Klipsch Reference review: Fantastic over-ear Bluetooth headphones

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Klipsch Reference

The extra padding on the headband and ear cups is very appreciated and make long listening streaks more bearable.

Another day and yet another headphone review. It is honestly getting difficult to pick a favorite headphone these days due to the overwhelming amount of great headphones on the market. This time around we are taking a look at the Klipsch Reference over-ear Bluetooth headphones. The Klipsch Reference are in direct competition with several of the headphones we’ve reviewed on the site lately and these things are in the center of the battle. I can certainly sympathize with the consumer seeking to buy new headphones, the sheer number of great choices is overwhelming. Hopefully, our Klipsch Reference review will help shed some light on these fantastic over-ear Bluetooth headphones that join an already great line of winners of our 2017 Techaeris Top Pick Award.

Specifications

The Klipsch Reference over-ear Bluetooth headphones have the following features and specifications:

  • Up to 20 hours of battery life
  • iOS battery indicator
  • Integrated mic with cVc®
  • aptX and AAC high-definition Bluetooth 4.0 streaming
  • Removable Ear Cushions
  • Removable Flat Tangle-Resistant Passthrough Cable
  • Foldable Design
  • Hard Shell Zip Carrying Case
  • Driver diameter: 40mm patented Klipsch KBD design
  • Driver components: Full range KG-L40
  • Frequency response: 15Hz-20Hz
  • Sensitivity (1mW): 110db
  • Power handling: 100mW
  • Impedance (1kHz): 32ohms
  • Battery: 400mAh
  • Weight: 272g

What’s In The Box

  • Klipsch Reference
  • Hardshell case
  • MicroUSB charging cable
  • AUX cable for wired listening
Klipsch Reference

Folded up. We do wish they would fold flat to lay on tables.

Design

The last couple of wireless headphones I reviewed had nice designs but were far from perfect in the aesthetics category. The Klipsch Reference sits a notch above the previously reviewed headphones in this regard. It is important to note that aesthetic design is mostly a subjective thing. What I think looks great may not be the same for everyone and that is perfectly okay. I like the looks of these headphones, they have a slender and svelte look about them that appeals to me. I can’t speak for the white version, I was sent the black version and they are very stylish and inviting.

The Reference headphones are mostly made of high-quality plastics, foams, leather and some metals. Everything looks and feels very premium, there is no sign of cheap or generic looks with these headphones. The headband is very robust and thick, the padding is exceptional and comfortable which is great for long stints of wearing. The headband adjustment is also built really well, something I don’t point out often but I felt Klipsch did an excellent job of making theirs very strong.

Klipsch Reference

Ear cups are very cushy

The headphones are foldable and fit nicely into the provided hardshell case, which itself is one of the nicest cases I’ve seen from any headphone maker. I do wish the ear cups would pivot inward so you can lay the headphones flat on a table. The ear pads are very thick and cushy, these have much more padding than other headphones in this same space and it is welcome.

Klipsch branding is on both sides of the headphones and is classy and well done. I do wish it was smaller as I am not a fan of too much branding, but I think Klipsch found an acceptable compromise. All of the action happens on the right ear cup, there are no controls or buttons on the left. You’ll find your power button, microphone, AUX input, microUSB charging port, and playback controls all on the right ear cup.

Overall the design is super appealing to my eyes and everything is made with great quality and care. The comfort level is very noticeable here, the extra cushion in the headband and ear cups was appreciated and while these are ever so slightly heavier than other headphones I’ve used, it’s not noticeable.

Ease of Use

Plug-and-play pairing that’s easy on both Android and iOS. If you’ve used Bluetooth in any capacity in the past you will not have any issues here.

Klipsch Reference

Everything included

Sound

Balance. That’s the word I would use to describe the sound from the Klipsch Reference. I’ve said many other headphones are balanced but I usually follow up that they have a slight favoring to the low-end. The Reference headphones are pretty solidly right in the middle, if there is any movement to the low-end it’s ever so slight and mostly undetectable. Everything is clean and well-balanced here, the mids, highs, and lows all play together as one cohesive unit. This may not be the sound for everyone, especially bass lovers who aren’t using a separate EQ to hone into their preferred low-end sound.

The Klipsch Reference will work with just about every genre of music and that’s the beauty of having a balanced sound. These sounded great at full volume (though I wouldn’t recommend full volume cause it could cause hearing damage) and had no signs of cracking or distortion. Like I said in the opening of this review, finding headphones these days is much harder because of the amount of really great sounding devices on the market. Klipsch is just another awesome choice for sound quality when it comes to headphones and these Klipsch Reference headphones are no exception.

Reception/Call Quality

The standard Bluetooth range of 33 feet is accurate, you can get further if you’re in direct line-of-sight of your device but overall reception meets standards. Call quality is good here, not as great as some of the noise cancelling brands I’ve used but still very good. I could hear callers well and callers could hear me and didn’t complain of any echoing.

Battery Life

Battery life on headphones is improving year-over-year and it depends on how much you use them, distance from source and volume levels. Klipsch advertises 20-hours of battery life and I was able to pull 22-hours of battery at 50% volume. I’ve tested a few others that have a bit better battery than that but this is still exceptional for a pair of Bluetooth headphones.

Price/Value

Klipsch is asking $249USD for these and frankly, that price is smack dab in the middle of their competition. I think the price point is perfect and fair for what you get here.

Wrap Up

Add the Klipsch Reference to the ever growing lineup of quality Bluetooth headphones making choices that much more broad. The good news is Klipsch does have some advantages others don’t, these may or may not matter to you. Nicer design, better padding, and comfort, and a very competitive price point.

*We were sent a sample of the Klipsch Reference over-ear Bluetooth headphones for the purposes of this review.

Klipsch Reference Bluetooth

$249 USD
Klipsch Reference Bluetooth
9.4

Design

9/10

    Ease of Use

    10/10

      Sound

      9/10

        Reception/Call Quality

        10/10

          Battery Life

          10/10

            Price/Value

            10/10

              Nailed it

              • Really nice design and high quality premium build
              • Sound is fantastic and very comparable to the competition
              • Nice headband and ear padding
              • Battery life is amazing and in line with similar headphones of this quality
              • Easy to pair and easy to use
              • Pricing is very competitive lots of value here

              Needs work

              • Slightly heavier than some other headphones
              • Wish they would fold inwards to lay flat on desk or table
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