Klipsch Audio Technologies has come a long way from humble beginnings. Born out of a shed in the little railroad town of Hope, Arkansas, the company has finally thrown its hands into the true wireless ring. The T5 is a middle weight contendor; cheaper than the true wireless flagships of Sennheiser and Sony, but more expensive than options from Jabra or RHA. At $200 even, what does the T5 bring to the already saturated true wireless market? I’ll find out in today’s review.
Klipsch T5 True Wireless Review
The T5 comes in a minimal black packaging sealed with a copper ‘Klipsch’ sticker that matches the retro aesthetic. The buds themselves are all black, and emblazoned with a copper trim and Klipsch insignia. These buds are all class and no flash. The charging case has a healthy weight to it, and looks like a squashed Zippo lighter. It even hinges open in the same way, which is really satisfying to flip open and closed. While undeniably cool, the case is just barely too big to fit comfortably in my front pocket. A lack of portability over similar models is the price you’ll pay for looking so suave.
I’ve seen some complaints online about the fit of the T5, and I see how it could be polarizing. The ‘neck’ or ‘nozzle’ part is really long compared to other earbuds. This means that the bigger part of the earbud (the bulb?) sits further off the ear than you might be used to; it doesn’t sit tight against your ear canal. Other models include a silicone wing that braces against your outer ear to add stability, but the T5 does not, resulting in a looser fit. So even though they have a waterproof rating of IPX4, I wouldn’t take them to the gym. The fit isn’t tight enough to withstand much vigorous activity.
All that being said, I didn’t think the T5 was a bad fit by any means. I used the largest tips provided (it only comes with 3 pairs), and had no complaints with the feel or the sound. This is something that’ll likely come down to personal preference and the shape of your ears, but for me it was fine.
Pairing was also a breeze for me, and I actually found the loose fit helpful to the Bluetooth controls. The whole outer surface of the earbud acts as the only button, and this usually means that pushing the button will also push the earbud deeper into your ear canal. But because the nozzle is so long, the earbuds stick out a little further than usual. This gave me enough room to use one finger to hold the bud in place while I pressed the button with another finger. An odd workaround perhaps, but workable none the less.
Another Bluetooth functionality choice that usually gives me trouble is holding down a button to change the volume, which Klipsch has opted for. Typically finer adjustments are impossible, and I constantly push the volume too loud or too soft. But the adjustment on the T5 is made at a more forgiving slower speed, and it gives a beep with each level change. These minor improvements ensured that I never overshot my volume adjustment, which was a welcome change.
Also worth mentioning is the battery life, which clocks in at 8 hours (24 with the case). This is several hours above the standard at this price range, and even beats out some pricier models. Well done there, Klipsch.
The sound quality on the T5 is strong. Does it sound as detailed as a $300 true wireless? No, but it still sounds really good. The T5 comes off as slightly bottom-heavy, but not in a bad way. The bass is punchy, and gets real fat sounding if you crank the volume. Which by the way, you can crank pretty far. These buds can get loud.
What most impresses me about the sound quality is how evenly the frequency details are. True wireless earbuds have a bad habit of emphasizing the bass at the expense of everything else, or the midrange if they aim to be Airpod killers. But Klipsch keeps the quality going up through the mids and highs. The midrange has a rich and even sound, with both the low and the high mids getting the same amount of attention. Nothing feels overly emphasized or cut here.
The high end is the only section that felt lacking. While the low-end receives some extension, the highs actually feel rolled off a bit. This supports the warmth of the sound signature overall, but if extreme high-end details are important, you might be happy shelling out the extra cash for a top-of-the-line option. But honestly, the punchy richness of the lows and mids were more than enough for my listening purposes (rock, hip-hop, alt, indie).
In the end, Klipsch lands a solid hit with the T5. It’s not so good as to pose a threat to models above $200, but it’s good enough to make you consider spending the extra $40 over a cheaper option. The sound quality is on point, the battery life is great, and it doesn’t look bad either! The fit may make or break the T5 for some, and they’re not the most rugged option. But a solid choice nonetheless.
Pros- Punchy/ rich sound quality, great battery life
Cons- Unconventional fit, high-end roll off
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