All posts by Alex Leopold

Steve Bedard’s DIY Klipsch K-402 Speaker

There’s no point in denying that the Klipsch community is full of DIY efforts. Sure, they violate our warranties and sometimes go against our acoustic principles, but goodness, some of the stuff we see from is downright awesome.

We have previously shown you a DIY effort from Klipsch Forum member Jonathan Wood who created a Frankenstein-version of the Klipsch KPT-904 cinema speakers. This time, we’re turning to fellow Klipsch Forums member Steve Bedard who created a similarly monstrous speaker that utilizes a K-402 horn and borrows elements from the elusive Klipsch Belle speaker.

Steve Bedard Klipsch K-402 Horn DIY

For years, Bedard had friends who were pushing the Klipsch La Scala speakers on him and he understood why.

“It’s amazing that a pair of used horns can be purchased for less than a grand and they are not out of place with up-stream gear that costs tens of thousands of dollars.”

Of course, speakers like the La Scala and Bedard’s creation are BIG. He originally thought that such speakers would be far too large for his dwelling, but after gaining more experience and doing some research, he decided to play around with his home system.

He has been tweaking his system for eight years now, focusing on Klipsch modifications for the past three years and hasn’t looked back.

“The horns are just great. Everything else sounds lacking or hyper-real to me now. The horns present a natural feeling of ‘being there’, wherever ‘there’ is, be it a live recording or a mixing booth.”

His first effort was a Bob Crities “CornScala” (a hybrid of the Cornwall and La Scala), which Bedard loved.

After that, he decided that he wanted to build speakers with separate low and high frequency components so that he could try out different combinations of horns, drivers and woofers.

Bedard didn’t jump right away into using the K-402, though. He started off using parts from the CornScala and then a K-502 before finally landing on the K-402.

“I decided to stop with the half-measures and just go with what was described as the best.”

Steve Bedard Klipsch K-402 DIY Speaker Bass Bin

The bass section is based on the Klipsch Belle except Bedard “smoothed out a couple of the angles and joints to make it a bit more modern in appearance.”

This turned into a winning combination for Bedard.

“These things are big in every way, especially the sonic presentation. At reasonable volumes they can present a wall of sound or pinpoint imaging. Fast, punchy, nimble, are words that come to mind when thinking of their dynamics.”

Of course, his creation is admittedly not perfect.

“They don’t ‘measure’ great. Critics will point to the lack of low bass, the peak response at 150Hz and the fall off of the extreme high end. But all speakers exhibit some form of compromise. Some crazy guy once spouted off that the “best speakers for music have response curves that look like they were drawn by a fiddler’s elbow” — I like that visual. These fit the music I play, the music I enjoy.”

For those curious, here is the setup he is using with the speakers:

  • Leben integrated CS-600 amp
  • Leben RS-EQ phono stage
  • PTP Solid 12 (Lenco rebuild) Turntable with a 12″ Schick arm and modified Denon 103 cartridge

Physically, the speakers work for Bedard as well, noting that the plywood aesthetic works with his décor. Obviously, you can’t miss these speakers when you walk into the room. They certainly stand out.

All in all, the project took five months of work and he even had to join a co-op workshop. After all, Bedard lives in Vancouver, Canada, which is an extremely expensive city where affordable space is an issue.

Now, was all of the effort worth it? Obviously, for Bedard, the answer is “yes.” In fact, Bedard isn’t done experimenting with this design. He is going to take the lessons he learned from this effort but use a Cornwall-style bass bin instead of one modeled off the Belle.

“I like having the experience to critically listen and discuss the different designs. Living with the speakers and building them myself are the only way to really educate myself on this stuff. I can see myself swapping the 402 and 510 horns and the Belle and Cornwall bases around for the next few years.”

We can’t wait to check it out!

Before posting this blog, Bedard wanted to make one thing clear about his speakers: “I am standing on the shoulders of great designers. I just built the things and get to listen to them.”

Steve Bedard Klipsch K-402 DIY Speakers

Steve Bedard Klipsch K-402 DIY Speaker

Steve Bedard Klipsch K-402 DIY Speaker

DISCLAIMER: While we love these DIY projects from Klipsch fans, it should be noted they violate the warranty of the products.

What do you think of Steve Bedard’s DIY Klipsch speakers? Have you done something like this yourself? Post in the comments below!

 

 

Best Speaker Systems for the Super Bowl

Whether or not you like football, you’re probably going to end up watching the Super Bowl as the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers square off on Sunday, February 7. It’s one of the greatest spectacles in television from excessive press coverage, to commercials and, of course, the most important football game of the year.

Most Super Bowl party hosts only think about the size of their television when dreaming up the perfect setup for their guests. Obviously, your TV is an important component; however, it should not be your only concern. There is the seating, food and, of course, the audio to think about.

Don’t settle for the run-of-the-mill Super Bowl audio experience. You don’t want 20 of your guests leaning in to hear whether the play will be overturned or what the guy says to the adorable lost puppy in the beer commercial. Make sure every bit of dialogue is clean, crisp and that you practically feel every bone-crunching hit.

