Klipsch T5 II True Wireless Sport Earbuds Review

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Klipsch T5 II True Wireless Sport Earbuds Review Rating

Summary

Scored based on the current prices online, not RRP.

The Klipsch T5 II True Wireless Sport are the best sports focussed earbuds I have used to date. Sound quality is superb with a bass-forward profile which is ideal for exercise, fit and sound isolation is excellent with no issues with running or any other vigorous exercise. They are also the most waterproof earbud I am aware off, with both the case and buds being IP67 rated.

 

Overall
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Pros

  • Superb sound quality with EQ options to tailor to your tastes
  • Comfortable and secure fit that doesn't come loose during exercise
  • Excellent battery

Cons

  • High RRP
  • Case is physically large

Klipsch is one of the oldest and most reputable audio companies in the game. They are best known for their high-quality horn-loaded loudspeakers but in recent years have expanded into increasingly popular markets such as soundbars and earphones.

Klipsch jumped onto the TWS bandwagon back in 2019, with the original T5 True Wireless receiving favourable reviews among users and critics alike.

They are now back with the second generation model, which comes with three variations.

At the top of the pack is the Klipsch T5 II McLaren Edition, that includes a wireless charging mat. Then you have the Klipsch T5 II Sport, which I am reviewing, they are identical apart from a different colour scheme and no charging matt. Finally, there is the more affordable standard model, which drops the waterproof case and uses a different earbud design.

Key features:

  • 5mm Dynamic Moving Coil Micro Speaker
  • 10Hz-19kHz frequency response
  • -22dB passive noise isolation
  • SBC, AAC, aptX codecs with Bluetooth 5.0
  • Dust and water-tight earphones and case (rated IP67) with moisture removal system ensure the earphones remain dry.
  • Six pairs of patented Klipsch ear tips, one pair of memory foam ear tips, and three sizes of no-budge ear wings ensure a customised, comfortable and secure fit.
  • The case charges via USB-C or wirelessly with the included one-position wireless charging pad.
  • Up to 32 hours of battery (8 hours in the earphones).
  • Best-in-class acoustic performance and four beam-forming microphones with clear voice chat.
  • A seamlessly designed anodised metal signal-boost exterior antenna.
  • 6 pairs of Klipsch-patented comfort ear tips

Design and Fit

There is quite a lot to say about the design of these. The case is definitely the most unique earbud case I have seen. It is massive, which some people may not like, and it has a sort of ammo crate aesthetic about it with a large side clasp keeping the lid buckled shut.

This buckle is what helps the Klipsch be one of the only pair of earbuds that I know that has an IP67 rating on the case as well as earbuds.

Opening up the case reveals a perforated container containing desiccant which will then dry out your earbuds when they are locked away. It is an unusual design feature, and I am not sure how useful it will be. I am cursed with being a profuse sweater, and I am yet to break any TWS earbud during exercise through water ingress. That being said, due to the price of these and how much I sweat, I like the reassurance of it being there,  gimmick or not.

The earbuds themselves are sensibly designed for sports usage. The bulk of the earbud is contained within the domed concha of your ear, and you have an additional hook the fits behind your antihelix at the top of the ear, anchoring it in place.

The earbuds weigh about 6.2g, so not the lightest in the world, but due to the close-fitting design and find them very comfortable to wear with no movement or any sensation that they may fall out.

You have six sets of eartips, well above average, ensuring you get the best fit possible. The eartips are a proprietory design; rather than rubber that slips over the stem of the bud, these have a hard plastic bit that clips into the stem. With the normally designed tips, more than once, I have had the ear tip slip off and stay in my ear when removing the earbuds, a very unpleasant experience. The design of these feels much more secure, and I can’t see it ever becoming loose.

Fitness & Running

These earbuds have a lot of fitness focussed features, so it probably comes as no surprise that they are superb for any vigorous activity.

These are possibly the most comfortable and secure earphones I have ever reviewed when using them for fitness. At no point have I felt like I need to readjust the earbud or feel like it is slipping out.

