Klipsch The Fives review: These Bluetooth bookshelf speakers deliver smooth, refined sound

Ever since 1946, when Paul Klipsch started promoting his patented Klipschorn audio system, the corporate that bears his identify has been inextricably connected with horn-based designs. As he came upon a decade previous whilst evaluating horn-loaded and cone-based audio system, horns be offering higher potency and extra controllable dispersion.

Now, nearly 75 years later, the corporate continues to put into effect that philosophy in a variety of audio system, together with The Fives, a couple of powered, wi-fi bookshelf audio system that bespeak top of the range of their building and function.

This assessment is a part of TechHive’s protection of the most productive Bluetooth audio system, the place you’ll to find critiques of competing merchandise, plus a purchaser’s information to the options you will have to imagine when searching for this kind of speaker.

Klipsch The Fives function set

The Fives are somewhat massive bookshelf audio system that measure 12 x 6.Five x nine.25 inches (HxWxD). The main speaker weighs in at 11.eight kilos, whilst the secondary speaker is a little lighter at 10.7 kilos. As with maximum such wi-fi bookshelf techniques, the principle speaker homes the entire electronics, whilst the secondary unit is not anything however a passive speaker. However not like some such techniques, you’ll be able to choose whether or not the principle speaker is at the left or proper with a transfer at the again, which makes placement extra versatile.

klipsch the fives grilles Klipsch

The magnetic grilles are comprised of a difficult woven material.

Every 2-way speaker features a Four.Five-inch high-excursion fiber-composite cone woofer, the dimensions of which is shut sufficient to five inches to provide the audio system their identify. A 1-inch titanium LTS (Linear Commute Suspension) vented tweeter with 90 x 90-degree Tractrix horn is derived from the corporate’s lauded Reference Premiere sequence. The bass-reflex enclosure has a rear-firing Tractrix port, and it’s created from durable MDF with authentic wooden veneer. Additionally, the audio system include a good-looking magnetic grille-cloth duvet.

The integrated, custom-designed amplifiers supply a complete of 160 watts of energy (320W top), with every woofer receiving 60W and every tweeter getting 20W from their very own separate amp circuits. The utmost output is specified to be 109dB at a distance of one meter from the stereo pair, and frequency reaction is specified from 50Hz to 25kHz (no tolerance given), with bass extension all the way down to 46Hz at 35 p.c quantity.

klipsch the fives exploded Klipsch

The Fives incorporate top of the range portions right through.

One attention-grabbing function is Dynamic Bass EQ, which is typically discovered best in A/V receivers. Principally, the extent of low frequencies relative to all the spectrum adjustments relying at the total point you put—the decrease the total point, the extra the bass is boosted to house how the human listening to machine perceives other frequencies at other ranges. This selection can also be disabled the usage of the incorporated IR faraway.

Inputs abound on The Fives, all of that are discovered at the number one speaker. For wi-fi connectivity, there’s Bluetooth Five.zero with enhance for the aptX, aptX HD, AAC, and SBC formats. As well as, bodily electronic inputs come with optical Toslink, USB-B for connection to a pc, and HDMI ARC for connection to a TV.

To make use of the ARC connection, you wish to have to attach the TV’s ARC enter to The Fives’ HDMI enter; as you might know, the TV’s ARC enter sends audio knowledge to an exterior instrument along with accepting video and audio knowledge from a tool. On this case, you should attach your supply gadgets to the TV and use it to change between them, and you’ll be able to’t use the TV’s HDMI ARC enter as an enter. In case your TV doesn’t have an ARC enter, you’ll be able to use its optical digital-audio output or line-level analog-audio outputs to connect with The Fives. (You’ll be able to learn extra about ARC on this tale.)

klipsch the fives connections Klipsch

The excellent set of inputs at the number one speaker comprises HDMI ARC, phono/line (switchable), three.5mm stereo analog, optical electronic, and USB. A sub output allows you to attach an exterior subwoofer. The Four-pin connector on the backside proper (left, when considered from this perspective) connects the principle speaker to the secondary speaker the usage of the incorporated cable.

