The true wireless earbud category has become increasingly competitive with models now ranging from as low as $49 for those on a budget, right up to $499 for more discerning listeners.
The new Klipsch T5 II ANC sit at the high end of the spectrum, retailing for $429. The second generation of the company’s true wireless earbud offering now come with Active Noise Cancelling (ANC) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) promising not only an improved sound experience, but a smarter and more seamless one too.
When unboxing the T5 II ANC earbuds, the premium and stylish design of the case and the buds is extremely striking. The gunmetal variant (also available in silver and copper) oozes sophistication complemented by the cases’ rounded edges and solid weight in hand without the bulkiness, while the self-closing lid reinforces the product’s quality and durability. The case can either be charged via USB-C or wirelessly.
The earbuds sport the Klipsch branding in a subtle yet classy way on the physical buttons of each bud. In the box, you’ll find six colour-coded ear tips to ensure you find the perfect fit with two small sizes, two medium sizes and two large sizes. The patented oval shape of the ear tips makes them feel snug and comfortable while also providing an ideal seal during use.
With an IPX4 water resistant rating, the earbuds can handle sweat and water splashes while on-the-go. You’ll get 21 hours of battery life from the charging case – or 15 hours with ANC. The earbuds themselves provide seven hours or five hours with ANC.
Featuring ANC technology, the T5 II ANC earbuds offer a two-mic hybrid design for feedforward and feedback ANC to deliver maximum noise cancellation. I was impressed by the earbuds noise cancellation capabilities, particularly when using them in more noisy environments. This is supported by the snug fit and remarkable seal when it’s in your ears.
Equipped with a 5.8mm custom dynamic driver, the earbuds provide a balance of high output, neutral sound and extended deep bass, which can be felt when listening to various music genres. Featuring six beamforming microphones, you will experience crystal clear calls, ideal when multi-tasking between typing on a keyboard and speaking to a colleague.
To allow some ambient noise in for increased awareness of your surroundings, it’s easy to enable transparency mode with a single press of the button on the left earphone A voice prompt tells you if the mode is on or off when the button is pressed – another handy addition.
Unique selling points
The Klipsch T5 II ANC are the first earbuds to feature built-in Bragi operating system with embedded AI for a hands-free and gesture-controlled experience. By nodding your head three times, you can accept incoming calls and by shaking your head three times, you can either decline calls or skip to the next track.
The first time I tried the interactions, it didn’t work but after calibrating my gestures in the app, it was successful. A great feature for an even more hands-free experience and helps set Klipsch apart from the competition.
In another industry-first, the Klipsch T5 II ANC incorporate Dirac HD Sound for more balanced sound and enhanced clarity.
Dirac’s sound optimisation solution corrects the impulse and frequency response of the earbuds to reveal subtle beats, tones and sounds that can be lost in the playback process for a listening experience that is truer to the artist’s intent. Dirac HD sound is enabled regardless of streaming device, media player or content source.
The supporting Klipsch Connect app is intuitive and simple to use. It allows you to make product updates, EQ adjustments, check battery status, manage noise cancelling settings, as well as access the quick start guide and troubleshoot.
In the app, you can also adjust the media and telephone functions when you press the left earbud. A single press, double press or triple press can be customised to activate ANC or transparency mode, turn the volume up or down, play or pause, or change to the previous or next track.
Verdict: Klipsch has taken the wireless earbuds category to new heights with exclusive functionality that can’t be found on any other headphones. For $429, it may be out of reach for some but it’s worth the investment if you’re looking for a superior hands-free experience that is both enjoyable and tech-forward.