Ever since listening to Jays' q-Jays -- a minute pair of dual-armature earphones -- we've been convinced that amazing sound can come from truly tiny earphone packages. But Jays has some serious competition now from a serious audiophile company, Klipsch.
The Klipsch Image earphones arrived on our desk yesterday and after 24 hours with them we've managed to form a solid early opinion. Overall, these £200 sound-isolating earphones offer a practically unrivalled level of comfort. Their minuscule aluminium enclosures go beyond the realms of discreet and sit ergonomically in the ear, sealed in place with comfortable silicon tips.
Sound quality is immediately impressive, with a strong voice and balanced highs and lows. What you don't get is ear-splitting bass -- though it's still very intense -- or a crystalline high-end. Instead, the Images deliver a warm tone with powerful mids. Some people may feel the warm characteristic is overly prominent at the expense of explicit detail, but this is highly subjective and really boils down to personal preference.
Given the choice between the Images and a pair of Denon's excellent AH-C751s, we'd still plump for the Denons, despite their massive enclosures and intrusive nature. We're extremely fond of the Images and think they excel with acoustic, vocal and classic music -- if this is your music of choice, the images will certainly not disappoint. But as big metal, dance and urban fans at Crave, we favour the deep power, detail and clarity of the Denon sound.
Look out for our full review in the coming week for the full lowdown. -Nate Lanxon
Update: Read our full Klipsch Image sound-isolating earphones review.