Below are some of our suggestions for the best speaker systems for the Super Bowl. The Super Bowl is broadcast in 5.1-surround sound; meaning that there are quite a few options you can go with.

Klipsch Reference R-4B Design

Soundbar + Wireless Subwoofer

This is the quickest and easiest solution to upgrade your Super Bowl sound. Most soundbars provide a plug-and-play solution that is a significant upgrade over your TV’s crappy small, thin built-in speakers. Also, an included wireless subwoofer will add significant impact to your listening experience.

Thankfully, Klipsch has a variety of options depending on your price point. If you want to go all out, choose the Reference R-20B. Looking to overspend on snacks and adult beverages? Check out the uber-obtainable Reference R-4B. In between those two options is the excellent Reference R-10B.

Reference Luck

Traditional 5.1 Speaker Systems

We’re based in Indianapolis, so we have to admit that it is a total bummer that Klipsch Brand Ambassador Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts are not in the Super Bowl. Anyway, with a traditional, passive 5.1 speaker system, you’re going to have to run some wires and utilize an audio-video receiver (AVR), but your system will be the envy of all of your family and friends, including your neighbor Ron who brags about the dinky little satellite speakers he has hanging from the ceiling.

Whether it’s the Palladium, Reference Premiere or Reference series, Klipsch has plenty of kick-ass 5.1 systems to choose from that deliver room-rattling sound. Of course, if space is a concern, you may want a slimmer design like something from the flat panel Gallery series. The choice is yours.

Reference Premiere HD Wireless RP-440WF RP-440WC RP-110SW

Wireless Home Theater

OK, so Reference Premiere HD Wireless speaker aren’t available until after the big game; however, it’s going to be an excellent option for football fans across the country (and planet). Simply plug the speakers in the wall and set their positions using the one-button system on the back panel and you’re good to go. That means you can crack open a tasty beverage and it’ll still be ice cold by the time you’re finished setting up your new system. Plus, the lack of speaker wire for the surround speakers means that guests won’t potentially be tripping over any wires.

From 2.0 to 5.1 and beyond, any of the nearly endless configurations of the Reference Premiere HD Wireless system will be suitable for the big game. To get the full effect of the crowd noise, we would recommend a 5.1 system but the 2.0 setup provides a surprising amount of thump.

Klipsch Gate Powergate 1 social

Multi-Room

If you happen to have a lot of guests over, chances are they will be wandering around your place and drifting into other rooms whether you like it or not. With the upcoming Klipsch Gate and Powergate amplifiers, you can turn your existing passive or powered Klipsch speaker system into a multi-room system, so that these transient people don’t miss a second of the action.

What is your speaker setup for the Super Bowl? Let us know in the comments!

 

 

 

 

Air Force One Boasts Klipsch Speakers

While we were at CES 2016, we met with our colleagues from THX. In that meeting, they told us that ProMedia speakers were on board Air Force One, the aircraft that shuttles the President of the United States across the world.

With our curiosity piqued, we were quite surprised when the first Google search of “Air Force One” popped up with Klipsch ProMedia speakers. In fact, you can see a ProMedia speaker in a stock photo on the Wikipedia entry for Air Force One.

We’ve checked out a bunch of photos of one of the world’s most advanced planes and, from what we can see, the speakers seem to be the standard wired versions of the ProMedia. Also, they appear in at least two different rooms on board Air Force One including the President’s main office.

Before anyone tries to make this political, there are photos (see below) of President Barack Obama AND President George W. Bush on Air Force One with ProMedia speakers in the background. Great sound does not align with a political party.

For any owner of the ProMedia speakers, the reasons for the Commander in Chief using these speakers are pretty evident. They can play extremely loud, meaning that even the lowly staffer in the back corner can hear them. A small footprint takes up minimal space, which is important when you are talking about having offices in the sky. They have also won pretty much every award out there in their category including a Readers’ Choice Award from Lifehacker.

Oh and from a taxpayer perspective, these speakers are also relatively low-cost, especially considering all of the above attributes.

We are genuinely proud that the Air Force chose to use Klipsch speakers on the aircraft that serves as both transportation and a second residence for the President of the United States.

What speakers would you have on board Air Force One if you were President? Post in the comments below!

Obama Air Force One ProMedia 2 social

Obama Air Force One ProMedia social

George W Bush Air Force One ProMedia

Buying a Soundbar for Your TV? Read This First.

Soundbars owe their existence to flat-panel TVs. Sure, those skinny screens produce a crystal-clear picture. But their tiny built-in speakers can’t even reproduce dialogue clearly, much less deliver convincing explosions, car crashes and all the other mayhem that keeps us riveted by our favorite movies and TV shows.

TV speakers are not only undersized and under-powered, they’re almost always aimed in the wrong direction, firing sound downward or toward the wall behind the TV. It’s no wonder everything comes out indistinct and out-of-focus.

So the goal of the soundbar is to provide a sonic experience that more closely matches the TV’s lifelike picture. Equipment makers use a variety of methods to achieve that goal, and pretty much any soundbar you choose is going to sound better than your TV’s speakers. A lot better.

