Today, we reviewed the Klipsch T5 True Wireless Bluetooth earphones. Sold for €199, these Klipsch in-ear headphones are certified IPX4, compatible with voice assistants and the aptX codec, and provide up to 8 hours of battery life per earpiece or up to 32 hours with the charging and carrying case that looks like a Zippo lighter. Will the only True Wireless earphones in the new Klipsch T5 range live up to the American brand’s reputation? Find out in this review.
Klipsch T5 True Wireless: the brand
The Klipsch saga began in the late 30s when Paul Wilbur Klipsch began developing his first speakers inside a small hangar in Hope, Arkansas. Met with great enthusiasm from his audiophile friends, Paul Wilbur Klipsch decided to found his company and commercialize his first loudspeaker, the Klipschorn, in 1946. This patented model was developed for a very specific purpose: to reproduce the emotion of a live concert at home. This goal was met thanks to the integration of a 15” low frequency driver, a 2” midrange driver with a compression chamber, and a 1” tweeter with a compression chamber and Tractrix horn. This model was so successful that more than 70 years after its release, the sixth generation of this speaker is still in the brand’s catalog under the reference Klipsch Klipschorn AK6.
In 1957, Klipsch introduced the Klipsch Heresy loudspeaker, a 3-way model made to accompany a pair of Klipschorns and deliver the center channel in high fidelity. This additional channel was quickly abandoned in favor of a classic stereo configuration. The fourth generation of the Klipsch Heresy speaker is still available in the American manufacturer’s catalog. For this fourth version, Klipsch took the main features of the Klipsch Heresy III, which impressed us during our review (read our review of the Klipsch Heresy III), and made a few improvements, such as the addition of a rear-firing port.
Klipsch was also present in the movie theater speaker market, but it wasn’t until 1980 that the brand officially entered the professional theater sector after designing a digital sound system for John Allen. In this system, each channel was reproduced by a Klipsch MCM loudspeaker, an exceptional model equipped with a 15” subwoofer, a 12” Tractrix horn-loaded midbass driver and a titanium Tractrix horn-loaded tweeter.
After gaining a solid reputation for professional movie theater audio systems, Klipsch set out to conquer the home theater market in 1992 with the release of its first in-wall speakers, the Klipsch IW 100 and IW 200, followed by the first Klipsch Rebel 8 satellite speakers in 1996.
The early 2000s were a pivotal moment for Klipsch. The American brand continued to produce its iconic hi-fi and home theater speakers, but expanded its product range to cater to new ways of listening to music. As a result, the brand now has an extensive catalog featuring hi-fi headphones and Bluetooth headphones, as well as wired and Bluetooth earphones, including the Klipsch T5 True Wireless earphones that we’re reviewing today, which are the brand’s first fully wireless models.
Klipsch T5 True Wireless: packaging and accessories
The Klipsch T5 True Wireless earphones come in an elegant box sealed with a gold sticker featuring the brand’s logo. Inside the box, the earphones and carrying case sit neatly in individual indentations inside a piece of robust packing foam. The Klipsch T5 True Wireless earphones come with a quick start guide, three pairs of silicone eartips and a USB-C to USB-C cable. A USB-C to USB-A adaptor is also included to ensure compatibility with any device.
Klipsch T5 True Wireless: presentation
When we took them out of the box, the Klipsch T5 True Wireless earphones looked very well-made. They are made from two assembled shells. The part that is in contact with the ears is made of a very soft polymer plastic for a pleasant feel. The upper part has an imitation metal ring that surrounds a panel featuring the name of the American brand. Weighing only 5.5g, you soon forget that you are wearing the Klipsch T5 True Wireless earphones. They proved to be very comfortable and always stayed in place, even during sudden movements. It is therefore entirely possible to use the earphones during sporting activities. They are IPX4 certified for this purpose, making them resistant to sweat, dust and humidity.
At the end of a very long acoustic tube, the Klipsch T5 True Wireless earphones feature a clip system to secure the eartips.
To ensure a perfect fit for all ear shapes, Klipsch includes three pairs of different sized eartips (S, M and L) with the T5 earphones. Made from soft silicone, these eartips have a patented oval shape. The American manufacturer states that this shape helps eliminate all exterior noise up to 22dB, no matter how the earphones are positioned in the ear. Naturally, we wanted to verify these claims. In an open plan office with a dozen people, it was as if we were inside a bubble. The sound of the keyboards, computer mice, ventilation and different discussions were completely drowned out. In a noisier environment, such as public transport, the Klipsch T5 True Wireless also filtered out most of the background noise. The sound of passing buses was a distant memory and only the discussions of nearby commuters managed to penetrate the silicone barrier. As announced by Klipsch, these characteristics remained unchanged, regardless of the position of the earphones.
Note: to benefit from the passive isolation as well as an ideal restitution, it is very important to choose the correct pair of eartips. If they are too small, background noise won’t be filtered out and will affect the sound: insufficient bass, lack of detail, etc. Eartips that are too big will cause discomfort in the ear canal and alter the stability of the earphones. Therefore, we recommend that you try the different pairs included with the Klipsch T5 True Wireless earphones to find those with the best fit.
The control interface of the Klipsch T5 True Wireless earphones is hidden underneath the oval-shaped panel adorned with the brand’s logo. On the right earphone, pressing and holding the panel turns the volume up, pressing it twice skips to the next track, and a single press allows you to play and pause the music and answer a phone call. The left earphone lets you lower the volume, skip to the previous track, reject a call and activate the voice assistant of the device the earphones are paired with. It is necessary to hold the earphone while pressing the interface to avoid pushing the acoustic tube too far into the ear. Moreover, the sound of the click is amplified when you wear the earphones. A highly sensitive touch interface would have been preferable to avoid these inconveniences.
