It’s two years since Sennheiser announced the first wireless earphones using Kleer technology, the impressive MX W1s. They were premium priced, but the use of digital transmission (nearly all wireless headphones at the time used analogue wireless links) gave them a clarity that none could match.
The Digifi Opera S5 wireless earbuds are far less expensive, yet use the same lossless true-CD-quality Kleer wireless transmission. Where the Sennheiser’s receivers were tiny and hidden within the earpieces themselves, the Opera has a receiver unit that hangs at the back of your neck, linking through to the two ear-buds — less neat, for sure, but as we said, far less expensive.
The transmitter is the usual nano-width clip-on attachment for your iPod, which can then be pocketed or left in your bag, since earpiece controls allow operation of play, pause, advance, previous, fast forward and rewind (those these last two take a bit of practise!).
We could not fault sound quality; our only caveat is that to achieve the best bass (and excellent strong and tight bass it was) we had to keep a bit of pressure on the earpieces; we couldn’t get them to stay quite deep enough down our lugholes for optimal response — the pull from the receiver unit does hamper this slightly. But fit is a highly personal thing; if they work for you we certainly recommend the clean, rich and well balanced sonic output.
Bonuses include range — at home we could move several rooms from the source without losing signal — and there’s potential multiple reception should four Kleer-equipped users want to listen to the same source, er, for some reason… Downsides were only that issue of fit and the slight battery hit that will be taken by your iPod. Otherwise, a great performance - Kleer clarity, impressive pricing.