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Klipsch McLaren T5 II review: Awesome sound with F1 performance

Now, the headline above is probably a little hyperbolic, but I do believe the Klipsch McLaren T5 II headphones are a little something special.

Techaeris Rated 9.3/10

Klipsch is a well-known premium audio manufacturer who makes some of the best audio equipment on the planet. Since true wireless headphones are all the rage these days, the company had to jump into the fray. What they’ve brought into the fray is pretty awesome—the Klipsch McLaren T5 II true wireless headphones.

Now, the headline above is probably a little hyperbolic, but I do believe the Klipsch McLaren T5 II headphones are a little something special. While they don’t have F1 performance, they certainly perform very nicely. So read on for the full review of the Klipsch McLaren T5 II.

Specifications

The Klipsch McLaren T5 II has the following features and specifications:

  • Driver design: Dynamic Moving Coil Micro Speaker
  • Driver Diameter: 5mm
  • Mic/Remote: cVc 8.0 Quad-mic
  • Frequency Response: 10Hz-19kHz
  • Noise Isolation: -22dB
  • Input Connections: Bluetooth
  • Battery (Earpieces): 50 mAh
  • Battery (Charging Case): 360 mAh
  • Bluetooth Version: Bluetooth 5.0
  • IP Rating: IP67
  • 8-hours of battery + 24-hours with case

What’s In The Box

  • Klipsch McLaren T5 II headphones
  • Charging Case
  • Ear tips (S, M, L)
  • Wireless Charging Pad
  • Quick Start Guide and Documentation
Klipsch McLaren T5 II
In the box. Stickers are also included but blew away before I took this photo.

Design

The first thing you’re going to notice about the Klipsch McLaren T5 II headphones design is the charging case. That’s weird to say because most true wireless (TWS) headphone cases are pretty nondescript. This case, on the other hand, is pretty cool looking.

If I had to give it a major ding, it would be the size of it. This is by far the biggest case for TWS headphones that I’ve seen. That being said, I can forgive that just because it’s so functional and cool. It’s nearly as big as two AirPods Pro cases, and it opens with a latch on end. The entire case is covered in a waterproof type plastic with a carbon fiber weave under that.

There is a tether attached so you can slip this on a backpack loop, and the materials all feel premium. Opening the case, you’ll see that the lid is sealed to keep water out with a nice gasket. After opening, you’ll hear a rattling that makes you think something is broken. Nothing is broken. This is simply the top of the case that houses Klipsch’s moisture-removal system.

This moisture-removal system is designed to remove moisture from your earbuds after you’ve been active. The system is removable, and you can “reactivate” the system by removing it from the case and microwaving it holes up for 30-seconds. Klipsch says the system will need to be reactivated periodically but doesn’t say how long.

Klipsch McLaren T5 II headphones
It’s a big case but it’s rugged, well made, and looks great.

I think that’s the longest I’ve ever spent on talking about a TWS charging case. Let’s explain the status indicators that the Klipsch McLaren T5 II headphones have:

Charging Case Status Lights

  • 1 LED Lit – Charging case is 0-33% charged
  • 2 LED’s Lit – Charging case is 33-66% charged
  • 3 LED’s Lit – Charging case is 66-100% charged

Earbuds Status Lights

  • Solid Red – Earphone is charging
  • Blink Red (Once) – Battery on earphone is low
  • Slow Blinking Blue – Earphone is ready to pair to your device
  • Fast Blinking Blue – Earphone is connected to a device

The actual Klipsch McLaren T5 II headphones are oval-shaped with prominent stems that slide snuggly into your ear. The pre-installed ear tips fit perfectly for me, but Klipsch does include several sizes in the box. The ear wings tuck nicely into place, so the sound isolation is excellent on these. Not to mention they aren’t going anywhere.

The Klipsch branding is on one earbud, and the McLaren logo is on the other. The buds are finished in a matte black, which I prefer over glossy black.

Overall, these are nicely designed earbuds that fit well and the charging case is really one of the highlights.

TWS
The headphones

Ease of Use

The Klipsch McLaren T5 II pairing process is super simple. I love that you don’t have to take these out of the charging case to initiate the process. All you need to do is open the case and press the right earbud. The pairing process will start, just find the Klipsch McLaren T5 II in your Bluetooth settings on your device and you’re done.

When you put the Klipsch McLaren T5 II headphones in your ears, they should connect. If one of them doesn’t, press once on the bud that’s not connected, and it should power on and connect.

