PCMag Digital Group. And the build quality is top notch. Part of Klipschâs Heritage Wireless series, The Fives sets out to give a tiny taste of what itâs like to own a grown-up Klipsch without having to drop £ on the La Scala AL5.Whether youâre an old-school wired-for-sound audiophile touting a 3.5mm-to-RCA phono lead, a smartphone-wielding Bluetooth dude, or a digital fanatic with a Toslink cable, you can make music play through this speaker. There’s not much that we’ve tested recently that compares directly with The Fives in terms of design or price. The Fives are obviously a high-quality product, derived from more than seven decades of speaker excellence. The result is a pair of speakers that act as a self-powered, remote-controlled entertainment system solution for those who want real stereo separation, real bass depth, crisp highs, and ease of use. The bass is quite prominent in the mix, and as before, it was a bit overblown on The Fives. The modern connections you expect from a soundbar are all here, including Bluetooth connectivity. For wireless connectivity, there’s Bluetooth 5.0 with support for the aptX, aptX HD, AAC, and SBC codecs. The Fives are Klipsch' first active stereo speakers to feature an HDMI ARC Input, allowing for direct, high-definition connection to TVs, as well as convenient control with the TV remote. Ever since 1946, when Paul Klipsch started promoting his patented Klipschorn audio system, the corporate that bears his title has been inextricably linked with horn-based designs. The acoustic strums are also delivered with bright, crisp detail—what we end up with is a lovely balance. The Fives are part of Klipschâs Heritage Wireless series, so there's a choice of matte black or walnut finishes, with metal switches and a âmid-century modernâ design. The Fives are fairly large bookshelf speakers that measure 12 x 6.5 x 9.25 inches (HxWxD). On Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “No Church in the Wild,” the kick drum loop receives ideal high-mid presence, while the loop’s sustain gets some added low-frequency heft. If your TV doesn’t have an ARC input, you can use its optical digital-audio output or line-level analog-audio outputs to connect to The Fives. Measuring 12.0 by 6.5 by 9.3 inches each (HWD), the speakers combine for a total of 160 watts. It was just great to see how Klipsch was able to manufacture a bookshelf powered speaker this good. Up top on the main speaker, there are attractive built-in rotary dial source selectors and volume controls. A 1-inch titanium LTS (Linear Travel Suspension) vented tweeter with 90 x 90-degree Tractrix horn is derived from the company’s lauded Reference Premiere series. Bill Callahan’s “Drover,” a track with far less deep bass in the mix, gives us a better sense of The Fives’ general sound signature. The review tracks to my own listening, almost went with RP-600M but wanted to try the LS50 as my last listening room set were Klipsch. 3. The aforementioned 4M cable that connects the two speakers is of generous length so you can achieve serious stereo separation. Enter the Klipsch The Fives powered bookshelf speakers. Klipsch The Fives Review â¢ Surprisingly compact speakers! In my notes, I wrote that the speakers had a “sophisticated, polite sound.”. Even without a sub, you get an excellent audio experience with The Fives, as well as the necessary ports to connect just about any sound source to them, earning our Editors' Choice. The LED source indicators also form a volume ladder when you change the volume. A sub output lets you connect an external subwoofer. These powered speakers are handsomely designed, powerful, and can be used with a sub, but hardly need one. The drums on this track sound almost thunderous, but stop shy of sounding unnatural—they manage to absorb some notable bass boosting and never seem to overshadow any other element of the mix, sitting back despite sounding fuller and deeper. The new Klipsch The Fives Powered Monitors active speaker systems are now available at retailers. This feature can be disabled using the included IR remote. The Fives are compatible with Bluetooth 5, with support for AptX, AptX HD, AAC, and SBC Bluetooth codecs. The speakers utilize dynamic bass EQ—DSP (digital signal processing) that adjusts the bass levels as the volume changes. At $799/pair, The Fives are not cheap. The Fives incorporate high-quality parts throughout. But we test a fair number of soundbars in this price range, and with The Fives, Klipsch aims to provide a hearty, left/right channel alternative. Best smart speakers: from Echo to Sonos; On tracks with intense sub-bass content, like The Knife’s “Silent Shout,” The Fives deliver powerful bass depth. Klipsch The Fives loudspeakers offer the lot for under £1k, impressing Noel Keywood. The display of third-party trademarks and trade names on this site does not necessarily indicate any affiliation or the endorsement of PCMag. He specializes in reviewing audio products, and is obsessed with headphones, speakers, and recording gear. November 5, 2020 November 5, 2020 0 0 Shares The Fives are a new creation from Klipsch, intended for anyone looking for a reasonably priced music and TV solution for the living room that sounds better than a soundbar and yet is not overly complex. As before, The Fives sounded smooth and a bit restrained, especially in the upper frequencies, with no appreciable bass bloat as I had heard on other tracks. The speakers still sounded a bit restrained, though. I placed The Fives on top of the Ai60s, which worked out well, since the Klipsch speakers are a bit smaller. Later this year, Klipsch claims there will be support in the Klipsch Connect app (for Android and iOS) for The Fives, which should include EQ to tweak the sound signature. Another new discovery for me is saxophonist Nubya Garcia. Our favorite soundbars in this price range, for instance, include the $600 LG SL10YG and the $800 Sonos Arc. The Fives trade on Klipschâs own Heritage line of products, that is to say they look âvintageâ in comparison to many modern powered speakers, which is a good thing. In the $500 to $1,000 range, you have plenty of options, and they take many forms. Basically, the level of low frequencies relative to the entire spectrum changes depending on the overall level you set—the lower the overall level, the more the bass is boosted to accommodate how the human