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The Fives: kitchen-sink connectivity from Klipsch

  • Alongside True Wireless IEMs and active noise-cancelling headphones, American giant Klipsch has, at CES 2020, quietly announced the forthcoming availability of a new mains-powered loudspeaker. The Fives will feature a 1″ tweeter and 4.something” mid/bass driver, reportedly borrowed from the company’s Reference line.

    At time of writing, The Fives’ press kit features only this patchwork .png, which reveals matte black and real wood veneer finishes plus metal and fabric grille options.

    Like The Sixes before them, The Fives put amplification inside the speaker cabinets but their status as actives – one amplifier per driver, post-crossover – remains unclear.

    What is clear from The Fives’ promo video is that Klipsch is pitching them not only as a complete hi-fi system in a box but also as a soundbar substitute. Put one either side of your (Apple) TV and connect its HDMI output to the master speaker’s HDMI-ARC input and presto: a two-channel home theatre; 2.1 if the subwoofer output is pressed into service. This master speaker hosts a volume wheel and an input selector on its top panel. An IR remote wand is also supplied.

    The Fives’ USB input is for connecting them to a PC, Mac or Raspberry Pi, the TOSLINK input for games console and network streamer hook-ups. Inside, an (unspecified) DAC will decode PCM up to 24bit/192kHz. Keeping less tech-savvy members of the household in play is an aptX Bluetooth input.

    But wait, there’s more: an MM phono input for turntablists without an external phono pre-amplifier and a 3.5mm line-level analogue input for those who already have that sorted.

    Pricing on The Fives (according to Digital Trends) is expected to come in at US$800/pair when they go on sale in Q2 2020.

    Further information: Klipsch

    Written by John

    John currently lives in Berlin where he creates videos and podcasts for Darko.Audio. He has previously contributed to 6moons, TONEAudio, AudioStream and Stereophile.

    Darko.Audio is a member of EISA.

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