Two things stand out about the Custom-3s sound quality. Firstly, we were blown away with how well these earphones convey vocals. Truly, the warmth and clarity of the human voice through the Custom-3s is impressive, particularly the female voice. Fans of heavily vocal-driven singer/songwriter music stand a good chance of adoring these 'phones, not to mention connoisseurs of jazz.
But secondly, we enjoyed the pleasant, slightly dampened treble -- something seemingly synonomous with Klipsch earphones. The high end somewhat lacks the sparkle that makes cymbals, for example, particularly shine with brightness, but what's there is smooth and full of detail.
Fans of dance music needn't shy away either. Although these earphones don't offer a low-end response as deep and explosive as Denon's AH-C551s -- our favourite 'phones for electronic music -- they still pack a big kick and a deeper rumble than Shure's SE420s, noticably throughout 9,000 Miles from Pendulum's terrific new album In Silico.
Even hardcore punk and death metal sounded okay, though if this
music of choice, there are certainly more suitable earphones, such as
the Shure SE line. Plus, the superbly balanced audio spectrum is made
even more enjoyable by the admirable soundstage created by these
earphones, combined with a very low level of distortion.
The velvety smooth, warm sound quality is beautiful and enjoyable and particularly suited to acoustic, folk, vocal, jazz and soul genres. It's just a shame that these earphones are particularly awkward to fit and uniquely designed enough to make them unsuitable for some ears.
If you want to maintain the Klipsch voice, but see comfort as the most important thing in a pair of sound-isolating earphones, check out the Klipsch Images -- you'll sacrifice some sound quality, but gain as much in fit and convenience of design.
Edited by Shannon Doubleday