Klipsch T5 II Sport McLaren Edition Test

Klipsch T5 II Sport McLaren Edition Test

Klipsch T5 II Sport McLaren Edition Test

Klipsch T5 II Sport McLaren Edition Test

TWS headphones

What makes sports headphones different from regular ones? Most often, they have some degree of water resistance, special spacers that allow you to keep the headphones in your ear during active sports, and - optionally - a more striking design. The Klipsch T5 II Sport McLaren Edition fits all of these boxes – but it has a bit more to offer.

oranges in carbon

Collaboration with McLaren was a great reason for Klipsch to move away from retro style and move towards high-tech. The body of the charging case of the headphones in many respects refers to racing cars: there is carbon fiber, and the signature McLaren orange tint in contrasting trim, and logos.

The case itself is more like some kind of aircraft trunk, only on a greatly reduced scale: it is thick, strong, heavy and closes with a huge carabiner, which is not easy to open with one hand. It is not very convenient to wear it in a jeans pocket due to the fact that it is not flat, but it will fit into a jacket or jacket without any problems.

And the case was made so big not just for aesthetic reasons - it has a fairly large battery (it will last for three full 8-hour charges) and a well-thought-out water protection system. That same huge carabiner pulls the halves of the case together very tightly, without letting moisture in, and closes with an incredibly reliable click.

Klipsch T5 II Sport McLaren Edition Test

Case is booming. But it rattles not because of poor assembly - everything is fine here, without backlash, exactly at the level that you expect from headphones in this price category. Silica gel rattles, which fills the entire upper part of the case, covered from the inside with a transparent plate with holes. The plate can be removed and the silica gel can be replaced with a new one if it suddenly absorbs moisture.

A huge emphasis is placed on water protection: the case is protected according to the IP67 standard and can even stay afloat in ponds and pools. Because of this, the USB connector for recharging was moved inside the case, and not left outside, covered with some kind of plug - as a result, there are no holes at all on the outside of the case.

On the one hand, you will have to charge the headphones with a cable when the case is open, which is not very convenient. On the other hand, Klipsch added Qi wireless charging to the McLaren Edition - in this case, moving the USB connector inside does not cause any inconvenience at all. Moreover, a mat for recharging was put in the kit - but you will have to look for a 2 A power supply for it yourself.

Near the loop for which the two halves of the case are attached, there is a carrying cord for convenience. For him, the headphones can be fixed on something: on a belt, on a backpack, anywhere.

Klipsch T5 II Sport McLaren Edition Test

The headphones themselves are also protected according to the IP67 standard - they can be immersed in water to a depth of 1 meter for half an hour, that is, they are quite suitable for use in the pool. I didn’t get to the pool with them, but I survived a couple of showers and rather sweaty workouts - the McLaren Edition survived everything with me.

It seems that the difference between the McLaren Edition and the usual T5 II Sport is only in the finish of the case and in the configuration. But still, the language does not dare to call this collaboration purely cosmetic. 

Geometry Magic

The earphones themselves have a pleasantly streamlined, rounded shape that sits comfortably in the ear. The sound guide protruding from the main body is long enough - it suited me. It is located anatomically, at a slight angle in relation to the body, resembling large pebbles.

Klipsch T5 II Sport McLaren Edition Test

The case is slightly flattened, there is a button on the outside. It has a rather soft stroke, that is, you don’t have to press the headphones into your ear to switch tracks. On one earpiece, the button is decorated with the Klipsch logo, on the second - with a McLaren checkmark. The control is the same on both channels: pause, next track, previous, receive a call, call the voice assistant, transparency mode. Everything is pretty standard. 

Next to the buttons are status LEDs. They glow red when charging and blue when paired with a source. After connecting, they rarely blink.

For headphones, Klipsch has prepared the Klipsch Connect app. It does not have many functions: you can see the instructions, adjust the transparency mode, set up a 5-band equalizer, update the firmware. It’s a pity that you can’t remap the buttons, but even without this option, using the headphones is quite convenient.

Klipsch T5 II Sport McLaren Edition Test

The transparency mode does not work very effectively: it passes noise more readily than voices, for which it is usually turned on. But you can hear cyclists and buses well.

This version of the McLaren Edition does not have active noise cancellation - they rely primarily on high-quality passive noise isolation. Unlike the first generation T5, which did not come with enough ear pads for me , the McLaren Edition is pampered with attachments. There are already six pairs of silicone ones - and they are all oval, plus there is also a couple of foam ones.

Each pair has a base marked with a different color, which is very convenient. The ear pads themselves are orange, another element in McLaren's signature color scheme. But the foam nozzles are black. Traditionally for Klipsch, all ear pads are not just pulled over the sound guide, but snapped onto it with a plastic ring. So if suddenly the right size is lost, it will not be easy to find a replacement.

But these are sports headphones - so they have three more pairs of in-ear spacers. The spacers are put on the headphones very easily, you just need to get the plastic protrusion on the body of the McLaren Edition themselves into a small groove in the rubber ring of the spacer, and the sound guide tube into a small recess.

Klipsch T5 II Sport McLaren Edition Test

And here lies the main feature of these headphones. With most of the sports models that I came across, a tighter fit came at the price of comfort: struts and behind the ears, of course, did not let them get lost, but very clearly felt like something extra and foreign.

And McLaren Edition do everything right: headphones with spacers in the ear just feel like they dissolve. The geometry of this design fit my ears so well that, when properly positioned, the struts distributed pressure across the auricle as if there were no headphones at all. And at the same time, they held up perfectly - they withstood training, running after buses and running away from dogs, never falling out of their ear.

