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Showing posts with label test. Show all posts

Tchernov Cable Reference AC Power Review

Tchernov Cable Reference AC Power Review

Review. Tchernov Cable Reference AC Power. Reference strength

All of us in one way or another follow the novelties that appear on the market, whether it be cars, fashion, consumer electronics, or gadgets. The audio industry market is no exception, especially the part where new brands and models appear like mushrooms - cable products intended primarily for demanding and advanced users who are no longer enough with standard wires and want to try to improve something in their system. And here is how to understand all this diversity and not run into just a beautiful wrapper, and tests and comparisons, listening and reviews of these products help us figure it out. 

In this review, we will talk about a new product from a Russian manufacturer that has gained fame not only in the vastness of our boundless Motherland but also beyond its borders - about the new brainchild of the well-known company Chernov Audio, the power cable Tchernov Cable Reference AC Power. I will make a reservation right away that this cable is a completely new product and not a redesigned evolution of the old line. 

Previously, I had to deal with the products of this company occasionally only at exhibitions, in salons or with friends. I will not hide the fact that I was somewhat skeptical about the products of this brand in general, because according to the reviews of friends and colleagues who used and continue to use these cables in their systems, there are no unambiguous “wow” reviews or “this is the best in my system” sounded. Therefore, I always somehow passed by and never considered them in my system. But everything flows, everything changes, and the current economic situation is increasingly forcing many to look toward domestic producers. And, of course, I am no exception in this regard.

Tchernov Cable Reference AC Power Review

Another little note. In this review, attention will be paid not so much to the design features of this power cable, although it has enough unique technologies, and they are described in detail on the manufacturer's website, we will focus exclusively on the sound features of this cable with various system components (source/transport, DAC, power amplifier ), about his sound delivery, handwriting, neutrality, universality, in short, about what he brings or, conversely, does not bring into the system itself, how it helps to open up one or another component. Although not, I will still mention one design feature before moving on to describing the sound. It's more of a custom feature. It is related to the ability of the cable to remember the position of the bend of the conductor, which is set by the user. When you pick up this cable, it becomes amazing how such a thick and elastic-looking conductor can be so pliable and obedient, directly nanotechnology and memory form in action. 

A very useful feature for those who have limited switching capabilities. It is also probably worth noting the lightness of the conductor itself, which is lighter than many counterparts similar in cross-section. This allows you not to worry about the fact that under its weight it will forever try to break out of the embrace of the hardware connector. In my practice, there were moments of breakdowns and the subsequent repair of these same connectors in the devices themselves. The general impression is this: a reference level cable, you take it in your hands and understand that this is not some kind of intermediate model in the manufacturer's line, but a really high-class thing that is not inferior to foreign analogs. how such a thick and elastic-looking conductor can be so pliable and obedient, directly nanotechnology and memory form in action. A very useful feature for those who have limited switching capabilities. It is also probably worth noting the lightness of the conductor itself, which is lighter than many counterparts similar in cross-section. This allows you not to worry about the fact that under its weight it will forever try to break out of the embrace of the hardware connector. In my practice, there were moments of breakdowns and the subsequent repair of these same connectors in the devices themselves. 

Tchernov Cable Reference AC Power Review

For a more complete review objectivity, all six cables (three Tchernov Cable Reference AC Power and three of my "reference" cables) were connected into one passive surge protector. In turn, the cables were compared both in the entire path as a whole and when connected to each component separately, so that it would be possible to identify with which of the devices these network cables show the best synergy. I note that the components themselves are quite critical to what network cable they work with. The price range of the "reference" group of cables is much higher than that of Tchernov Cable representatives. But the comparison and test are more interesting, and the result obtained is more valuable.

Tchernov Cable Reference AC Power Review

 Looking ahead, I must make a reservation that for a greater manifestation of the corporate effect (if there is such a place to be), I “tied up” the entire system with conductors of this domestic brand. 

