The Klipsch T5 II True Wireless ANC adds active noise cancellation (ANC) to an already excellent pair of in-ear wireless earbuds. Several interesting features, such as head gestures and Dirac audio enhancement technology, help to differentiate it from the competition. But despite its great audio, the Klipsch's ANC performance is merely decent and it is relatively expensive. I tested the McLaren Edition, which has a McLaren F1-inspired design and includes a wireless charging pad. At S$499, it's also S$50 more than the standard version.
- 5.8mm drivers
- Bluetooth 5.0
- Includes dual-position wireless charging pad
- Battery life of up to 7 hours music playback (5 hours with ANC)
The earbuds themselves are relatively lightweight. Klipsch includes six pairs of eartips in different sizes, so you should find a good fit among them. They are very comfortable and I could wear them for hours. But perhaps it's the shape of my ears. I did feel as if the earbuds, which protrude a fair amount out of my ears, may fall out if I break into a sprint. I like how easy it is to tap the button on each earbud without pushing it into my ear. Unlike touch-based controls, there's a definitive click when the button is pressed, so you know you have tapped it properly. By default, the left button toggles between the active noise cancellation and transparency mode. The former reduces ambient noise by a decent amount. But it's not the best and easily defeated by the din from buses and trains. Transparency mode, though, works great.
If you don't mind drawing weird looks on the train, the Klipsch supports head gestures (Bragi Moves) that lets you answer or reject phone calls by nodding or shaking your head. It works pretty well for phone calls. Slowly shaking or nodding your head works, too — you don't have to do it vigourously. However, the gestures won't work for video calls via WhatsApp, which is what I often get nowadays. The headshake gesture can also be used to skip tracks during music playback, but only for mobile devices (no Windows or macOS support yet). You can adjust these gestures, as well as the behaviour of the Klipsch's buttons in the Klipsch Connect mobile app (for iOS and Android). While these head gestures have their moments, I would have preferred in-ear detection as I can simply remove an earbud if I need to talk to someone.
The Klipsch Connect app offers a customisable equaliser with six presets, including vocal, rock and podcast. It also lets you toggle the Dirac HD sound feature, which seems to tighten the notes for a more crisp and focused sound. This extra audio processing is probably not for everyone, but I liked it. Vocals are clear and detailed while bass and percussion instruments have a proper kick to them. The stereo imaging produced by the earbuds is very good — I could clearly discern where objects were in the space around me.
The Klipsch T5 II True Wireless ANC are excellent but pricey earbuds. They perform well in the audio department, but for noise cancellation, you may want to try the Sony's WF-1000XM4 instead. The Klipsch's head gestures are nice, but not something I would use much. I do like the variety of settings and options available in the Klipsch Connect app. The buttons are really nice, too. You'll get a useful wireless charging pad with the McLaren Edition reviewed here, but I actually prefer the look of the standard version's gunmetal case. Besides the McLaren Edition with ANC (available here) Klipsch also has a sporty McLaren version (found here). If you're not a McLaren fan, go for the standard version here.
Note: Review unit provided by Klipsch.
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