The T5 Neckband is a headphone from Klipsch’s “True” series, it comes with promises of “True Comfort”, “True Performance”, “True Freedom” and “True You”, where “Freedom” stands for a long battery life and “You” for a sound that suits everyone.
The Klipsch comes in a cardboard box, which is slightly larger than average due to the shape of the neckband. There is not much to unpack as the package is limited to the headphones, a USB charging cable and a set of silicone ear pads. The neckband itself consists of a brown leather covered band, which ends in two black plastic casings (the T5 is also available in a version coloured brown/white). The right-hand casing contains the electronics, including the Micro-USB charging socket. Short, cloth-covered cables dangle from the neckband, ending in two extremely small and lightweight driver housings. The earpieces each contain a dynamic 5 mm driver.
With their “True Comfort” concept, Klipsch promise “the best all-day comfort”. The neckband containing the electronics feels more like a necklace or a piece of jewellery, and the whole T5 weighs just less than 27 grams and the earpieces are just two grams per side! The low weight is immediately noticeable: with the matching ear tips, the T5 is very comfortable to wear and does not press into the ears, even after a long listening session. Thanks to its slightly curved shape, the earpiece also finds a secure hold in the ear canal and offers amazingly good isolation from outside noise. At first, I was sceptical, but in everyday use, the Klipsch T5’s neckband concept quickly convinced me: those who enjoy listening to music in the workplace will immediately appreciate having a pair of headphones that are always at the ready. The eternal search for perfect in-ears has finally come to an end!
The Klipsch T5 Neckband has three buttons on the right-hand casing – Plus, Minus, and Power On/Off – these control music and phone functions. To switch on and off, you have to hold the power button down for five seconds, ideally a few seconds less would have done the trick. With incoming calls the collar vibrates, if this bothers you, you can, of course, turn it off. During phone calls, two microphones in the right-hand casing and cVc noise cancelling (cVc stands for “clear voice capture”) ensure relaxed phone calls, and although the microphones are at collarbone level, I found that we had good speech intelligibility at the other end of the line.
With an outstanding battery life of 15 hours, the Klipsch T5 is a real long-distance runner! I’ve had the headphones in operation for quite some time now and rarely had to reload. The Klipsch T5 Neckband has IPX4 certification, so it’s protected against “water splashes from all directions,” so theoretically this makes them suitable for use as sports headphones. Practically, it depends on the kind of sport. While running I found the collar rather annoying, so in my opinion, it is better suited for indoor training.
Bluetooth pairing is fast and easy. I struggled with occasional connection failures during operation, but the T5 was quickly back online after reconnecting. Incidentally, the T5 neckband also supports multipoint, so you can pair two devices simultaneously.
iPhone users will “only” get to listen with the AAC codec, but those who own a corresponding Android device may be pleased about the inclusion of the aptX HD codec, which allows audio transmission with 24-bit resolution at 48 kHz sampling rate!
A real sound all-rounder!
OK, so we’ve established that the Klipsch T5 neckband is practical, and it plays forever but more importantly, what does it sound like? The first impression I got when listening was of a neutral sound image, and here I use “neutral” in a positive sense: Over the entire frequency range, no frequency band was either favoured or neglected, the music was reproduced with the same balance that I would recognise from my studio loudspeakers. The bass range was powerful and precise; bass drum beats are reproduced crisply and with punch. There is no annoying bass boost; the highs are detailed and yet not too sharp – even when you really turn up the volume!
My track of choice for testing stereo imaging is always Amber Rubarth’s binaural recording “Sessions from the 17th Ward” and the T5 makes a good impression: the sound stage is wide and the signals are neatly separated in the stereo image. I could have used just a little more depth in the spatial reproduction, but this is the ultimate challenge for in-ear headphones, and all types of in-ears generally have a tough time with it. I found that the sound of the T5 Neckband matched the familiar sonic personality of other Klipsch headphones that I’ve tried: clean, transparent hi-fi sound, perfect for the music lover with no genre boundaries.
Now that’s as far as the flattery goes, unfortunately, so we’re now coming to the point that somewhat spoils my previous enjoyment of the Klipsch T5: collar and leads were very sensitive to handling noise. Every touch of the cable through your T-shirt or shirt collar is directly transmitted as structure-borne sound to the headphone housings. With loud pop music you won’t notice it as much, but with acoustic or classical music it becomes quite annoying.
The Klipsch T5 Neckband is a pair of headphones whose unusual concept fully convinced me after initial scepticism. If you – like me – find yourself searching for something that you only just had in your hand, your search has, at last, come to an end with these in-ear plugs on the T5 neck strap. In this respect, the T5 is the ideal office headset, and it has made many hours of desk-based work more comfortable for me. The Klipsch T5 Neckband has the potential to become a true everyday headphone, the battery life is immense, and it has the sound to match: no matter where your playlist goes, the T5 gives compelling results. Unfortunately, the cable problems spoil the fun of these otherwise great headphones. Hopefully, Klipsch will improve on this, and in future, install a cable that is less sensitive to handling and contact noise.
- Ear couplingIn-ear
- Transducer principledynamic
- Frequency response (headphones)10 - 19.000 Hz
- Weight with cable26,4 g
- Weight without cableapprox. 4 g
What's in the box
- 4 pairs of silicone ear tips in different sizes
- USB charging cable
- available in black and brown/white
- BT codecs: SBC, AAC, aptX, aptX HD
- BT version: 5.0
- BT profiles: A2DP 1.3, AVRCP 1.6, HSP 1.2, HFP 1.7