American moving-coil vets Klipsch took their time entering the true wireless deathmatch. The Klipsch T5 True Wireless hit stores sometime over this past summer. I managed to get my hands on them in a thematically tardy fashion, but I’m aching with anticipation. Klipsch reportedly put a lot of consideration into getting these things things right. Did their perfectionism pay off? Let’s tango.
Klipsch T5 True Wireless Review
Unboxing the Box
The included accessories are not meant to win you over. You get two pairs of extra tips: one large, one small. The only other accessory (unless you count the instruction manual) is the USB Type C charging cable that includes an adapter to USB-A to ensure compatibility with most USB charging sources in existence.
Klipsch seemingly opted out of burdening you with a goodie-bag to stay in tune with their minimalist aesthetic. I’m totally for it. It includes everything you actually need, and the process of unboxing and setting up was luxuriously simple. Except for the part where the left one was completely broken and I had to acquire an entirely different pair.
When I tried connecting my first pair of Klipsch T5 True Wireless headphones, the left one wouldn’t turn on or light up during charge. I did all I could do get it working, and I failed. This put me in an excellent mood for the rest of the day.
When I tried connecting my second pair of Klipsch T5 True Wireless headphones, it worked smoothly. To connect, you have to hold down the buttons on both ears at the same time for 3 seconds. Then in your device’s Bluetooth settings you can see both signals at the same time as “Klipsch T5 L” and “Klipsch T5 R”.
I chose to connect to “Klipsch L” and they magically coordinated a stereo signal. That signal, in my experience, blows most of the competition away. I did not experience a break or drop during 5 hours of continuous use. The battery life lasts 8 total hours, and up to 24 through the charging case.
Okay Klipsch, You Win.
In the world of headphones, we are here to celebrate our sense of hearing. It shouldn’t matter what a pair of headphones look like. However, I’m going to spend a little more time on how sexy these things are. This a compulsive error on behalf of my brain, and I apologize.
This charging case erased any doubt I had about being the coolest person in the room. The only thing of higher quality than me at this point in time is the Earphone case I have on display next to me. The metal finish, weight, and old-school Klipsch logo make that little extra value apparent. I’d imagine that it is also more likely to survive getting ran over by an SUV than I am. It’s built like a Zippo and a tank at the same time.
The earphones themselves are also gorgeous, sporting the same retro Klipsch logo. They don’t feel cheap either, despite being made of lightweight plastic. Their outer button is not a touch-swipey-thing, but a physical button. This control takes up the exterior of the shell with a nice ergonomic contour. All of it is more attractive than anyone you’ve ever loved.
Fit and Function
The T5 fit is a little more ear-canal-invasive than most true wireless headphones. The nozzle and tips are both a little on the long side. The sensation took a little bit to get used to, but I liked how secure they felt because of it. I should mention that if you didn’t clean the earwax out of your ears before using them, they’ll do it for you.
I like that the control button’s sensitivity is such that you don’t have to push the earphones any deeper into your canal. I’ve experienced this with other true wireless earphones. I also appreciate the absence of touchpad controls. Tapping something that’s placed next to your eardrum is scientifically loud as hell.
Klipsch T5 True Wireless Review – Sound
The low end on the Klipsch T5 Makes sense. Nothing wacky here. Dynamic, balanced bass lets the overall sound breathe. I’ve tested too many true wireless earphones that underperform in this category, and the T5 exceeded my hopes.
The T5 has a nice neutrality to it, and the mids follow suit. Mids seem a tad lax in the lower vocal frequencies. Overall, the mids are not pushed back or muffled, and lead instruments are delivered with excellent clarity.
The highs seem appropriately proportioned, with a tendency to stand a little in front of the rest of the range. They don’t sound sibilant or harsh; the treble delivery gives them a lively and excited sound. For a true wireless in-ear, the detail is about as superb as you could ask for.
The Soundstage of the Klipsch T5 almost exists. I wasn’t expecting much here, and don’t feel let down. However, if a song has space mixed into it, it will meet great presentation. If a sense of atmosphere was meant to exist within a recorded track, you’re going to hear it in full color. The stereo image feels wide and in-focus.
Pros and Cons
Pros: great balance of sound, 8hr battery life, great Bluetooth connection, sturdy build quality, beautiful design
Cons: snug fit, only three tip sizes
Klipsch T5 True Wireless Review – Summary
The Klipsch T5 True Wireless is a great product. I love its design and I have nothing bad to say about it’s sound, which is good. It punches above its weight class with an MSRP of $199. I had garbage luck with my first pair, but I haven’t seen any reports of similar problems online. Klipsch typically great quality control which is supported by their 2 year warranty. I’m a horrifically unlucky person, and they were probably fine until I touched them.
I’m not about to compare a True Wireless pair of Earphones to any 60-driver IEM marketed towards people who use /r/headphones as a dating app. I do feel safe in saying that audiophiles who crave a convenient pair of commuting buds may appreciate what Klipsch has to offer. In this realm of consumer audio, it’s too often we see fashion prioritized over function. In the case of the Klipsch T5, beauty is more than just skin deep.
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