The controls for operation are pretty straight forward:

Sound Adjustment

  • Transparency Mode – To toggle Transparency Mode on/off, single press the button on the left earphone.
    • Note: Transparency Mode allows the built-in microphones to take in some of the audio from your surroundings. This can help with your awareness of your surroundings while listening to music, or while on a call. You will hear a voice prompt advise it is on/off when toggled.

During Playback

  • Activate Voice Control – Double press the button on the right earphone to activate your device’s Voice Control (Siri, Google, Cortana etc.)
  • Raise Volume – Long press the button on the right earphone to increase volume
  • Lower Volume – Long press the button on the left earphone to decrease volume
  • Next Song – Double press the right earphone to move to the next song/track
  • Previous Song – Double press the left earphone to play the track again, or move to the previous track

Call Control

  • Answer Call – Single press the button on the right earphone to answer an incoming call
  • Refuse Call – Double press the button on the right earphone to hang up, or disconnect the call
  • Mute Microphone – While on a call, double press the button on the left earphone to mute the microphone
  • Answer Another Call – While on a call, single press the button on the right earphone to answer a separate incoming call
  • Hang Up – While on a call, single press the button on the right earphone to hang up
  • Send Incoming Call to Voicemail – If you are on a call and another incoming call comes in, you can double press the button on the right earphone to send the incoming call to voicemail

Overall, the Klipsch McLaren T5 II headphones are simple to operate, and I love that there is no app to putz with. I also like that the tactile feedback on the earbuds is good and responsive. Oftentimes, with physical buttons, it feels like you’re smashing the earbud into your ear, and these do not give that feeling.

Klipsch McLaren T5 II
The moisture-removal system.

Sound

One of my favorite things about the Klipsch McLaren T5 II headphones is the lack of an app. I can respect why some headphones makers include apps, but I find they add another layer of work I’m not particularly eager to deal with. So I am glad these are charge and go.

Klipsch has done an amazing job of balancing the sound on these headphones. I generally like a flat sound stage with a slight boost to the bass frequencies. I found that the sound stage is fairly flat and balanced across frequencies. The bass frequencies might have a little boost, but it’s not extreme and is hardly noticeable at all.

That’s not to say you won’t hear the bass. For bass lovers, what you’ll hear is exactly what the studio and artist mixed. So this means the bass will be preserved but not overdriven like other headphone makers whose aim is to overdrive.

The sound is excellent and the noise isolation provided by the excellent seal if the ear tip is very impressive.

These also have transparency mode allowing you to be aware of your surroundings while listening. This is a good feature for many who might be in an environment where their attention shouldn’t be distracted.

Overall, the Klipsch McLaren T5 II headphones sound is a nice flat and even sound stage. I didn’t find any cracking or breaking at higher volumes, but I also didn’t go past around 70% for my own hearing safety. The majority of listeners will be pleased with the sound quality of these headphones.

Reception/Call Quality

Bluetooth reception is excellent, and call quality is top-notch. Callers could hear me clearly, and I could hear them—no reports of echo or feedback from either party.

Battery Life

Battery life on the Klipsch McLaren T5 II headphones is advertised as 8-hours plus 24-hours in the case. I clocked in with just under 8-hours with my first use. I did not test the 24-hours, but I could get about 3 full charges from it, so I’m sure it’s accurate.

One thing about the charging case is the USB-C charging port is on the inside of the case. At first, I was not fond of that at all. But given that Klipsch includes a wireless charging pad with the headphones, it’s not a huge deal.

The wireless charging pad is a great addition, and the case and buds will fully charge when you set the case on the pad.

Overall, the battery life is spot on, and we love that these not only charge wirelessly but that a wireless charger is included.

Price/Value

The Klipsch McLaren T5 II headphones are priced at US$249, and I think that falls right into the pricing of the competition. Honestly, with the wireless charging pad included the IP67 charging case and all the other pluses. I’d say the McLaren T5 II offers some of the best value for money.

Wrap Up

The Klipsch McLaren T5 II headphones are at the top of the list for premium TWS headphones. They offer great sound, great build quality, great value adds, and great looks.

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Klipsch McLaren T5 II

US$249

Design

9.0/10

Ease of Use

9.5/10

Sound

9.5/10

Reception/Call Quality

9.5/10

Battery Life

9.5/10

Price/Value

9.0/10

Nailed it

  • Great looking design
  • Unique charging case with moisture beads
  • Easy to use and operate
  • Really nicely balanced sound
  • Great battery life
  • Wireless charging pad included

Needs work

  • I don't like that the charging port is on the inside of the case, but the case can be wirelessly charged.
  • Price may be a put off for some
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