Many of you may have at least heard of this maker, because they’ve been around since forever. Klipsch is a well-known, and respected brand, because of the quality speakers they produce, right alongside the likes of the other brands that have been around for long, like Bowers & Wilkins. These specific speakers come in a 5.0 set, along with a center channel, but for this review, I’m going to be reviewing only the satellites, in a 2.1 fashion with my Velodyne as the accompanying subwoofer, in different setting than usual, because these are way smaller than my Sony’s, and definitely cannot go as low either. These are definitely not new, because I had gotten them used in a set that was, let’s say really cheap. The whole complete set speakers (all 5 of them) had an MSRP of $500 if new, so they are, I would say, in the mid-range in terms of the price. However, since these are in a set of 5, they are meant to be used in a surround sound setup. I will put my opinions on these are a whole in a surround sound setting, but I’ll focus on stereo, as it will be the most accurate and fair review based on my usual equipment.
I’ll be using two of the satellites for the review, and they will also be put in a surround sound setting as well, because these were part of a local sale, in which the owner was selling it as a set with other components that he wanted to get rid of. Initially it was stumbled upon, as I had wanted a receiver for audio reproduction of my PS4 gaming system I have in a separate gaming room, so they will be there sooner or later after this review. I’m mainly focusing on stereo because I’ll be inserting them in place of my Sony SS-K10ED, to review them with the components I’m familiar with, so as to provide a more accurate and reliable review, as I can compare to it another similar type I’ve had experience with.
Because of the recommendation, I’m going to be toeing them inwards, so that the woofer and tweeter is facing my ear for a better sound production and experience. Since they have the mounts and are adjustable, I’m adjusting them so that they are facing slightly upwards, more towards me, as they are smaller than you may think, based on the pictures.
The satellites themselves are in a 2-way type bass reflex enclosure with a tweeter on top, and a woofer below it. The bass port is found on the back of the speaker, above the connectors. Based on my sources, the tweeter type is typical to that of Klipsch, using a horn type .75″ neodymium magnet compression driver for wide dispersion, with a 3.5″ midrange woofer, making the frequency response 120Hz to 23kHz. Normally, I would have liked to set my subwoofer somewhere slightly above the frequency response, so it would make up for the drop-off point where the speakers get softer as it reaches it’s frequency limit. But since my subwoofers go to 120Hz, I’ll set them as such, and lower the volume to allow the Subwoofer to not overpower the satellites.
First of all, for a speaker these size, they are HEAVY. Heavier than you would expect. For speakers, this is a sign of a good quality speakers, and in this case, along with the sound quality that I’ve heard from these, they do translate to being good speakers. Overall, so far I’m liking the sound quality that these speakers produce. Vocals sound quite natural, and the instrumentation is pretty accurate. Specifically Cymbals are well-produced for a speaker in this price range, and you would think these would be more expensive, given quality in sound production.
I have to say though, at least right now, the tweeters are on the rough side, as I nitpick and compare it to my Sony’s. However, despite the price difference, these two come close in terms of quality, because I honestly like how the overall sound is produced by these tweeters. It’s may be a matter of preference, but these horned tweeters are the type of sound I like, because they sound realistic to me, and can go very loud without breaking. It’s not a fair comparison though, as those speakers are $600 a pair compared to the $500 for 4 satellites and 1 center channel (essentially $100 for each speaker). The imaging I’m getting from these small speakers are pretty good actually, with the voice being in the middle, but when it gets in between the middle and either sides, it gets a confused, as with many speakers out there, that I’ve heard. The imaging overall is forward, making the voice in front of everything else in recordings, which some people may not prefer. However, I heard this is a typical characteristic of Klipsch speakers, so that’s not very surprising for people who know Klipsch.
However, the sound-stage these speakers produce are decent for their size as well, extending ever so slightly past the speakers themselves. In terms of depth of the sound-stage these speakers produce, they are not deep, but not shallow either. One aspect that I usually don’t go into, but I will about these speakers are the fact that they are loud. On the usual volume I listen to, it’s slightly too loud for me on these speakers. But on the topic as well, these speakers performed really well in loud volumes as well, which gives me the impression that Klipsch was going for sound that belies its size with these speakers, and of course the good sound quality to go along with it. To pull this off, without sacrificing too much on the sound quality is a feat in itself. As it is very typical of Klipsch, according to my sources on background knowledge, the sensitivity of their speakers is very high (91db per 2.83 watts), which is why they are so loud. Not to mention, they are also very easy to drive, with a nominal impedance of 8Ω.
You can also tell Klipsch takes pride in these speakers, as the connects themselves are of good quality, as you can also see in the pictures. The overall build quality fools you. You can never really think they are heavy, unless you actually get to feel them for yourself. The base can be adjusted for on the wall-applications and on the shelf/stand, but since the speakers themselves are heavy for their size, Klipsch needed a little extra help to keep it in the desired position with a hold that you can adjust by twisting it like a screw.
Another thing I’d like to talk about, in terms of the speaker performance, is how transparent they are. Really, like my everyday use Sony, these speakers are as transparent like my Sony, and that says a lot for the value of these speakers, being as they priced way below the Sony as pair as well. Another area to nitpick on these, because it also comes close surprisingly as well, is the energy of the sound it can reproduce. These speakers are the type that, if I had gotten these instead of the Sony, I can live with and listen to them everyday. I honestly like overall tone they produce, even in comparison to the Sony. I’ve thought about using these instead because of the sound they produce, and not to mention the size. It’ll save up some space for me write slightly more comfortable.
But that’s where it kind of falls short too. Although these speakers actually may have fooled me on the stat sheet as well, because it turns out at 120hz crossover on my sub, there are some mid-bass at the level that gets over-resonated, and I turned the crossover to a slightly more 115hz than 120, I would still go for the more neutral and smoother Sony. It came down to personal preference, so it again, says a lot for the value of these speakers compared to an originally $600 speaker.
(I’ll update at a later time with a surround sound impression that I’ve yet to do)
I got a whole set by luck, because when I looked up on ebay and similar websites, you can only find these separated, meaning you can find them in pairs, a set of 3 instead, and not the full 5.0 set which I had gotten. Although I didn’t review them in stereo setting because they were mostly found in an incomplete set, I certainly thought they were also very good by themselves in a stereo fashion as I ran in my set.
As you can probably tell by my review, I would really recommend these speakers if you can get them at a good price. That could be a reason why previous owner would sell them separately. They would just be a steal if you got them for a whole set, so they would rather just sell them at about $40 a single/$80 a pair so they can get out of them more than a fifth of the original price they got them for. This is a high value product that you should shortlist, if anything. Should you consider these, anything cheaper, or in a whole set, they are definitely worth a look!
- Heavier than it suggest based on size
- Loud, but controlled
- Accurate sound production
- Great build quality
- Great worth
- (more when I update for the surround setup impressions)
Did I miss anything? If so, let me know!