The Klipsch Image S5i Rugged is a sports earphone that lives up to its name. It has an entirely waterproof design, and the remote (for taking calls and controlling Apple products) is easy to operate even with ski gloves on. Sound quality doesn't quite match the Klipsch Image S4 (*Est. $70) or iPhone/iPod-compatible Klipsch ImageS4i (*Est. $100) , but reviewers say it comes close with good detail and general balance across the ranges. That said, reviewers report that some might find the bass and/or high frequencies a little overpowering. Owners warn that the remote is heavy and must be clipped to a shirt, sometimes leaving it dangling awkwardly during strenuous exercise.
The most detailed review by far comes from CNET, though the British audio publication What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision magazine has some useful information. MaximumTech.com reviews the Klipsch Image S5i Rugged with two other midrange earphones, but feedback is rather terse. Owners give useful feedback at Amazon.com, particularly on how these earphones stand up to vigorous exercise.
At CNET, Jasmine France gives the Klipsch Image S5i Rugged a healthy rating for detail and clarity that comes close, though doesn't quite reach, the Klipsch Image S4i. She's disappointed that there are no included ear loops, given the heaviness of the microphone/remote.
Review: Klipsch Image S5i Rugged, Jasmine France, Feb. 23, 2011
2. What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision
This British magazine for audiophiles covers a healthy number of earphones, including the Klipsch Image S5i Rugged. They think that while the bass and highs are on the aggressive side, both are well controlled, and the earphones are comfortable.
Review: Klipsch S5i, Editors of What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision magazine
David Murphy evaluates three midpriced earphones, including the Klipsch Image S5i Rugged. Although the S5i gets the highest marks, he's unhappy with lack of bass, something not echoed by other reviewers. He likes the rugged case.
Review: Reviewed: Earbuds for the Everyman, David Murphy, May 20, 2011
More than 30 owners of the Klipsch Image S5i Rugged earphones report on their experiences. Most enjoy the sound quality and durability. Some warn, however, that in spite of the included clip, the heavy remote can dangle intrusively if you run or are otherwise very active while using the earphones.
Review: Klipsch Image S5i Rugged In-Ear Earphone with Mic, 3-Button Apple Control and Safety Case (Black/Gray), Contributors to Amazon.com