All posts by Amy Unger

Iconic Music Couples: Muses for Better or Worse

When Paul W. Klipsch began his quest for live music in his living room, the person seated beside him in that room was his wife, Belle. It has been said that behind every great man is a great woman. The same might be said about a great song. Melody certainly matters. A memorable hook helps, along with clever or compelling lyrics to stick with us. But even if a song has all this going for it, it will fall flat if it’s missing authentic passion.

What do singers and songwriters draw upon to create this passion? Frequently, from their own life experience. Phil Collins’ famous break-up song “Against All Odds” begins with the line: “How can I let you just walk away / Just let you leave without a trace?” The song told the story of Collins’ own failing marriage, and in 1984 the crash and burn story resonated with music fans enough to see it hit number two on the Billboard Hot 100 U.K. and spent three weeks at number one in the U.S.

Hit songs about love and relationships get even more interesting when the song is about another musician. Iconic music couples have clashed and harmonized to create some of our best-loved songs throughout history. For example…

Fleetwood Mac

Fleetwood Mac’s 1977 album Rumours is widely considered to be one of the greatest rock albums of the 1970s, if not of all-time. Producing hits such as “Don’t Stop” and “Go Your Own Way,” Rumours won the 1978 Grammy Award for Album of the Year. The album’s greatness was born, however, from simultaneous meltdowns in the intertwined romantic relationships of several band members:

Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham were Fleetwood Mac’s American members. Long-time lovers, their relationship was crumbling by the late 1970s. In “Go Your Own Way,” Buckingham expressed his anger with Nicks, even including the line “Packing up, shacking up is all you want to do” despite her strong objections. The line stayed in the song and the beleaguered couple recorded it together as bandmates. To be a fly on that wall…

Two other members of the band, Christine and John McVie, were going through their own break-up while Rumours was being written. In the other best-known song from the album, “Don’t Stop,” Christine tells her ex-husband repeatedly, “Yesterday’s gone.” Although the song sounds cheery and optimistic, it was Christine’s way of telling John that their relationship was over, and it was time to move on.

Go Your Own Way – Fleetwood Mac 05 DEC 1977

Sonny and Cher

Cher was a tender 16 years old when she met Salvatore “Sonny” Bono in a coffee shop. Sonny was 27 and working for legendary music producer Phil Spector. Before long, he had Cher singing backup for acts like The Righteous Brothers and The Crystals.

The couple’s romantic relationship began in 1962; their marriage in 1964. Their career-making song about one another: “I Got You Babe” was a hit in 1965. Ten years after singing the foreshadowing lyrics, “They say we’re young and we don’t know / We won’t find out until we grow,” Sonny and Cher divorced. Despite Cher having very few kind words about Sonny after the divorce, their relationship was the springboard that launched both their careers, and propelled her ultimately into super-stardom.

I Got You Babe – Sonny and Cher Top of the Pops 1965

Johnny Cash and June Carter

Thankfully, not all iconic match ups end in disaster. For Johnny Cash and June Carter, their 35 year-marriage weathered hard times with the couple staying together through it all. Johnny Cash, Jr. would subsequently write in memoirs about his parents that they “accepted each other unconditionally” and stayed in love until the end of their lives.

Before she met Johnny, June was a musical star in her own right as a performer with her family’s group, The Carter Sisters. Johnny started performing with the family and fell in love with June almost right away. He insisted that he would marry her one day, but she cited his drug addiction as the reason she’d never be with him. Biographers of Cash claim that it was largely his love for June providing the motivation to get his addiction under control. The two married in 1968 and stayed married until their deaths in 2003. Over the years, they sung a multitude of duets together, including hits such as “Jackson.”

Johnny and June Carter Cash sing Jackson


Who is your favorite musical power couple? Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale? Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood? Marc Anthony and J-Lo? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

10 Unreal Outdoor Music Venues You Must Visit at Least Once

With summer in full-swing, it’s time to think about road tripping to some of the nation’s most amazing outdoor concert venues. From East Coast to West, America has some excellent outdoor spots for live music. While we are partial to our locally renowned and legendary Klipsch Music Center, here are 10 additional unreal outdoor concert venues every live music fan should visit at least once.

1. Red Rocks Amphitheatre

Location: Morrison, CO
Capacity: 9,450
Summer ‘14 Highlights: John Butler Trio, Lionel Richie, James Taylor, Nas, Widespread Panic, Sarah McLachlan

The outdoor amphitheatre, where concerts and movies play all summer, is just one amazing feature of Red Rocks Park. Located in the Rocky Mountains a few miles west of Denver, the park takes its name from the red rock formations surrounding it. The amphitheatre itself is surrounded by the rocks, giving the space unique natural acoustics in a picturesque environment.

2. Greek Theatre

Location: University of California – Berkeley
Capacity: 8,500
Summer ‘14 Highlights: Sarah McLachlan, Jurassic 5, Counting Crows, John Legend, Dave Matthews Band

This venue looks like what its name suggests: A classic, ancient Greek outdoor theatre. Don’t come expecting Oedipus Rex, though. Everyone who’s anyone in the music world has played “the Greek” in Berkeley in the last 20 years. From R.E.M. and Elvis Costello to the Grateful Dead and Pearl Jam, the Berkeley attracts the biggest acts in rock.

3. Mountain Winery

Location: Saratoga, CA
Capacity: 1,750
Summer ‘14 Highlights: Jill Scott, Maxwell, Joan Baez and the Indigo Girls, Steely Dan, Boyz II Men

Big rock acts are great, but if want a smaller, more intimate venue with artists who are a little more “roll” than “rock”, check out the Mountain Winery in Saratoga, CA. Come for the wine and stay for the music, or come for the music and enjoy the wine. Either way, the Mountain Winery will give you a mellow concert with a more sophisticated vibe.

