If you feel like you might have seen Klipsch's The Fives before, bravo and well remembered; we first mentioned them in February at the Bristol Hi-Fi Show.
This good-looking pair of active speakers features HDMI-ARC and optical inputs (thus making them a viable soundbar alternative, but one that can also work with your turntable) and they were expected to make a spring debut – but that was before the impact of Covid-19. Now, they are finally available in the UK.
To quickly run through the connectivity options that Klipsch The Fives present, you'll get:
– 3.5mm aux-in (for connecting an older music player that doesn’t support Bluetooth, or an Alexa Echo you’d like to add to your hi-fi system, say)
– Bluetooth 5.0
– HDMI-ARC (to connect your speaker to your TV controls)
– Optical digital (ideal for non-HDMI equipped AV systems, including older games consoles)
– Phono/Line analogue input (a built-in moving magnet phono stage means that The Fives are turntable ready. This input is switchable between PHONO and LINE, so it’s a case of plugging in and flicking a switch)
– Subwoofer output (to add a powered subwoofer to The Fives’ driver array)
– USB digital (The Fives support 192khz/24-bit decoding, meaning high-resolution audio tracks from digital devices, including PCs and Macs, is on the menu).
Basically, you can hook them up to almost any source – a TV, turntable, CD player or smartphone, for example.
In addition to the connectivity, The Fives feature their own custom engineered amplification, so you won't need an external pre- or power amp to build a hi-fi system around them. Ultra-low noise amplifiers are bi-amped to drive the two speaker cabinets, each of which employs a 25mm titanium TLS vented tweeter with tractrix horn – a common design trait of Klipsch speakers – and an 11cm long-throw woofer. The rear of the cabinet features a tractrix port, borrowed from Klipsch's premium Reference Premiere speaker line, to further enhance the bass.
While we haven't had the pleasure of listening to them yet, the finish does look quite splendid. The Fives are part of Klipsch’s Heritage Wireless series, so there's a choice of matte black or walnut finishes, with metal switches and a ‘mid-century modern’ design.
The Klipsch Fives are available now in the UK, priced at £829 ($799, AU$1599).
Read all our Klipsch reviews