hearing system perceives different frequencies at different levels. What the grilles hide are, for some of us, the real things of beauty—each speaker is armed with a horn-style 1-inch titanium dome tweeter and a 4.5-inch fiber composite cone woofer. For some solo piano, I was surprised to find Chick Corea playing classical literature live in Paris on Chick Corea Plays. Willie’s voice sounded—well, just like Willie. Available in matte black or walnut models, The Fives have MDF enclosures covered in real wood veneers, with tweed-covered cloth grilles that snap into place magnetically for easy removal and placement. Klipsch The Fives Powered Speaker REVIEW. The woofers account for 60 watts apiece and the tweeters for 20 watts apiece, delivering a frequency range of 50Hz to 25kHz. The magnetic grilles are made from a tough woven fabric. On the other hand, if you crave more excitement in the sound of your speakers, the Fluance Ai60 is a better choice, and it’s less than half the cost. The Fives also feature 192kHz/24-bit decoding for flawless reproduction of high-resolution audio tracks. The Fives are somewhat huge bookshelf audio system that measure 12 x 6.Five x nine.25 inches (HxWxD). Callahan’s baritone vocals have an ideal mix of low-mid richness and detailed high-mid treble edge here. Home audio has evolved over the years. Yes, the lows are boosted and end up making the kick drum heavier, but it never threatens the rest of the mix—there’s plenty of space for the vocals and guitars and higher-register percussive hits to operate. Overall, The Fives sounded smoother and more refined than the Ai60s, though also a bit restrained in the high end with slightly overblown bass. Moving on to a larger symphonic sound, I played the finale from Berlioz’ Symphonie Fantastique as performed by the Muncher Philharmoniker under Sergiu Celebidache. This is a balanced sound that nonetheless pushes the bass forward without making things muddy. Ever since 1946, when Paul Klipsch began selling his patented Klipschorn speakers, the company that bears his name has been inextricably linked with horn-based designs. I really enjoy the LS50 too. We will review these in the features section below. Thanks to true stereo placement, The Fives should provide a sound image that's like superior to most soundbars. Also, the speakers come with a handsome magnetic grille-cloth cover. Along with a power on/off button, it provides a play/pause button, volume up/down, subwoofer volume up/down, mute, and dedicated source-select buttons, along with a Sub Reset button that resets the subwoofer level to its nominal value as well as enabling and disabling Dynamic Bass EQ. The grilles are attractive and have a retro Klipsch logo emblazoned on a medallion in the lower right corner. The source selector uses a white LED to show which input is currently selected. The Fives also ship with a remote control that runs off of two AAA batteries (included). Contributing Editor Tim Gideon has been writing for PCMag since 2006. Keep an eye on your inbox! Also as usual these days, I started with some Jacob Collier—this time, “All I Need” from Djesse Vol. Some might consider the Ai60s to be somewhat brash and splashy, more like ear candy and less sophisticated than The Fives, but this didn’t bother me—in fact, I preferred the sound of the Ai60s overall. You may unsubscribe from the newsletters at any time. But we test a fair number of soundbars in this price range, and with The Fives, Klipsch aims to provide a hearty, left/right channel alternative. But if your taste tends toward a refined sound, they could be well worth the investment. The Fives earn our Editors' Choice award for their grace, versatility, and most of all, their excellent sound quality. The same LEDs, when you adjust the volume, momentarily become meters, gradually fading until only one is lit (when at the lowest volume levels) or all of them are (at maximum volume). As with most such wireless bookshelf systems, the primary speaker houses all the electronics, while the secondary unit is nothing but a passive speaker. The wide range of connection options make The Fives well-suited for many applications, including Bluetooth, computer and TV audio, and even direct input from a turntable. The deeper bass is completely understandable, since the Ai60s’ low-frequency extension is specified down to 35Hz, while The Fives are spec’d down to 50Hz. The Fives by Klipsch are the first powered speakers that are HDMI ARC compatible, and they put soundbars to shame with their incredible audio quality. The Fives sounded smooth if a bit restrained, and as I had come to expect, the bass was a bit overblown. Those are the analog connections, but there’s also a digital panel with Optical and USB inputs. On The Fives, the vocals were super-clean, but the highs were slightly veiled, and the bass was just a bit bloated. The download took less than a minute, while the process of updating the speaker took several minutes. The app offers a quick-start guide with videos, which is basically an enhanced version of the printed guide. Write your own review for Klipsch The Fives Otherwise, the app isn’t very useful. During my listening sessions, I played each track on the Fluance Ai60 wireless bookshelf speakers, reviewed here, in addition The Fives for comparative purposes. Excellent sound signature with crisp, detailed highs and round, rich bass depth Handsome design, with removable tweed grilles Lots of connectivity options, including Bluetooth, HDMI, Optical, and an input for turntables 192kHz/24-bit decoding from USB inputs In addition, the selected source LED blinks twice when you disable Dynamic Bass EQ and once when you enable it. Sign up for What's New Now to get our top stories delivered to your inbox every morning. Pairing The Fives with a Klipsch R-100SW subwoofer proved to be a winning combination. The source-select knob has six white LED indicators next to it. But unlike some such systems, you can select whether the primary speaker is on the left or right with a switch on the back, which makes placement more flexible. TechHive helps you find your tech sweet spot. A follow-up to The Sixes Klipsch introduced a couple years ago, the new speakers are smaller and take connectivity to the next level with the addition of an ARC (audio return channel)-enabled HDMI port.
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