Very few speaker companies have been around as long as Klipsch. For over 60 years, the company has developed speakers that create the most engaging, emotional and dynamic entertainment experiences. As we move into our seventh decade, we remain committed to delivering the hallmarks of the Klipsch Sound—Power, Detail and Emotion—like never before.
On March 9, audio legend Paul W. Klipsch (PWK) is born in Elkhart, Indiana. As it turns out, he will be the only child of Oscar W. Klipsch and Minna Eddy.
While working in Chile, South America maintaining electric locomotives, Paul W. Klipsch becomes an amateur radio enthusiast. While comparing horn to cone-type radio speakers, he discovers the superior efficiency of horns.
In graduate school at Stanford University, one of Paul W. Klipsch’s classmates mentions to him that speakers sound better in a corner.
Using the ideas that horn speakers are more efficient and that they sound better in a corner, Paul W. Klipsch develops a crude prototype of the Klipschorn®.
Paul W. Klipsch receives a patent on his Klipschorn speaker design and essentially helps kick off the Hi-Fi era.
At age 42 and initiating his fifth career, Paul W. Klipsch registers the name Klipsch & Associates and begins selling his Klipschorn speakers to scientists and audiophiles. At this time, he’s working out of a tin shed in Hope, Arkansas. A local cabinetmaker and the Baldwin Piano Company assist Paul in building his first 20 Klipschorn speakers.
Paul W. Klipsch acquires his first factory building, formerly the telephone exchange building for the Southwest Proving Grounds in Hope, Arkansas, and hires his first employee, cabinetmaker Lloyd McClellan. The first Klipschorn built here is numbered 121. Today, the original factory is the Klipsch Museum.
Paul W. Klipsch introduces his experimental Heresy speaker, effectively the world’s first commercial center channel speaker. A year later, he demonstrates it at the World’s Fair in Brussels, Belgium.
Paul Klipsch designs the La Scala speaker for the performing arts sector. Arkansas gubernatorial candidate Winthrop Rockefeller later uses it as a public address speaker. Eventually, the La Scala makes its way into audiophile circles because it was considered a “portable” and more affordable version of the Klipschorn.
Klipsch & Associates beefs up its professional speaker line with the 500-pound MCM speaker. Designed for touring sound and cinema applications, the MCM delivers enough power to rock the house down.
Paul W. Klipsch receives the Audio Engineering Society's highest honor, the prestigious Silver Medal Award, for his contributions to speaker design and distortion measurement.
While it’s possible that cinemas used the Klipschorn in the early 50s to wow audiences, Klipsch formally gets into the professional theater business after selling an MCM system to John Allen. In fact, Allen established the first ever “digital” audio presentation of a soundtrack using Klipsch speakers.
Paul W. Klipsch is inducted into the Audio Hall of Fame.
At age 85, Paul W. Klipsch sells Klipsch & Associates to second cousin and Indianapolis businessman Fred S. Klipsch and his wife Judy. While manufacturing remains in Hope, Arkansas, business operations move to Indianapolis, Indiana. The company is re-named Klipsch, Inc. and one of the first product lines to come from this “new” company is the Tangent Series, a line originally produced for the U.S. Armed Forces.
Klipsch begins supplying the residential contracting market with two in-wall speakers – the IW 100 and IW 200. The Academy center channel speaker is introduced, representing the company’s first center channel speaker designed specifically for use in home theater surround sound applications.
With 5.1 home theater surround sound gaining more momentum, Klipsch begins building its audio portfolio with the introduction of its first powered subwoofer line.
In honor of Paul W. Klipsch’s achievements, New Mexico State University (PWK received his Bachelor of Science degree from NMSU in 1926) renames its engineering department the Klipsch School of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
Klipsch introduces the Rebel “8”, the company’s first compact “satellite” speaker offering.
Paul W. Klipsch is inducted into the Engineering and Science Hall of Fame, an honor shared by Thomas Edison, George Washington Carver and the Wright brothers. The Engineering and Science Hall of Fame recognizes those who have improved the quality of the human condition through an individual contribution using engineering and scientific principles. Klipsch also introduces its Synergy Series with monitor and tower product lines.
Replacing the 1996 Rebel system, Klipsch introduces the Quintet to meet consumer demand for an even smaller, space-saving speaker package.
Klipsch introduces the first computer speaker system in the world to be THX®-Certified. At $249, the ProMedia v.2-400 forever changes the way people think about multimedia speakers. The first generation of Reference Series speakers is introduced to the market.
Klipsch moves into its current headquarters location on the northwest side of Indianapolis. Also, the company is re-named Klipsch Audio Technologies. Fred S. Klipsch is named Indiana Heartland's Ernst & Young 2000 Entrepreneur Of The Year® in the manufacturing category.
Klipsch breaks ground on one of the Midwest’s most advanced consumer audio research facilities. Today, the Klipsch Engineering and Technology Center boasts two anechoic chambers (echo-free rooms), digital electronics workstations, a full-featured transducer lab, an engineering model shop and an industrial design lab.
On May 5, at the age of 98, audio legend Paul W. Klipsch dies. Throughout his lifetime, this relentless perfectionist earned 23 patents.
