Review: Klipsch X5 Earbuds

Klipsch’s X5 earbuds are little bullet-shaped ‘buds that, despite weighing next-to-nothing, deliver big booming sound.

Like many other earbuds we’ve tested, the X5s must be inserted deep into your head to create a sound-isolating seal in the ear canal. We’re prepared to tickle our eardrums a little, sure, but because these ‘buds are so small and sharp, it’s not clear when you’ve got a proper seal or are about to poke yourself in the brain.

It turned out with our testing, the deeper you push the X5s, the better they sound. While running on the treadmill – ok suffering on the treadmill – the sound started to wobble, so I pushed the featherweight nuggets increasingly deeper into my ear canals. The reward for such blatant disregard for my own safety? Audio nirvana.

The racket of the treadmill and my own sweaty huffing and wheezing was sealed away while the aural experience inside becoming equal to a set of big cans; thumping bass, sparkling highs, and solid middle notes.

If you’re dead set on wearing these while exercising, you’ll have to cinch down the chinstrap to get these little buggers to sit still in your ear. Oh yeah, you’ll also look like an idiot. So if you are the running/jogging/parkour type and the cinch down does not fit your mojo, you might want to look elsewhere.

The crazy thin cable is also just a nudge annoying. It ends up flopping all over the place and gets tangled up easier than many other ‘buds we’ve tested. But this is a minor quibble easily overlooked once the tunes begin to roll.

And on a final (slightly random) note: why can’t the audio industry come up with Braille-like markings on the right and left earbud? I’d give up my firstborn child just so I’d never again have to scour my headphones for the tiny type that indicates which ‘bud goes in what ear.

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