Want to make your TV audio sound better? Buy a soundbar. That’s, pretty much, how things work these days, which is why more and more companies are releasing their own take on the bar-shaped speaker. Such is not the case, however, with Klipsch, which decided to stick to classic bookshelf form factor for The Fives, the outfit’s latest active TV speakers.
Billed as the “first powered monitors on the market with HDMI-ARC,” the speakers with built-in amplifiers can connect directly to your television to put out high-resolution, two-channel TV sound. Why opt for this when soundbars do a good enough job? According to the outfit, the dedicated left-and-right speakers with a phantom center channel simply produces an overall better sound quality compared to the center-placed soundbar with an optional subwoofer below it, which is the most common setup for many modern media centers.
Klipsch’s The Fives incorporates the outfit’s proprietary acoustic horn-loaded technology, which they have proven to be highly effective in many previous releases, as well as tuning that‘s optimized for a loud yet precise sound with low distortion. That means, the dual-speaker setup should produce the big, bold soundstage that will make exciting scenes come to life, complete with dynamic bass equalization and 192kHz/24-bit decoding, making it just as good for listening to your music as it is for watching the ever-growing titles in your Netflix and Amazon queue.
As we said, it has HDMI-ARC, so you just hook it up straight to the TV for easy setup, along with analog RCA, digital optical, 3.5mm, USB, phono preamp, and even Bluetooth 5, so you can connect it to, pretty much, any audio source for use just like any other speaker. Even better, you can switch between any connected sources with just a turn of the upper knob on top (the lower knob is for volume), so you don’t have to plug and unplug connections each time out.
The Fives has a one-inch titanium dome LTS tweeter at the upper section that’s connected to the 90-degree x 90-degree Tractrix horn out front and a 4.5-inch long-throw woofer at the lower section, as well as a rear-firing Tractrix port, creating a unique sound profile that you just can’t replicate with a puny soundbar. If all that isn’t enough, there’s also a subwoofer output, so you can add one if you want to expand the setup’s sound to something even better. It houses all that audio hardware inside a handcrafted cabinet, with real wood finishes, premium metal accents, and a removable magnetic grille that allows you to swap in a new grille any time you get bored or leave it naked for a more old-school aesthetic. And yes, they have a selection of different grill designs, so you can change up the look whenever you feel like it.
Klipsch’s The Fives is available now, priced at $799.