The in-ear headphone market has to be one of the toughest audio markets to crack, but Klipsch has had a regular sprinkling of success stories over the years. Aside from the T5M wired under review here, the firm's most recent triumph was in 2018, when the impressive R6i IIs walked away with not just a What Hi-Fi? Award, but a Product of the Year in the wired in-ear headphones category.
Klipsch has thrown its hat into the ring once more with its latest model, the T5M Wireds. Can we add this pair of in-ears to the list of successes too?
Comfort is subjective, of course, but we find the Klipsch earpieces aren’t too bulky, nor are they too fiddly to get in place. Each one houses a 5mm dynamic driver and features a 5.6mm nozzle, on to which you can pop Klipsch’s patented oval earbuds.
We’ve always been big fans of these particular tips and find them to be among the most comfortable on the market. The silicone used is soft and offers not just comfort but also a great seal, which helps with noise isolation. You get four different sizes of earbuds included in the box, so you shouldn’t have any problems finding one that suits.
We don’t normally highlight headphone cables for praise, but the one that Klipsch uses for the T5Ms looks and feels the part. The material used gives them a rugged quality and it features a few attractive specks of copper, which is a Klipsch trademark.
Like many in-ear headphones, the Klipschs can generate a decent amount of cable noise, so we’d suggest using the small clothing clip that comes in the box. The T5M Wired headphones are available in either black or white, and as with many earbuds at this level, you get a pouch to carry them around in.
Beneath the left earpiece are an in-line mic and one-button control – there’s no room for a volume control on this model, but the upside is they will work with a wide range of smartphones. Although Klipsch hasn’t positioned the T5Ms as a sports headphone, it’s worth noting that these buds are IPX4 certified, meaning they’re both sweat- and water-resistant.
Play Billie Eilish’s Bad Guy and these Klipschs waste no time powering through the intro with a steady stream of solid, powerful and punchy bass notes. The T5Ms deliver each one with precise, sharply defined edges and you immediately hear the buds have a fine sense of agility. The vocal bleeds into the track with a good sense of space around it, as does the track’s constant background ‘clicking’.
Style In-Ear Monitor
Driver diameter 5mm
Frequency response 10Hz-19kHz
These in-ear headphones succeed in painting a nicely layered picture and once the track’s bassline transforms from a steady beat to one that dips and dives, the T5Ms follow it faithfully. Bass weight is perfectly judged and you never feel shortchanged. Highs are crisp and controlled with no trace of hardness or brightness.
These earbuds do dynamic subtlety too, with the guitar strings on The Streets’ Dry Your Eyes dragging you through the mournful track. The Klipschs’ natural tone and delivery help you get a real sense of the emotion here.
They show a sense of maturity that can be quite rare in earbuds at this price point. Skinner’s vocal sounds fluid and textured with the buds providing great insight. They also display an excellent sense of timing as the different strands of the song flow and intertwine.
If you’re still using the in-ear headphones that came bundled with your smartphone, then you’re missing out. The Klipsch T5M Wired in-ears are up there with the very best at this kind of money and will make a big difference, whether you’re using them with a music streaming service such as Spotify or video streaming equivalents such as Netflix. They’re highly recommended.
- Sound 5
- Comfort 5
- Build 5
Read our SoundMagic E11C review