After listening for some time with the “reference” set of conductors familiar to me (including interconnects and acoustics), I first changed all the “weak power” to Tchernov Cable products, while not affecting the network cables so far ... and was pleasantly surprised. The first thing I heard was that a certain density appeared in the middle register, as a result of which there was a feeling that all the performers somehow began to stand out from the general pitch in a different way, however, a certain overtone of sharpness appeared at the upper end of the HF range, but with all this the sound became softer and more soulful, pleasant to the touch, not just sugary, but somewhat melodious.

 Having gotten used for some time to such a presentation of a sound, I began to replace the network cables. And then another pleasant surprise awaited me, which I had not noticed before with such tests. The replacement of all three power cables led to a significant change in the stage, its construction and the arrangement of the performers. I observed such a pronounced effect for the first time when changing only one power wire. Here you have high technologies and a complex construct of the cable itself, where everything affects and manifests itself. Usually, when you change only the power cable, there will be fewer noticeable changes in the sound. A little air is added, resolution, energy, the foundation of the lower register, bass in the end ... but what would it be all together, and even with such a clearly audible effect when changing power cables alone, this happened for the first time in my practice.

, This alone is enough to include these cables in the list of contenders for a significant upgrade of your system. Of any significant disadvantages for yourself and in your system, I would note that the “reference” set of network wires was a little more transparent, with a slightly better resolution, but the price of the issue is somewhat different. However, if I were given to choose one of these two sets, then I would have thought many times about what to choose. The sound of the set from Tchernov Audio is so balanced in terms of overall presentation, scene, and picture. In addition, taking into account the price/quality indicators doubts completely disappear. My skepticism about domestic technologies, and in particular Tchernov Cable cable products, has completely evaporated! At least with regard to power cables, absolutely certain,. 

I boldly recommend it to medium and high-level systems, as for the most qualitative increase in relation to the funds spent. They definitely won’t hit the face in the dirt in front of more publicized foreign counterparts. Yes, and in front of your audiophile friends, you definitely won’t be ashamed when they ask what cable products you have in your system. On the contrary, it will be possible to watch their reaction when they hear these cables in action. I remember my surprise when I heard about the implementation of the system from the flagship speakers Focal Grand Utopia in full piping with Tchernov Audio cable products. It was the best presentation of not at all simple acoustic systems for all the time of my acquaintance with them.

Tchernov Cable Reference AC Power Review

Now a few words about how versatile these power cables are in relation to the components with which they are used.

I changed the power cables for each component, in turn, to see where the influence was the most. From my practice and from reviews of past years, I know firsthand how different power cables are synergistically suited to one or another component and how much the opposite effect can be with another class of devices. There are cables that are more or less universal, good with power amplifiers, and behave neutrally with digital sources, but when connected to a pre-amplifier, they immediately want to be replaced. And, on the contrary, there is a lot of air and resolution when connected to a source and a complete absence of bass, “foundation”, slow down, and porridge when connected to a power amplifier! Some American firms directly indicate in their lineup which power cable is intended for which device. Returning to our test samples, I can confidently say that Tchernov Cable Reference AC Power conductors are universal, and I can safely recommend them both for a group of sources (DAC, transport, preamplifier) ​​and for power amplifiers. No significant artifacts were found, as well as distortions during serial disconnection and replacement with a “reference”, much more expensive cable, which I have been using in my system for a long time.

Author: Andrey Molochnik

Type of:

symmetrical power cable for AC circuits 100-240 V, 50/60 Hz


stranded BRC conductors in DSC technology: 3 x 1.50 mm² (28 x 0.26 mm) + 3 x 1.50 mm² (28 x 0.26 mm) + 1 x 1.50 mm² (28 x 0.26 mm) )

Conductor insulation:


Belt insulation:





TPU Elastollan®

Conductor Damping:

Cable-Core with FTDA® Technology

External diameter:

16 mm


IEC60320 (C13) / CEE 7/7 Classic power connectors

On sale:

terminated kits in standard lengths

Dipole speaker Spatial Europe No.7 Test

Dipole speaker Spatial Europe No.7 Test
The No.7 from Spatial Europe takes the 2-way dipole principle to the extreme. A special super speaker for 12,000 euros


Dipole speaker Spatial Europe No.7 Test

narrow radiation, intensive musical experience

The unusual dipole sound converter with a double bass configuration made a lot of things different and yet really right. In any case, in terms of sound, this speaker opened a door to a special kind of listening for us. But the Spatial Europe No.7 presented here is technically/acoustically almost even more unusual; For that reason alone it would be worth writing about them. But there's also the fact that it just sounds amazing.