Even with the Jabra Elite 75T, which I love for fitness, they occasionally slip out, especially when bending over during weightlifting, these have not.

Sound Quality

The Klipsch T5 II have a warm, bass-forward sound profile with a balanced mid-range and no obvious distortion.

I am far from an audio snob, so I generally prefer a little extra bass, and this will likely appeal to most normal users. I think most would also agree that a little extra bass is preferential for a fitness focussed earbud. The bass emphasis is subtle enough that it doesn’t muddy up the other frequencies.

The mid-range is more balanced and neutral than the bass, which allows vocals to shine.

The treble is well balanced without being overemphasised or too sibilant

Should you want a more natural sound, you can use the Klipsch Connect app and adjust the EQ. The predefined settings offer quite a large difference to the sound profile. The bass profile seems to add a significant amount of bass, a bit too much for my liking. In contrast, the treble and vocal drop it off entirely. If you want something neutral, I’d be inclined to stick with flat and then dial back 30 and 250hz a notch.

I found that these have excellent passive noise isolation. While they may not block out a noisy commute as well as ANC headphones, I found that they block out the majority of the noise when walking around outdoors. This also includes wind noise when running or walking, something that many earbuds struggle with.

Soundstage is OK at best, the excellent passive isolation of these reduces the openness of the soundstage quite a bit.

Klipsch, make no mention of aptX in any of their marketing materials. However, after I download the spec sheet, they do list aptX. I will assume this is just the standard aptX rather than Adaptive or HD, but it will offer superior audio quality than the standard SBC you get on many earbuds.

Microphone

I don’t use the earbuds for chat much, but I have had no issues with any of the calls I have received while wearing these. I’d say the performance is about average, with other brands such as Huawei offering clearer audio and better noise cancelling.

Battery

The earbuds are rated for 8 hours of playback and 32 hours overall with the case. Once battery performance goes beyond 6 hours, I find I rarely run them down to anywhere close to dead. I have used these for my long runs and gym, and they comfortably go 4 hours while only using about 50% of the battery. 8 hours is more than enough and on the higher end of the spectrum.

The USB-C port is on the inside of the case, helping it get that IP rating, but this makes changing on a wire a little less convenient. However, these are compatible with wireless charging, and this is how I have charged the earbuds throughout my time with them.

What’s Missing?

At the RRP of £210, you have the right to start getting nitpicky with your products. The main feature most people will miss is active noise cancelling. I don’t really miss it with these, they sound great and have good passive isolation, and I have never felt the need for ANC. ANC also often messes around with the sound profile when you switch between on/off.

There also does not appear to be any wear detection. I have no strong feelings towards this feature, but I can appreciate that it can be handy.  

Price and Alternatives

The Klipsch T5 II True Wireless Sport earbuds have an RRP of £210, making them one of the most expensive none ANC earbuds on the market.

As always with consumer electronics, prices fluctuate a lot. In the time it took me to review these Joe Audio have listed them for £129, Currys have them for £159, and Amazon have dropped down to £199. I’d happily buy this in the £120-160 region.

The Jaybird Vista True Wireless are priced at £159.99

The Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 with ANC are £189.00

I recently reviewed the superb Cambridge Audio Melomania 1+, I prefer the Klipsch, but at £100 vs £219 you would suffer large diminishing returns. At the £129 price point, I’d opt for the Klipsch.

Overall

The RRP of the Klipsch T5 II True Wireless Sport earbuds is a significant hurdle that I think many buyers would struggle with, especially when many great ANC earbuds are priced around this. Thankfully it is possible to get them much cheaper than that. I am not sure if the £130 price point will last long, but they are well worth it at this price.

Regardless of price, I do love the  Klipsch T5 II, they are the best sports focussed earbuds I have reviewed to date. With both the case and earbuds being IP67 rated, plus the desiccant lid, these are also the most water-resistant earbuds on the market.

For anyone that takes fitness seriously, these are well worth the investment.  

Last update on 2021-09-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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