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Sep 9, 2019
Share to facebook Klipsch So far this year I’ve spent a lot of my time reviewing true wireless earphones, the type that have no wires at all, and pop into each ear like an oversized hearing aid. True wireless technology is improving at a pace and playing times are getting longer with each new generation. However, there’s still a place for traditional wired earphones, especially for those of us with smartphones that have headphone sockets. Wired earphones don’t need to be recharged and they often include an inline remote control, plus wired earphones are often preferred by some purists who turn their noses up at the sound quality of Bluetooth models. This week I’m reviewing the Klipsch T5M wired earphones, a mid-price model with an in-ear monitor style that shares some heritage with the excellent Klipsch T5 True Wireless earphones I reviewed last month. These are only the second pair of Klipsch earphones I’ve ever reviewed and I was impressed with the T5 true wireless model and I was keen to hear what the wired version sounded like. As a brand, Klipsch has been around for 60 years and has something of legendary status in the USA, especially among lovers of rock music. Klipsch is the official supplier of speakers and headphones to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland, Ohio. The company’s reputation was built on the manufacture of large hi-fi loudspeakers, but the Klipsch name is making good headway in the earphone market these days. The Klipsch T5M wired earphones feature oval ear tips for extra comfort and they definitely make a difference. Klipsch The T5M earphones are small and practically disappear into the wearer’s ear thanks to the Klipsch patented oval-shaped ear tips, a concept that people seem either to love or hate. I find them comfortable to wear, and with a choice of different-sized tips, including a pair of double-flanged tips, there should be a pair that can slip into most people’s ears for a nice and snug fit. These earphones feature an inline remote control with a single button for controlling music, summoning up voice assistants, skipping tracks and dealing with phone calls. The remote doesn’t have any volume buttons because the protocols are different for Android and iOS devices, and the T5M has been designed to work with all types of smartphone. The remote includes a high-quality microphone for making voice calls. The microphones built into most true wireless earphones can be poor for voice calls but wired models fair better thanks to the microphone being closer to the speaker’s mouth. I tested these earphones with an iPhone SE and the first thing I noticed was their very slight lack of sensitivity. I had to set the volume level up just a bit more than usual to get my usual sound level; that’s not necessarily a bad thing. However, if you’re the kind of person who likes a thunderously loud pair of earphones, this pair may struggle when used with some smartphones. I like loudness but I’m sensible enough to know it’s not good for my hearing, so I try to keep things at a safe level. Remember, the maximum volume level of these earphones will be dictated by the power iof your smartphone’s amplifier rather than the T5M. I tried them out with a headphone amplifier and they absolutely rocked with the extra volume available. Available in black and white finishes, the Klipsch T5M wired is a small pair of earphones but the sound is definitely big. Chris Bucher The sound produced by the Klipsch T5M is exhilarating. The bass is superb and borders on being subsonic at times. The treble has enough detail, although it possibly tails off a little at the very top end of the range. The midrange is slightly compressed but I liked the sound overall. I’m not sure these earphones will suit all genres of music. For instance, if you’re a classical music lover then the Klipsch T5M’s midrange might be a bit tame for your musical tastes. I tested the T5Ms out with a variety of music ranging from chilled Bossa Nova tracks to Van Morrison’s divine The Healing Game album. There was plenty of bottom end and enough treble to take care of drums and electric guitars. The midrange can cause some vocals to sound a little distant but that works fine on many recordings. The Klipsch T5M earphones sound more than acceptable and the fit is super comfortable. Not once did I suffer from that annoying inner-ear itch that so many earphones seem to create. However, there is one feature on these earphones that slightly lets the side down. The cable is coated in a braided fabric material and when the wires chafe or scrape over any surface, like clothing or a zip, the vibrations, known as microphonics, travel up the cable into the earpieces and are magnified. If you’re the sort of person who wears earphones while running or working out at the gym, the Klipsch T5M may irritate you, and then some. It wasn’t a problem for me as I tend to listen to earphones while sitting down or going to sleep at night, so the microphonics aren’t an issue. But if you are an exerciser then you may not get on with the T5M. The remote control of the Klipsch T5M earphones just features one button, there are no volume controls. Klipsch Verdict: I loved the all-round big and bold sound of the Klipsch T5M wired earphones. It’s incredible how much bass the relatively small 5 mm dynamic drivers in each earpiece produced. The sound is superb for rock, pop, and jazz, although for classical or opera I’d say they may be a little too colored for some people’s tastes. Phone-call quality is good, thanks to a high-quality wired microphone, and it’s nice having a remote, although I would have like to have had volume buttons. There is an iOS-only version with volume controls, but it does cost a little more. The only drawback here is the fabric-covered cable which can chafe and make a bit of noise. I’d love to see a quieter plastic-covered cable or an over-the-ear hook design, because the sound of these earphones is extremely seductive and exercisers should be able to enjoy them too. Pricing: $59 / £70 / €75 Driver Diameter: 5.0 mm. Sensitivity (1MW): 98 dB.