26svnum%3D10%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DG'>22627867.jpg No... Stick it IN your ear!

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Mark,

Thanks for the info on how the ear works with the in ear phones. I suspect that the 2.8 khz gain in the ear canal is somewhat cancelled out by sounds coming in through the ear? Maybe aborbed somewhat by the outer ear so equalized to flatten it out? Otherwise, it would seem that flat frequency response would also be desired for in the ear earphones. Fascinating stuff.

In response to you most recent post

Most interested in

Technical information and how the ear system works (outer, canal, etc) is very interesting but naturally you can't post too much here and it'd be way above my head anyway but post as much as you see fit. The advantages of the dual armature model over the single armature model to determine if I want or think I need to hold out for the dual armature model

Voicings and characteristics of each model to aid in deciding which one I have to have, or which one I can "settle" for. Don't think the Minister of Finance would understand spending $349 on earphones no matter how good they sound. The IMAGE definitely has the COOL and gotta have it groove going but just don't see it fitting into my budget anytime soon (come on powerball)

Where will I use them most

Listening to music while I work - it helps me focus and block out the distractions - added bonus that I annoy my coworkers less - the abitlity to loosen to be able to let in some outside sounds could be handy, at least to hear the phone ringing. Currently use a 60 GB Creative Labs Zen Xtra Nomad Jukebox, mp3s encoded with included software using the sliding algorithm in the midlle - most appear as 200 to 300+ bit rate in file properties but not sure - might find I need to bump up the bit rate a bit

Listening to music doing yard work - don't do this now but the isolation capabilities of the Klipsch IE phones could protect my hearing and make mowing the yard more enjoyable - too stubborn or annoyed by the hot sweaty over the ear hearing protectors (you're not alone on that one) and don't like those foam hearing protectors very well either though I need to start using something while I still have some hearing

Listening to music while repainting soccer fields - next fall, assuming I last another year as won't be available soon enough this fall (unless you want to send out a set for testing) - finally got around to trying this and made the task much more enjoyable - will have to watch the paint mist closer for the larger cloud as normally indentify empty can by change in sound (wonder how much dain bramage has occurred over the past yew fears?) as I'm sure I'd want the full seal for optimum bass

Road trips (definitely not while driving) - if I'm not using them I'm sure our youngest daugher will be (the mp3 player is AWESOME for road trips, even with crappy factory sound .... ) Might even be usable on a plane though I fly very little

Commuting if I ever again have a long commute on PT - would've loved a set of these when I worked in downtown Chicago and spent a lot of time on the bus and train, (would've loved an mp3 player then too)

The oval ear tips seem so obvious - just stick your finger in your ear - my index finger fits perfectly vertically, not so well horizontal. So maybe that observation in itself was a stroke of genius - forgetting everything you know long enough to see the obvious. I bet a lot of people are going (@%#$!) why didn't we think of that?

A product I can hardly wait to stick in my ears. Thought I'd never say that.

I would say "Stick it in your ears!" but you already do.

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In response to you most recent post

Most interested in

Technical information and how the ear system works (outer, canal, etc) is very interesting but naturally you can't post too much here and it'd be way above my head anyway but post as much as you see fit. The advantages of the dual armature model over the single armature model to determine if I want or think I need to hold out for the dual armature model

Voicings and characteristics of each model to aid in deciding which one I have to have, or which one I can "settle" for. Don't think the Minister of Finance would understand spending $349 on earphones no matter how good they sound. The IMAGE definitely has the COOL and gotta have it groove going but just don't see it fitting into my budget anytime soon (come on powerball)

The oval ear tips seem so obvious - just stick your finger in your ear - my index finger fits perfectly vertically, not so well horizontal. So maybe that observation in itself was a stroke of genius - forgetting everything you know long enough to see the obvious. I bet a lot of people are going (@%#$!) why didn't we think of that?

In regards to your ear canal response you do have a resonance in the 2-3kHz range but you have trained your brain to believe that this is a flat response. Go figure!!!

You bring up a great point... Your fingers are some what oval which makes for an easy demo that anyone can do for checking to see if your ears are oval.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

There are a lot of consumers who are confused about which earphone to choose. This is understandable. The earphones have one or two or maybe even three little thingies inside them and the more thingies the higher the price. It just doesn't make sense to the average consumers, so what is difference?

