Monday, August 27, 2018

Klipsch Reference X12 Neckband Headphone Review

Neckband style headphones have gotten more and more popular, ever since I saw the first ones from Samsung. They were cheap, and provided great functionality, with them just hanging around your neck. For sound quality, audiophiles were left waiting for more. Klipsch has answered the call, and have their own series of neckband style IEM’s. So whatever your budget, Klipsch has you covered. And Klipsch has provided their top of the neckband line X12.

Features and specs:
  • Award-winning sound
  • KG-926 balanced armature driver
  • 18 hour battery life
  • aptX and AAC high-definition Bluetooth® streaming
  • Integrated mic with cVc®
  • Call vibration alert 
  • Genuine leather-stitched neckband
  • Electroplated steel exoskeleton
  • IPX4 slash-proof design
  • Premium carrying case
  • Pair of Comply™ Comfort Ts-100 Tips
  • STYLE:  In-Ear Monitor
  • DRIVER DESIGN: Full Range Balanced Armature
  • DRIVER COMPONENTS: KG-926 Balanced Armature
  • MIC/REMOTE: cVc® 6.0 Integrated Microphone & Controls
  • COLORS: Black, Brown
  • BATTERY: 220 mAh, 18 hr.
  • BLUETOOTH® SPECIFICATIONS: Version: Bluetooth 4.0 Profiles: Multipoint A2DP, AVRCP, Multipoint HFP A2DP Codecs: SBC, AAC®, aptX® Range: Up to 10m (33ft.) Input Rating: 5V DC, 0.5A Battery Status: iOS Battery Status Monitor

The Klipsch Reference X12 Neckband IEM came in a really nice looking box. There is a color photo and specs. The front has a clear plastic cover, so you can actually see the product. Opening the box revealed a well protected product, sitting in custom cut foam, which looks like the foam sound treatment that you would find on the walls of a sound room. Nice touch! Materials used were leather, metal, and some plastic. Quality of materials used were excellent. And the same can be said for fit and finish. Also included was owners manual, additional tips, charging cable, and semi-hard zipper case. 
I really love the design of the Klipsch Reference X12 neckband, at least mostly. For those that love the neckband design, Klipsch takes it to the next level. The neckband is real leather, with vibration alerts. The controls are a solid quality, and the same can be said for the cables. The actual IEM is also reference quality, using a balanced armature driver. The downside: the cables do not retract into the neckband when the headphones are not in use. Instead, they just dangle on your chest. To me, it sounds like a patent issue. For me, it’s just a small price to pay for much better quality, look, and sound. Now let’s see how they sound!

Eric Bibb: Why are People Like That-Vocals were really smooth with nice texture and timbre. Piano sounded natural. Bass had really nice low end extension and authority. Percussion was really crisp and clean. Harmonica was really dynamic with good harmonics.  Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue-Clarinet was very smooth with very good resolution to hear the woodiness of the reed and tonguing technique. Piano sounded very natual. Bassoon had nice extention into the midbass with good texture. Brass was very dynamic and not too brassy. Flute had good air. Imaging was quite good and they threw a big soundstage.  Earth, Wind and Fire: Let’s Groove-Vocals were smooth with very good texture and resolution. Percussion was very crisp and clean and very dynamic. Bass had very good low end extension, with tight impact and authority. Claps were also very crisp and dynamic. Soundstage had good depth and was very wide as well.  Katy Perry: Dark Horse-Vocals were very natural sounding with very good resolution of the timbre and texture. Bass had very good low end extension, hit hard with very good output. Claps were crisp and very dynamic.

The Klipsch Reference X12 Neckband has an overall neutral sound with sound equal to their styling.  They both looked and sounded excellent.  If you like the neckband design, you will enjoy both the great styling and performance.  Based on their design, features, quality, and performance, they have earned our Highly Recommended Award.  For more info and complete specs, check out their website at