Klipsch T5 True Wireless: Zippo charging case
Both of the Klipsch T5 True Wireless earphones feature a rechargeable battery that offers up to eight hours of continuous listening. The battery life can reach 32 hours thanks to the charging and carrying case. With this case, Klipsch proudly showcases its American heritage and attention to detail. In fact, it is one of the Klipsch T5 True Wireless earphones’ main selling points. While the vast majority of the brand’s rivals use plastic cases, Klipsch stands out with a Zippo lighter case that one can proudly show off.
The only differences with a real Zippo lighter is that it is about twice as thick and there isn’t a wick to ignite. Nostalgic users can still open the hinged top against their jeans. The case opens up to reveal two holes to accommodate the earphones. When the earphones are in place, the charging begins automatically, if necessary. A red LED on the earphones indicates that they are charging. Then, when you take them out of the case, they turn on and automatically pair with the last associated source. It is also possible to take out and use only one of the earphones.
Klipsch T5 True Wireless: microphone, voice assistants
Each Klipsch T5 True Wireless earphone integrates a highly sensitive microphone for answering phone calls. Voices are very clear, as long as you aren’t in a very noisy environment or somewhere windy. These practical microphones can also be used to interact with voice assistants such as Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa and Siri, depending on the paired mobile device’s system. The voice assistant is activated by pressing the control interface on the left earphone. Once activated, you can control your music, adjust the volume, control the smart objects in your home and send a message to the person of your choice. The voice assistant can even tell you the temperature, give you the latest news, or add a product to your shopping list. During our tests of the Klipsch T5 True Wireless earphones, activation of the Siri assistant was always instantaneous and the latter always understood our requests, even in noisy environments.
Klipsch T5 True Wireless: configuration
For our review, we paired the Klipsch T5 True Wireless earphones with an iOS smartphone. When we paired the earphones with the smartphone for the first time, the process was quick and easy. We simply had to press and hold the control interface on each earphone for three seconds. A blue LED on the side of the Klipsch T5 True Wireless earphones then began to flash. We then had to go into the Bluetooth settings for our source to select “Klipsch T5 True Wireless” and finalize the pairing. The earphones were then immediately operational and automatically connected to the source each time they were taken out of the Zippo case.
Klipsch T5 True Wireless: listening impressions
The Klipsch T5 True Wireless earphones impressed us right off the bat. With the Arctic Monkey’s song Arabella, the lows of the kick drum were deep and powerful and we could feel each hit of the pedal. The guitar was dynamic and well-reproduced throughout the track. The sound was stirring, and we ended up tapping our foot in time to the music.
We continued our review of the Klipsch T5 True Wireless Bluetooth earphones with Daft Punk’s One More Time. With this electronic piece, the bass was amazingly deep for earphones this size. These characteristics were upheld throughout this iconic album by the French DJs. The track Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger was even more impressive, with expertly highlighted effects flying from different directions.
With a mellower song, the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Under the Bridge, the Klipsch T5 True Wireless earphones softly reproduced the different guitar chords. Anthony Kiedis’ voice and the backing vocals were perfectly centered and pleasant to listen to. The only problem was the slight background noise that we could hear during calmer sections of the song. We soon forgot about this noise though and it was no longer audible when the music became louder.
Klipsch T5 True Wireless: compared to…
Jabra Elite 75t: successors of the iconic Jabra Elite 65t earphones, the 75ts provide a slightly more detailed sound, especially in the highs. The passive isolation isn’t quite as good as that of the Klipsch T5s, but it is still very good in a number of different situations. When it comes to control, the Jabra model has a clear advantage thanks to a touch interface that is much more convenient than the buttons on the Klipsch earphones. The only weak point is the carrying case, which is much more bulky and less appealing than the Klipsch T5 True Wireless’ “Zippo”. The battery life is also inferior, with a maximum listening time of 28 hours compared to 32 hours for the Klipsch model.
Bose SoundSport Free Wireless: also certified IPX4, these Bose earphones are designed specifically to be used during sporting activities. Consequently, they have the advantage of featuring a small silicone extension on the eartips to ensure they stay put during intense workouts. However, the battery life is limited to fiver hours per earpiece and 15 hours with the charging case. The latter is also much bigger (3.75 x 10 x 4.75cm).
Sony WF-1000XM3: sold for 50 euros more than the Klipsch model, these Sony earphones provide a battery life of 6 hours per earpiece or 32 hours with the charging case. They are compatible with the AAC and SBC Bluetooth codecs, but don’t support aptX, unlike the Klipsch T5 True Wireless. However, the Sony WF-1000XM3 have the advantage of including an active noise cancellation system and are more effective in noisy environments as a result.
Klipsch T5 True Wireless: conclusion
With the Klipsch T5 True Wireless earphones, the American manufacturer provides a reliable solution for listening to music without any restrictions. The passive isolation provided by the oval eartips proves to be particularly effective and music becomes more enjoyable on public transport as a result. The charging case that looks like a Zippo lighter gives the earphones their charm and is their main selling point, as rival brands still only offer bulky and unsightly plastic cases. Despite this, we would have preferred a touch interface rather than physical buttons. This would have saved us from pushing the earphones further into our ears each time we pressed the button, as well as being more intuitive to use.
What we liked:
- The effective passive isolation
- The powerful lows
- The Zippo case
What we would have liked:
- A tactile control interface