Review: Klim Fusion Earphones (Hardware)
Budget Earbuds Like Any Other
Klim Technologies is a PC accessories manufacturer that focuses on durable products, at affordable prices, and the Fusion earphones are certainly...cheap. First, we’ll take a look at what comes in the tin when you order your own pair of Klim Fusion Earphones.
The Klim Fusion earphones come packaged in a small metal tin that includes the earphones themselves, a fabric carrying case, 6 pairs of earbuds, a clothing clip, and a Y-splitter cable to use the built-in microphone on devices without a TRRS-compatible headset port. The earphones have a 1.7m (or ~5ft'7in) cable, with an in-line mic, including a volume slider as well as a single button for pause/play functionality, and lastly the ends of the earphones have magnets inside that allow you to snap them together for easy storing when not in use. The earbuds included are of different sizes, of course, but are made of two different materials: 3 pair are standard silicone, and 3 pair are made of memory foam, which is a definite plus. But one of the biggest cons here is the massive cable you get with these earphones. Firstly, the cable itself feels extremely flimsy and thin, for a product advertised as "Built to Last", and like most cheap earphones in this price range, I wouldn't be surprised if they stop working after 6 months. While Klim does advertise a "5 year warranty" with these earphones in particular, you'll see in the fine print that the warranty doesn't actually cover general wear and tear. Secondly is the cable length; as noted above, the cable measures out to a whopping 1.7m/~5ft'7in, which is nearly as tall as myself (at 5'11). While this is useful if you're using it as a headset for a game console that you might sit far away from, for personal use with a music player it's easily 2ft longer than it needs to be, and causes the cable to get easily and badly tangled when stored away in a pocket or backpack compared to the standard 1.2m/3ft11in most other headphones use. The cable also has rather noticeable issue with cable noise, but Klim helpfully includes a clothing clip to help eliminate some of this if you decide to use the headphones while moving around.
But the real question is, how do they sound? And the real answer is, honestly, not a surprise: they’re not that great. Because the Fusion earphones tend to be marketed more towards gamers, Klim designed them to emphasize lower frequencies. This may be nice when you’re playing a shooter, where boosting things that use low frequency sounds like explosions and gunshots makes sense, for everyday use this really brings the overall sound quality down. While listening to music, higher frequencies tend to be drowned out by the overwhelming and muddy bass these headphones produce, and when watching video dialogue tends to take a backseat in any setting that isn’t dead silent. In regards to the in-line mic, sound quality is about as you’d expect from a cheap $20 headset: good enough if you barely use it, but for serious use should probably be avoided in favor of a higher quality microphone.
Klim advertises a few different things with the Fusion earphones, but one of the first you’ll notice is noise-cancelling, which is accomplished via the use of the memory foam earbuds included with the earphones. While not as good as the kind of passive noise-cancelling you might get with decent over-ear headphones, the memory foam earbuds included do indeed cancel out more noise than most silicone tips, thanks to the tighter fit the memory foam earbuds provide you. Plus, as an added benefit, the memory foam tips are much more comfortable than the standard silicone you get with most cheap earphones these days. Unfortunately, it’s not all pros, and these memory foam earbuds do have some drawbacks, with the biggest being their effect on sound quality. Because the memory foam earbuds have a tighter fit, create a better seal, and generally extend further into your ear than silicone tips, lower frequencies can “tunnel” over mids and lows, which is especially noticeable as low frequencies are already boosted out of the box.
+ Includes memory foam tips, for extra comfort.
+ Magnetic ends makes it easier to hold earphones if you need to remove them for a moment.
- Poor sound quality, thanks to low frequency emphasis.
- Extremely long and flimsy feeling cable.
- Meh quality mic.
out of 10
Klim's Fusion Earphones are like most other budget earphones around; they're fine if you're looking for a temporary cheap replacement for more serious headphones, but for everyday use I can't really recommend them. While the increased lower frequencies might be nice for some circumstances during gaming, for every other use it ruins sound quality and makes them a poor choice for music and video.