At first...When I was a virgin user of balanced armature technology, I was working at Apple Computer. We had an earphone company come to Apple to demonstrate their single armature (arm) product. Many people didn't like it because you have to jam it into your ear all the way to your brain, or at least this is what the 3 flange ear tip felt like to most users. For those users that didnt get a seal (where the air leaks out of the canal) which was a majority of users, they complained about not having any bass. I couldn't believe they were saying this. The design had reasonable bass; they just weren't using it correctly. This is when I first realized that a better solution is needed. The creature comforts were not considered.

How many arms do I need?

Here is the lowdown as best as I can explain it without you having the earphone models in your ears.... Before I explain how many armatures you need. Let's go over some terms first:

IEM or IE = In Ear Monitor - this is usually a professional level earphone that is customized to fit your ear canals. The performer will use these to minimize stage volumes, so they can work for more than 10 years without losing your hearing. With lower volumes it is easier for them to control what they want to hear in the monitor mix thus saving their hearing. Now the performer can stay on pitch and keep good timing.

PM = Personal Monitors, earphones with armatures

Headphones or HP = General description for all types

Earbuds = Similar to the Apple headphones with Moving coil transducers inside

Entry Level PM's.......... use a simple balanced armature. The challenge the engineer has primarily rests in the balance armature design itself, the damper and the nozzle design. This is a very difficult task to make full range since the transducer will work well in the LF or the HF but not generally wideband. Typically the Bass, Vocals or Drums suffer the most with this design, sounding slightly harsh or not having any output that is audible in that range. In other words the vocal sounds throaty or scratchy depending on the model. There is also limited SPL with this design due to being a single arm design. Even with these disadvantages it sounds better than any moving coil design that I have heard since the mass of the diaphragm is much less the HF is much more accurate than a standard earbud with a moving coil. Custom 1 has been optimized to give the best balance of LF and HF. This design uses a KG332 armature.

Mid Level PM's............ use either premium single armatures that are usually smaller or dual armatures with minimal or no EQ. Each product has its limitations.

For Klipsch's IMAGE PM a premium armature is used which is a proprietary KG926 driver. The KG926 is ultra compact. Less weight generally means more comfort because there is less force on the ear canal. This model has "special sauce" which I can't go into, due to its proprietary nature, but it is very full range with delicate high's and smooth deep bass. The sound is very accurate due to its light weight diaphragm and the multiple levels of treatment to the design. Generally speaking people will have a hard time complaining about this design. It is easy to use and sounds very accurate. Vocals are silky smooth and drums have a nice snap to them. You can not believe your ears...a product this size sounding this full! The primary limitation is that it is small so you must have a good air seal or you will loose bass. The way we have minimized this problem is by making the chassis micro small with a thin aluminum extruded body or chassis. This small diameter allows the armature to get closer to your eardrum than all of the others models out there. Precision machining is required to make this model, and the design is complicated to get correct due to its size. The patent pending eartip also insures a better seal since it is similar to the shape of your ear.

Another type of mid level design is using dual armatures similar to our Custom 2. In the Custom 2 design we have partnered with Sonion and have applied for a patent on this armature, so I can talk about some of the details. The KG534 driver is really two drivers i.e. two motors two armatures and two diaphragms that are tandem (back to back). The benefit of this design is that the diaphragms pump air in opposing directions so any vibration modes are minimized. Think of this similar to dual air bellows on your fireplace with a single nozzle. When you have dual diaphragms your SPL increases by 3 dB and your distortion goes down because it is not working as hard. Part of our applied patent evolves around the low pass acoustic filter that is built into one of the two armatures. This give Klipsch greater control over the EQ since we can have two pistons, one optimized for bass and one optimized for full range. This baby rocks! Musicians will love this product because it is portable yet very efficient. Your vocals will stand out in the mix as an IEM application.