Soundbars have exploded in popularity in recent years, and the number of models has likewise exploded. So we’ve put together this buying guide to help you quickly figure out what flavor of soundbar might work best for you.

Klipsch Reference R-4B Design

What is a sound bar?

A soundbar is an all-in-one speaker system that delivers high-quality TV sound without requiring the space, complexity and expense of a home theater receiver and surround sound speaker setup. A soundbar’s long, slender cabinet contains two or more speakers, and may provide either stereo or surround sound. Some soundbars come with a separate subwoofer for producing deep bass, which adds impact to movie soundtracks and music.

Nearly all soundbars you’ll run across are a self-powered or “active” – that is, they have their own built-in amplifiers. But there is a vanishing breed of soundbars designed to be connected to and powered by a receiver. These non-powered or “passive” soundbars lack another major advantage of active models: easy setup and operation. This article covers only self-powered soundbars, since that’s what 99.9% of folks are looking for.

When shopping, you’ll run across soundbars from nearly every audio company, as well as most TV makers. A soundbar made by the same company that built your TV may be a perfect match cosmetically, or offer other compatibility benefits. But for pure sound quality, you’ll probably do better with a model from a company whose main focus is audio gear.

Where do you plan to put it?

Knowing where you’re going to place your sound bar will immediately simplify your decision and narrow down your choices. There are two basic options. If your TV is hanging on the wall you can mount the sound bar right below it for a neat, uncluttered look. If you’re going this route, you’ll want to consider how you’ll hide the power cord and connection cable.

On the other hand, if your TV sits on a stand or cabinet, you can set the soundbar in front of the TV. In that case you’ll want to measure your stand and your TV’s base to be sure the soundbar won’t stick out from the stand at all.

You should also measure the space between the top of your stand and the bottom of your TV screen, to make sure the soundbar doesn’t block any of the screen. Some soundbars can be positioned either with the speakers facing forward, or laying flat with the speakers facing up, for just this reason.

Soundbars come in a wide range of sizes, from barely a foot wide to nearly five feet long. The right size bar for you will depend on the size of your room, the size of your TV, and your personal preferences.

If you plan to do at least some of your shopping in actual brick-and-mortar stores, pull out your phone and snap a few pics of your TV before you head out the door. That way when you’re comparing models at the local big box, you can check those photos and have get a better idea of how different soundbars will look in your home.

Klipsch Reference R-4B Wireless Subwoofer

What about a subwoofer?

If you think you might want a soundbar with an accompanying subwoofer, that might limit your placement options a bit, but probably less than you’d expect. That’s because nearly all of these subwoofers are wireless. That is, they receive the audio signal wirelessly from the soundbar, so you needn’t connect any cables between the soundbar and the subwoofer. But you will need to plug the sub into a wall outlet for power.

Also, the low frequencies that subs produce are difficult for our ears to locate, so you can usually position the sub almost anywhere in the room and still have it blend well sonically with the soundbar. Put it next to your sofa or tuck it in a corner behind a potted palm.

Soundbar or sound base?

So far, we’ve been talking about soundbars that really do have the long, thin shape of a bar. But there’s another type: the platform-style soundbar, also sometimes called a sound base. This wide, low-profile design sits under your TV and supports it. Sound bases have specially reinforced cabinets that are extra-sturdy. If you’re considering this type, check the specs to make sure it can support the weight of your TV. And make sure the sound base is wider than your TV’s base.

A sound base might be your best bet if there isn’t much vertical space between the bottom of your TV screen and the top of your stand. It’s also a smart choice if you want full-range sound without a separate subwoofer. Sound bases have two advantages that help them produce surprisingly full sound. They can use bigger speakers, plus the cabinets are much larger, giving the speakers “room to breathe” so they can produce more bass.

Stereo or surround sound?
It’s worth repeating that any soundbar is going to sound way better than your TV. Basic soundbars tend to be stereo designs that reproduce the same right and left channel audio information as your TV. But they sound much bigger thanks to larger speakers powered by amplifiers with real oomph.

You’ll also run across systems with two speakers, or even three speakers in a left/right/center configuration, that can go beyond the limitations of stereo. These soundbars may use Dolby Digital processing to anchor the dialogue to the TV screen and place sounds so that you get a broader front soundstage with more precise placement of sound effects.

Then there are the multichannel soundbars that mimic the realistic, wraparound sound of a full-on, multi-speaker surround sound system. They typically are labeled 5.1 or 7.1 systems, with discrete sounds assigned to each channel to create a three-dimensional soundfield. A few soundbars use special “beam-type” speakers to bounce sound off your walls, tricking your ears into thinking there are speakers all around you.

If you’re a “cord-cutter” who relies on your TV’s built-in tuner to pick up over-the-air TV signals, and/or smart TV apps to watch streaming services like Netflix, you’ll want a soundbar with Dolby Digital decoding. Most recent TVs will pass a Dolby Digital signal to your soundbar when you’re watching an internal source – those that aren’t external components. We’ll talk more about this in the connections section.

