The Custom-3s also employ braided cables, which makes it very light, flexible and almost tangle free. The cable also transmits very little in the way of noise, even if it happens to be slapping around as you walk or run. The plug at the end is right angled like on the Images, but it’s not a smooth curve this time and doesn’t look quite as stylish. The plug is iPhone compatible though, so you won’t need to take a knife to it in order to squeeze it into Apple’s annoyingly narrow headphone socket.
As with the Images, you get a decent bundle with the Custom-3s. There’s a large carry case that’s big enough to hold your MP3 player, as well as the earphones. You also get an aeroplane adapter, a 1/4in headphone adapter and five different sets of silicone tips. You also get a voucher to send off for two more sets of ear tips free – yes this voucher is valid in the UK as well as the US. Finally, you get a square carry case for the earphones alone, complete with a magnetic flap to stop your Custom-3s falling out.
Looking around the web, the Custom-3s can be had for as little as £149, which is impressive considering that it’s taken over a year for the Shure SE420s to drop to that level. So it’s fair to say that Klipsch is being very aggressive with its pricing, which can only be seen as a good thing for the consumer.
Of course what you really want to know is whether I’d recommend the Custom-3s over the well established Shure SE420s, but that’s a very tough call to make. Every time I listen to the SE420s I remember why I thought so highly of them when I reviewed them a year ago, but Klipsch has definitely produced a superb set of dual driver earphones at a very attractive price. Unfortunately I think I’m going to have to sit on the fence with this one, because both the Shures and the Custom-3s sound superb, but in slightly different ways. They both do a sterling job of creating a truly cohesive sound, despite sporting separate high and low frequency drivers, and the engineers that developed the crossover systems at both camps deserve a pat on the back.