The special thing about Spatial Europe No.7…

... can be seen in part at first glance. Like all spatial transducers, it only consists of a very solid baffle. It is the antidote to the classic box design, where the cabinet prevents the forward and backward-radiated sound energy from canceling each other out. However, this phenomenon is only really relevant in the bass, because here the wavelengths are of sufficient size to bend around the baffle. The formula for this is: speed of sound in air (344 m/s) : frequency = wavelength. A frequency of 20 Hertz, for example, has a wavelength of about 17 meters, the well-known concert pitch A (440 Hertz) has a wavelength of 78 centimeters.

And now the question arises: How does Spatial Europe mastermind Robert Andorf prevent this physical peculiarity? Answer: not at all. But of course he takes this factor into account. In principle, dipole speakers produce less bass than classic loudspeakers, which - because the housing avoids an acoustic short circuit - can produce amazingly deep bass even with a small volume. But housings have relevant disadvantages: they rattle, they vibrate, they resonate, they boom and thus give the low tone a color that doesn't belong there. Even the best cases à la Magico, Wilson, Gauder or Stenheim are not completely immune to this.

Basically, the motto is: The best case is no case. Now one could also assume that such a baffle is susceptible to resonance. But not with the No.7: The slightly sloping panel is composed of two MDF layers, each 38 mm thick, additionally reinforced and dampened. The lush live weight of the N0.7 (44.0 kilos) is by no means just due to the bass.

Dipole speaker Spatial Europe No.7 Test
image credit: Spatial Europe
The processing of the idiosyncratic clay furniture is flawless, the surfaces are attractive: The Spatial Europe No.7 is offered in five veneers as well as black and white as standard

However, the concept of the dipole radiator brings with it another special feature: while classic "boxes" have an almost spherical radiation in the bass, that of a dipole resembles the shape of a figure eight when viewed from above, the waist of which is the loudspeaker itself. These constructions have a club-shaped sound direction even in the bass.

Dipole speaker Spatial Europe No.7 Test
image credit: Spatial Europe
Of course, the Spatial Europe No.7 is a sight to behold, especially from the side: the baffle thickness is 7.6 cm. 
Otherwise, only the powerful woofer basket, part of the AMT tweeter, and the discreet base plate with the crossover stick out

In the bass range, Robert Andorf uses a 38-centimeter woofer from the US specialist Acoustic Elegance. The parameters of this bass are designed for outdoor installation and, in a dipole construction, it generates a lot more low bass than classic hi-fi woofers could. Anyone who can admire the 38er up close will feel that a lot of knowledge and quality has been built into it. This driver is so good and low-resonance that it runs up to 2,000 Hertz despite its size. So it's no wonder that this gem is quite expensive to buy. If Andorf were to apply the classic hi-fi margins here, the No.7 would probably be a lot more expensive.

Dipole speaker Spatial Europe No.7 Test
The woofer's protruding phase plug is used to cool the voice coil. The multi-folded bead is common in the professional sector and ensures even resistance even with larger lifting movements

The woofer is representative of a remarkable criterion from Spatial Europe: All models are inexpensive in their own way. The quality of the components, which Andorf uses out of inner conviction, would never be waved through by the controller of a large company. But Spatial Europe, with its loving hand-made production at Kreuzstraße 22a in Ingolstadt, can and wants to afford to act differently in this regard.

