The Klipsch T5 II True Wireless are a new addition to the Klipsch T5 headphone range, included in Klipsch’s “True” series. Improved in many key ways from their predecessor, the T5 II continue Klipsch’s promise of four ultimate truths: “True Comfort”, “True Performance”, “True Independence” and “True You”, with “Independence” standing for long battery life and “You” for a universal sound that pleases everyone.
Long-lasting lighter look
The thing that catches your eye when unpacking the Klipsch T5 II True Wireless is the massive transport and charging case made of dark metal, which inevitably makes you think of a certain legendary brand of petrol lighter and this tempts you to make the famous Zippo move – opening the case with one hand (by the way, that only works to a limited extent…) The two earpieces are held in the charging case with magnets and even if you accidentally turn the open case over, the earpieces will not fall out of their charging bay.
Speaking of the charging bay, right upfront, we have to give a big thumbs up to the battery life! With a full eight hours of playtime per charge, the Klipsch T5 II are one of the longest-running true-wireless headphones. The case also stores enough energy to fully charge the headphones three more times, so by our reckoning, that gives you a playing time of 32 hours before you need to use a USB socket again.
The little ones
The two in-ears are housed in black plastic cases with the sound outlet protruding from the side. On the outside of the T5 II housing, below the Klipsch logo, there is a push-button for operating the in-ears. In addition to the silicone pads that are already attached, Klipsch packs five more of its patented oval ear pads to fit various sizes of ear canal into the box. Thanks to a coloured ring, the different sizes can be easily distinguished – this is extremely practical and makes you wonder why somebody didn’t think of it sooner.
The Klipsch T5 II have IP67 certification, so they are dustproof and waterproof; even on a sweaty run in the summer heat or winter sleet, you don’t have to worry about these headphones.
Surprise: dynamic one-way driver
The Klipsch T5 II have rather surprising drivers for a pair of modern in-ear headphones; while most manufacturers rely on the common BA multi-way systems, Klipsch only installs one dynamic 5 mm driver per side in the T5 II! However, these drivers have a diaphragm that is only three micrometres thick, which in theory should ensure a crisp conversion of sound pulses and a clean treble reproduction.
Handling and operation
The two casing shells are clearly marked left/right, and that’s a good thing. At first glance, it is not obvious which of these in-ears belongs in the left or right ear. Due to the angular shape, the headphones did not automatically slide into the right position – at least not in my ears – and I had to twist them into the right place. However, once I overcame this hurdle, these in-ears fit comfortably and without pressure in the ears.
The T5 II headphones are entirely operated using the two pushbuttons. In addition to starting and stopping playback, accepting or rejecting phone calls and muting the microphones, you can also skip tracks or adjust the volume by holding down the button (left for quieter and right for louder). The two buttons do not work capacitively, but mechanically; therefore, you always end up pressing the earpiece slightly into your ear canal when operating it, which takes some getting used to. Since a large number of functions need to be controlled with just two buttons, it is advisable to take a look at the manual, which is enclosed with the T5 II as a printed booklet.
Transparency mode and telephone function
As befits true-wireless headphones, the Klipsch T5 II can, of course, be used to make phone calls. A full eight microphones (four per side) ensure high-quality voice transmission. These use the principle of “beamforming”, where the use of a microphone array and digital control allows a type of directed focus on a sound source in the room (in this case: your mouth). The Qualcomm’s cVc technology that is behind this actually gives quite good speech intelligibility, even if in our test, my voice sounded somewhat indirect.
But the beamforming microphone array is useful for more than just making calls. Pressing the left button activates (and deactivates) transparency mode allowing ambient sound to pass through to the earpiece. Meaning you don’t have to take the T5 II out of your ears to hear announcements on buses or trains.
A sound entirely in the spirit of Klipsch
The T5 II True Wireless are not the first Klipsch headphones I have had in my ears and so I had a certain level of expectation. What can I say: the T5 sounded just as clean and transparent as I have come to expect from Klipsch products. Their 60 years of experience in developing hi-fi speakers is evident in this tuning. If you like a lot of punch at the bottom end, you’ll be disappointed with the T5 II, but if you like precise impact in the bass range, they will soon put a smile on your face; you rarely hear bass drum beats this clean. Depending on the music and the purpose of use (e.g. sports), you might want a little more bass, but if in doubt, you can adjust the EQ.
This good impression remained as I listened to the frequency response: the fundamental range was reproduced warmly, with no mud in the lower and no twang in the upper mids! The lower treble was extremely pleasant, in the range of around 4 kHz – where most in-ears tend to sound harsh – the T5 II was rather restrained. The upper treble at the end of the frequency spectrum could have been a bit more present, but the slight drop in treble also contributed to the warm overall sound. The spatial representation and stereo imaging were also very good, the signal sources were easy to locate and did not sound washed out, which was also an indication that the two thin diaphragms in the in-ear headphones work together very precisely.
The Klipsch App and Bluetooth
The best way to set up the T5 II is to use the “Klipsch Connect App”. From the app, you can conveniently connect the headphones to your Smartphone and make any firmware updates. For sound adjustments, a simple equaliser with five bands is available in the app. The EQ intervenes rather inconspicuously, does not allow any major sound distortions, but lets you make discreet adjustments to the T5 II to suit your own listening taste. The app doesn’t offer much more than that at the moment, but that’s the beauty of software: you can update it.
The T5 II uses Bluetooth 5.0 and can play music with the SBC, aptX or AAC codec. These in-ear headphones each have an active Bluetooth antenna, and accordingly, the Bluetooth connection in our test was stable and free of dropouts and connection interruptions. And I noticed another good thing about the Bluetooth connection – even on my aged Smartphone, the latency of the T5 II was so low that these headphones were also suitable for watching movies.
The Klipsch T5 II True Wireless in-ears come in a somewhat macho-looking charging case, but looks can be deceiving. Sound-wise, the T5 II is no rocker – more like a rather refined soul, you might say: hard shell, soft core. Their sound tuning is fully in line with Klipsch’s 60-year hi-fi tradition: a transparent, warm basic sound with pleasantly soft highs. The sound of the T5 II is amazingly detailed for a dynamic one-way loudspeaker, I didn’t miss a balanced-armature multi-way system at all! With the T5 II, Klipsch show that they are still justified in using a well-tuned dynamic driver. By the way, the T5 II are also available in silver as well as the dark gunmetal version and also in a sports version with earpieces and a waterproof charging case.
- Ear couplingIn-ear
- Transducer principledynamic
- Frequency response (headphones)10 - 19.000 Hz
What's in the box
- Six pairs of patented silicone ear cushions
- USB-C charging cable
- USB-C to USB-A adapter
- Charging case
- available in black and white
- BT codecs: SBC, AAC, aptX
- BT version: 5.0
- BT profiles: A2DP 1.3, AVRCP 1.6, HSP 1.2, HFP 1.7