Hearing voices

Just getting sound that’s louder and fuller than your TV’s speakers is pretty exciting, but most soundbars have a few other audio tricks up their sleeves. Actors’ voices will naturally sound much clearer thanks to bigger and better speakers, but many soundbars add dialogue enhancement features that make voices louder still and bring them forward in the mix.

And here’s something we’ve probably all experienced: Watching TV at a comfortable volume level, then suddenly being blasted off the couch when a commercial comes on. Most soundbars now include technology to ensure that commercials aren’t louder than show soundtracks. Another common feature is a “late night” mode that reduces volume peaks in the program, making it less likely that you’ll disturb someone sleeping in a nearby room.

Soundbars can make great music players, too

With the popularity of wireless music playback it’s not surprising that many soundbars now offer that capability. Built-in Bluetooth® lets you stream music easily from your smartphone, tablet, or Bluetooth-capable computer. It works with the music stored on your phone as well as your favorite streaming music apps (like Spotify®). And Bluetooth is the wireless music standard these days – nearly all iOS®, Android®, and Windows® phones and tablets have built-in Bluetooth.

Some soundbars even have Wi-Fi® capability for quick access to online streaming services as well as your personal digital music library. Wi-Fi isn’t as goof-proof to connect as Bluetooth, but some soundbars include Wi-Fi-based wireless audio systems like Play-Fi, which let you set up a multi-room sound system so you can seamlessly play music all over the house. A soundbar might also have a USB input, so you can load up a thumb drive with your favorite tunes, leave it plugged in, and listen to them anytime.

Making the right connections

When choosing a soundbar, be sure you pick one with the right connections for your TV and other components. There are two basic ways to hook up a soundbar to your system. The most common way is to use your TV as a switching hub: you connect your Blu-ray player, cable or satellite box, and game console to your TV, then send the audio out from your TV to the soundbar.

This is a simple approach that lets you simultaneously switch the audio and video signals when you switch inputs on your TV. Typically, you’ll make a digital audio connection between your TV and soundbar – either optical or HDMI – in order to be able to enjoy surround sound from sources that offer it. This is a particularly good way to go if you bought your TV in 2015. That’s when TV makers decided to build true Dolby Digital pass-through into their TVs, allowing connected components like Blu-ray players to send surround sound audio through the TV and on to a receiver or soundbar.

Prior to 2015, if you used your TV as a switcher, the TV would convert any incoming audio to a two-channel PCM signal. That’s still playable by soundbars, and it sounds good, but it’s stereo, not surround. By the way, this is often the answer if you’re getting a picture but no sound from a connected source. Just go into the TV’s menu and you should find an audio setting for either PCM or Dolby Digital.

Every HDTV and 4K TV has an optical digital output, and so does nearly every soundbar. This connection is second only to HDMI as a way of getting high-quality sound from your TV to a soundbar. And speaking of HDMI, a growing number of soundbars include HDMI connections, which means you could connect your Blu-ray player or high-def cable box directly to the soundbar.

Staying in control

Once your soundbar is hooked up and set up, you can usually use your TV remote to control its volume. Most TV and cable or satellite remotes can be programmed to control a soundbar, or the soundbar can learn your TV’s commands. Most soundbars include at least a basic remote control, and often there are free remote apps that let you use your smartphone or tablet as a remote.

Wrapping up

Initially developed as a reaction to wimpy TV sound, soundbars have taken on a life of their own, providing a user-friendly combination of performance, convenience, and value. With so many models to choose from, everyone should be able to find a model that suits their preferences and pocketbook.

Klipsch at CES 2016: Recap

At CES 2016, Klipsch showed off more new products than it has before in its 70 years of history. With all of the new wireless speakers, powered monitors multi-room systems headphones, limited edition finishes and turntables, you are excused if it’s all hard to digest.

We are going to recap all of the other major occurrences at CES 2016 and break down all of these new CES 2016 products down in one table.

Again, we must note that some of these products may be tweaked before they reach production or pulled all together. That’s simply the nature of the business. We rely greatly on your feedback, so please post on all of our social channels, including this blog post, about which products from CES 2016 you would most like to see from Klipsch.

All the CES 2016 Blogs

Day 1 Recap (Products Launching Soon)

Day 2 Recap (Heritage)

Day 3 Recap (Multi-Room)

Day 4 Recap (Headphones)

A Few More Things

CES 2016 Photos

All the good photos we snapped from CES 2016. If you took some of your own, tag them with @KlipschAudio and/or #Klipsch.

Flickr

Dropbox

Facebook

Awards

Klipsch won a CES 2016 “Best of Innovation” Award for the Reference Premiere Atmos speakers. The Reference Premiere HD Wireless System and XR8i In-Ear Hybrid Headphones were named CES 2016 “Best of Innovation” Nominees.

New Products

You’ve probably been scrolling the article waiting for this list. Hopefully, you read some interesting stuff along the way. Anyway, here is every product we introduced at CES 2016.

