Klip­sch Ref­er­ence On-Ear

HWM (Malaysia) - - CONTENTS -

The Klip­sch Ref­er­ence goes for a classy look, with a sim­ple alu­minum frame that’s backed by plas­tic. The head­band comes wrapped in leatherette, with the bulk of it soft and buoy­ant on the in­ner side. The head­phones feel com­fort­able on the head, and it’s not too heavy de­spite how chunky it looks. The leatherette earcups are held in place by the same alu­minum frame, and they too are equally com­fort­able – but a lit­tle less so if you’re wear­ing glasses, given the cup’s grill that’s flushed against the foam. All in all, it looks like a pair of head­phones that seems phys­i­cally well-de­signed.

Fea­ture-wise, the Klip­sch Ref­er­ence is a lit­tle lack­ing com­pared to its peers. It comes with an in-line mi­cro­phone flanked by vol­ume con­trol but­tons, and it has cups that are fold­able and tilt-able for compact stor­ing, and for bet­ter fit re­spec­tively. Be­yond that, it doesn’t come with many other fea­tures – the 3.5mm is flat, which is handy, but it’s non-de­tach­able, held by a thin joint that con­nects into the left earcup. The Klip­sch it­self comes in a dou­ble lay­ered soft pouch, which is a nice add-on for bet­ter porta­bil­ity. Oth­er­wise, the head­set is as plain as it comes, de­spite its mod­ern aes­thet­ics.

The Klip­sch Ref­er­ence On-Ear stays true to its sound sig­na­ture – a warm tone with very good dis­tinc­tion be­tween high, mid and low fre­quen­cies. It has an av­er­age depth, which doesn’t work well for ex­ces­sively pro­cessed tracks, but it shines in live mu­sic, or clas­si­cal pieces. Our test re­vealed as much too. ‘Ho­tel Cal­i­for­nia’ by The Ea­gles sounded the best on this pair, com­pared to any other pairs within the shootout. It de­liv­ered good depth, and the warm sig­na­ture made the live track sound pleas­ant. It was able to clearly dis­tin­guish the 12-string acous­tic gui­tar from the elec­tric gui­tar even when played in tan­dem. ‘Sail On Sooth­sayer’ by Buck­et­head also fared very well with the Klip­sch, with a killer re­verb play­back, and clar­ity for elec­tric gui­tars while keep­ing the per­cus­sion well in the back.

De­spite its great per­for­mance, th­ese head­phones are not the most ver­sa­tile. The nat­u­ral warm sig­na­ture of the Klip­sch makes ‘Melt My Heart to Stone’ sound even warmer, even if it could catch the nu­ance in her vo­cals. The Tiesto track had strong and hard­hit­ting bass, but lit­tle depth, and it was also too warm for such songs, too.

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