By all means, be careful with these speakers. They play louder than you think, putting the competition behind them in a deafeningly dynamic sound, where Decibel is always written in capital D.
It’s not the speaker for you who prefers a slender soundbar right under the TV, but Klipsch The Fives is definitely the speaker for you who are drita tired of the sound from the soundbar you already have. Not to understand that we have something against soundbars. Not at all. The good ones among them, can work really well as the main speaker in the living room.
And then many of them can give a certain surround effect, which is effective on film, TV series, gaming and sports, but hopeless on music. That’s where The Fives comes in. They give you neither Dolby Atmos nor surround, but they give you much better sound quality and proper stereo.
As is well known, two is better than one, and a stereo pair is always preferable to one speaker. Although table speakers such as the Naim Mu-so2 and B&W Formation Wedge play beyond expectations, the sound picture becomes larger and more three-dimensional with two speakers.
Wireless speaker pairs such as Dynaudio Xeo 10, KEF LSX and Klipsch The Sixes, are three well-playing alternatives to both sound banks and a stereo system. The same is true of Klipsch The Fives, which is a smaller version of The Sixes, but with updated elements and a few more features.
The two Klipsch wireless speakers have a lot in common. Both are active speakers with Bluetooth, physical inputs such as digital optical, USB and two analog, and they have a built-in turntable input. The Fives also has an HDMI input with audio return, which soundbars have, and then can connect to the TV and control the sound on the speakers with the TV remote control.
A total of six entrances.
The Fives also comes with a remote control, and has a volume control and input selector on top of one speaker. Like the Sixes, there is an output for the subwoofer here.
There are not many soundbars you can connect a turntable to, but you can here. if the player does not have built-in phono steps, such as a Rega Planar 1+ has, you can use the speaker’s built-in. It can easily be used as a regular input for another analog audio source, just flip the switch on the back over to switch. Alternatively, you can connect another analog audio source to the rear mini jack.
Here you can also connect to a digital audio source via either optical input, or via USB. Which may be relevant if you want to play music from a laptop. Then you can use the speaker’s built-in 24-bit digital converter, which provides even better sound than streaming via Bluetooth.
The speakers measure just over 30 cm in height, and are far nighter and easier to place, than The Sixes. They can not hang on the wall since they have bass ports on the back, but otherwise it is mostly free in front. On the bookshelf, on a bench, on racks, the possibilities are many.
The Fives are available in black veneer with gray grills in Klipsch Heritage design, or walnut veneer with off-white grills.
One speaker must be connected to power. The other speaker is connected to it again, and any audio sources are also connected to the main speaker. Then the rest is planking. As mentioned, the sound and input selection can be operated from one of the speakers, or from the remote control, but unlike the B&W and KEF speakers, there is no app control with streaming services such as Spotify, Tidal or Deezer here.
Dynamic bass eq
The Fives look better in real life than in pictures. The quality impression is trustworthy, and the matte walnut veneer is nicely done.
Like most Klipsch speakers, they have a horn tweeter for higher efficiency. A 25 mm treble with titanium diaphragm sits in the center of the Klipsch Tractrix horn, and below an 11.5 cm bass with a diaphragm in composite material. Despite relatively modest measurements, Klipsch claims that The Fives can achieve a sound pressure of 109 dB. It should turn out that they have their words intact.
The small speakers play well above their weight class, and even make the KEF LSX sound puzzling. They breathe the bigger Sixes in the neck, but the sound from Fives is more refined, the soundscape is better balanced and they are more comfortable to listen to when playing loud. The speakers did a brilliant job with Dagny’s Somebody, and rocked with the best when the volume was jacked up.
There is one thing to be aware of. The speakers have an automatic loudness function that is on all the time. It does not know that the speakers are close to a wall, so then you can get too much bass. The solution is to hold down the SUB button on the remote control for three seconds, until it flashes once in the white LED on the top of the speakers. If you want the eq back, just repeat and wait for two flashes from the LED.
As with Sixes, the phono input on Fives is nothing to brag about. It’s the speaker’s weakest point, but on Bluetooth it’s sweepingly playing dynamically and there’s a real impact on the music here.
It gets even better when I connect a Mac with Tidal via USB, then the sound image grew in depth and the small speakers’ level of detail increased noticeably. The acoustics of piano recordings with Keith Jarret came out better, and the bass was better defined. The bass goes deep enough in my opinion, but it is always possible to connect a sub for those who want more deep bass.
The speakers have one small limitation, which it shares with many other active speakers, and that is that it limits the level of the bass when playing really loud. Then a sub can be the solution, but then you also play so loud that the neighbors are guaranteed to complain.
The new The Fives is a notch up from Sixes on pure sound quality. You’ll get more refined sound in the KEF LSX, and fatter bass in the Sixes, but The Fives plays louder than the LSX and is better balanced than the Sixes. I’m not thrilled with the phono step. But it is not to be assumed that The Fives is a huge upgrade from most soundbars, and that its many inputs make the speakers far more usable for most people. You won’t find tougher and more fun speakers for the price