Heresy Wireless CES 2 social

Speakers Using WiSA

We are proud to partner with the WiSA association to deliver wireless home theater products that are befitting of the Klipsch name. These speakers are going to change the way many of you feel about powered speakers.

Reference Premiere HD Wireless (Late February)

Heresy III Wireless

Heritage Powered Monitor CES 5 social

Powered Monitors

It always feels nice when we can answer your customers’ wishes. People have been dying for us to make powered monitors, so here we are. We will proudly put these speakers up against anything in its class.

Reference R-15PM Powered Monitor (Late January)

Heriage-Inspired 6.5” Powered Monitor

Heritage-Inspired 10” Powered Monitor

Heritage Room System CES 4 social

Multi-Room Audio

There are probably some of you who have discovered multi-room solutions for your Klipsch already, but it’s about time we make things easier on everyone with our own solutions. Plus, this is a product category DYING for an improvement in audio quality.

Klipsch Gate (August 2016)

Klipsch Powergate (August 2016)

Reference Wireless Speaker (September 2016)

Heritage-Inspired Room System with Play-Fi

Klipsch Stadium with Play-Fi

Heritage Table Top systems CES 7 social

Music Systems

Paul W. Klipsch founded the company 70 years ago with the goal of bringing the live music experience to the living room. Obviously, he succeeded. That being said, the modern consumer demands a certainly flexibility in terms of how they can play back their music. These new Klipsch music systems make it easier than ever to connect to one’s music while borrowing inspiration from many of PWK’s original designs.

TT1 Table Top Heritage-Inspired Music System

TT2 Table Top Heritage-Inspired Music System

Heritage-Inspired Bluetooth 2.1 System

Heritage-Inspired Music System

Klipsch Groove (Now!)

Klipschorn Heresy 70th Limited Edition 1 social

70th Anniversary Speakers

In honor of our 70th anniversary, we are producing limited editions of the Klipschorn and Heresy III. They feature an exotic australian walnut veneer, unique mesh grilles and special logos. Each pair of speakers will have a special 70th Anniversary plaque, hand signed by the builder, identifying it as part of this limited series. There will only be 35 pairs of these 70th Anniversary Klipschorns made and 70 pairs of the 70th Anniversary Heresys. We will announce availability information shortly.

Klipschorn (April 2016)

Heresy III (April 2016)

Klipsch Soundbars CES 1

Soundbars

It’s no secret that soundbars are going into more and more homes, whether they are the primary theater system or the secondary system. Klipsch is ready to play ball with a variety of HDMI + Play-Fi compatible options that promise to defy your acoustic expectations for a soundbar.

RSB-6 (September 2016)

RSB-8 with Play-Fi (September 2016)

RSB-11 with Play-Fi (August 2016)

RSB-14 with Play-Fi (September 2016)

RPTB-3100B Theater Bar + Wireless Subwoofer with Play-Fi (September 2016)

Outdoor Speakers CES 2 social

LS Landscape Outdoor Speakers

Klipsch customers demand great sound wherever they may be, so why not bring it to the great outdoors? We’re revitalizing our line of outdoor speakers with the LS Series of landscape speakers.

PRO-500T-LS Landscape Satellite (May 2016)

PRO-650T-LS Lanscape Satellite (May 2016)

PRO-10SW-LS Half Burial Subwoofer (May 2016)

PRO-12SW-LS Direct Burial Subwoofer (May 2016)

New Klipsch Amplifiers CES

KDA DSP Amplifiers

Launching with our new outdoor speakers are a new crop of flexible, high-performance amplifiers that offer premium amplification for all Klipsch custom install, outdoor and box speakers with easy set-up, flexible DSP and optimizing presets.

KDA-500 (May 2016)

KDA-1000 (May 2016)

Pro-200A (Now!)

CES Headphones 1 social

Headphones

“When are you coming out with Bluetooth headphones?” is the question that floods the Klipsch social media channels every time we post something about headphones. Well, here you go! We are confident that Bluetooth has finally reached a level of performance that the majority of our fans will be greatly pleased with.

Reference On-Ear (Now!)

Reference On-Ear Bluetooth (September 2016)

Reference Over-Ear Bluetooth (September 2016)

Neckband In-Ear Bluetooth (September 2016)

Reference X Series (Now!)

Klipsch Walnut Turntable CES 2016

Turntables

Yup, we’re going into the turntable business, partnering with a well-establish company that makes some of the finest products in the industry. Whether you are rocking a Heritage Series speaker in walnut or a Reference speaker, these turntables are going to feel right at home in your setup.

Klipsch walnut turntable

Klipsch black and copper turntable

 

What was your favorite Klipsch product shown off at CES 2016? Let us know in the comments!

 

 

 

Klipsch at CES 2016: A Few More Things

CES 2016 is done and over with, but there’s still so much more to tell you. After all, we have never shown this many new products before at one show.

We will be recapping all of those products along with pricing/availability information in a future blog post. Stay tuned for that!

