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Old 10-13-2012, 10:27 AM
ocsirf ocsirf is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 6

Forgive the long post but thought I would do my review/take on the Klipsch S4's while everyone else was talking about them:

I can first confirm what Pinkys said in the previous post concerning lack of cleaning tool, shirt clip, and change to straight plug. That's how mine were when purchased from Best Buy several weeks ago. Wish mine were light colored like those

In short, I hated the S4's before they got "burned in", but now they seem to be getting sweeter sounding with each use. I thought burn in was mostly a myth before I bought these but there's far too many people who believe in a burn in period to just dismiss it. True that your ears adjust to sounds over time and with parametric eq on my rockboxed Clip Zip I can halfway adjust the sound to my own taste also. I still don't think the S4's are perfect but they're sounding much better and I don't think it's all just my ears adjusting.

The manual references a "sport fit" option where you turn the phones sorta upside down in your ears as another poster alluded to. Turning them up into the ear canal like that is no big deal to me and the only way I can get them to seal good. It changes the sound dramatically for the better. Otherwise they sound like tiny 1960's transistor radios!

Although I have the upper bass eq'd down a good bit (-8 db at 120hz), the low end is tight and punchy, plenty enough bass for me. I guess I'm not a true basshead as I can't stand overly-boomy bass! I'd rather it be accurate, and to that extent with the warmness dialed down and a "somewhat" moderate eq boost (+6 db right at 20hz) the lower bass sounds close to accurate for me, even dramatic at times. If there's not much low bass in the recording you won't hear it with these phones. Reviewers elsewhere who complain about lack of bass probably just don't have them sealed good in thier ears.

I should also note that even with no eq I never thought the S4's were boomy or muddy, just way too warm-sounding for my taste. The rest of the eq bands are only nudged slightly compared to my radical bass adjustments. Upticked to 1.5 db at 15khz most likely to compensate for my age-related hearing loss, and this sometimes sounds like a little too much eq even for me.

The high end has never seemed sibilant, and has gotten better but still slight over emphasis sometimes, as stated above maybe due to my eq settings. I'm having to overcome noise when I use these at work and the high end eq boost helps there as well. Gotta love Rockbox!

Just listened to first few tracks of Jackson Browne's Hold Out, the ultimate sibilance torture test, at least it would be on old vinyl. Possibly this was just my cheaper hi-fi equipment back in the day, or in conversion to digital/remastering the album's overly-hissy-spitty vocals were improved. That, along with a few decades for my hearing to dull of course! Either way if any sibilance now, it's very very slight, not really enough to be disagreeable to me. Track 1 ("Disco Apocalypse") and Track 3 ("That Girl Could Sing") were the worst for sibilance, the beginning verse of Track 3 especially. The bass on "That Girl..." sounds awesome with the S4's BTW

Well, that's my take. Someone with younger ears may very well tend to agree with illusion's original review concerning the sibilance issue, or perhaps his ears are just very sensitive (a good thing). Older farts like me probably won't have to worry about that!
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