True wireless headphones have left the realm of portable-tech curiosity and are now in the mainstream, as the demand for a better audio experience without wires has continued to grow. To answer this call, we’re seeing more “audiophile rank” manufacturers making true wireless options. Such is the case with Klipsch, a name you might be surprised to forgo the superiority of wired sound altogether, and its T5 True Wireless headphones.
The T5’s are the first pair of “true wireless” headphones from the company, and with no shortage of wired Klipsch Bluetooth offerings in the wild, they bring some attractive features to the table for those interested in better audio quality in their true wireless buds.
Sonically, the T5s deliver a genuinely impressive experience. If you’re familiar with Klipsch’s approach to audio, the balanced and nuanced playback will come as no surprise to you. From an audio philosophy, Klipsch typically aims for a flat response across the audible spectrum, and the T5s deliver on it. Klipsch has promised a companion app for the headphones to provide customizations like EQ and firmware updates, but it was not available at the time of the review.
Depending on the styles of music you typically listen to, this can read as much a con as a pro. If you’re looking for your bass to thump a little harder than it may have been mixed, these honest-sounding earbuds might not be for you. However, rock, classical, pop, and jazz aficionados will find their playlists can really shine on these.
Regardless of your genre preference, the T5s work on the superior Bluetooth 5 and support SBC, aptX, and AAC codecs, so they’ll deliver some of the best codecs Bluetooth has to offer (as of now).
Using them around the B&H Compound in midtown Manhattan, as well my home uptown and the commute in between, the T5’s connectivity performed reasonably well, and I experienced only minimal dropouts, mostly in and about B&H itself, since midtown Manhattan is one of the most densely trafficked wireless areas in the city. The T5s don’t have the most stable connection I’ve experienced in true wireless, and I experienced more dropouts than I’d have liked, but this issue is usually addressed with the first firmware update.
Klipsch is promising 8 hours of playback, and like all true wireless earbuds, come in a charging case, which in the T5’s case (get it?) gives you 24 more hours of charge. The battery life, more or less, performs as advertised—over the course of a work week, wearing them on two 40 minute commutes, at my desk, and at the gym, I did not have to plug in the charging case until the weekend. I’ve reviewed quite a few pairs of true wireless earbuds, and I found I had to recharge most by midweek, so Klipsch comes in well above average here.
The case itself takes some very clear inspiration from the classic Zippo lighter, and has a surprising heft to it, feeling substantial in your hand. I love the weight and the craftsmanship of the case, and going back to headphones with a plastic case made those feel like a toy to me. However, like a number of things about these headphones, this feature might be a “con” for some users, because someone looking to travel light might find this to be a turn-off.
Each earbud has a single physical button on it, allowing for different length push gestures to give you all the controls you need, depending on which side earbud you tap. All the standard controls you’d expect—play, pause, volume control, track skipping—are there, along with call functions and access to whatever voice assistant persona your device has.
Having a physical button on the earbuds is ideal so you don’t have to reach into your pocket for your phone for every adjustment, but due to the way the T5s need to sit in your ears for a good fit, each push nudges the earbud, making the momentary discomfort not worth the tradeoff, in my experience with them. After using the earbud controls a few times, I found myself just reaching into my pocket for my phone to change tracks.
Which brings us to the fit. The earbuds have Klipsch’s “True Comfort” fit and patented oval ear tips, with small, medium, and large pairs included to help customize the T5s to your ears. The performance of these buds are only going to be as good as the seal you get when wearing them, so the right fit is paramount. Ultimately, if you’re the kind of person who hates snug-fitting earbuds, the T5s aren’t going to change your mind on the matter. Typically, I find them comfortable, and once I had a good fit, they stayed in place during most of my workouts (I had to adjust them once or twice, but this wasn’t bothersome).
If “true to source” audio playback is at the top of your wish list for true wireless earbuds, the T5 should find themselves right at the top.
Fantastic, accurate sound reproduction
Impressive battery life
Multiple codec support
Zippo-inspired rechargeable case
Fit might not be for all
Bass heads may find their uncolored output lacking