At the 2004 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Paul W. Klipsch is inducted into the Consumer Electronics Hall of Fame. The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) established this Hall of Fame in 2000 to honor the leaders whose creativity, persistence and determination helped shape the consumer electronics industry into what it is today.
Klipsch enters the iPod® accessories space with the iFi. As the first iPod-dockable home stereo system on the market, this 2.1 set up becomes a favorite among reviewers and scores numerous editors’ choice awards. Additionally, Klipsch acquires Danish brand Jamo to accelerate global growth.
In January, Klipsch kicks off its 60th Anniversary at the 2006 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Then in February, Fred S. Klipsch is inducted into Junior Achievement’s Central Indiana Business Hall of Fame. In August, the company acquires Audio Products International (API), makers of the Mirage®, Energy® and Athena® speaker brands. The Arkansas Institute for Performance Excellence (AIPE) selects Klipsch’s Hope, Arkansas-based manufacturing facility for a 2006 Commitment Award. Best Buy honors Klipsch with a Bravo Award for being its Vendor Partner of the Year in the Audio Video Division.
While Fred S. Klipsch receives an honorary doctor of technology degree from Purdue University, the company enters several new product categories including headphones and high-end. Image and Custom are marketed as the industry’s most comfortable, highest performing headphones. Image is also recognized for being the world’s smallest, lightest in-ear headphone design. Klipsch receives a patent for its skew horn design (#7,275,621), a technology that’s featured in the R-5650-S and KS-7800-THX in-wall speakers. Introduced at the IFA show in Berlin, Germany, the luxurious Palladium P-39F floorstander, at $20,000 a pair, represents the pinnacle of modern-day horn-loaded technology and craftsmanship. For the second year in a row, Best Buy honors Klipsch with a Bravo Award for being its Vendor Partner of the Year in the Audio Video Division.
In January, while the Image X10 headphones and Icon Series XF-48 floorstander receive 2008 CES Innovations Awards, the company unveils the custom Klipsch bike, built by Klipsch and Orange County Choppers™, during CES at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas. Later in the year, Klipsch speakers are installed in the new OCC headquarters in Newburgh, N.Y. In April, Klipsch partners with six select retailers on selling its Reference Series speakers online for the very first time. In July, the entire seven-model, high-end Palladium Series becomes available worldwide, while the KL-7502-THX in-ceiling speaker scores a 2008 Product of the Year Award from Electronic House magazine.
In May, Klipsch introduces its “recession proof” Image S4 headphones. At the time, it is one of the most successful product launches in company history, with multiple shipments selling out almost overnight. These headphones end up being featured on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and being named one of CNET’s Top Ten Most Popular MP3 Gadgets of 2009 as well as CNET’s #1 Best Product of Summer 2009. Just in time for the digital TV transition on June 12, Klipsch introduces its affordable HD Theater Series, proving a high-def picture demands high-def sound. Klipsch runs an HD Theater 500 ad in USA Today to support the launch.
In August, Klipsch takes its headphone business a step further, introducing the Image S4i and S2m headsets. The S4i was deemed the first third-party headset to offer full control of the iPhone 3GS, iPod touch and iPod music and video content. It immediately scores an Editor’s Choice Award from PC Magazine. Klipsch introduces the fourth generation Quintet, an 11-year-old product that continues to be the company’s best-selling surround-sound system of all time. In September, devoted leaders Fred and Judy Klipsch celebrate 20 years of owning the company. Two months later, Klipsch puts a wireless spin on its popular ProMedia 2.1 computer speakers. Dubbed the ProMedia 2.1 Wireless, the system is sold exclusively on klipsch.com.
Kadence Designs names Klipsch the official U.S. distributor and licensee of the LightSpeaker, the first product to combine efficient LED lighting and wireless ambient sound into a single unit that installs like a light bulb. The system is announced at the 2010 International Consumer Electronics Show, where it scores a 2010 Innovations Award and causes a media frenzy. In just a month’s time, the LightSpeaker gets the most publicity of any product in company history, while also adding an EH TOPS Award and Editor’s Choice Award from Popular Mechanics to its list of accolades.
The Image S4i also receives a 2010 CES Innovations Award, while Maximum PC puts the ProMedia 2.1 Wireless on its “Best of the Best” list.
Klipsch diversifies its headphone offering by introducing the Image ONE, the company’s first-ever on-ear sound solution.
Klipsch becomes the official headphone sponsor of the World Series of Poker® (WSOP), the largest, richest and most prestigious gaming event in the world
Klipsch Group, Inc. makes yet another splash in the industry after introducing five all-new, cross-brand compatible subwoofers.
Klipsch Group, Inc. is purchased and becomes a wholly-owned subsidiary of Audiovox Corporation (NASDAQ: VOXX). Soon after, Fred. S. Klipsch transitions to Chairman of the Board and Paul Jacobs is appointed CEO.
Jamo product design and engineering relocates to the company’s Indianapolis headquarters, while Klipsch Group Europe establishes new headquarters in Paris, France.
Company-first audio solutions enter the market, including the Klipsch Mode™ M40, Klipsch Gallery™ Series and Klipsch Image S4A™ for Android™, as well as the Energy Power™ Series.
Indianapolis’ renowned outdoor amphitheater becomes the Klipsch Music Center and further solidifies an exciting relationship with Live Nation Entertainment.