This is a review of Klipsch Image S4A (II) Android wired headphones: Image S4A (II) Headphones for Android | Klipsch ®
Not to be confused with an older version of S4A found on amazon, (II) is an update offered by Klipsch as the only headphone pair in their Android product line. A heard a lot of great reviews about the sound quality of Klipsch headphones, but those were usually out of reach with their premium price tag. I'm not suggesting their current sale price of $85 being a cheap bargain, but in a category of premium sounds it is a bargain. If you look at their product line, everything is offered with iPhone remote control, so it was great to get a chance to review this Image S4A (II) model designed specifically for Android with their own dedicated free Klipsch control app.
These small earbuds encapsulate a powerful dual magnet driver that covers a wide frequency range with dynamic details that stay true throughout lows, mids, and highs. Even when you raise the volume to the max, the sound stays very clean and clear without any distortion. The included 4 pairs of ear tips are great with a comfortable oval shape fit, but at the same time I found that oval shape to come out of your ear when you are doing active exercising. As an alternative, a pair of Comply TSX100 replacement ear tips worked perfectly with these!!! Since these are wired headphones, you don't have to worry about charging it up, just plug into your phone and go. The wires follow new trend of flat noodle shape which is easy to keep untangled especially when you place your S4A into included nylon carrying pouch-case. Also, a small clip is provided which can help you keep the wire attached to your shirt or jacket. The sound quality is fantastic, and the build is very solid. You can definitely see that you pay premium and get quality in return. But these are intended for Android application, so let's take a look if it delivers in that department.
You don't even need installation of Klipsch free app, these work as is with default control setting. Everything is controlled from built in remote control that houses a single multi-function button. The remote control is rather large for only one button, but it does make it easy to find it and to press it without fumbling around. With this single button you can pick up and end the phone call and also play/pause and skip through the songs. Since you only have one control button, the multi-function is accomplished by double/triple-clicking: double-click skips to the next song, triple-click restarts playing the same song and another follow up triple-click goes to the previous song. It actually not very common to have song skip in such type of headphones, more often you see volume control instead. Ironically, with these headphone volume adjustment doesn't work. These were designed around Android 2.2, and obviously some functionality has changed in Android 4.x which broke that control. So instead of activating Volume control when you long press the button, you get Google Voice Search - just ask a question and you will get search results. The free Klipsch control app which you can download from Play Store has some useful functionality as well. You can assign an app you want to launch upon plugin of headphones, default controlled music app, default volume setting on plugin, and also re-assign button settings for single, double, and triple click functionality. The available options for each function are play/pause, next track, previous track, previous track x2, voice search, voice command, and redial. Personally, I was happy with a default setting except I prefer double-click for previous track instead of doing it x2. There is also an option to configure button click speed.
Overall, these are some of the best headphones I heard in a very long time. The sound quality is definitely top notch, no question about it. Yes, they are expensive for a typical wired headphone pair with phone/music control, but considering the sound technology behind it - I think it's a bargain in comparison to other models and brands that cost hundreds of dollars. With it's Android controls - mostly its a hit, but lack of volume control is definitely a miss. Skipping a track is a bonus, but often the intention of headphone with remote control is to keep your phone out of sight and to be able to play/pause, pick up the call, and adjust the volume without touching our phone. I understand this is a part of Android change, and I hope that in a future update of S4A (III) they will fix this problem or even better - add dedicated volume up/down buttons since there is plenty of room available on that remote in-line control. I also found the response of pressing the function button to work with a slight delay. Not sure if it's the problem due to Android OS change where originally it was designed for Android 2.2. So as long as volume adjustment is not a deal breaker for you, and you are after a premium sound quality on a budget under $100 - S4A (II) is definitely your type of product.
Here are some pictures for your enjoyment.