Dipole speaker Spatial Europe No.7 Test
image credit: Spatial Europe
Many ingredients such as the baffles come from the immediate vicinity and are put together by a small team in Ingolstadt (right next to the Mach One store) 

This not only includes the corresponding component quality, but also a deep concept of sustainability: At Spatial Europe, little is thrown away and there is a lot of recycled material, especially in the packaging area. I was there for a day last year and found Andorf's concept absolutely convincing.

Because the visitor quickly realizes that nothing is built here by accident. All electrical components, basses, tweeters, but also capacitors, coils and even the resistors are selected in long listening sessions. In the case of the Spatial Europe No.7, there was not only this powerful professional bass, but also an efficient Air Motion Transformer (AMT) tweeter (also from the US American professional range), which with a characteristic sound pressure of 102 decibels (1 watt / 1 meter) has sufficient reserves for EVERY level orgy. And a crossover was created that makes the connoisseur's mouth water.

The - of course - hand-wired 2-way filter is in the base of the dipole speaker and is not only exceptional because of the quality of the components; In this respect, Andorf usually always reaches for the top of the shelf. Andorf has developed one of the rare "serial" crossovers (by far the most loudspeakers in the world work with parallel crossovers). There is little basic theory about serial switches, but Andorf has a proven specialist at hand.

With the serial crossover, the woofers and tweeters are actually connected in series, the relevant filter components mainly work in parallel. The tweeter of the No.7, for example, is tuned to its operating range from 2,000 Hertz via a notch filter connected in parallel.

Dipole speaker Spatial Europe No.7 Test
Only the finest: Jantzen copper foil wax coils, Jupiter Beewax copper foil capacitors, Mundorf Supreme resistors, Oyaide phosphor bronze spade connectors. Spatial Europe maker Andorf is so proud of the crossover that he puts it under glass


But what is this excursion into rather strange theoretical realms for? Andorf expects the series filter to produce a harmonic impedance and phase curve in the circuit. And he's right: Our measurements confirm his approach 100%.

Rarely have we had such a frugal loudspeaker in the measurement laboratory. And also a value that should make owners of small but fine amplifiers sit up and take notice: With 90.5 decibels (1 watt / 1 meter), the No.7 also has a pleasingly high degree of efficiency: The No.7 comes with not even 10 watts i.e. over 100 dB.

Only real killer levels were not possible. With a power amp like an SPL s1200, on the other hand, the No.7 caused a level storm in the listening room, which harshly relegated our maximum level measurements of 97 dB to the realm of over-caution: The flat dipole speaker can play very loud without causing any distortion would have been audible. In this respect, it is also worth considering this speaker: If I want to hear nice and fine, an amplifier like a 300B tube is of course enough. But if I want to let it rip, that's also possible. But then it should be 200 watts per channel.

Lineup: Sound bundling as a concept

The Spatial Europe No.7 is a dipole, which in principle emits the bass in a comparatively directed manner. We also have a huge mid-bass driver in the baffle, which, based on its dimensions alone, starts focusing the sound from around 350 Hertz and runs up to 2,000 Hertz. And we have a tweeter, which also bundles quite strongly because of the horn in front of it.

What are we to make of this? Just one thing: Here is the sound bundling concept. The Spatial Europe No.7 illuminates the room like a tall flashlight with several LEDs on top of each other: the cone is bright but narrowly focused. For most developers, a homogeneous, broad radiation is the measure of all tonal things. The No.7 also radiates quite homogeneously over the angles - just quite narrow. This must be taken into account when setting up.

After finding the optimal position, we quickly came to the conclusion that you can hear almost every degree with this speaker. We approached it in many steps, but in the end the exact alignment to the listening position in our listening room was just the right thing. Only then could the transparency be heard that one would expect from such a top speaker.

