The manufacturer Klipsch is by no means unknown to connoisseurs of high-end audio devices. Founded in 1946 in the USA, the traditional company has been manufacturing high-quality speakers for many decades and has now also gained a foothold in the headphone sector. With the T5 II True Wireless ANC, the company now also wants to fight against the ever-growing number of competitors in the field of noise-cancelling True Wireless headphones.
You can already tell from the price that we are clearly in the upper class here. While many other small-format headphone pairs with ANC are already available for less than 200 Euros, Klipsch expects its customers to have their wallets filled to the brim with just under 350 Euros. Whether the price is justified and how Klipsch’s mini headphones fare against the direct competition from Apple, Sony and Bose can be read in our detailed review.
|Name||Klipsch T5 II True Wireless ANC|
|Dimensions||Headphones: 28 mm x 23 mm x 20 mm Charging case: 49 mm x 53 mm x 28 mm|
|Battery life||Headphones: 7 hours (5 hours with ANC) Charging case: 21 hours (15 hours with ANC)|
|Protection from water and dirt||Splash water protection according to IPX4 standard|
|Active noise cancellation||ANC and transparency mode with a total of six microphones|
|Colors||Gunmetal, Copper, Silver|
|Driver||5.8mm dynamic drivers, codecs: AAC and SBC|
|Frequency Range||10 Hz to 19 kHz|
Scope of delivery
In addition to the headphones themselves, the high-quality packaging also contains the practical transport or charging case. In addition, Klipsch includes a total of six pairs of earplugs in different sizes. One is already on the in-ears ex-works. The matching USB-C charging cable and a corresponding USB-C to USB-A adapter are also included. The scope of delivery is rounded off with the usual paperwork.
Stylish design and high-quality workmanship
The T5 II True Wireless ANC comes in a choice of “gunmetal”, copper and silver colors. Our test object came in the version with the lurid name “Gunmetal”. Klipsch clearly makes sure that the stylish headphones are not only pleasing to the eye.
Even when you hold them in your hands for the first time, the positive first impression is maintained. This applies to both the in-ears themselves and the charging case. Finally, Klipsch relies on a workmanship on the very highest level for the corresponding charging case. I have hardly ever held a charging or transport case in my hands that felt so robust and noble at the same time.
The design of the charging case is strongly reminiscent of a classic Zippo lighter. This is also due to the opening recess on the side. Once you have opened the charging case, you immediately see the two headphones. And the positive first impression continues here as well. You can read the company logo on the upper side. The in-ears are held magnetically in the charging case, which should prevent them from accidentally falling out.
Once removed, the two in-ears took up space directly in my ears. This felt a little bulky at first, but not at all uncomfortable. Klipsch has found the perfect middle ground between a snug and comfortable fit here for me personally.
If you’re not satisfied with the ear tips that come on the in-ears from the factory, you can alternatively help yourself to the five other sizes. There should be something for everyone here. However, people who do not enjoy in-ear headphones will not be happy here either. Since the Klipsch tend to sit even a bit tighter in the ears than other representatives of the favor, they are by no means recommendable for such people.
The charging case, as mentioned earlier, has a classy exterior with a metallic finish and a rubberized bottom. The same ensures that it holds stable on smooth surfaces. On the back is a USB-C port for the included fabric-lined USB-C charging cable.
If you do not have a corresponding port, Klipsch accommodates you. After all, the manufacturer includes a suitable USB-A to USB-C adapter. The case can also be charged wirelessly on Qi-enabled pads. Discreet white LEDs indicate how much battery life the case can still provide or how far the battery has already been charged.
Practical control by head movement
The operation of the Klipsch T5 II ANC has a few surprises to offer. Should you hate touch controls on small in-ears like I do, you’re golden here. The outer sides of each earphone are designed as buttons that bring different functions. For example, press the left earpiece once to turn on active noise cancellation. Another click on the left earpiece turns it off again. If you click a third time, you activate the so-called transparency mode.
The right side controls the playback of the earphones. Pressing the earpiece once either plays or pauses the music. Double-clicking again makes things look different. If you double-click on the left side, the volume is decreased. If you tap the left earpiece even three times, it will be increased. Double-clicking on the right side will take you back to the previous track. Tapping three times will make you jump to the next track.
