Functionally, the T5 II True Wireless ANC deliver a complete set of features that fulfil almost every desire: Noise cancelling, clever transparency mode, a comprehensive app connection and more. And, thanks to Dirac HD, they have a coherent and powerful sound.
The American manufacturer Klipsch has long since established itself in areas of audio technology beyond large speakers. This latest version of their True-Wireless T5 model is a variant on the current T5 II with noise-cancelling.
Klipsch draws on the full range of functions for this model. These Bluetooth 5.0 headphones are available in three colours (gunmetal, silver and copper) and a McLaren Edition with a Formula 1 design. The headphones feature mechanical buttons on the outside and also support gestures such as nodding and shaking the head. The accompanying metal charging case is solid and, on the outside, a thing of beauty – no competitor can match it. A free app (Klipsch Connect for iOS and Android) with a few extras is available for configuration. The only minor drawbacks are the available Bluetooth codecs, which are limited to SBC and AAC (firmware 4.4.3). However, according to the manufacturer, sound enhancement from Dirac HD Sound is available for the first time in a pair of headphones. So our interest was certainly piqued…
The ergonomically shaped, feather-light earpieces are made of plastic and fit comfortably and securely in the ear thanks to six patented tight-fitting oval fitting pieces. They are dustproof and waterproof according to IP67 and are therefore perfectly suitable for sports use. However, for this application, it is also advisable to take a look at the cheaper, and in this respect more optimised T5 II Sport Edition.
The T5 II ANC has a practical battery life of five hours (seven hours without ANC) and a further 15 hours of runtime (21 hours without ANC) via the charging case with USB-C connection. The case can not only be charged in the “classic” manner via cable (a corresponding adapter from USB-C to -A is included in the package) but also wirelessly with a Qi-compatible charging mat.
In the well-designed but somewhat sluggish app, there is a graphic equaliser with six bands and memory locations in addition to a charging status display. The sound optimisation Dirac HD can also be switched on here (see sound).
In terms of configuration, Klipsch provides complete control: the right earpiece takes over the standard functions start/pause, call acceptance, track jumps as well as calling up a voice assistant. On the left earpiece, single, double and triple clicks can be configured as required, for example, to implement volume control and to switch on the transparency mode. The supplementary gesture control so far includes call acceptance and rejection by triple nodding or shaking the head. Alternatively, one can also “reject” the current track by shaking the head three times within the first ten seconds. All these gestures actually work surprisingly well after calibrating the head positions. However, there is no provision for automatic pausing when setting down, although the earpieces are automatically switched off when placed in the charging case.
The integrated noise cancelling can be freely adjusted in intensity via the app and can also be activated automatically with music playback. The adjustability makes sense because not everyone likes an overly intense shielding, but some people appreciate exactly that. A total of six microphones are supposed to provide convincing results. I found the intensity of the background noise suppression to be moderately efficient. The signal-to-noise ratio was increased by reducing the level of static and low-frequency noises in particular. So you should not expect complete silence; instead, you get a considerably enhanced quiet zone, which can of course also be used without music if necessary, for example, when travelling by train or plane.
The aforementioned transparency mode is also adjustable. Here, signals are transmitted to the drivers via the outside microphones, allowing for better outside perception and communication. In addition, Klipsch has integrated a so-called noise shield, which protects the headphones from abrupt level peaks when transparency mode is active. This mode can be accessed quickly at any time via the buttons, but the status announcements cannot be switched off and they can be annoying. So it is just as well that the transparency function can also be activated automatically when the music is paused.
Given the recommended retail price of 349 euros, you would be right to expect a lot from the T5 II True Wireless ANC. And indeed, I was not disappointed: the basic tuning of the dynamic 5.8 mm drivers, which incidentally are not identical to the other T5 II models, was balanced and powerful, at least if you turn up the playback level a little. These headphones were not explicitly loud with an iPhone 8 as the playback device.
On to the Dirac HD function https://www.dirac.com: When switched on, the signal emerges in the mid spectrum, is boosted in the bass and treble and is thus a little louder. The intervention is extensive and by no means neutral, but in most cases, it leads to a fuller and more spacious music reproduction against which the original seems pale and flat. True A/B comparisons are difficult, however, as the differences are so significant aside from the level change that one tends to discard the other variant when switching – a psychoacoustic phenomenon.
The following assessments, therefore, apply to operation with Dirac HD. In the bass, the headphones we tested were as tight as they were also deep-reaching. The deep bass in the soundtrack of Dune by Hans Zimmer, for example, really made the eardrums quiver. The bass capacity was considerable but not annoyingly overemphasised, as the rather dry recording of “I Can See Clearly Now” by the Holly Cole Trio showed. However, I wouldn’t call the low frequencies completely neutral, which makes these headphones good for mobile use. If you like, you can always adjust the equaliser at 50 and 100 Hz.
Voices, acoustic and electronic instruments of all kinds find a comfortable spot in the midrange. You can hear the beautiful melting of solo violins, while rock and metal have the necessary midrange pressure. The complexity, thrust, and stereo distribution of mixes were well reproduced – and included the essential nuances that distinguish good from not so good productions.
In the treble, the T5 II True Wireless ANC still offer good detail resolution and refrain from unwanted harshness. However, I would not count audiophile airiness and an explicitly wide resolution of the stereo panorama among their strengths, so this area suffers a little in comparison.
Finally, I would also rate the speech intelligibility and quality when making phone calls as merely “satisfactory” and thus in need of improvement. Having said that, the transparency function can be activated automatically in order to bring one’s own voice into the earpiece via the microphones and thus make telephone calls more natural.
There is no doubt in my mind that Klipsch will secure a good position in the True Wireless price range between 250 and 350 euros with the T5 II True Wireless ANC, even if the price is above that of the AirPods Pro from Apple. But with their coherent and powerful sound thanks to Dirac HD, a clever transparency mode including noise-cancelling and comprehensive functionality, they leave hardly anything to be desired. However, I would not call these headphones an audiophile masterpiece, but they are an extremely suitable device for daily use for a listener with high demands. Due to the larger drivers, Dirac HD and the integrated noise cancelling, the significantly higher price compared to the regular versions of the T5 II is also justified.
- Ear couplingIn-ear
- Transducer principledynamic
- Frequency response (headphones)10 - 19.000 Hz
- Weight without cable5.5 g each, Case: 76.9 g
What's in the box
- 6 pairs of ear tips in different sizes
- USB-C charging cable
- USB-C to -A adapter
- Charging case
- available in Gunmetal, Silver and Copper
- Bragi Moves gesture control
- BT codecs: AAC, SBC
- BT version: 5.0
- BT profiles: A2DP 1.3, AVRCP 1.6, HSP 1.2, HFP 1.7A2DP