The Klipsch T5 True Wireless is gently U-Shaped in signature. There are more highs and lows than mids, but only just enough to achieve a traditional “fun” sound. Warmth and detail mingle together in a pleasant balance that will put a smile on most listeners.
Treble is thick and sweet with a slight shimmer. Smooth, sultry notes give the highs a very enjoyable quality. While the treble stands out, aiding detail retrieval and resolution, it is sculpted without any harshness. There’s more warmth than airiness, but that’s not to say the T5 is dark or devoid of light.
Vocals are filled in by the low-end, attaining a cozy, romantic flavor. The artist stands large on the stage, a mere step or two back from the instruments. As I mentioned before, this is a gentle U-Shape. The voice is never hard to hear, even in rock music. Textural detailing is evident, allowing you to appreciate many of the more subtle aspects of each singer.
The bass is full and booming, but not to an excessive degree. Yes, it’s above neutral, yet bassheads may find the T5 too audiophile for their tastes. The balance is artfully done. Lower harmonics add warmth to vocals and instruments, giving everything a beautiful grounding. There seems to be more mid-bass than sub-bass, but you do feel some deep rumbles. I think the T5’s bass is the lynchpin of its tuning. It warms up the vocals and sweetens the treble. It sounds really good.
Soundstage is rather cubical, having equal width, height and depth. And it’s of a decent size, certainly not what I’d call small. Imaging is adequate, and element separation is rather good. Resolution is also pretty good. Better than I expected, but not really its defining feature.
The Lypertek Tevi seems to be a cheaper option. I’m not sure how much it usually sells for, but at the time of this writing it is on sale for around $90. Tevi is a more neutral signature, with nice treble sparkle and sufficiently full bass. But really, nothing stands out as being emphasized over anything else. On the other hand, nothing sounds lacking, either. Tevi accomplishes a complete signature. Highly detailed, open and airy, with moderate warmth to ensure a musical nature. Its soundstage is also bigger than that of the Klipsch T5. Its treble is less sweet and more on the dry side. And vocals come off slightly thinner. The bass is more linear less aggressive.
HIFIMAN’s entry, the TWS600 ($199), is a tough one to recommend… if you hate EQ. It’s thin and brittle-sounding. There’s virtually no bass, and the vocals are shouty and painful. However, it responds well to equalizing. If you raise the bass and lower the hell out of the upper mids and lower treble, you can very easily achieve a thoroughly captivating profile. The soundstage is bigger than the Klipsch, and the shells are extremely comfortable, staying in place like good IEMs should. I’ll have to play with it more. While I managed to reach a place I greatly enjoyed, I don’t think you can get the same bass depth as Klipsch, no matter how much you EQ.