Klipsch, B&W, Monster: 3 in-ear headphones in comparison, cut out for digital…


With the increasing distribution of albums encoded in Lossless formats (FLAC and WAV in the lead), owners of personal music players/smartphones rightly want to exploit the full potential of their digital files. Here is a comparison of 3 of the most popular in-ear headphones of the moment.

B&W acquired its letters of nobility a long time ago, and no one can dispute the contribution of this manufacturer to the world of high fidelity. Today, and on the back of the success of its first P5 headphones – which incidentally won the 2011-2012 Eisa prize – the English firm is making headlines again! The B&W C5 in-ear headphones were therefore eagerly awaited by the brand’s fans, and more broadly, by the Hi-Fi community. From there, these little in-ear headphones had to be successful. And we can affirm it: they are!
First, the comfort of use is excellent: the exclusive fastening system provides effective support around the ears, and we are even surprised that no one has thought of it before. The cable conforms to the shape of the ear, and the tips adapt naturally to the ear canal, without any unpleasant sensation. But these headphones are not only comfortable, they are also very musical! Without hunting on the lands of the audiophile world, these headphones are particularly suitable for dematerialized music. It restores an appreciable consistency to compressed pieces, while knowing how to restore all the complexity of Lossless music.
The first sensation felt is “the humanization of sound”: by this, understand that the sound is very natural. The treble is airy and open, but does not take over the other frequency registers. This is called a perfect balance! The bass goes down well, and the bass lines envelop the orchestra without masking the nuances of the medium. The instruments are naturally transcribed, with all the subtlety of their original texture. In fact, what we feel is an undeniable listening pleasure…

The same is not true for the Klipsch Image X10i in-ear headphones, which stand out as a little more marked in the bass and lower midrange. Regulars of the American brand may be surprised, but others will greatly appreciate this orientation! Before talking about sound, let’s talk about comfort. On this point, the Klipsch are doing very well. Ultra light and compact, they know how to be forgotten in favor of the music they broadcast.
No specific fixing system is incorporated, but these headphones still fit perfectly in the ear canal. The only downside is that the OFC cable doesn’t seem very solid… Now let’s move on to the sound, which has nothing to do with the small size of these in-ear headphones. Indeed, the Image X10i sounds ample, with an enveloping and abysmal bass, close to that which one feels on a large Hi-Fi system. Yes, the comparison seems far-fetched, but it is the first idea which germinates in our spirit.
Once again, if the bass is punchy, don’t believe that the Klipsch Image X10i is clumsy: it knows how to be ultra thin at the top of the spectrum, with a slight analytical tendency when the recording does not put the serious forward. Some may even find it cold in some cases, but it is in fact faithful to the original signal: a badly encoded piece can totally ruin your listening…

For their part, the Monster Beats Tour Mobile give pride of place to “big sound”. MP3 or not, they deliver a sound round, punchy and dynamic, which will delight lovers of music where the bass/drum pair is predominant. For classical, jazz or opera, you will have to turn to another pair of intra!
Once in hand, the Beats Tour Mobile inspires confidence. The metal shells are of excellent quality, and the Duraflex cable conveys an undeniable impression of solidity. Once connected to a music player, it shows surprising dynamism. The sound slaps, hits, and we tap our feet so much the musicality is there. No analytical character, nor audiophile aspirations: these headphones are content to enhance the music, and they do it very well.
The precision is therefore not as advanced as on the Klipsch and the B&W, but the listening pleasure is indeed present, if not superior in some cases (MP3?). In fact, the Beats Tour Mobile does not hunt in the land of Hi-Fi, it is content to make you vibrate to the rhythm of your favorite songs. So much the better, because that’s what we expect from a nomadic in-ear headset! Yes, we can say it loud and clear, at the risk of shocking the detractors of Monster: it is a great success, which largely deserves its success. It’s up to you to decide now!

B&W C5:

Klipsch Picture X10i:

Monster Beats Tour Mobile:


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