While the left earpiece takes care of ANC, the right earpiece is given a significant role in calls. Should a call come in, you can answer it with a simple click. During calls, many different combinations between button hold and button press are possible. Here, you can quickly lose track and be overwhelmed, especially in the beginning. However, the operating pattern becomes second nature over time. If you are not satisfied with the factory control, it can be customized in the app.
If you are interested in a modern control, you are welcome to try the Bragi Moves of the Klipsch T5 II ANC. These are special gesture controls that require you to use your full body. You control things like skipping a track by shaking your head. Shake your head three times and the headphones jump to the next song. Now imagine that you want to skip several tracks at once. Even if you don’t listen to metal, you won’t be able to avoid headbanging.
The feature worked in practice, but as soon as I found myself in public, I abandoned the special gesture controls. I was a bit uncomfortable with the head shaking after that. But there are definitely scenarios where the Bragi Moves can be helpful. For example, if you regularly do not have your hands free to make adjustments to the earpieces themselves, the motion control is worth its weight in gold. However, you should turn it off if you do not use it. Otherwise, there is a risk of incorrect inputs on a regular basis.
Protection against dust and water according to IPX4
Like the majority of other wireless in-ears with ANC, the Klipsch T5 II ANC also rely on protection against dust and water. In particular, the US manufacturer features protection according to IPX4 standard here. Thus, the headphones are protected from light splashes, which makes them especially interesting for athletes. However, you should not push the water protection to the extreme. This is primarily about splash water protection.
Real water pressure can lead to immediate defect with the In-Ears, which is why they must not be dropped into water under any circumstances. You should also avoid cleaning them under running water. You should also note that the headphones themselves, but not the charging case, are protected against splashes. If the in-ears get wet, they must dry before you put them back in the charging case.
Klipsch Connect App
Of course, as befits modern headphones, Klipsch doesn’t forgo a custom app for its compact in-ears. In view of the horrendous price, however, one may also expect this. In the Klipsch Connect app, which you can download for Android and iOS, you will find a lot of useful functions and settings. Hifi fans in particular will be pleased with the small details that can be adjusted here to suit your mood.
An exciting feature goes by the name of “Dirac Audio”. However, this one might be a thorn in the side of hifi nerds. After all, it reduces the accuracy and naturalness of the music playback a bit. If you want exact highs and mids, you should deactivate it in the app, since it is activated ex-factory. Personally, I did not find Dirac Audio bad and felt that the feature conjured a rounder sound on the ears. However, that is ultimately a matter of taste.
But in the app you don’t only get access to extensive features like gesture control and Dirac Audio. On top of that, connoisseurs can let off steam here in the six-band equalizer. It not only offers user-defined presets, but can also be defined individually according to your mood. On top of that, you get access to the ANC mode and the transparency mode in the app.
Last but not least, the app comes in handy when you need to update the firmware. This way, your T5 II ANC will always be up to date. However, I personally noticed one annoying habit when using the app. Klipsch Connect updates itself every time you make a change, no matter how small. Even when you open the app, you always have to wait a few seconds. If you have to be quick, this can drive you up the wall. However, since normal users won’t look into the app too often, this shouldn’t be too much of an issue.
The hardware and battery life
To help the small in-ears deliver a great sound experience, Klipsch installs dynamic 5.8 mm drivers. These deliver a frequency range of 10 Hz to 19 kHz. Modern Bluetooth 5.0 is also on board, which did not disappoint me in the test and reached across my 80 m² apartment. Thanks to compatibility with the AAC and SBC codecs, the best prerequisites are also provided on the sound quality side.
However, we miss the support of AptX. Perhaps Klipsch can provide this in the form of an update. According to the manufacturer, the small in-ears should manage just under 7 hours of listening pleasure. With noise cancellation activated, it is supposed to be 5 hours again.
The charging case provides 21 more hours of battery life in normal mode, or 15 hours with ANC enabled. I can definitely confirm Klipsch’s claims. At average volume, the T5 II ANC lasted just under 6:30 hours. Activated ANC reduced the runtime to 4:45 h.
Sound and ANC
But now we want to come to the supreme discipline – the sound. At the latest here, headphones in the price range of the T5 II True Wireless ANC have to prove that they are worth their price. Let’s start with the active noise cancellation. Klipsch has managed this relatively solidly. When it comes to intense rumbling in the low frequency range, the T5 II True Wireless ANC provide reliable suppression. Especially frequent flyers, but also daily bus or train commuters will be happy about this. Only a few high-frequency sound fragments find their way to the listener’s ears despite ANC.
