Back in CES 2019, Klipsch previewed their T5 True Wireless at the event, and tech journalists (including us) were immediately drawn to its eye-fetching charging case which looks like a Zippo lighter. Aside from visually acknowledging its existence (because we weren’t physically there at the event), not much is known regarding its audio quality and features, or how it fares compared to competing wireless earbuds in the market. Until now.
Got a Light?
First things first, we have to talk about the T5 True Wireless’ casing. When we attended the world premiere for the earbuds in Singapore, Klipsch didn’t deny that the casing’s design was clearly inspired by Zippo lighters in look and function. The only difference is when someone asks you for a light, you play Babyface and Des’ree’s “Fire” instead, and hope they’ll walk away.
The charging case is made of stainless steel and without a doubt, it looks classy as heck. Like a Zippo, the case opens by a hinge on one side which reveals the storage and charging compartments for the True Wireless earbuds. When closed, the case would still have a thin yet barely noticeable gap, but it’s not a bad thing whatsoever. Within the thin gap is a three-bar LED battery indicator which lights up whenever you close the top, letting you know how much juice it has left to charge the earbuds. Cool.
Bud-dy of Mine
Moving on to the earbuds themselves. The T5 True Wireless’ exterior design is much expected from an earbud set that does not want to associate itself with Apple Airpods’ aesthetics. It is made of matte black rubber-like plastic and fits nicely on your ears. An embossed bronze-coloured Klipsch logo is decorated on the physical button found on both earbuds.
Rather than a straight forward nozzle for the eartips, the ones on the T5 True Wireless are slightly extended to reach into your ears which helps to secure the earbuds in place.
The eartips themselves are designed by Klipsch engineers to be of an oval shape rather than circular. The reason being that our ear holes are actually oval, and this eartip design provides effective noise cancellation and comfort when worn. Naturally our ear holes also differs in size from one person to the next, so Klipsch has also provided various eartip sizes for us to choose from.
Connecting from your device to the Klipsch T5 True Wireless is fast and easy. Simply enable your phone's bluetooth connection, pair it with the right earbud and it will then sync with the left (or vice versa). There are no signs of delay when listening to music or making phone calls, but I've noticed that connectivity does become a bit wonky in areas with high electrical interference (like a train station). A drawback which is quite unfortunate, given that I rarely notice such issues with my own personal yet outdated bluetooth headphones.
Having tested various other wireless earbuds, the Klipsch T5 True Wireless is, without a doubt, one of the best around. On default equaliser settings, it delivers excellent audio clarity, superb soundstage thanks to its effective noise cancellation, and ample mid and treble when listening to various kinds of music.
However, the amount of bass it produces is a hit or miss in my personal opinion. While it delivers an acceptable "thump" whenever bass comes in, it lacks the anticipated hit that should've came with it. It's understandable, since the T5 True Wireless is still an in-ear device after all and leaving you suffering a concussion after a round of SLAV INTENSE HARD BASS is the last thing Klipsch would want. That said, it's still possible to tweak your equaliser to achieve a better bass range if you so desire. Speaking of, Klipsch is also planning to release a companion app for their audio devices sometime in August to further enhance your experience.
The earbuds function surprisingly well when you make hands-free calls with it. Its equipped with a microphone on both sides, and picks up your own voice pretty well while keeping ambient noise to a minimum whenever possible. Battery-wise, the T5 True Wireless could run for 8 hours on a full charge, and over 10 hours more with the charging case.
Premium Price for Premium Audio
The T5 True Wireless successfully delivers Klipsch's goal of delivering excellent audio quality in all of their range of products, especially itself being a wireless device. The earbuds will definitely satisfy most audiophiles who are seeking a Bluetooth approach for their music, and its stylish case will undeniably stand out from its competitors. However, being a premium product and priced at MYR 1,099, the T5 True Wireless' may intimidate most. That said, the T5 True Wireless is a solid recommendation for its audio quality and design if it fits your budget range.
A big thanks to TC Acoustic Singapore, official distributor of Klipsch products in South East Asia, for giving us an early hands-on with the T5 True Wireless.