Talking of which, analog inputs come with a three.5mm stereo analog jack and a phono enter with two RCA jacks and a floor terminal; the phono enter may also be switched to line point. Rounding out the connections at the again of the principle speaker is an RCA subwoofer output, a USB-A port for servicing, a Four-pin connector that’s used with the incorporated cable to connect with the secondary speaker, and the AC energy receptacle. A Bluetooth button allows you to pair The Fives to a Bluetooth supply.

The use of the Klipsch the Fives

The highest of the principle speaker gives two knurled knobs which might be embedded with just a portion of every one extending above the outside. One selects the supply, and the opposite adjusts the quantity. The knobs really feel very durable and really extensive, identical to the remainder of the speaker.

The source-select knob has six white LED signs subsequent to it. Along with figuring out the chosen supply, the LEDs additionally point out the quantity whilst you alternate it. As well as, the chosen supply LED blinks two times whilst you disable Dynamic Bass EQ and as soon as whilst you allow it.

The one downside I had with this association is that I couldn’t see the LEDs when sitting without delay in entrance of the audio system. I want there was once an LED indicator at the entrance of the speaker to suggest the ability and Dynamic Bass EQ standing.

klipsch the fives controls Klipsch

The sturdy-feeling top-mounted controls permit you to choose the supply and alter the quantity. The LED supply signs additionally shape a quantity ladder whilst you alternate the quantity.

You’ll be able to additionally keep an eye on The Fives with the incorporated faraway, which is small and easy. At the side of an influence on/off button, it supplies a play/pause button, quantity up/down, subwoofer quantity up/down, mute, and devoted source-select buttons, in conjunction with a Sub Reset button that resets the subwoofer point to its nominal worth in addition to enabling and disabling Dynamic Bass EQ.

The unfastened Klipsch Attach app for iOS and Android gives some other keep an eye on possibility for a number of of the corporate’s merchandise, together with The Fives. However the present model best supplies a setup regimen, firmware replace, and product registration. To start with, I didn’t need to sign up the product because it’s a assessment pattern, however the app wouldn’t transcend that time with out it, so I enter my data. The app gives a quick-start information with movies, which is principally an enhanced model of the published information.

As I performed with the app, I came upon that the audio system had firmware model 1.Five.zero and model 1.Five.2 was once to be had, so I carried out the replace. The obtain took not up to a minute, whilst the method of updating the speaker took a number of mins. This procedure is much better than downloading the replace to a pc, hanging it on a USB flash pressure, and plugging that into the speaker.

Differently, the app isn’t very helpful. In keeping with Klipsch, the app can be up to date with EQ and different purposes later this yr.

klipsch the fives remote Klipsch

The incorporated faraway is small and easy with devoted source-selection buttons.

Efficiency of the Klipsch the Fives

As standard, I used the Tidal Grasp library as my supply subject material enjoying by the use of Bluetooth from my iPhone XS. Additionally as standard at the moment, I began with some Jacob Collier—this time, “All I Want” from Djesse Vol. three. This glorious monitor follows the most productive custom of Earth, Wind, and Hearth up to date for the 21st Century. On The Fives, the vocals have been super-clean, however the highs have been barely veiled, and the bass was once just a little bloated. Disabling Dynamic Bass EQ helped, however I couldn’t actually pay attention a lot distinction between off and on.

Subsequent up was once “Ojos Negros,” a brand new unmarried by means of Paula Cendejas and Woman Extremely. This upbeat Latin monitor has a number of electronics and deep bass, which once more was once barely bloated on The Fives. The highs have been a little laid again, however the vocals have been easy and transparent.