This effect was obtained primarily due to the fact that with spacers, the headphones sat, albeit firmly, but not as deep in the ear canal as without them - and this is precisely the lion's share of discomfort from using in-ear headphones. And Klipsch fit my ears perfectly in this regard - I could spend five hours in them without a break, without experiencing any discomfort at all. But, as we understand, everyone's ears are different - and not everyone is so lucky.

Klipsch T5 II Sport McLaren Edition Test

Without spacers, the McLaren Edition behaves like ordinary in-ear headphones - they sit deep, tight, provide better noise isolation and don’t stand out in any way. And due to the two use cases - with and without spacers - we end up with two sound options.

family character

The headphone is based on a 5mm driver. They connect to sources via Bluetooth 5.0 and from codecs they support not only SBC and AAC, but also aptX. The difference between the codecs when choosing manually is audible very clearly. 

In general, the sound of the McLaren Edition is a very typical clip-on sound, as if modern Klipsch floorstanders were shoved into the headphone format. And this means that there is a lot of sound, it is large-scale, large and massive. Even this signature light horn has passed into the headphones - it is expressed in a slightly brighter top.

As in the case of Klipsch speakers, questions can arise about the stage: despite all the grandiosity, it lacks texture and layering, which is why the instruments seem primarily projections, albeit very bright and juicy.

At the same time, the details were poured in full: overflows at high frequencies - both in jazz peppered with percussion and in electronics - are not lost, do not dissolve in the air, but remain tangible. The guitar transitions in Buckethead's ballad tracks flow neatly, evenly, the aftertones are long and they fade softly.

Klipsch T5 II Sport McLaren Edition Test

DJ Krush sounded great: the same massiveness combined with detail in the track “Essential Base” – such a gloomy old-school trip-hop – shows itself from the best side, adds weight and inevitability to the composition. Rustles in the background become more tangible, give a little volume.

Approximately the same sensations arose when listening to the entire album "III" from BadBadNotGood - it initially had plenty of bass, but the McLaren Edition succumbed to noir and bulge.

At the same time, it cannot be said that the bass clogs everything with itself. There is more of it than usual, and perhaps more than we would like, but it does not interfere much and quite allows you to enjoy everything that happens in other frequency ranges.

The sound of the cymbals did not drown in the rumble of the drums, the upper register of the piano rang at the level with the lower one, and the male voices even received a little support. Corey Taylor, Ivan Moody and Peter Steele managed to get a little ahead on a fairly flat stage. 

Listening to large orchestral compositions, the main purpose of which is to impress with blockbuster epicness, is very pleasant on the McLaren Edition. I went through my entire collection of symphonic and partially symphonic video game soundtracks - the feeling in terms of scale was wonderful.

There was a little lack of speed in the drum-n-bass-mixed track "Crisis City" from "Sonic The Hedgehog 2006" - but the feeling of that very crisis has not gone away. Even if the beat was a bit smeared, the violins on top of it clearly played their tantrum.

Klipsch T5 II Sport McLaren Edition Test

Cradle of Filth's "Nymphetamine Overdose" was painful to listen to - and it's an indication that the McLaren Edition isn't hiding the artifacts of an overly shrunk record. Thanks to Klipsch for not being stingy with aptX support.

But this all applies to headphones used without in-ear spacers. With spacers - due to the fact that the headphones do not sit so deep - there is less bass and more air, and the sound seems more balanced.

But the most important thing is the amazing effect of a virtual source, which is achieved due to the fact that the headphones are not felt in the ear, and it seems as if the music simply originates in the head. And in my case, this effect influenced the perception of music exceptionally well. 

The same symphonic soundtracks unfolded, left the halls and studios in the open air: to the cold Scandinavian mountains, where Kratos fights Balder, to the lush jungle, where evil aliens scurry about, to abandoned cities, through which humanoid robots with katanas run.

The electronic music felt a little strange and more psychedelic than usual - and the same for the stoner, where the rumble became a little less concentrated and spilled over the open space. But women's voices opened up much more pleasantly - brighter, more airy and livelier.

Klipsch T5 II Sport McLaren Edition Test

As a result, thanks to the two landing options, two headphones came out of one. With a common character, but a difference in nuances. And due to the fact that the spacers are removed literally in two movements, you can switch between modes quickly enough.

Correct prioritization

The second generation of Klipsch's T5 earphones is a huge improvement over the first in terms of ergonomics, and the sound has become more characteristic of Klipsch.

The T5 II Sport McLaren Edition doesn't just look cool, it's also well thought out. The fact that they put a pad for wireless charging of the headphones is very important due to the fact that the USB connector has been moved inside the case.

Headphones were quite able to emulate the character of Klipsch acoustics - authentically, brightly and in detail. But their main feature, which even overshadows the signature sound, is an incredibly comfortable fit.

With the McLaren Edition, in principle, there were no unpleasant sensations, which, due to their design, are often given by in-ear headphones. Of course, this is facilitated by a fairly rich equipment, which has grown significantly compared to the first generation T5. And the two fit options make the headphones extremely versatile.


Very comfortable fit with spacers, rich equipment that allows you to choose the right combination of ear pads and spacers, signature and recognizable sound, high degree of protection against water and dust, aptX support


nothing at this price


SPECS Klipsch T5 II Sport McLaren Edition

Headphone type: in-ear, completely wireless

Emitter type: dynamic, 5 mm

Frequency response: 10 Hz - 19 kHz

Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0, SBC, AAC, aptX codecs

Operating time on a single battery charge: headphones - up to 8 hours, case - up to 24 hours, Qi wireless charging is supported (mat included)

Microphones: four cVc microphones, two in each earpiece

Additionally: support for voice assistants, six pairs of silicone eartips included and a pair of foam ones, protection of the case and headphones IP67, transparency mode

Weight: headphones - 5.3 g each, case - 82 g

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