Feature | Tech Up! Klipsch S3m In-Ear Headphones

By Adam Riley 29.12.2013 1

For those regular readers, it may have been noted that Cubed3 has a feature series called Tech Up! where the team looks at various different things to find out what the best options are out there, beyond just the mere gaming realm. After seeing how below par the D20 media player from Cowon was recently, this time round a pair of headphones were up for the testing process - the Klipsch S3m In-Ear Headphones.  Keep reading to learn more…
Image for Feature | Tech Up! Klipsch S3m In-Ear Headphones

Despite 'headphones' conjuring up images of kit like the recently reviewed Kunai Stereo Headset, the stylish Klipsch S3m is a set of in-ear buds, coming in a range of colours: black, white, red, jade and blue. Rather than being like the standard earphones of old, these are the newer format, which basically wedge themselves deep into the inner part of the ear to drown out external noise and increase the richness of any music played. This particular style does not work for some, proving to either be highly uncomfortable when fully inserted, or constantly popping out and falling down. This is despite the fact that the plastic outer 'bud' can be changed to alternate sized ones.

However, for those that do like this style, a treat is indeed in store! True immersion is possible when watching movies or listening to music on phones whilst travelling, or simply chatting away to a good friend or family member for long periods (also making use of the S3m's single-button remote and microphone for phone calls) and not wanting to be disturbed by the hubbub around.

In terms of features, it is compatible with all the usual devices thanks to the 3.5mm jack input, being specifically engineered for mobiles so that calls can be answered/ended, volume can be increased/decreased, audio can be played/paused, and tracks can be changed going forwards one or backwards. Therefore, the Klipsch S3m headphones work with Apple products, Windows phones, BlackBerry handsets, and will work for any Android users when used in conjunction with a free Klipsch Control App that can be downloaded from the Google Play Store. Why this is exactly is unknown, but the creative team has attempted to make the S3m "the ultimate hassle-free headphone thanks to a nifty single-button remote and microphone, which gives you total control of both your playlist and phone calls on virtually all of your mobile devices." It also comes with a durable cable that is surprisingly tangle-free, something that will ease the minds of those who are plagued by pocket pixies that wrap wires up, no matter how carefully they were arranged before insertion into a coat or trouser pocket!

Image for Feature | Tech Up! Klipsch S3m In-Ear Headphones

As the company itself says, it is all about the extras since - after all - ear/headphones are not all that dissimilar for the most part. The S3m headphones tend to be quite good overall, when talking in terms of rich sound, and that is all thanks to the customised 5.8mm moving-coil driver that delivers a smooth, full-bodied quality that holds its own against other earphones. Perhaps it struggled slightly with higher treble sounds, but for the majority of music tried using them, there were no problems whatsoever, and when used with both the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U GamePad, the results were dazzling! Gunman Clive and SteamWorld Dig on 3DS eShop are just two examples of when soundtracks of handheld games are so sublime that a decent audio source, an alternative to the weedy 3DS speakers, is a necessity, and the S3m definitely came through on that front.

Finally, for those that like the intricate details, here is a breakdown of what the S3m has to offer:

  • COLOURS: Black, White, Red, Blue, Jade
  • DIMENSIONS (PACKAGING): 6.5" H x 2.75" W x 1.375" D
  • DRIVER DESIGN: Dynamic Moving Coil Micro Speaker
  • IMPEDANCE (1kHz): 18 ohms
  • MIC/REMOTE: Single button remote and microphone
  • SENSITIVITY (1mW): 106dB
  • STYLE: In-ear
  • WEIGHT: 11 grams
Image for Feature | Tech Up! Klipsch S3m In-Ear Headphones
[score=7]For around the £40 mark there are three types of oval eartips, a clothing clip, a carrying case, and a two-year warranty, and then there is a choice of colours, as mentioned earlier, to suit any personal taste! Additionally, using the S3m's one-button remote/microphone was perfect on the iPhone 5 it was tested on. Well worth checking out as another option to Apple's Earpods. Just remember that in-ear buds are not always the most comfortable for every user, and that Android users will need to download a special app before being able to use full functionality.

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BE WARNED!I've had three sets of Klipsch 'in ear' earphones and they are very good. However, I recently returned a set of X7i's as one of the ear pieces had stopped working, they were only 8 months old. I couldn't find the receipt so they rejected repair or replacement immediately. What really annoyed me was that right from the get go Customer Services had the attitude of not wanting to help, any responsibility for their product was rejected immediately. What I don't get is that I returned Klipsch earphones to Klipsch! It's not as though I was returning SONY earphones to Klipsch, they manufactured them, they were Klipsch earphones! They cost £169.00 and at this price I expect them to work for more than 8 months and appropriate after sales service.  Customer Services went on to say that they would return the earphones to me and I could try and get them re-wired somewhere else, only a company that doesn't care would send me somewhere else to get their product repaired. I neither have the time or inclination to find someone who may be able to 're-wire' a pair of Klipsch earphones. I told them that if they weren't prepared to repair or replace them that they should not return them as they are of no use to me, they should throw them away - without hesitation, THEY DID!

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