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Klipsch Unveils Budget Earphones With Apple Inline Controls

Gordon Kelly


Klipsch Unveils Budget Earphones With Apple Inline Controls

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.


Klipsch S2m product page

Klipsch S2 product page

Barry Ward

August 4, 2009, 8:58 pm

I'll stick to my in-ear dual driver Apple headphones. Similar price- had them as a present and am extremely happy with the quality of audio from the dual drivers. Pity they're not black, but still.


August 4, 2009, 9:12 pm

I break to many earphones, I will stick to my Sony MDR-EX71 which I got for 12 quid which I use with my Sony Stereo Bluetooth headset.


August 4, 2009, 9:22 pm

Oh goody. Manufacturers bend over backwards for Apple. While consumers simply bend over.

This will only encourage them to do this sort of thing again in future. :|


August 4, 2009, 10:05 pm

No pleasing some people...


August 4, 2009, 10:31 pm

I wonder how much they would have been without the appletax or to put it another, what cost is klipsch passing onto all its customers to pay for these pointless licenses?

Suspect that anyone clinging on to their apple earbuds for financial reasons may not share your view that £60 headphones are budget, but there you go.


August 4, 2009, 10:39 pm

indeed, people complained when apple seemed to try and block other earphone manufacturers out of the mp3 player market (which, to be honest, apple have a huge market share of).

As a result, Klipsch manufacture an alternative (looking forward to a review) and people complain about that too.....

W T F ?


August 5, 2009, 1:20 am

Huh? I think most of the nerd rage is still focused at Apple. I don't think anybody is surprised that other manufacturers are coming up with compatible devices -- what else are they gonna do? It still makes Apple's behaviour -- like not simply having a sort of in-line-remote in the box -- f'cking annoying! And you can't help but wonder what other retarded idea Apple could do without consequences. (BTW, remember when they recessed the iPhone headphone socket?) And just for the record, I really like a lot of the other things Apple comes up with.

Tony Walker

August 5, 2009, 1:29 am


NO! People are complaining that Klipsch have pandered to Apple and bought the chip from them bumping the price up unnecessarily. A chip is most certainly not required to provide inline mic/volume functionality.

If people stick together then maybe Apple will get the message and get rid of this "tax" like HTC finally have by starting to include a 3.5mm headphone jack on its newer models.


August 5, 2009, 3:47 am

Mik3yB and gingerbreadman85: Apple tried to stop people from using their Shuffle with regular earphones/headphones (something you can and should be able to do with pretty much ANY other music player). Many of us were quite rightly annoyed by this.

Yes, an alternative is now available. And this is good news for people who want to use a Shuffle without ruining their music. BUT for Apple it's win-win... either people use their sh!tty earphones, or they choose an alternative from a licensed manufacturer and Apple still get paid! This will only encourage them to repeat this in future and extend it to other products. Meanwhile other manufacturers, in order to compete (because Apple have such a huge market share), will have to make more Apple-approved earphones and reward Apple with yet more money for giving us another proprietary connection. And the consumer will be the one ultimately paying their license fee.

Honestly, the only thing making me say "WTF" is wondering why on earth I should be happy about it... and FWIW there is a way of pleasing some people: all Apple have to do is stop being greedy.


August 5, 2009, 5:17 pm

@Tony Walker - won't happen Apple is too powerful in the market right now. But going a proprietary route long term isn't a wise idea. Just look at Sony's fall from grace...


August 5, 2009, 7:15 pm

Whoosh! whoosh!

The sound of the point going completely over the heads of 2 contributors up there.


August 6, 2009, 10:44 pm

Oh, this is just the beginning. This same exact tactic of an expesnive proprietry headset will be used to squeeze more margin from the iphones as the compeition heats up and market prices go down.

As the person above said, Apple knows that its core consumers will happily bend over on even the flimsiest rationale. And I am sure we will then get apple fanboys telling us that a phone without proprietary headset is somehow inferior!

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