Klipsch debuted a nice selection of new gear from its new Reference line this year for CES, including a new pair of headphones called simply the Reference on-ear monitors. And while these stylish cans may not be the fanciest pair of headphones Klipsch has ever produced, they just might be the most comfortable.
The Reference are cloaked in soft leather (or possibly leatherette?) that feels smooth and rich to the touch. But the real seller here is the ridiculous amount of padding that seems to go on for days.
Thick, soft padding along the band sits on your head like a cloud of cotton, while the earpads are soft as fresh down, encompassing the ear in pillowy fluff. The soft fit is accentuated by the extremely light frame, and the cans also fold in for better portability — though we do wish the cable was removable, getting in the way a bit on the fold.
First impressions of the sound performance reveal a warm and ruddy midrange, some decent clarity up top, and ample bass, though perhaps a bit too heavy for our tastes. That said, listening in the chaotic halls of the Las Vegas Convention Center isn’t the best way to get a feel for the sound, and our need to crank the volume up may have ramped up the bass more than usual.
The headphones are finished with sparkling silver accents, and also feature an inline remote and mic piece. The Klipsch logo on the earcup appears to be facade, rather than real metal finish, which serves to lighten the load, but also may be prone to wear and tear down the road. Still, these cans look good and feel even better.
Klipsch’s new Reference On-ear headphones are priced at an affordable $200, and are available now.