Klipsch is one of those companies that really needs no introduction, and any audiophile worth their salt can easily testify for the brand’s strict adherence to delivering some of the best consumer audio products over the last decade.
Back at the beginning of the year, Klipsch showcased its new T5 headset lineup at its booth during CES 2019, and among the lineup was the T5 True Wireless earbuds. The earbuds mark the brand’s maiden entry into the market segment, but that doesn’t mean that it’s skimped on the trimmings.
What Is It?
Let’s kick this off properly: the T5 True Wireless is not a pair of earbuds that Klipsch simply put together in a slapdash. That’s not the brand’s style, and never has been. A lot of love has been poured into the development and design of the earbuds; three whole years, to be precise.
During that time, the engineering folks over at the company’s office worked and toiled over how they could cram as much of Klipsch’s premium audio quality. Into a size that is quite literally no bigger than a piece of candy.
The end result, as you can see, are the earbuds that are, by comparison, just slightly bigger than the other earbuds on offer at the moment. Oh, and it’s also got a really gorgeous charging case that resembles a Zippo lighter that’s had one can of lighter fluid too many.
Is It Any Good?
There’s a saying in the industry: just because a product is made by a famous brand, its doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll perform at a level of quality that the brand is known for. Luckily for both Klipsch and I, the T5 True Wireless is the exception to the rule.
To give a quick rundown of its specs, each earbud is fitted with a unique 5mm dynamic movign coil driver with a frequency response between 10Hz and 19KHz. Connectivity is handled via Bluetooth 5.0, and it even has support for Qualcomm’s aptX wireless audio technology and the AAC audio coding standard.
With the earbuds in my ears, the T5 True Wireless surprised me with its delivery of a near studio-level of immersion. The sound staging of these earbuds is simply amazing. It’s also incredibly accurate; throughout my testing, I am able to identify each instrument precisely, even when the vocals were inherently louder than the sum of it all.
High and mid-range pitches are clearly the main course of the T5 True Wireless; instruments like the harmonica sing in songs such as Digging My Potato by Yoko Kanno and the Seatbelts, and it does so without any breaking or cracking on the high notes too.
The most surprising aspect for me, however, is the low-range pitch of the T5 True Wireless (read: bass). By some miracle, Klipsch’s engineers have managed to cram an impressive full bass extension the earbuds. Most headphones, let alone earbuds, have bass extensions that usually sit on opposite ends of the spectrum. Being either non-existent and lacklustre or just too “bass-y” to the point that distortion becomes the most app way to describe them. Rarely do they actually manage to strike a balance.
That isn’t the case with the T5 True Wireless. With these earbuds, you’re not listening to the bass; you’re feeling it, just as nature intended it. In songs such as Nina Simone’s Feeling Good, you actually feel the rumble of the tuba every time it’s blown. That feeling is replicated in more modern songs as well, such as Florence and the Machine’s Never Let Me Go.
The Bad Stuff. Tell Me.
But while the audio quality of the T5 True Wireless does leave me awestruck, there are some caveats about the earbuds that should be addressed. The first and most obvious factor its price. At retail, these earbuds don’t come cheap at a retail price of RM1099. That makes it the most expensive pair of off-the-rack earbuds that you can own, with Sony’s recently announced WF-1000XM3 coming up behind it as a close second.
It’s not the most sophisticated pair of earbuds either, despite the audio technology that keeps it running. You’ve got the basic digital assistant built-in to it (Klipsch says you can pair it with Google, Siri, or Alexa, depending on your choice), but lacks features such as active noise cancellation (ANC). That said, the oval-shaped eartips already do a bang-up job in blocking out any noise, so if you’re not so particular about ambient noises, then this flaw is easily ignored.
Lastly, connectivity between the T5 True Wireless and an audio source are occasionally intermittent. To clarify, there are moments when the earbuds experience some jittering mid-music, but I also notice that these moments only seem to occur whenever I pass by an area that is heavy with wireless interference (i.e. an extremely populated section of a mall).
Should I Buy It?
At RM1099, the Klipsch T5 True Wireless is most certainly the most expensive pair of earbuds I’ve used. The old adage “you get what you pay for” is the perfect description for these earbuds; it comes at a premium, but it definitely offers you a premium audio experience in return.
Yes, it isn’t loaded with the latest noise-cancellation technology or fitness tracking technology. But as I pointed out, making a one-device-does-all product wasn’t Klipsch’s goal when it made the T5 True Wireless. And it already does a great job at blocking outside noise when you’ve stuffed them inside your ear canals.
Ultimately, the T5 True Wireless are some of the best earbuds that I’ve ever had the pleasure of listening to, hands down. To that end, I do highly recommend that you get yourself of pair of these earbuds the minute they become available in Malaysia.