It’s not usually we’re introduced with a product such because the Klipsch The Fives. They’re clearly a pair of stereo audio system, and but we now have to ask ourselves what they’re really for. That solely occurs when a product’s function checklist blurs the strains between hi-fi and TV sound, and in addition often the morning after the What Hi-Fi? Awards ceremony.
Klipsch describes The Fives as a ‘powered speaker system’, which is about as particular as you will get. They can be utilized as a hi-fi system – both standalone or with a supply plugged in – as desktop audio system, or certainly as a real stereo various to a soundbar due to the seemingly easy, however nonetheless shrewdly integrated, HDMI ARC connection.
Klipsch sees this as a possible driver for a lot of clients adopting The Fives. And, as a publication that usually favours stereo audio system as a substitute for a relatively priced soundbar – by way of primary audio efficiency for the cash, a minimum of – we do not see something unsuitable with that idea.
This isn’t resulting from an absence of deal with Klipsch’s half, however a part of the ahead motion of the corporate as a complete. The corporate is making an attempt to broaden its attain, somewhat than merely throwing what it might at their audio system to see what sticks.
The Fives characterize a step in the direction of what Klipsch describes as a extra international sound. The ‘American’ tuning with which the model is so acquainted stays, however among the leanings of the European and Asian markets – sometimes favouring delicacy over sheer scale – have been intentionally addressed.
What we hear is just not precisely the ultimate vacation spot, and there isn’t, we’re instructed, a selected sound at which Klipsch wish to arrive. However anybody on our facet of the Atlantic who might need written the model off for its sonic presentation might afford the model a keener ear sooner or later.
An open thoughts is preferable when approaching The Fives, as are some comparatively deep pockets. At £839 ($699), they aren’t going to be an impulse purchase for a lot of.
That price ticket locations The Fives in roughly the identical realm because the Naim Mu-so Qb, Sonos Arc and KEF LSX. The truth that these are three solely totally different merchandise solely highlights simply what a flexible product you’re getting for the cash. Its rivals rely solely on how you propose to make use of them; there isn’t actually a direct competitor.
In brief, The Fives will connect with just about something. The HDMI ARC connection for TVs is joined by analogue RCA, 3.5mm aux, digital optical and USB inputs. Bluetooth 5.0 can be current for easy wi-fi playback, whereas a subwoofer output permits for growth into the decrease frequencies.
Klipsch The Fives tech specs
Drivers 25mm tweeter; 11.5cm mid/bass
Reflex port Rear-firing
Cupboard MDF with wooden veneer
HDMI ARC Sure
Dimensions (hwd) 30.5 x 16.5 x 23.5cm
Weight 5.35kg (major); 4.85kg (secondary)
There’s additionally a phono preamp in-built, proving Klipsch’s dedication to hi-fi and that these usually are not solely TV audio system, so by including only a easy deck you actually can have a tidy house leisure system with The Fives as its mouthpiece.
The Fives are able to hi-res music playback, whereas Klipsch’s Dynamic Bass EQ is designed to boost low frequencies at decrease volumes. It may be turned off as a function, for a extra conventional bass response, or you possibly can minimize the bass if it’s getting too boomy close to a again wall. That’s certainly a risk, as a result of rear-firing reflex port. It options Klipsch’s Tractrix horn form, in an identical however narrower kind to that discovered on the entrance surrounding the 25mm titanium dome tweeter.
Just under is an 11.5cm long-throw woofer, which seems smaller than it’s due to the proportions of the horn above it, however is properly able to filling a small to medium-sized room with out overstretching.
Regardless of Klipsch audio system’ popularity for room-filling sound, at 30cm tall and 23.5cm broad, these are comparatively small bookshelf audio system; don’t anticipate them to venture throughout a room the scale of an air hangar. Apart from, you’ll want to be shut by to admire the design.
The walnut veneer on our evaluate pattern resonates with the value tag, however of all this virtually mid-century design, the rollers on the highest of the right-hand speaker stand out most.
If we have been to compile a espresso desk e-book of dials and knobs discovered on hi-fi package since What Hello-Fi? was first printed 45 years in the past, the controls on these Klipsch audio system might simply make the primary version. The actual fact The Fives come packaged with a distant is nearly irrelevant, given how eager you’ll be to rise up and use these dials to alter quantity and supply.
The Fives would really feel like a premium product with the form of contact panel we often see on powered audio system similar to these, however the individuality of this design needs to be praised – particularly whether it is an indicator of the eye paid to every thing else.
A minimum of we are able to say that Klipsch has paid equal consideration to every of The Fives’ many potential sources. It’s no faint reward after we say how happy we’re that these audio system’ character is just about uniform, nevertheless we resolve to make use of them; that may’t be a easy job when being requested to take materials from a TV, turntable, streamer, laptop computer and a smartphone.
The Fives do properly, all instructed. They provide a superb degree of element that can dig out texture and timbre no matter whether or not it’s from the voices of a chamber choir or daytime cleaning soap. Is it similar to a grand’s value of hi-fi separates? Not fairly – nor would we anticipate it to be – nevertheless it is sufficient to ship a form of sonic maturity you received’t get from a price range soundbar or wi-fi speaker. And as a package deal, they’re a neater proposition than separates.
It’s a punchy sound, too, capable of tackle stabbing snares and hi-hats in addition to heavy artillery. A great pair of hi-fi audio system ought to all the time be capable of do each, and so it transpires with The Fives. Stereo imaging is nice, supplied the audio system are positioned with care and positioned on a stable assist.
So The Fives are a lovely hear, however they’re not excellent. We’d like a extra even frequency stability with higher top-end refinement. Whereas there’s an honest quantity of bass for the audio system’ dimension and treble doesn’t sound significantly rolled off, sure frequencies have a tendency to stay out in an virtually arbitrary vogue – and, to a level, this detrimentally impacts the way in which these Klipschs convey timing and organisation.
Total, although, you do get a superb return in your funding as a one-stop store for house audio. If you wish to use them for one factor specifically, you may get higher worth with a extra devoted part, but when it’s a do-all pair of audio system you crave, it’s properly value giving The Fives a go.
Or our choose of the best soundbars