Two of the biggest headphone brands, Klipsch and Sony, have made quite a splash with their recent true wireless releases. And they are both priced in the same ballpark. Much has already been written about both, the Klipsch T5 True Wireless and the Sony WF-1000XM3. So, this review is for those already familiar with at least one of these models, but who need a comparison before they pull the trigger. Which true wireless model will suit your needs and listening style? Let’s find out in this Klipsch T5 True Wireless vs Sony WF-1000XM3 Review.
Klipsch T5 True Wireless vs Sony WF-1000XM3 Review
Both models are comfortable to wear, though I preferred the minimalist design of the T5 TW over the more cumbersome feel of the WF-1000XM3. The other thing to note is that the Klipsch T5 True Wireless offers fantastic natural sound isolation. The company has kept their famous oval tip design. And for this reason, the T5 offers a snugger seal than the WF-1000XM3.
Controls and Functionality
Both models will give you most of the standard functionality via the controls on the earpieces. Sony has gone with the modern touchpad design, while Klipsch has stuck with good ol’ buttons. Personally, I find buttons more reliable and easier to use than touchpads. But some folks simply can’t resist a tap and a swipe.
Using the controls on the earpieces, both models allow you to play/pause, skip tracks, answer calls and activate your voice assistant. Klipsch also allows you to control volume from the earpiece. Sony doesn’t. That being said, the WF-1000XM3 does let you switch between active noise cancellation and ambient mode. You can also turn off these functions altogether.
Active Noise Cancellation
The WF-1000XM3 comes with active noise cancellation, while the T5 True Wireless does not. However, the reality is that the T5 True Wireless naturally eliminates more noise than does the WF-1000XM3 with the ANC turned on. Again, this has a lot to do with the fit of the T5, which sits more deeply in the ear canal than the WF-1000XM3.
Battery Life and Charging
Klipsch wins in this department. Bigly. It offers 8 hours of use at a time and another 24 hours in the charging case. Sonly only offers 6 hours of use at a time, with an extra 18 hours of charge in the box. Sony’s noise cancellation feature is probably the reason for the shorter battery life. And still, both models are pretty impressive in this category, beating high performance brands, such as Sennhesier.
Both models use a USB-C connection for charging, which means that both earphones will charge up quickly. (Micro-USB tends to be a slower charge).
An almost equal level of call clarity, though the T5 True Wireless may have the slight edge here.
Klipsch advertises it’s Connect App. However, I wasn’t able to find Klipsch Connect, and it seems that they have yet to release it.
Sony, on the other hand, comes with an app that’s packed with features, giving you ample control over your earbuds, such as ANC adjustment. More important, it comes with an equalizer, which not only lets you boost your bass to your heart’s content, but also allows you adjust the balance across the entire frequency spectrum.
At it’s default balance, the Sony WH-1000XM3 delivers a heavier and more present bass. That being said, the T5 True Wireless is no slouch when it comes to bass. It’s just not as fat, and presents a tighter feel. And for this reason, I find that it lends more funk to pop tracks. The T5 also offers ample sub-bass response, which should please hip-hop fans, especially. Furthermore, both of these earbuds lend a ton of warmth to rock tracks. In fact, in general, both Klipsch and Sony deliver a ton of richness in the low-end.
With respect to balance, the mids are a little more even on the WF-1000XM3, while the T5 True Wireless emphasizes the upper midrange. As a result, vocals sit more forward on the T5, while on the WF-1000XM3, the vocals fall more naturally within the mix. So, if you like a particularly dynamic sound, you might prefer the T5. It works great for modern genres like pop, especially. However, if you prefer a more sweeping and all-encompassing sound, you’ll probably prefer the WF-1000XM3.
In terms of detail, both earbuds do a solid job. But listening to string instruments in this range, the WF-1000XM3 seemed to reveal more substance and timbre. At the same time, both models had a smooth feel, lending a nice fluidity to acoustic instruments in general. Still, the Klipsch T5 sounded a little tidier at times, revealing slightly better separation in guitar strums and tracks with heavy instrumentation.
Listening to vocals in this range, the WF-1000XM3 delivers a thicker, more velvety perfomance, while the T5 is slightly thinner and more airy. Playing some pop tracks, percussion sounded crisper on the T5, as it has a little more extension in this range. So, if you’re particularly sensitive to high frequencies, you may want to stick with the Sony model, especially since the WF-1000XM3 comes with an equalizer, while the T5 doesn’t.
While both models deliver a solid soundstage for true wireless technology, the WF-1000XM3 sound a tad more spacious. Instruments feel more spread out, offering a slightly more multidimensional soundscape.
PROS and CONS
Kilpsch T5 True Wireless
Pros: Fantastic battery life; natural sound isolation beats Sony’s ANC; classy design.
Cons: No equalizer.
Pros: ANC; equalizer; great sound.
Cons: A little clunky.
Both models deliver solid performance for the price. And both earphones will significantly quiet down your commute. But for best sound quality and most versatility with respect to musical genre, go for the Sony WF-1000XM3. For longest battery life, opt for the Kilpsch T5 True Wireless. In terms of fit, Klipsch also wins. Furthermore, the T5 True Wireless is also 30 bucks cheaper. And if you’re a sucker for style, the choice becomes easier.
You can find both of these models for the best price here:
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