Recently we over Earmass here getting busy over the time, not only because keep moving on in our personal life but also there are a lot of good things arrived in Earmass, one of them that I am pretty muc anticipated must be the Klipsch X7i that I am reviewing today.
First of all let me addressed my appreciation to Charmayne Lim and Jia Xin from TC Acoustic Singapore to send me this review unit of Klipsch X7i (Also S4ii and Image one II). While I am not sure how many SGD is X7i selling for, but I see that in Amazon.com, X7i is selling for 199USD as list price.
Description, Outlook and Ergonomics
Klipsch has made some good and famous IEM such as the X10 and long in history S4 variant, which both of them have gained serious respect among the reviewers, and have been recommended as best buy in the price range for a long time. While I have received the S4ii (The latest S4 variant) from Jia Xin and Charmayne, I decided to review the X7i first.
X7i is unlike his brother, S4ii which using a dynamic driver, X7i uses a balanced armature like X10 did (However as far as I concerned, it is a lower end armature driver and not as same as the one in X10), for those who believed in quantity of driver in use might have already run away after knowing that X7i uses just a single unit of armature driver, but hey, as long as it sounds good, why care about the numbers of drivers inside the housing?
One of the things that have caught my eyes is the ceramic design (Which made X7i looked like a tadpole!)of the IEM casing, it is really small and quite durable. Being light and small is a bonus point as this will directly affecting the comfortable level of this IEM. It is so light that I can wear it all day long in my ears if I wished to. Anyway, I am really sad to see Klipsch decided to use the flat cable in their latest IEMs, for me this is not a good move not only because I am not a fan of flat cable but flat cable is really inconvenience. For outdoor users, this will caused a lot of cable noise/microphonic issue when the cable hit your clothes, although with the supplied shirt clip this can reduce the noise but I still think overall it is still will disturbing listeners on the goes. I can almost give 10 out of 10 for the comfort of the X7i (If you can find the right tips size your ears), but the flat cable subtracted a lot of point here. However, compared to some of the flat cable that I have come through such as Perfect Sound S101 and NuForce NE600X, the flat cable on X7i is lighter and smaller, which is a good thing.
One thing that Klipsch has always done right is the comfort level (Neglected the cable design), as long as you found the right tips, comfort level is really good, stay in ears firmly and isolated noise well.Although the X7i came with a mic/remote control that I don’t need and quite long in size (but nice looking), but this might be useful for iOS users.
Now come to sound quality
Tested with Firestone Audio Custom Cute DAC, Fireye HD, Fubar HD, Arce MUA1 and MDAC3, JDS Labs Objective DAC/Objective 2, iFi iDAC, Audinst HUD-mx2 and Yulong Audio U100. Also directly played through Hisound Nova 1 and Xduoo X1.
Sound quality is what Klipsch has done insanely correct here, I am satisfied with the sound quality of X7i.
First of all, it has a good and spacious soundstage with good instrument separation. Soundstage is wide and deep, positioning and imaging is good as well, performed well beyond the 199USD price tag along. Just to be logic, it will not have soundstage that big headphone can offer, but the imaging and instrument positioning is good and soundstage is as good as what I heard from IEM in this price range or more expensive. I am using X7i to listen to Vivaldi 12 Concerti album, X7i is spacious enough and the excellent capability to separate each of the instrument out, make this a good IEM for this kind of music.
Thing is still good when I played Jazz at pawnshop album, I can feel the ambience well with good sense of clarity and richness of sound. There is some space between each of the instrument as well, I have a good joy to spend my time with the X7i. Background detail level is good but not great, however, X7i has really good detail in how the sax are playing, the sax sounded detailed. Treble making the cymbal good to listened to, nothing bright or in destructive way, just nice.
The joy never stops even when I listened to some vocal based pop songs, vocal is well filled with details and nuance, and this is why I really love the X7i, it plays well with almost any music that I threw at it, impressive for the price.
Bass is deep and detailed along with nice texture. It is not big impact or rumble as those dynamic rivals, but bass has good presentation and is always clear. I will just have to say the bass quantity is ‘just nice’. If you demanding more in bass quantity to be frank you really have to look elsewhere. But for those like me, like a spacious presentation, balanced and detailed music reproduction, I think you will like Klipsch X7i as much as I do. I admitted sometimes I wished Klipsch to give more attention into the bass, but even if Klipsch is not doing so, I still love X7i and honestly know X7i is not bass light.
What else do I have to say? Klipsch strike hard and right into the market, making this X7i a hard competitor in this 200USD price bracket IEM crowd, and I have to say if you are searching for a IEM in 200USD price range, don’t missed X7i in your consideration list.