However, this is rather the rule than the exception in the field of ANC headphones. If you do not listen to music while ANC is activated, you unfortunately have to live with a weak hiss. This can be a bit annoying in the long run. However, this white noise decreases when you are in somewhat louder surroundings. While trebles are the Achilles’ heel, the Klipsch T5 II Wireless ANC does a good job with mids. Thus, conversations from other people are pleasantly faded out, which also allows undisturbed work in a café or restaurant.
The top class in terms of ANC is delivered by Sony’s WF-1000XM4. Unfortunately, the Klipsch can’t keep up here. Thus, Sony’s shiny pieces do not only reliably filter out low-frequency noises. On top of that, they deliver a better performance in the mids and trebles. They also do all that without annoying noise. Unfortunately, the Klipsch T5 II Wireless ANC cannot compete with the QuietComfort Earbuds from Bose.
However, the Klipsch T5 II Wireless ANC do not only provide good noise suppression. The general sound of the in-ears is probably much more important to many listeners. And this, too, can best be rated with the word solid. Let’s start with the bass. They are precisely placed and do not creak at any point. Especially with very low bass, the T5 II Wireless ANC deliver a really great performance. The small headphones also present the high mids and trebles well. Even in high-frequency areas like guitar solos, they deliver a good performance.
If you like to listen to RnB, hip hop, EDM or other very bass-heavy music, you may find the low end lacking a bit of punch. This is where the handy Klipsch Connect app comes in handy. With its help, you can adjust the sound details within the scope of an extensive equalizer. Finally, the same applies for the Klipsch T5 II Wireless ANC as for all other audio devices. Test listening is a must! Especially if you want to spend so much money on a pair of headphones, you should be sure that they also flatter your own ears.
However, you also have to leave things in the village here. After all, the headphones do deliver a good sound image, but there are also far cheaper alternatives that come to similar results. Two of the most famous examples would be Sony’s WF-1000XM4 and Apple’s AirPods Pro. While Sony is completely ahead in terms of sound, Apple’s ANC in-ears at least perform on par with Klipsch’s.
As befits modern in-ears, the T5 II Wireless ANC naturally also have a hands-free function. Given the total of six microphones that the headphones have on board just because of their ANC function, anything else would also be surprising. To check the recording quality, I first called a friend and asked for feedback. Since he understood everything clearly and only found the sound a bit tinny, it was clear to me that the small in-ears are not a failure in this discipline either.
To be on the safe side, I recorded an additional voice memo with my iPhone and immediately listened to it. As it turned out, the result was really okay. I could understand every word I said clearly. However, one cannot speak of a first-class result. The intelligibility was sometimes a bit too limited for that. In short: The Klipsch are definitely sufficient for a phone call in between. However, you should rather refrain from participating in a conference call or even recording a podcast with the in-ears.
Conclusion: good headphones at a much too high price
Let’s start objectively. The Klipsch T5 II Wireless ANC are without a doubt a pair of headphones of the very highest quality. The build quality is top-notch and I really like the retro-style design! The headphones also perform well in the ear. Thus, they offer a solid active noise cancellation and a good sound. However, I have a hard time recommending the Klipsch T5 II Wireless ANC to potential buyers. After all, at a lower price, there are competitors that are equal or even superior to them in pretty much every discipline. One example would be Sony’s WF-1000XM4. These may not be as visually appealing to some, but in terms of sound, ANC and battery life, they are simply a nose ahead of Klipsch.
Don’t get me wrong. The Klipsch sound really good. However, when testing headphones, you can’t ignore the called price. And it is precisely the value for money that is a real point of criticism here. There are plenty of headphone pairs for just under 250 Euros or even less that deliver a similar performance in terms of ANC and sound as the model from Klipsch with an MSRP of 349 Euros. Ultimately, however, this is all a matter of taste. What is certain is that the Klipsch T5 II Wireless ANC have a design that is unique and will certainly convince many buyers. Your decision will be easier if you order and try out several potential pairs of headphones in addition to the Klipsch ones. We recommend the Apple AirPods Pro (for iPhone users), the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds and the Sony WF-1000XM4.