In which I think long and hard about what number I am.
As far as audiophiles go I’m probably about a 6 or 7 out of 10. Demanding, picky about my audio experience, relatively brand loyal (I have used Klipsch for many years) and really look down on ‘Beats by Dre’ ‘phones by default. Okay maybe I’m 8 out of 10. But when it comes down to it I don’t really go to geek levels with it.
It was with horror that my Klipsch S4II earphones that I bought recently from Amazon (to replace my older S4I that had died) weren’t up to scratch with cables that rattled like a ghost on acid. Very disappointing. So disappointing I even sent off an email to Klipsch to complain. I returned these quickly to Amazon (amazing customer service, too) and decided to go wireless. I am the type who constantly gets his cables caught in his bag…pants…shirtsleeve…stairs…random people…so I looked into wireless headphones. I recently went wireless with my earphones at the gym, so decided to go the whole hog.
The Klipsch Image One Bluetooth’s were out of my price range (hmmm…maybe I’m a 7) and most vendors don’t ship to Oz. So after some quick research for alternatives…for the past couple of weeks I’ve been using the Creative WP350 bluetooth headphones. I chose them over their bigger brother the WP450s, largely because they fold flatter, and got some pretty good reviews.
First up – buying direct from Creative was awesome. On sale and arrived within a week, including a public holiday in there. Nice.
And they are good. I dare say even worth full price. I set up my iPhone with a range of music – the soundtrack from Amadeus (a good range of Opera to lighter classical), Beethoven for deep orchestral, Nicky Minaj and Dr Dre (for bass), The Beatles (for great guitar), Rammstein (for a range of mid to heavy) and Birdy for more fragile tones. All of these are ripped from CD at 192kbps and above – not amazing, but pretty good balance of file size and quality.
YES! pretty easy bluetooth setup. Press buttons and good to go. I’ve had a few times that I need to switch bluetooth off and on to get them to connect, but probably fewer than my other bluetooth devices.
They’re also very comfortable, with a minimum of hair flattening and small enough to not be too sweaty but still cover enough of my ear without cramping the spectacle legs.
MAYBE: Sound is tinny out of the box. This shouldn’t be too surprising though considering price point and design. They aren’t big headphones and lack depth in the mid range. What worked was using some equalizer settings to get the best. The best balance was Acoustic on the iPhone. This gave a good boost to the mid without losing the rest. I still find the sound a touch tinny at the top for voices but now I can shift between my various tracks with little fuss.
Nicky Minaj and Dr Dre sound a touch echoey in the voice, but you get a good depth to the beats. The bass is good – not overpowering, but nicely present.
Rammstein is great – the mid tone guitars and keyboard sound fantastic, and although Till’s voice isn’t as deep and intense as I’d like, it’s pretty good.
The nuances of Mozart and orchestrations of Beethoven do well – and get a nice accentuation through the range. Likewise the Beatles get a nice range of support with the equaliser – without the equaliser the lighter guitar work fell flat.
NO! Not much bad to say about the headphones. I think some more hardcore audiophiles would mark down the out of the box quality more than me. That was easy.
Final ranking. I think I’m a 7 out of 10. Oh, the headphones? Whatever – the blog post isn’t a long read -go and read that instead of summarising in a score!
Well done, Creative. I quite like these headphones. I would buy them at full price.
I also bought the WP250s at the time for new wireless earphones at the gym. I’ll post about that soon though.