Klipsch R6 In-Ear Bluetooth - Full Review

March 14, 2016

Indianapolis-based Klipsch's emphasis has been toward wired earphones but Bluetooth offerings have been relatively scarce apart from units like the Image ONE. Enter the Klipsch R6 In-Ear Bluetooth (SGD 299), an around-the-ears model that marks its entrance to the wireless in-ears category



Pros (+): Solid bass delivery
Cons (-): Around-the-ear adjustment may take a while to get used to

Design
As we were provided a demo unit, we'll skip the unboxing process. We go straight in to check the breakdown of the packaging contents you are supposed to get:
- Klipsch R6 In-Ear Bluetooth
- 4 x Oval Silicon Tips (S / M / L / M double-flange) 
- Charging cable
- Carrying pouch
- User manual

The R6 In-Ear Bluetooth weighs a decent (read not the lightest nor the heaviest) 23.5g, promising a pair of earbuds that don't weigh you down uncomfortably. To put things in perspective, it's heavier than the Jaybird X2 Wireless (13g) and comparable with the Beats Powerbeats2 Wireless (24g). The material that makes the most contact with your ear is elastomer, a soft rubber-like material that is kinda soothing to the touch.

How do you wear 'em? You can either park the curved module behind your ear and slot the earbuds in or vice versa. Your choice.

The cloth pouch is quite rudimentary but does its job. Simply put the earphones in, tighten the string and that's it.

Features
The unit runs on Bluetooth 4.0, a standard that promises better power consumption. The R6 BT supports the aptX codec over A2DP that aims to deliver 'CD-quality' music.

Pair the earbuds to your music device is a cinch. Simply:
1. Hold the power button (located on the right ear hook) for 2 seconds.
2. The LED above will pulsate blue.
3. Select 'Klipsch R6 BT' from your device.
4. The LED blinks blue 3 times every few seconds to indicate pairing is good.

The in-line remote lies on the right side. Like most controls, there's a multi-function button flanked by two volume. A nicer touch is the holding of the volume buttons to skip tracks 'cos other manufacturers implement this with a double or triple press of the centre button. The other side of the remote is where the cVc microphone lies. Its purpose is to enhance voice clarity and reduce environmental sound. A few calls at a bus stop were taken and there were no complaints on the other end that I couldn't be heard.

Note the product name is not appended with a letter like Klipsch's prior units (eg. R6m / R6i) for the simple reason of being device independent. Yes, the R6 In-Ear Bluetooth's controls are usable on iOS, Android, etc. 


The cable loop is appended with a removable and adjustable wire-cinch that tightens or loosens accordingly to reduce the microphonics. 

Performance
We received 3 single-flange ear tips. One M-sized double-flange is supposed to be included but this wasn't in and so, was not tried. The L-size fit the best and was a constant for our tests.

Attempting to hook the buds on my ears was a surprising challenge. While the left hook managed to take hold sufficiently well, the right hook fell out every now and then. It took quite a few tries to achieve an optimal fit that allowed me to wear them properly. Initially, I thought it was the glasses but I tried the Klipsch both with and without to similar results. To try something different, I wore them again but placed the cord at my front. Interestingly, the fit around the ears was much better even when jumping around. Do test them out yourself 'cos this is after all my personal experience. 

Powered by dual-magnet moving coil drivers, the build up of John Murphy's incredibly tense The Tunnel gives a good hint of how thumpingly strong the bass delivery is. The contrast is while the clashing cymbals are audible, they come out somewhat toned down while the overall sound somehow attains a good balance with a clear inclination to the low frequencies. Vitalic's electronic club anthem La Rock 01 is a great track that reinforces this notion and lets you experience the beats in its full power.

When the battery is low, you'll hear 3 very subtle pings that repeatedly remind you every few minutes to initiate charging. Once you plug in the charging cable, the LED shines red. With less than an hour's charge of the 85mAh battery, you'll get 8 hours of power. This is comparable with the Jaybird X2 Wireless (8h) and Beats Powerbeats2 Wireless (6h).

Overall
Klipsch has a knack for producing great sounding earpieces and the R6 In-Ear Bluetooth is one of them that'll snag the bass heads. We had that niggling feeling that this is somewhat of an experimental product where Klipsch is attempting to understand how receptive people are to hook-type models while building their Bluetooth expertise to build kick-ass models to pair with the future iPhone 7. If we gauge on the basis that it's their first wireless in-ears, the lack of connection issues on Bluetooth make this product pretty decent and show that Klipsch are very much on the right path.

Where To Buy
If you like what you have read on the product, do feel free to support me by buying from Amazon via this affiliate link. Prices start from USD 77.

Audio Sources
The Tunnel - John Murphy (28 Days Later OST) (192 Kbps MP3) on Samsung Galaxy S4
La Rock 01 - Vitalic (Tidal 320 Kbps AAC) on iPad Air

Credit to Tat Chuan Acoustic for an evaluation unit.

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