Klipsch is a lesser-known brand name than Bose, Beats, or Sennheiser, but they make products with comparable sound quality. The case in point is the Reference X12i Bluetooth headphones, which are actually two earbuds that dangle from a neckband made of leather. Although the neckband is heaver than that of the recent Bose QuietControl 30, it is far more comfortable — it’s as if you don’t notice anything is on your neck unless you lean far back.
It’s important to note that these headphones, at the price of $399 to $299 (If you can find them at Fry’s now, they are $349 without tax for some reason) will take a bite out of your wallet. But that bite may be worth it if you take your wireless listening needs seriously.
The X12i fit is not only comfortable on your neck, but the buds are comfortable in your ears as well. At first, the included rubber buds may be a little uncomfortable — but that goes away once you get used to them. Besides, Klipsch also includes two foam earbuds, which are like memory foam for your ears. These provide the most comfortable and best listening experience, but they also fall out of their narrow slots easily and you may lose them.
Although wireless headphones and earbuds are becoming the norm now, the fact is that wireless sound quality still isn’t the same as wired sound. However, it has become very close, and the Kipsch Reference X12i headphones are up there with Sennheiser Momentum 2 Wireless set in providing accurate close-to-audiophile balance and sound quality. The X12i concentrates on the mid-level of the sound spectrum. The highs are there, but not overly powerful. The bass kicks in at the lower spectrum, but doesn’t shake your eardrums.
As with all earbuds, to get the best sound, you need to have the best fit in your ears. The second largest rubber buds did the job for me, but the foam buds were, by far, the most comfortable and provided the best sound.
I haven’t had the chance to test these out with making phone calls enough (I will update once I do), but on the two calls I made, listeners could tell I was on a wireless set, but said that they could still hear me. The phone quality appears to be about as good as the revised Bose QuietControl 30s, which are more than adequate.
I’ve never tested a product by Klipsch before, and really never had the desire to. After using the Reference X12i headphones, I can hardly wait to hear what Klipsch comes up with next.