Anyway, we saved one more product announcement for this post…

Klipsch Black Turntable CES 2016

Klipsch Turntables

Don’t worry, you don’t need to calibrate your screen! There will be several versions of Klipsch branded turntables including one that uses the same walnut veneer as our Heritage Series speakers as well as one with Reference-style copper and black look. These turntables will be the perfect partners for the new powered monitors or even our current lineup of passive speakers.

CES 2016 Award Closeup 1 social

Awards

Klipsch won a CES 2016 “Best of Innovation” Award for the Reference Premiere Atmos speakers. The Reference Premiere HD Wireless System and XR8i In-Ear Hybrid Headphones were named CES 2016 “Best of Innovation” Nominees.

Klipsch Powered Monitors CES 1 social

Praise for the Klipsch Booth

Congratulations to all of those who worked on the Klipsch booth! It’s truly an extraordinary undertaking and we feel like we had one of the best booths at CES 2016. Maybe not the most expensive or the flashiest, but the one that most felt like “home.” Well, “home,” if you have impeccable decorating skills.

Travis Stanton, editor of Exhibitor Magazine, tweeted his praise out on Twitter while, anecdotally, we can certainly say that countless people dropped by the booth and remarked “Wow! I wish my house looked like this.”

Also, check out what Digital Trends had to say about it: “Of course, not everyone goes for the big and bold approach. Take Klipsch, perhaps the most American speaker company there is. They like to say they’ve been pissing off the neighbors for 70 years — and they’ve got the rock-star street cred to back that statement — but Klipsch isn’t just about loud and proud. The speaker maker has a storied place in America’s home audio history, and for Klipsch’s 70th anniversary this year, they’ve turned their CES booth into a sort of Klipsch museum, celebrating the evolution of their speakers over the past few decades, including the legendary Cornwalls and Heresy series, leading right up to their new wireless Hi-Fi models, which you don’t even need a receiver to run. This is the sort of place you want to hang out in all day. And you know what? We almost did.”

70th Anniversary Pin Blazer 1 social

70th Anniversary Pins

At every trade show, Klipsch gives away its famous yellow “Bullshit” buttons that pay tribute to Paul W. Klipsch’s favorite expression. Once again, we kept with the tradition; however, we also handed out 70th Anniversary pins to a select few. We’re looking forwarding to seeing people hawk them on Ebay. (Not really, but we’re sure it’ll happen!)

RP HD Wireless CES 1 Social

Near Noise Violation

Approximately three seconds into CES 2016, our own Mark Casavant turned up the volume on the Reference Premiere HD Wireless system “up to 11,” as they say. Everyone was looking around, waiting for one of the CES employees to come running into the booth after what happened last year.

Second Floor Shaking

Speaking of the Reference Premiere HD Wireless system…It caused the entire second floor to shake whenever the Jurassic World demo was playing. Try having a meeting when it feels like an earthquake is happening. SPOILER: the battle between the Indominus and Tyrannosaurus Rex was practically show-rattling.

Free Beer

If you have ever been to a trade show of any kind, you know they can be quite exhausting. You are on your feet all day, talking with customers and perhaps even daring to walk the gigantic facility. Since CES is North America’s biggest trade show, it takes everything to the next level. The sheer magnitude of it all is hard to describe.

In any case, we combated this by providing free beer on the second level of our booth for both staff and customers. Yum.

Obama Air Force One ProMedia social

Air Force One and Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 Speakers?

Through one of our partners, we were told that Air Force One has a Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 system onboard. We haven’t been able to verify it, but we would say that it’d be pretty dang cool if the President was rockin’ with Klipsch speakers.

We’ll send a pair of headphones to the first person who can undeniable prove that Klipsch speakers are on Air Force One!

EDIT: Tyler did a quick google search and found the above image of President Obama with the speakers on the Wikipedia entry for Air Force One. A google search found even more examples. It looks like the speakers were even in place during George W. Bush’s administration.

Klipsch Coil Winder CES 1 social

Klipschorn + Coil Winder

We like to pay tribute to our rich history every year at CES. This year, in honor of the Klipschorn’s 70th birthday, we displayed a raw Klipschorn cabinet with all of the tools and screws needed to put one together. It really gives you perspective behind one of the all-time great speaker designs.

Elijah Wood MC Hammer tweet

 

Elijah Wood + MC Hammer Retweets

Our old pal Elijah Wood, star of Lord of the Rings and other major films, seemed quite enthralled with some of the new Heritage-Inspired speakers we tweeted out from CES 2016.

That isn’t surprising, though. What is surprising is the one and only MC Hammer retweeting our day 1 blog recap. Before you ask, we certainly do not have a relationship with him.

Can’t touch this BOOM.

Do you have any questions for Klipsch about the CES 2016 experience? Post in the comments below.

 

 

 

Klipsch at CES 2016: Day 4

The final day of the Consumer Electronics Show is open to the public, which means that we were able to show off our latest and greatest headphones and speakers directly with the masses.

Before this post, we hadn’t spoken much about headphones but that’s because the whole booth is full of new product! For many of you, though, this will be a case of “saving the best for last.”

This will be our last daily recap from CES 2016, but we may just throw a few more surprises at you in an “Odds and Ends” blog post to wrap things up.