A second point: As a dipole radiator, the No.7 is a so-called "fast converter". Unlike classic "boxes" that produce the most bass in the corner of the room (where the sound waves have their highest sound pressure), a speed converter produces the best bass in the center of the room, where the wave has its highest sound velocity. So if you are surprised that a dipole like the No.7 on the wall produces atypically little bass, you should pull it further and further into the room to then determine that the bass is better, fuller and "more correct".

the distance between the front edge of the loudspeaker and the rear wall behind it is at least 65 cm, listening distance from 2.5 meters, listening room from 15 square meters. We tried the listening and minimum distance and yes: it works. But there is also a better way. In the end we definitely had 1.5 meters to the rear wall and a listening distance of more than 3 meters. With a distance of 3 - 3.5 meters, the sound of the No.7 becomes even more homogeneous. If you now add up the meter data, you suspect that this may not be possible in a 15 square meter room...

hearing test

Like the larger No.5 (in terms of the baffle), the No.7 also has a spectacular appearance because it is so springy. This is of course due to this slag-free bass, which is not restricted, amplified or tonally changed by any housing. It's pure punch. Listening to a live drum solo through this speaker is pure pleasure. Some hi-fi friends will complain that there is somehow a lack of bass. No: Reality does not know bloated bass.

Even the No.5 captivated us with its liveliness and precision. But unlike the slightly larger No.5, which is a real hit in terms of maximum volume and bass area, the No.7, which is equipped with the much more noble drivers, plays the finer, cultivated part. Both are fun, but the No.7 can In terms of audio quality (resolution, timing, precision) almost everything is better. The basses are even more powerful, a bit deeper and more believable. At the same time, the No.7 sounds more effortless, open and fine.

I remember hearing about the No.5 "The Rose" by the King Singers. Almost everything was right: the naturalness of the voices, the fine dynamics, but above all the great reproduction, which sounded very plastic thanks to the optimal positioning and the energy radiated to the rear.

Dipole speaker Spatial Europe No.7 Test
Such a fragile voice, such sensitive songs. And then, RUMMS, that piano lid being forcefully slammed shut on “Akne Vulgaris”. Super test for speaker dynamics and power handling (Cover: Amazon)

t's these small intervening noises, such as clearing your throat or a rustling sound, that bring recordings to life. The art of the No.7 is to draw even more of this finest information from this recording than the No.5 and therefore to sound even more authentic and light-footed. If you listen to piano music played dynamically with the No.7, you can only be amazed – it can sound so brutally impulsive. Still pretty much at the beginning of Tim Fischer's "Akne Vulgaris" (Album: Chansons Live/Lieder eines Armen Mädchens) pianist Friedrich Hollaender slams the lid of the piano shut. That's when the bass kicks in. We sat in the listening room and involuntarily recoiled – it sounded so real with this dipole. This is not only due to the qualities of the very finely playing AMT tweeter, but also to the fact that the No.7 offers a lot of energy and information in the middle.

Of course, there are those speakers that high-end circles like to refer to as "high-resolution", such as a large Wilson, the Grimm LS 1 be or the Audiaz Cadenza. The No.7 can't keep up with them, it can't offer that much transparency. Still, for me it's a small miracle. If you look at how much engineering skill other loudspeaker suppliers use to develop mid-range speakers that are as light as possible, then the sound quality that Robert Andorf conjures up from the comparatively heavy membrane of the 38 centimeter bass is more than astonishing.

A comparison with conventional loudspeakers is difficult because the installation locations are so different. It makes sense to compare the Spatial Europe No.7 with the dipole models from Magnepan or the full-range electrostatics from Quad. However, one can confidently assume that the Spatial Europe sounds a lot more dynamic and level stable. Compared to the slightly larger No.5, the No.7 does not reach the same level, but it plays a lot finer and more precisely.

The No.7 makes it possible to hear wonderfully loud. But in the end, that might not be her true destiny. After completing the listening tests, I reconnected the Luxman L550 AX Mk-II and just listened to music. The No.7 offers an incredibly authentic performance, especially with amps with such strong timbres, which makes a big band sound like a live big band even at medium or low levels. Very few speakers can do that.

Conclusion Spatial Europe No.7

If you had designed a loudspeaker from the point of view of an amplifier, something like the No.7 would probably have come out. We have seldom come across such an electrically good-natured sound converter. This 2-way dipole harmonizes well with every good amplifier - regardless of its power level. It's a superb addition to all the tube and class A amps that have gotten us so excited over the last few months and for which it's so hard to find the right speaker:

So: You need some space and a fine amplifier. If both are given, you can listen to music with the extraordinary Spatial Europe No.7 in an extraordinarily eventful way. An exceptional speaker as it stands in the book.