Some other new discovery for me is saxophonist Nubya Garcia. “The Message Continues” from her debut album Supply is a elementary jazz combo of bass, drums, electrical piano, and tenor sax. The bass is relatively distinguished within the combine, and as ahead of, it was once a little overblown on The Fives. The sax and piano sounded very good, whilst the highs within the cymbals have been a tad recessed.

Turning to a few vintage nation, I cued up “Satan in a Sleepin’ Bag” by means of Willie Nelson from his remastered album Shotgun Willie. The Fives sounded easy if a little restrained, and as I had come to be expecting, the bass was once a little overblown. Willie’s voice sounded—effectively, identical to Willie.

klipsch the fives lifestyle Klipsch

Klipsch merits credit score for together with a devoted faraway keep an eye on, so that you don’t wish to pull out your telephone for the whole lot.

For some solo piano, I used to be shocked to seek out Chick Corea enjoying classical literature are living in Paris on Chick Corea Performs. I listened to Scriabin’s Prelude #Four from Op. 11, by which Corea injects a jazz interpretation in a couple of spots. The piano sounded easy and cohesive, and I didn’t understand any bloat within the bass in this monitor. The audio system nonetheless sounded a little restrained, regardless that.

Transferring directly to a bigger symphonic sound, I performed the finale from Berlioz’ Symphonie Fantastique as carried out by means of the Muncher Philharmoniker underneath Sergiu Celebidache. As ahead of, The Fives sounded easy and a little restrained, particularly within the higher frequencies, without a considerable bass bloat as I had heard on different tracks. In my notes, I wrote that the audio system had a “subtle, well mannered sound.”

Evaluating Klipsch the Fives to Fluance Ai60

Throughout my listening periods, I performed every monitor at the Fluance Ai60 wi-fi bookshelf audio system, reviewed right here, as well as The Fives for comparative functions. The Ai60s have a 1-inch silk-dome tweeter in a shallow waveguide and a 6.Five-inch woofer in a sealed cupboard, they usually record for $299.99, not up to part the record worth of The Fives.

I positioned The Fives on peak of the Ai60s, which labored out effectively, because the Klipsch audio system are a little smaller. I set the Ai60s’ EQ to a flat reaction and disabled The Fives’ Dynamic Bass EQ, which sounded higher to my ear. Due to Tidal’s consumer interface, I used to be ready to change between them seamlessly.

On each monitor, the Ai60s sounded brighter and extra open than The Fives with crisper highs—in some circumstances, they sounded only a tad overbright in direct comparability with The Fives. For instance, at the Scriabin piano piece, they sounded ever-so-slightly strident. Additionally, the bass was once cleaner, higher outlined, and deeper without a sense of bloating. The deeper bass is totally comprehensible, because the Ai60s’ low-frequency extension is specified all the way down to 35Hz, whilst The Fives are spec’d all the way down to 50Hz.

Total, The Fives sounded smoother and extra subtle than the Ai60s, regardless that additionally a little restrained within the excessive finish with barely overblown bass. Against this, the Fluance audio system have been brighter and extra open with deeper, richer, cleaner bass that was once higher balanced with the remainder of the spectrum. Some would possibly imagine the Ai60s to be quite brash and splashy, extra like ear sweet and not more subtle than The Fives, however this didn’t hassle me—actually, I most popular the sound of the Ai60s total.

Base line at the Klipsch the Fives

The Fives are patently a top of the range product, derived from greater than seven a long time of speaker excellence. The sound is easy, subtle, and complicated, regardless that it’s tipped barely towards the bass and clear of the mids and highs. And the bass is usually a bit overblown.

The wide variety of connection choices make The Fives well-suited for plenty of packages, together with Bluetooth, pc and TV audio, or even direct enter from a turntable. And the construct high quality is peak notch.

At $799/pair, The Fives don’t seem to be affordable. But when your style has a tendency towards a cultured sound, they might be effectively well worth the funding. However, when you crave extra pleasure within the sound of your audio system, the Fluance Ai60 is a more sensible choice, and it’s not up to part the associated fee.

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