Klipsch Reference On-Ear Over-Ear Bluetooth

Reference On-Ear Bluetooth

Everyone wants Bluetooth headphones, so we’re not going to be left out in the cord. We were able to add Bluetooth to the successful Reference On-Ear design. It’s like we just snipped off the cable. Of course, you can still use them if you forgot to charge them up – just plug in the cable.

Klipsch Reference Over-Ear CES

Reference Over-Ear Bluetooth

Yes, we are back in the over-ear headphone game with the new Reference Over-Ear Bluetooth headphones. We are adapting the ultra-comfortable Reference On-Ear design and making it into an over-ear design that doesn’t make you goofy like some of those other headphone manufacturers. The Reference Over-Ear Bluetooth will have a new driver technology, ensuring that you will get the very best in modern Klipsch acoustics.

Klipsch Neckband Bluetooth Headphones

Neckband In-Ear Bluetooth

One of the hottest segments in the headphone market is with the neckband form factor. The most popular existing offerings look and sound, quite frankly, foolish, so we’re here to change that. Look at that slick leather band! These headphones will feature a class-leading battery life and neck vibration for calls. Like the recently launched R6 Bluetooth, these headphones will feature aptX and AAC codecs, a multipoint connection, Micro-USB charging and are sweat-resistant. Disclaimer: design is subject to change.

R6 In-Ear Bluetooth

We also showed off the aforementioned R6 In-Ear Bluetooth headphones at CES 2016. These headphones are quickly becoming favorites of our staff and from the public alike. Using the R6’s best-in-class acoustics and a Bluetooth 4.0 connection, these headphones almost make too much sense for someone such as an urban commuter or someone who simply doesn’t want pesky wires anymore.

Reference X Series

Also recently launched, the Reference X Series represent the pinnacle in design and acoustics for Klipsch headphones. These headphones were in such hot commodity that we had to have someone stationed right by them the entire time, so none of them walked away from the booth.

Stay tuned for a few more tasty morsels from Klipsch at CES 2016 as well as a complete, all-encompassing recap of North America’s biggest trade show.

What is your favorite thing from Klipsch at CES 2016 on day four? Post in the comments below!

 

 

Klipsch at CES 2016: Day 3

Everyone loves Klipsch sound. That’s pretty much a straight-up fact. You want it anywhere and everywhere you go.

We have continued to add more and more unique solutions that allow you to enjoy legendary Klipsch and here we are at CES 2016 to show you one more way.

Multi-room sound.

We told you that we were waiting for technologies to mature before jumping into the fray and we believe the time is right to start talking about some stuff we have in the works.

What is Play-Fi Wireless Technology?

Play-Fi is a new, yet polished, wireless audio platform for those who want to have speakers throughout their house without complicated wiring. It works through your home’s existing high-speed Internet connection and WiFi network.

We are extremely excited to start growing our portfolio of Play-Fi speakers. After all, who wouldn’t want Klipsch sound ringing throughout their house?

Klipsch Powergate CES 1

Klipsch Powergate with Play-Fi Wireless Technology

So, let’s say you already have some bad-ass passive Klipsch speakers – perhaps Reference Premiere or the Heritage Series – but you want to create a multi-room solution. What you need is a Klipsch Powergate with Play-Fi. It amplifies passive loudspeakers and connects them into a Klipsch multi-room system. The targeted release for the Powergate is August 2016.

Klipsch Gate CES 1

Klipsch Gate with Play-Fi Wireless Technology

On the flip side, let’s say you are buying Klipsch powered speaker like the new Reference Premiere HD Wireless, Reference R-15PM or perhaps the powered Heritage-inspired speakers we told you about yesterday. In this case, you will simply need the Klipsch Gate with Play-Fi. It makes any powered speaker a part of a Klipsch multi-room system. Just like the Powergate, look for this fella in August 2016.

Klipsch Soundbars CES 1

Soundbars, Soundbars, Soundbars

We told you in the CES Preview blog that a bunch of soundbars were coming and we weren’t lying. Many of these soundbars offer common-sense improvements; however, perhaps most excitingly, many of these soundbars have Play-Fi built-in. Play-Fi is a new wireless technology that supports multi-room audio simply and efficiently.

Reference RSB-6: The successor to the super-popular R-4B adds an HDMI connection. Look for it in September 2016.

Reference RSB-8: Like the RSB-6, the RSB-8 boasts HDMI and will be out in September 2016 but this soundbar + wireless subwoofer also offers Play-Fi.

Reference RSB-11: This is the replacement to the R-10B. It has an improved industrial design, additional drivers, additional features/modes and HDMI connectivity. It is due out in August of 2016.

Reference RSB-14: The RSB-14 takes all of the improvements from the RSB-11 and adds Play-Fi for multi-room sound. It should launch in September of 2016.

Reference Premiere RPTB-3100B: Last but certainly not lease, the first Reference Premiere Theater Bar is designed for TRUE multichannel home theater applications. It offers the option to add additional wireless speakers that can be used as wireless surrounds or for additional rooms through Play-Fi. The RPTB-3100B also has a tapered industrial design that will come in a unique selection of finishes. The target launch date for the RPTB-3100B is also September 2016.