Pros And Cons


Impulsive, authentic, spatial sound with a wonderfully tight bass

 Great workmanship, many surfaces, ingenious optics

High efficiency, amplifier-friendly, fully suitable for tubes

Needs more space than classic hi-fi boxes, strong bundling

Klipsch The Fives Test


Klipsch The Fives Test

Klipsch The Fives Test

active horn speakers with a retro look

There are many active lifestyle loudspeakers with high sound and design standards in the price range of under 1,000 euros. Among them, however, only a few appear as unvarnished as the Klipsch The Fives 

When you first looked at the small active speakers from Klipsch, everything was different. For example, that the retro attitude of The Fives is harmonious overall: the proportions, the natural veneer (in the walnut version), the baffle in a hammered look, plus the chassis without visible screws, a tweeter horn that takes up almost the entire width of the cabinet, (Magnetic) front covers with casual, coarse-meshed fabric... It all fits together really well. Except perhaps for the knobs on top of the main speaker, which look a bit modernistic and slightly out of place, and the included plastic remote control. But the boxes themselves? – Really cool and living space friendly.

Anyway, I was immediately hooked on The Fives. Which has never happened to me before when looking at Klipsch loudspeakers, nor with any other range from the manufacturer. Perhaps the compact dimensions play a certain role. With their 305 x 165 x 235 mm (H x W x D), the "five" do not dominate the room like a Klipsch Cornwall or a Klipschorn

Why this unusual name: The Fives ? It doesn't flow smoothly from the lips in every sentence. In principle very simple. It is the fifth model variant in the Klipsch Heritage series. This consists of one-box speakers of different sizes, namely the models Heritage Groove, The One (Mark II), The Three (II) and The Sixes. The Fives are the fifth Heritage model variant. Nevertheless, the naming remains extremely confusing, since there is no four-model, for example. This may have something to do with the fact that four is an unlucky number in China and Japan. But why are the Sixes actually located below the Fives? And what is "Groove" doing in the series? Why no "The Seconds"? ... Some marketing decisions don't need to be understood.

Under the hood of the Klipsch The Fives

The Fives technique is simple and efficient. Here, Klipsch relies on the more cost-effective concept of active master and passive slave loudspeakers. This means that not everything has to be available in duplicate and installed in every loudspeaker. For example, one DAC in the master is sufficient, which converts the signal for both channels to analog. A power connection is also only required on the master speaker. In the case of playback via Bluetooth, just two strings are required: power for the master and the speaker cable to the slave.

However, the five are quite connection-friendly in terms of cables. In addition to today's most common connection sockets such as analog cinch, USB for computers and Toslink for televisions, Klipsch goes one step further and also gave the master an HDMI-ARC input for TV. The advantage over Toslink: HDMI not only transmits the sound to the speakers, but also control commands. For example, the volume can be controlled using the TV remote control. Although HDMI-ARC can be found on many soundbars, it is still the exception in active stereo sets like this one.

Klipsch The Fives Test
Image credit: Klipsch
Easy to connect: In addition to USB, Toslink and Line-In, there is also HDMI ARC and even a phono connection option on the master of The Fives. 
Active subwoofers were also considered

Also nice: the analog stereo cinch input can be used for high-level devices such as CD players, but also for turntables. All you have to do is set the corresponding toggle switch on the back to the correct position (phono). There is even a ground terminal on the master.

The slave is connected via a loudspeaker cable that is supplied and is probably sufficiently long (4 m) in most cases. The cable has twist-proof, four-pin plugs with a locking nut for securing. Why four poles? I did not get an official answer to this question from Klipsch in time, but the assumption is that the frequency distribution for the slave is already done in the master. Other active-passive pairs in a multi-way construction, where the slave is connected with a conventional, two-wire LS cable, need their own passive crossover. In the Fives , the division appears to be active and possibly even digital in the master. Of course, this makes perfect sense from a sound point of view.

