Klipsch’s latest offering to the headphone game, the Status, is a step into a new direction for the storied audio company. A gorgeous blend of glitz and grit, the $250 Status offer a near indestructible Grilamid TR shell fashioned into an elegant, collapsible frame, and capped with tight-seal memory foam ear cups. We took a quick look at the Status when they were first unveiled by Klipsch last month, and now we’re back for a hands-on exploration to see how much of that famous Klipsch sound was bundled into these sleek, travel-friendly cans.
Hands on video
Out of the box
Getting to know the Status up close is something of a microcosm of Klipsch’s undeterred attention to detail. The ‘phones come in a compact, two-piece box with a glossy, criss-crossed design across the exterior. Opening the box revealed a collection of accessories sunken in foam, with a black half moon case at the center. We unzipped the case to find the Status folded up in a familiar travel design, with what looked like a plain white layer of plastic armor across the exterior. As we unfolded the headphones and raised them into the light, however, a glittering layer beneath the Grilamid sparkled in a rainbow of colors like fresh snow in the morning sun.
…the design does a nice job of pushing the gaudy boundary without quite crossing it.
Perusing the rest of the design revealed an inner layer of solid plastic, smooth leather pads on the ear cups, and a rubberized skin along the underside of the headband. The arms that hold the ear cups are kicked back at a slight angle, each of them rattling on a 360-degree adjustable axis.
Accessories inside the box included two tangle-resistant cables covered in soft nylon – one of which offered an iOS control microphone – along with gold plated ¼-inch and airline adapters, a small black case, and some marketing material and instructions.
Features and design
With a name like Status, you know you’re not getting a boring pair of studio headphones, but the design does a nice job of pushing the gaudy boundary without quite crossing it. While the silver accents, glossy armor, and new-age shape are a little flamboyant for our taste, the subdued sparkle only shows its face in the brightest light, and the black version are much more conservative than our eggshell-white test model.
The ‘phones are a little big, and at over 300 grams, fairly heavy as well. But the memory foam padding on the band is just enough to lighten the load up top, and the rotating pads adjust well to almost any head size. Collapsing the ear cups reveals thick cut slabs of metal extending from the collapsing hinges, upon which the ear cups slide easily to adjust for size. The leather-cloaked ear pads are shaped into slim rings of memory foam as well, and encircle 40mm dynamic drivers that claim an impressive frequency range of 16Hz-23kHz.
On the left ear cup is an input to connect one of the two provided removable cables. Both cloth cables are woven with strands of silver, and terminate with solid metal capsules bearing gold plated jacks. The iOS cable bears a slim plastic mic-piece with three beaded silver keys in the standard arrangement. We have to say, of all the cables we’ve gotten our hands on, we like the cloth style that the Status utilizes best. The material feels comfortable in your hands, the cable is easy to manipulate, and holds true to its tangle-free claim.
The Status’ supple leather pads feel extremely comfy against the ears, and the ergonomic ear cup axes allow for an extremely tight seal. In fact the seal was a bit too tight for our taste, and the force with which the cups clamped down took some getting used to. However, that tight seal paid off in sonic benefits that made it worth a bit of discomfort.
While the Status may offer a touch less detail than some over-ears we’ve test driven, these hard shell beauties delivered some serious sonic goodness. The cans poured out a sound signature that was clear, balanced, and expertly spread out. The tight seal of the ear cups provided a rich dimension of space in which the music could expand, served up with powerful bass, and a smooth and defined midrange.
Klipsch’s website loudly spells out the words “NO DISTORTION” in aggressive capital letters, and our ears agreed wholeheartedly.
It took a little while for the Status to open up, sounding a shade bland before they were broken in. But once they were, they began to reveal a keen touch to electronic tracks, and a warm blush to acoustic and instrumental tunes. Vocals were extremely clear, coming from dead center, and while we wished for a little more precision there, we were surprised at how well the ‘phones revealed diction, allowing us to make-out even Thom Yorke’s muddled ramblings in songs like “A Punchup at a Wedding” from Hail to the Thief.
Some of our favorite moments came when we turned to some older Muse albums, in which the huge dynamic assault of songs like “Resistance”, and “SuperMassive Black Hole” were handled with an excellent blend of gravitas and delicacy. The hype on Klipsch’s website loudly spells out the words “NO DISTORTION” in aggressive capital letters, and our ears agreed wholeheartedly. Even at the most raucous moments, the Status held all sounds in check, while displaying excellent dynamic balance. Aside from that, the instruments just sounded good, with thick hits from the low percussion, well carved fuzz tones from guitars and bass, and clear ringing piano lines fluttering along the top.
Our only quibbles with the ‘phones were subtle, such as a bit less resonance in a tom drum here, or a quick fade in vocal reverb there. We felt like our recent stint with the KEF M500 offered a bit more color and definition in some of those moments, such as the extremely detailed drum hits in the left channel of Dave Matthews’ “Pay For What You Get.” Mostly, though, the Status impressed, providing great sound that’s also extremely easy to take along with you.
Klipsch’s Status offer superb style, roughneck durability, and a smooth, well-balanced sound signature that we’d be happy to take with us on our next journey abroad, or just down the street. The tight fit takes some getting used to, but for those eyeing a durable headset that looks and sounds great, the Status are a clear contender.
- Rich, well-balanced sound
- Powerful low end
- Accurate center image
- Cool, ergonomic styling
- Tough as nails exterior
- A little tight on the ears
- Could offer more instrumental definition and resonance