As far as acoustic guitar intros go, Pinball Wizard truly stands apart. This seminal track from the 1969 rock opera Tommy saw Pete Townsend just go totally all-out bonkers with his flashy strut, with an unplayable intro that showcased just how many chords you could play in a row with f-sharp in the bass. Once set up [ a supremely pleasant experience, btw], I paired the Klipsch Fives speakers with my phone, put on a FLAC version, and I was, for lack of a better word, stunned. The liveliness, the seemingly unplanned waves of inspired playing and Daltrey’s voice… it was truly a pleasure.
Even as I wondered at the sound coming out this genuinely small enclosure, I realised one interesting fact. Funnily enough, this is a device specifically manufactured as a companion to TV’s. Before you sadly nod and walk away, consider that since Klipsch took the dive, they went for the deep end. For one, the Klipsch Fives are the first powered monitors on the market with HDMI-ARC to connect directly to a TV for high-resolution, discrete 2-channel TV sound. The Fives include a phono preamp, Bluetooth 5, digital optical, analog RCA and USB inputs, and a subwoofer output.
This makes things even more interesting. So what the Klipsch Fives offer is essentially everything you need to upgrade from merely listening to Spotify [or God forbid, being forced to adjust to Automatic], and go for discovering classics in vinyl.
In many ways, I feel the Klipsch Fives encourages you to explore further in the hires world, maybe adding a nice subwoofer there, investing in an interesting vinyl player, looking and understanding the importance of cables, and so on. From a design perspective, the Fives stick to the classy Klipsch aesthetic. Available in matte black or walnut models, the Fives have MDF enclosures covered in real wood veneers. Included are very retro-looking tweed-covered cloth grilles that snap into place magnetically.
Consider those volume and source knobs on the top. It all points to an approach which says ‘Listen, hires audio need not be about crazy terminology and complex set-up procedures.’
This approach lets you ensure your Call Of Duty session has just the right amount of gunfire to be real, very real. That your screening of a BD version of The Old Guard [no matter what you say of the fake editing] comes out in all its shining glory. And with all those connection ports, it’s possible to have a streamer, a Blu-ray player, as well as a turntable all connected. And all accessible via remote.
The end result is a very accessible, yet incredibly versatile and multi-faceted pair of speakers that act as a self-powered, remote-controlled entertainment system solution.
In conclusion? The Klipsch Fives are easily the most versatile and connected powered speakers on the planet. Retailing at AED 2,999, to get your hands on the Klipsch Fives, head to the Dubai Audio website.