Some headphones are a delight to review but require relatively little in the way of preamble. Klipsch’s Gen II Reference On-ears are an excellent portable headphone for road and office use, being usefully light, folding for storage, and comfortable with their low-pressure soft and deep on-ear pads, so there’s none of the hard-driver-against-the-ears feel of some less padded supra-aurals.
The depth of cushioning affects their performance not at all; there’s loads of level from portable devices, and we loved their close-up sound, characteristic of on-ear designs, with plenty of bass going down low, then a remarkably flat rise up to the midrange.
The treble isn’t exactly airy and open, and a slight lack of presence can leave vocals a tad recessed, and complex classical works a little short on positional cues, slightly muddling Karajan’s 1981 recording of Holst’s Jupiter, for example. But there’s nothing lacking, and much to recommend these at the price; they became our commute headphone of choice for more than a month.
Klipsch also has a Bluetooth version at around $70 more, and in such situations we often find the cheaper non-BT version to be voiced overly shrieky, in preparation for softening via wireless. Not here — the Reference On-ears sound full and weighty, and are particularly well-balanced to work against the background noise of commuting. Recommended.
Klipsch Reference On-ear II
Type: closed, dynamic, cabled, on-ear
Impedance: 32 ohms
Sensitivity: 110dB (1kHz, 1mW)
Product page: www.klipsch.com.au