High Level PM's...............use two or three armatures and a passive crossover. Our Custom 3 goes much further. Not only does it have two different types of drivers and a passive crossover it also has a patent pending low pass acoustic filter. The Custom 3 utilizes a Klipsch KG723 for the HF tweeter which is a premium armature. This allows the vocals to be ultra silky and very low in distortion. The LF is implemented by a KG732 armature for the LF woofer. The Custom 3 has TWO low pass filters the armature has an internal LP filter plus an additional.... you guessed.... patent pending LP filter on the outside which is optimized for a very low crossover point in such a small chassis without sacrificing sensitivity in the low region of the response. This bad boy has it all! Looks! Comfort! And Concert Level Sound! The passive crossover has 5 components more than any other in its league. With the two acoustic filters and a second order crossover, the LF has a 24 dB per octave rolled off at 1 kHz. Why so low? Everyone else seems to crossover above the vocal region but we wanted to eliminate Intermodulation Distortion (IMD) so we have removed the kick drum and bass tones from the tweeter so the diaphragm can concentrate on silky highs without movement from the LF signal. This also allows us to take advantage of the shape of the crossover for additional EQ in the midrange. The vocals are so natural that this high end IEM won't fatigue your ears like most designs can. But my favorite part is the BASS. I use to have a regional touring pro sound system for live performance applications. I had eight 18 inch 1000 watt drivers just for the subs, so I don't have to tell you how much I can appreciate good clean bass. Image hearing headphones flat BELOW the musical bandwidth. There is no limitation to the bass. I just wish it would shake my pant legs like my pro system did. I encourage everyone to try this product before the buy any other. You will find that the money was well spent.

So what type of HP do you need? You will have to be the judge, but you will need to keep in mind that there is a reason why there is large range of prices. The number of arms does make a difference for the IE headphone family.

Why don't you stick it in your ears!

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Mark,

Thanks for the info. I think that any model will be an improvement over my current over the ear headphones (Grado SR60 - Grado headphones are hard to beat for the money). And I believe you get what you pay for. For some popular speaker brands it's marketing, with Klipsch it's sound quality.

My short take on each model.

Custom 1 - Awesome sound, friendly on the budget

Custom 2 - Even better sound, better highs, lows, and less distortion - and naturally a few $ more than Custom 1

Custom 3 - Insanely good sound - probably doesn't get any better at a reasonable cost

IMAGE - Sound quality probably close or better than the Custom 2, maybe even approaches the 3, unbelievable comfort, just pop them in

So which do I have to have? Don't know yet. Maybe it's good I didn't really try 'em all at the Pilgrimage. Current finances say Custom 1. Thinking long term may at least want the Custom 2. If money was no object, probably the IMAGE and Custom 3. The kids would also want the IMAGE for their mp3 players once they found out how good they sound and are so comfortable that one would tend to forget there's something in your ears.

So stick a set in your ears. A lot of people here on the Forum are looking forward to the day they can stick a set in their ears. (Especially Jay and whoever else won a pair at the Pilgrimage). I hope the market demand exceeds expectations. I suspect the IMAGE has the best chance of that due to the unbelievably good sound from such a tiny and forget they're in your ears comfortable 'phone. Should become a must have for a lot of people.

Ben

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3. Industrial Design - We incredible resources on ID every year, designing great looks under the tutelage of Glenn Fuller. The public won't buy many of these if they look like doggy dudu. Headphone are very personal not only in comfort but looks. We are all vain in some ways and look are important cause others judge us by our look first. So this thing needs to be like a fine piece of jewelry that you can be proud to wear every day. Some of the models are more discrete. IMAGE is very unobtrusive you almost can't tell that they are wearing PM's. You also won't get mugged as easily for wearing a white cable cable plugged into your ear advertising your beautifully expensive iPod.

Over the weekend I preferred to wear mine (when not in use) with the iPod in shirt pocket and the luxurious woven cord (I still like the cloth covering) slung around my neck so the Custom 3's would dangle in sight, like an expensive bit of jewelry (you in the balcony just rattle your jewelry). Didn't start any conversations because it's supposed to be hush hush, but can imagine that like the 'white cord' in advertising, we want these complex little sound machines dangling over the shoulders of people everywhere! It IS an image thing, it's a status symbol, the colors silver and gold display wealth. And with my hair, they were COMPLETELY INVISIBLE when in operation.

Heck, the general public might even recognize the Klipsch brand name after a while...

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Professor Thump - I have Seasons 1 and 2 of Gilligan's Island on DVD. I've watched them with my kids, and still enjoy them from when I was watching the re-runs after school as a kid. Forget the vhs - get the dvd.

Colterphoto - if you need a guinea pig to do some free advertising, I would be happy to replace my ugly white earphones with some (donated?) Klipsch ones. I typically make it over to Lifetime fitness about 3 days a week, sweating to RUSH 2112 on the treadmills. It might drum-up a little more buzz...

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