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Klipsch T5 II ANC McLaren Edition review: Quality at a high price

September 6th, 2021 at 5:06 PM

Klipsch has long built premium audio gear, predominantly in the high-end speaker world, but also when it comes to headphones. Recently, the company launched the new Klipsch T5 II ANC true wireless earbuds, joining a whole roster of companies to do the same over the past year or so.

There are actually a few T5 II ANC models out there. There’s the standard model, which costs $299, and the McLaren Edition model, which costs $349, and comes with a different design and sleek wireless charger. We’re reviewing the latter. Neither of the two are cheap — and in fact, they’re far more expensive than our favorite true wireless headphones, the AirPods Pro and the Sony WF-1000XM4. Are they worth the cash? I’ve been testing them to find out.

Klipsch T5 II ANC True Wireless Headphones Price:$299.00 Buy Now Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission

Klipsch T5 II ANC McLaren Edition design

The Klipsch T5 II ANC earbuds offer a sleek and stylish design that most will appreciate. From the well-built charging case to the earbuds themselves, Klipsch has put a lot of thought into design, and it shows.

Klipsch T5 II ANC Design
Klipsch T5 II ANC earbuds. Image source: Christian de Looper for BGR

The earbuds themselves feature a sloped oval design, with a small arm that extends into the ear. Each bud has a button on its face, with the left offering the Klipsch logo, and in our case, the right offers the McLaren logo. For the standard buds, both have the name Klipsch on them. The buttons are easy to press without pushing them into your ears, which is always handy.

The charging case functions kind of like a Zippo lighter, with a lid that opens on the side. It has a plastic exterior, however, it doesn’t feel cheap or weak. It does feel as though the lid could open relatively easy in a bag, however admittedly that didn’t happen during our testing period. On the back of the charging case, you’ll find a USB-C port for charging.

Klipsch T5 II ANC In Case
Klipsch T5 II ANC in their case. Image source: Christian de Looper for BGR

In the box, apart from the charging case and the earbuds, you’ll also get six pairs of ear tips, a nice, braided nylon charging cable, and a USB-C to USB-A adapter. If you do end up getting the McLaren Edition, you’ll also get a dual wireless charging pad, and it’s actually a really nice charging pad.

Klipsch T5 II ANC McLaren Edition features and battery

The Klipsch T5 II ANC earbuds offer a few features that help make them a premium product. The earbuds connect to the Klipsch Connect app, which allows you to control settings for many of these features. The first feature to set up is Dirac HD, which isn’t for those that want a flat sound, but some might like it. You’ll also be able to set up Bragi gestures, which lets you control audio by moving your head. I tried it for a while, but ultimately disabled it.

After that setup process, you’ll have the ability to tweak other controls too. Notably, you can tweak the EQ, either by using preset options, or by manually controlling the six-band EQ. You can also control noise cancelation. You can also have ANC automatically activate when you’re listening to music, and have transparency mode turn on when you’re on phone calls.

Klipsch T5 II ANC Wireless Charging
Klipsch T5 II ANC on a wireless charging pad. Image source: Christian de Looper for BGR

Generally, the app is pretty well-designed and easy to use. It can get a little annoying to have to wait a second or two each time you tweak the EQ, but it may not matter after you find the best EQ settings for your needs. The EQ itself is pretty subtle — you can’t make huge, sweeping changes. But it should still offer enough for most.

The battery life on the headphones isn’t bad. You’ll get seven hours of use on a single charge, or five with ANC on, and the charging case offers three full charges. That brings the total listening time to 28 hours without ANC, or 20 hours with ANC. That’s not bad.

Klipsch T5 II ANC McLaren Edition comfort

The Klipsch T5 II ANC earbuds may be slightly bulky, but they still offer a decent fit, and can remain relatively comfortable for hours of listening time.

Klipsch T5 II ANC Comfort
Klipsch T5 II ANC earbuds. Image source: Christian de Looper for BGR

The fit, however, isn’t the most secure. These definitely aren’t sports headphones, and if you use them for sports, you’ll find that they will fall out. That said, they’re secure enough for day-to-day use, and we recommend experimenting with the ear tips to find the right ones for your needs.

Klipsch T5 II ANC McLaren Edition sound

If you’re spending this much on a pair of true wireless earbuds, you want them to sound good. Thankfully, the Klipsch T5 II ANC earbuds sound great.

The earbuds offer good bass response, with enough oomph for kick drums and bass guitars. They don’t go over the top either, as some consumer headphones can do. The mids are well-tuned, if not slightly tucked back, while there’s decent clarity in the high end. A little more high-end extension might have been nice, but it’s not a huge issue here.

Klipsch T5 II ANC In Case 2
Klipsch T5 II ANC In their case. Image source: Christian de Looper for BGR

The noise cancelation tech on offer here is pretty good. The headphones can cut out a decent amount of outside noise, and while they do bring some hiss as a result, it’s not a huge issue. That said, they don’t quite reach the heights of the Sony WF-1000XM4 earbuds.

Conclusions

Klipsch makes a series case for itself with the T5 II ANC earbuds. These headphones are high-quality, well-designed, and they sound great. But unfortunately, they’re incredibly expensive. Too expensive.

Don’t get me wrong — if you buy these headphones, you’ll absolutely love what they have to offer. But if you’re still figuring out which true wireless headphones, it’s probably worth looking elsewhere.

The competition

Sony WF-1000XM4 True Wireless Headphones Price:$278.00 Buy Now Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission

If you’re willing to spend on a pair of true wireless headphones, easily the biggest competition to these comes from the Sony WF-1000XM4 earbuds. They offer more features, a better fit, and better noise cancelation. They’re also cheaper — coming in at $280.

If you use Apple products, it’s also worth considering the Apple AirPods Pro. These headphones offer better connectivity features and better noise cancelation, along with a lower price tag.

Should I buy the Klipsch T5 II ANC McLaren Edition?

No. You won’t be disappointed in them, but they’re too expensive — and there are better options for less.

Klipsch T5 II ANC True Wireless Headphones Price:$299.00 Buy Now Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission



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