Klipsch S5i review

If you enjoy breakneck jungle, these fast and full-on S5is will suit. Lovers of acoustic subtlety need not apply, however Tested at £120

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

Imagine your favourite headphones on a major Red Bull binge. Well, here they are


  • +

    Fast, attacking and full-figured sound

  • +

    lightweight and comfortable


  • -

    Bass and treble are both straining at the leash

Why you can trust What Hi-Fi? Our expert team reviews products in dedicated test rooms, to help you make the best choice for your budget. Find out more about how we test.

If you’re the snowboarding type, you’re certain to fall over and hurt yourself at some point. Then you’ll need to attract attention and assistance.

Presumably that’s why Klipsch (which is aiming its S5i in-ear headphones at outdoorsy folk) has built a little torch into the S5is’ carry-case.

As a way of drawing attention when stranded up a mountain, it’s up there with the little light on airline life-jackets.

Comfy in your lug-holes
Still, other aspects of the S5is will suit the more adventurous among us nicely. The rubberised cable resists tangling well and doesn’t transmit bumps to the headphones either.

And for iPhone users, there’s a microphone built into the chunky in-line remote control.

There’s a good selection of ear-tips too, so getting the S5is to fit snugly is simple (the S5is weigh less than 12 grams and are correspondingly comfy to wear).

An invigorating listen
The Klipsches are an invigorating listen. Get all the way down to Funkadelic’s Red Hot Mama and you’ll find enough for the S5is to explain themselves fully: bass is to the fore, but it’s well controlled and detail is deemed as important as simple punch.

At the other end of the frequency range, treble sounds are of the bright-and-aggressive variety, but again the Klipsches exhibit sufficient authority to keep them under control.

In between, the midrange enjoys plenty of breathing space in which to offer plenty of detail, texture and immediacy to voices.

The S5is don’t have the broad appeal of some other Klipsch in-ear designs, then, but if “up-and-at-’em!” sounds like your thing, grab a pair on your way to the piste.

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What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

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