When Apple announced its evil sneaky proprietary inline controls in the third generation iPod shuffle the world took a collective gasp followed by a strong tut, tut. If we are going to draw positives however then once earphone manufacturers have licensed the tech it does mean their products will work across a wide array of Apple devices - which can lead to tasty offerings like this...
The new Klipsch 'Image S2m In-Ear Headset is a jack of all trades designed to pray on tight fisted consumers struggling to put down their horrendous Apple buds. Consequently, the S2m has enhanced functionality with every model current of iPod/iPhone as well as claiming to add a healthy boost to overall sound quality (to be fair, so would shouting between two Styrofoam cups connected with string).
Dealing with the functionality first we find the inline controls will play, pause, skip and track forward and back through songs on everything from the iPod shuffle (including the pesky third generation) to iPod classic, iPod nano (4G), iPod touch and iPhones. The iPod touch 2G and iPhones also benefit from the controls which answer and end calls (in the case of the touch 2G over WiFi with VoIP apps) and the mic for speaking.
Inside you'll find a customized 5.8 mm moving coil driver in each ear piece which Klipsch claims will bring "strikingly realistic sound" while "exclusive oval ear tips" should provide comfort (though every person's ears are different) and "extensive real world testing" suggests they should be durable too.
At just £59.99 the Klipsch Image S2m In-Ear Headset won't break the bank when they launch this month. So as long as you stick to Apple there'll be some future proofing in there as you move up the product range. A mic-less 'S2' will also be released at the same time for just £39.99.