Klipsch Mode M40
With their distinctive brown and faux polished copper finish, the Klipsch Mode M40s certainly stand out.
They come with a straight 3.5mm audio cable, another cable with iPod/iPhone volume and Play/Pause buttons, an airline adaptor and a 7.5mm audio jack adaptor. The iPod/iPhone cable includes a microphone so the M40s can be used to take calls as well. All of this can be easily carried in a solid case that will easily fit into a traveller’s backpack.
Powered by a single AAA battery, Klipsch claims that they will operate for about 45 hours. As well as looking great, they can be folded to make them a little more portable.
The M40s were a little tight to wear for extended periods. That might have to do with the size and shape of our skull but highlights why its important to try different sets of headphones before buying – particularly in the premium category we’re looking at, given the prices.
Our first test with the M40s was to use the noise cancellation without any music or other audio to see how they handled ambient aircraft noise. Although they did make a noticeable difference to the amount of noise reaching our ears, it was not as great a difference as the other headphones we tested. However, it was still enough to significantly improve audio quality.
Sound quality was very good although the bass was a little strong for our tastes. As a result some sounds, such as cymbals in rock music and high-pitched instruments in classical music seemed to get lost.
However, many people like a stronger bass response when listening to their music so this may come down to a point of personal taste.
These Klipsches are a solid entrant in this category. However, we found them a little too tight-fitting and sound quality was marred, in our view, by too much bass.