We’ve seen a great diversification with Klipsch’s R6 line, from lowly in-ears sans mic, to the newest iteration – the Neckband Bluetooth. Clearly marketed as a reference earphone, but offering a full bass and relying on the Bluetooth 4.0 protocol, is it worth the $179 price tag?
Klipsch R6 Neckband Bluetooth
Slight in overall build, the R6 Neckband does feature a rather thick pleather-padded band for added comfort. Once situated around my neck, I’m liable to forget it’s there at all – a sensation assisted by the angled design of the earbuds, replete with oval ear tips. The arms of the neckband utilize a sculpted metal-wire frame, helping to minimize weight and discomfort.
Pairing is quick and simple, while the sound quality seems to hold up exceedingly well. The battery is rechargeable, with and 18-hour life for continuous playback.
The headphones are packaged with some literature and a charging cable in a swanky box, but don’t come with any other accessories.
Frequency Range: 16-19,000 Hz
Sound Pressure Level (SPL): 110 dB
Total Harmonic Distortion (THD): NA
Bluetooth Version: 4.0
As you can see from these specs, the frequency range skews a little towards the low end, while the high end seems a little skimpy on detail. Even though Klipsch doesn’t offer an impedance for this model, it’s safe to say it probably lands right at 32 ohms. Volume is decent, as is distortion – I’d guess it’s right around <0.2%. This headphone uses Bluetooth 4.0 technology to maintain its connection.
Detailed and sporting great control, the low end on the R6 Neckband is impressively clean. There’s next to no bleed, despite the strong and powerful bass. In this heady low-end, you get all the oomph and none of the issues we’ve seen with other bassy Bluetooth buds.
The midrange on these headphones is marred by a whisper of compression in the upper mids. Otherwise, the sound would be damn near perfect, with amazing fidelity where vocals or instrumentation are concerned.
Bright but neither piercing nor uncomfortable, the high end of the R6 Neckband is decent. While it might miss out on some finer details, those who prefer a more relaxed high end will love this sound and then some. Female vocals come through buttery smooth, and instrumentation is decent, though strings may suffer a bit.
With poor depth and poorer placement, the soundstage on the R6 Neckband is nothing to boast about. While this is pretty much par-for-the-course with any in-ear headphone, the other great qualities of the R6 Neckband had me hoping for a miracle. While there’s still some definition to the music, those who prefer a world of sound will be less than enthused.
The “full bass” that Klipsch so modestly touts on the box is actually quite good. Every time I see a headphone advertising the quality of its bass, I grow skeptical. But the R6 Neckband is a thumping good example of bass done right. Cue the hip hop or rock and roll and get ready to kiss the sky.
Klipsch has also included a nifty vibration mechanism for phone calls – instead of interrupting your tunes, the ‘phones will vibrate when a call is coming through. This feature can be turned off if you aren’t a fan of things vibrating against your neck. While perhaps a bit overkill, it shows that they’ve really thought of everything with this headphone.
The R6 Neckband Bluetooth does a fine job of isolating noise, but if you’re in the market for noise cancellation, the Audio Technica ANC40BT may be more to your liking. Costing the same $179, it forgoes the bass and some of the low end detail in favor of active noise cancellation.
For those seeking a less bassy sound – and one with perhaps a little more room in the high end – the older R6 BT may be a smarter option. With an around-the-ear design, these earphones cost significantly less – $119 from a brick-and-mortar retail joint. Granted, they do have a reputation for not being as well-built, but the sound may be worth this shortcoming. Classical listeners, especially, may prefer the more well-rounding sound of the R6 BT.
If you aren’t solely a classical music fan, though, you’ll find plenty to love with the R6 Neckband. During my listening session, I didn’t necessarily mind pairing it with some classical tunes. The lack of soundstage can be overlooked if not obsessed over. However, these headphones really excel where bass is present – I found plenty to love when I was cranking jazz or hip hop. Even rock and pop seemed to be complimented well.
A decent little headphone with plenty of comfort, the Klipsch R6 Neckband Bluetooth might lack an impressive high end or a sense of soundstage. However, the impeccable bass and detailed low end, in conjunction with a near-perfect midrange, are sure to win many converts. If you like rock, hip-hop, or jazz, and you need a wireless earphone, you need the R6 Neckband.
You can find these buds for the best price here:
Audio 46 (Use our promo code, “majorhifi” to get 10% off)