Christened simply as the Reference On­-Ear, this Klipsch headphone looks dishearteningly consumer­ish. With a folding, on­-ear design and a non­-removable cable with an in­line mic and remote designed to work with your iCrap, I wonder just how much of reference headphone this headphone can be. Until I give it a listen.

This headphone comes in a bare­bones box with minimal accessories: a soft carrying pouch, and... that's it. Build quality is solid enough, with thick plastic extenders and a large, comfortable headband. The earcups move around a little, but they also fold up into the headband for easy storage and transport. While I'm not necessarily a fan of the on­-ear pad­like design, I don't think it's due to any fault of these 'phones. Instead, I might just be prejudiced towards the design. Or maybe my ears just love the sound so much I've stopped caring about the odd fit I usually get with on-­ear headphones.

As far as sound is concerned, the Klipsch Reference On-­Ear is a beast, especially when one considers the portable, on-­the-­go features included with these oddballs. The sound is an accurate, crisp, and articulate reproduction. Just breaking them out and putting them on my ears, I'm impressed by the level of clarity and detail, especially in the low end. Does it sound as good as a pair of $200 over-­ear reference headphones? Hell no. But it doesn't really have to, either. This isn't your studio headphone: there are better alternatives out there for that. No, folks, this is the headphone you throw in your bag when you're about to head out on that commute, or a day trip. When you crave a damn good sound in a easy-­to-­carry, easier-­to-­use package that doesn't scream gaudy.

It's a practical, lightweight headphone with a great sound, and with just enough extra features to recommend itself to the casual listeners as well. Is it for you? Probably. If you're looking for portable HiFi, or a quality portable option, look no further.

Carroll Moore is a Tech lover and audiophile headphone enthusiast, photographer and writer for the likes of Audio46.