If you like, you can also add an active subwoofer. The power pack is integrated in the master. For the correct channel configuration, there is also a switch that determines whether the master should be on the left or on the right.

Klipsch The Fives Test
The rear of the passive one has only one connection for the supplied connection cable to the master. Also clearly visible: the bass reflex port in Tactrix form 
The D/A conversion of digital input signals takes place via an unspecified DAC chip with 24 bits/192 kHz. Four power amplifiers, all housed in the active master, take care of the signal amplification. Two of 20W each for the tweeters and two of 60W each for the woofers/midrange drivers. The titanium dome tweeters, tried and tested with a large horn attachment, are more than adequately supplied with 20 watts of continuous output power. Correspondingly more power is provided for the long-excursion woofers/midrange drivers, which also work on horn-shaped bass reflex openings on the back.

Klipsch The Fives Test
image credit: Klipsch

Of course, due to the active concept, we don't need to worry about the efficiency of horn loudspeakers in general and The Fives in particular. The tonal result will show whether we are dealing with typical horn representatives.

But first...

practical experience

With active loudspeakers at this price, one should not expect ultra-precious finishes and artisan processing quality. The Fives are no exception. Their housing made of MDF is comparatively simple. Nevertheless, Klipsch works with natural walnut real wood veneer as a finish. That makes something

Klipsch The Fives Test
The real wood veneer gives the Klipsch The Fives an exceptionally homely look and a natural feel. The workmanship is not entirely seamless, but this can only be seen on very close inspection

Setting up the compact Klipsch is a snap and largely self-explanatory. Using the example of a desktop setup, this is how it works: Place the boxes to the left and right of the screen or in the stereo triangle. The underside of The Five s has a cork layer to protect the floor space. For sound reasons, however, it is advisable to set it up on suitable stands or pucks for decoupling and angling. Then use the switch on the master to determine whether it is on the left or right. Then connect the cable marked "Speaker Wire" between master and slave. Connect USB cable between computer and master. Connect the power cable to the master. Finished.

When set up as a TV speaker, we recommend connecting via HDMI cable (included) or alternatively an optical Toslink cable (not included). The smartphone (or the Mac/PC) can of course be connected via Bluetooth.

Klipsch The Fives Test
image credit:
Not only the sound is transmitted from the TV via HDMI ARC, some control functions (on, off, volume) can be carried out via the TV remote control

Once the power cord is connected, the Klipsch The Fives are ready to use. There is no main switch. However, the boxes can be switched to standby using the remote control. With HDMI connection (if TV is selected as the source) they automatically switch to standby when the TV is switched off and also switch on together with the TV.

In case you're wondering why there hasn't been any talk of an app before... well, there is. The relevant app stores contain the free Klipsch Connect app, which was originally developed for the one-box models and the Klipsch in-ear headphones, but can also communicate with the Fives.

Among other things, the app helps with the coupling, which is just as easy via the BT settings of the iDevice. At least in the current version at the time of testing, the app for The Fives does not offer any additional functions such as switchable sound modes or equalizers. The most important feature:  Updates can be imported via the app, which happened once during the test.

Klipsch The Fives Test
Registration: Without providing your name, email, country and product, you cannot continue setting up the app

What bothers me is the forced registration, without which you cannot complete the app setup. At least the name, e-mail address, country and product are required to be able to use the app. If you don't like that, you can enter fake data - or leave the app alone. However, firmware updates are then denied. Voluntary registration would be nicer.

The operation of the speakers does not pose any riddles. There are two knobs on the master speaker. One switches the input, which is indicated by the LED, the other controls the volume. Both are also possible using the supplied remote control, but it also offers a standby button, mute, play/pause, subwoofer adjustments and a hidden feature. I'll come back to that in the description of the sound. Incidentally, I did not use a subwoofer in the test.