Reference Wireless Speakers CES 1

Reference Wireless Speakers

Our iconic Reference Series gets the multi-room treatment too! Each Reference Wireless Speaker works as an additional mono or stereo zone in your multi-room system through Play-Fi. You can use it as a surround channel for any of the Play-Fi enabled soundbars listed above or you can pair five of them together for a kick-ass 5.0 system. Oh and it connects easily to your Bluetooth enabled devices too.

Klipsch Stadium CES 1

New Klipsch Stadium Finishes + Play-Fi

Since its introduction, the Klipsch Stadium has always been virtually a piece of art visually, sonically and technologically.

At CES 2016, we introduced a pair of new finishes – piano gloss black and matte black – as well as the inclusion of Play-Fi. One of our most advanced speakers just got that much smarter.

Even more surprises coming tomorrow, so check The Klipsch Joint again tomorrow!

What do you think of what we recapped today from CES 2016? Let us know in the comments below!

 

 

 

Klipsch at CES 2016: Day 2

As you may already know, Klipsch is celebrating its 70th Anniversary at CES 2016. In honor of this milestone, we are introducing a pair of unique finishes for select Heritage speakers as well as a whole new line of Heritage-inspired speakers.

Like yesterday’s post, we would like to remind everyone that even with today’s entry, we aren’t done reporting on all of the new stuff we have on display at CES 2016. There are just so many new and awesome Klipsch speakers and headphones that have been introduced publicly here in Las Vegas.

No point in blabbering on anymore, let’s get to it…

Klipschorn Heresy 70th Limited Edition 1 social

Limited Edition 70th Anniversary Klipschorn & Heresy Speakers

These limited edition Klipschorn and Heresy III speakers are a stunning tribute to our proud 70 years of history. Both of these Paul W. Klipsch designs are receiving an exotic Australian walnut wood veener finish and a unique grille cloth. Each pair of speakers will have a special 70th Anniversary plaque, hand signed by the builder, identifying it as part of this limited series. Oh and you gotta love those special logos!

There will only be 35 pairs of these 70th Anniversary Klipschorns made and 70 pairs of the 70th Anniversary Heresys. We will announce availability information shortly.

Heresy Wireless 1 social

Heresy III Wireless Speakers

You may look at this photo and say “that’s just a Heresy III.” Well, you’d be dead wrong. This puppy is powered by custom engineered electronics and wirelessly connected with WiSA high definition wireless technology. (Just like the Reference Premiere HD Wireless System.) The Heresy III Wireless accepts digital, analog and Bluetooth wireless technology inputs and easily connects to turntables via the built-in phono pre-amp.

Heritage Inspired 10" Powered Monitors

Heritage-Inspired Powered Monitors

We just introduced the slick Reference R-15PM Powered Monitors, but we know many of you prefer the Heritage look and feel. At CES 2016, we showed two versions of these Heritage-inspired powered monitors – one with a 6.5” woofer and the other with a big ol’ 10” woofer.

Featuring a wood veneer, tactile controls and a premium grille cloth, these monitors certainly fit the look and feel of an old-school speaker. Additionally, we threw in all of the technology that makes the R-15PM so appetizing: built-in phono pre-amp, Bluetooth, etc.

Yes, please.

Heritage Room System CES 1 social

Heritage-Inspired Portable Music System & Multi Room System

Ready or not, here’s something a little different for you! Like the Heritage-inspired powered monitors, these speakers have a retro design, yet are packed with new-age technology. One version of this speaker is the classic semi-portable speaker (8 hours battery life) that can give you this classic style and sound on the go. The other version is a multi-room solution thanks to Play-Fi technology.

You’ve been asking for a true multi-room solution and we are certainly listening.Who wouldn’t want a bunch of these speakers around their home?

(We will have more information on other Klipsch multi-room systems in the day 3 CES 2016 recap.)

Heritage Table Top systems CES 1 social

Heritage-Inspired Table Top Speakers

Of all the new Heritage-inspired speakers, the Table Top speakers perhaps garnered the biggest reaction. Countless booth visitors – men and women, young and old – remarked how they would love to have one for their office or desk. Exactly what we’re thinking!

Coming in two different sizes, depending on how large your room is, these speakers will effortlessly fill the room while giving you a pleasing mid-century aesthetic that goes with just about anything.

Mini Heresy Bluetooth Speakers 1 social

Heritage-Inspired 2.1 Desktop System

Yes, these look like Heresy speakers. We took one of our most popular designs and shrunk it down into a 2.1 Bluetooth system that would be the perfect pairing for a computer setup. We should’ve done this a while ago, don’t you think? After all, more Heresy is good for the soul.

Now, before you frantically type “TAKE MY MONEY”, we must put the disclaimer that all of the new Heritage-inspired speakers are still in development. There will be plenty of design and acoustic tweaks before these pushed to market. 

What’s your favorite Klipsch product that you have seen from us thus far at CES 2016? Let us know in the comments!