Klipsch The Fives Test
The included IR remote control is clear and offers access to all functions

Listen to Klipsch The Fives: 

Rock Me, Baby!

My very first reaction: The Fives sound rich and powerful. After a few tracks with low to medium volume, this impression hardened and the little Klipsch just seemed so fat to me that I started setting up bass correction via DSP in Roon.

However, another rummaging through the operating instructions revealed that the speakers have a "Dynamic Bass EQ", which turned out to be a loudness correction on closer inspection. So a volume-dependent adjustment in the bass range. And it is apparently switched on by default – or at least it was in my test samples. Which brings me back to the hidden feature mentioned earlier: To turn off Dynamic Bass EQ, press and hold the Sub button on the remote for three seconds. And boom! A Rubens figure becomes an athletic decathlete. Still powerful and by no means ascetic, but no longer as lavishly baroque.

Maybe the tuning of the "Dynamic Bass EQ" is a bit too strong and the level dependency is a bit too broad. Anyone who mainly enjoys background music at a low volume could definitely benefit from the circuit. A less audiophile audience may even want to fully engage with it. Since the Fives are not specifically aimed at high-end riders, it is understandable that the circuit is activated ex works. However, I prefer the neutral position.

Also striking: Contrary to the prejudice against horns, the mids and highs are largely free of discoloration and clearly resolved. It's dynamic and definitely has elegance. No trace of horn-typical hardness.

A little tip: The magnetic front cover is chic, but despite its coarse-meshed woven structure, it absorbs the finest highs. This applies to the vast majority of front covers, which is why I generally omit them. However, the fabric covers of the Fives can be attached and removed with a flick of the wrist and without fiddling, so that they can be operated one way or the other, depending on your needs and mood. The chassis mounted without screws and the visible parts of the baffle with a hammered look are not unattractive either.

Klipsch The Fives Test
The drivers, here the mid-bass driver, are connected to the baffle without visible screws 

Back to the sound experience. Of course, the Klipsch The Fives are not real full-range horns. Only the tweeters are amplified by the Tractrix horns (a Klipsch trademark). Their radiation behavior should be even over a relatively wide range – both horizontally and vertically. The tweeter horns are also reflected in the overall character of the boxes, which otherwise largely sound like normal, non-horn-reinforced, dynamic loudspeakers. Just with a good portion more verve in the upper mids and highs. The Klipsch really turn on and seem surprisingly effortless and effortless even at high levels.

The basic tone range cannot quite keep up with that. Here the relatively simple housing construction with its own sound (resonances) now and then adds its two cents. The deep bass only gives out at around 60 Hz, which is quite remarkable for a speaker of this size. A subwoofer can be added accordingly in larger rooms, for deep bass fans or generally to support film soundThe decisive point: The Fives are definitely among the rockiest, most rousing boxes of this size, design (two-way compact), and price range: real fun!

The stage depiction is also convincing. The Klipsch may not achieve the same imaging precision, depth, and airiness as a coax-armored KEF LSXOn the other hand, The Fives have more music bar flair and bring the listener closer to what's happening on stage. However, this does not predestine them exclusively for rock and jazz. Pop and electronic lovers alike will appreciate the direct, outspoken nature of the active Klipsch. I liked the Fives best as a supplement for the TV. Because they transport the dynamics required in film sound better than any other active speaker of this size. If the installation situation allows it, I would always prefer it to a soundbar.


I can't sum it up any shorter or more succinctly: If the characteristics described above appeal to you and you're looking for all-around active loudspeakers in this price range, then just boldly grab them. The Klipsch The Fives do almost everything right, also in terms of practicality.

Whether as living room speakers for music enjoyment, as a significant sound improvement for the TV and better stereo alternative to soundbars, for the desktop - or simply anywhere where they can be set up in a few simple steps, The Fives is a real pleasure and make a homely Also looks good almost everywhere.


Jumping, powerful sound
Versatile, practical connections
Wonderfully "rustic" design


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Price per pair (manufacturer's recommendation):
Klipsch The Fives:  900 euros Available
from Idealo, among others