4. Hollywood Bowl

Location: Los Angeles, CA
Capacity: 17,376
Summer ‘14 Highlights: 36th Annual Jazz Festival, Pharrell Williams, the L.A. Philharmonic Orchestra, Gloria Estefan, Motley Crue and Alice Cooper

From high culture to hair bands, the Hollywood Bowl is a classic venue that’s got it all. As long as you’re in California checking out the Berkeley Greek and the Mountain Winery, you should make a road trip south to visit the Hollywood Bowl. Regardless of the night or your musical tastes, you’ll find something to tickle your fancy.

5. Kansas City Starlight Theatre

Location: Kansas City, MO
Capacity: 7,947
Summer ‘14 Highlights: The Fray, Chicago and REO Speedwagon, Willie Nelson, Journey and the Steve Miller Band, Pat Benatar and Rick Springfield

In the Midwest, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better outdoor concert venue than the Kansas City Starlight Theatre. In addition to current and classic rock acts, the Starlight Theatre holds Broadway shows and a myriad of other events.

6. Alpine Valley Music Theatre

Location: East Troy, WI
Capacity: 37,000
Summer ‘14 Highlights: Wiz Khalifa, Jeezy, KISS, Def Leppard, Jimmy Buffet

Before 1993, Alpine Valley Music Theatre in Wisconsin was the biggest outdoor venue in the United States. While that’s no longer the case, it remains a classic in stadium rock and outdoor concerts. Since 1977, the Chicago-area amphitheatre has been host to some of the most important names in rock ‘n roll, including the Rolling Stones, Guns ‘n Roses, Aerosmith, and, more recently, Coldplay.

7. The Ravinia

Location: Chicago, IL
Capacity: 3,400
Summer ‘14 Highlights: Maxwell, John Legend, OneRepublic, Hall & Oates, American Idol Live

Located in the green space of Chicago’s North Shore, the Ravinia is one of the best-loved outdoor venues in the Chicago area. Besides hosting pop stars of various genres like those listed above, the Ravinia is also home to high culture acts, including theatrical productions, pianists, choral orchestras, and jazz artists.

8. Merriweather Post Pavillion

Location: Columbia, MD
Capacity: 15,000
Summer ‘14 Highlights: Jack Johnson, David Gray, Fall Out Boy and Paramore, Beck, Phish, ZZ Top

We’ve looked in the West and the Midwest, now let’s head over to the East Coast, starting with the Merriweather Post Pavillion. Since its establishment in 1967, the Merriweather has hosted some legendary acts — Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, the Who, and Janis Joplin to name a few. Today, the venue continues to host rock’s A-list acts.

9. Jones Beach Theater

Location: Wantagh, NY
Capacity: 14,000
Summer ‘14 Highlights: OneRepublic, Lionel Richie and CeeLo Green, Boston with The Band and Cheap Trick, Aerosmith, the Beach Boys, Nine Inch Nails and Soundgarden

Long Island’s Jones Beach has long been a getaway spot for New Yorkers. In 1952, the addition of the outdoor theatre and concert venue made it even more popular. In 1991, the venue was renovated and expanded; in 1998, it was expanded again to its current size. A few years ago, Superstorm Sandy tried to take down the amphitheatre, but it’s the kind of beloved landmark that won’t be taken down so easily. The venue’s owner, LiveNation, spent more than $20 million repairing the venue; today it’s back to being one of the most important concert venues in the NYC metropolitan area.

10. Chastain Park Amphitheatre

Location: Atlanta, GA
Capacity: 6,900
Summer ‘14 Highlights: The Temptations, Goo Goo Dolls with Plain White T’s, Gipsy Kings, Boyz II Men and En Vogue

We can’t end our tour of the country’s best outdoor concert venues without visiting the Deep South. Although Chastain Park is technically “Delta Classic Chastain Park Amphitheatre,” to locals it’s still just “Chastain.” It started in 1933 as North Fulton Park, and has gradually grown over the years to its current incarnation. As the premiere outdoor concert venue in the Atlanta area, Chastain Park hosts all the biggest pop acts, along with sophisticated and unique concerts. For instance, this summer’s schedule will include U2 — as interpreted and performed by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.


Thoughts on our “top ten” list of outdoor music venues? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

You Can Do This, Ladies

14 years ago if you had asked me what a woofer is, I probably would have answered along the lines of a basset hound. Now that I’m a seasoned pro, I can speak titanium compression drivers and Tractrix Horns with the best of them…except my female friends and family members look at me like I’m speaking Vulcan. This tells me I was not alone in my original naivety. It’s no surprise, however, since the corporate as well as hobbyist world of audio has been male-dominated since, well, ever.

Unfortunately, most women seem to be happy with this status quo. “Boys and their toys,” and all that. Which is too bad because what they are actually doing is depriving themselves of the way music and movies should sound. And that’s simply not acceptable.

Do not typecast audio as a man-thing.

Whether you’re single or hooked up with the rare male species who doesn’t care about audio, don’t be intimidated when you set out to purchase. Follow these tips to dazzle any salesperson you run across.

Know your environment and survey the room. How well your system performs depends on your room’s setup. For example, too many bare surfaces can cause reflections that add harshness to the sound or muddy the dialog. Furniture placement also plays a major role in your room’s acoustics, so be prepared to do some testing and rearranging.

Determine what you want this system to do. Music, movies and TV, play video games, all of the above? If music-only is your thing, a 2.1 system (two speakers and a subwoofer) will suffice. Adding movies and TV into the mix, consider a 5.1 home theater surround sound system (3 speakers positioned in front, 2 surround speakers at the sides and 1 subwoofer placed in the front corner for the low sounds). If limited space is a factor, a soundbar may be a good solution.

Tip: if 5.1 is your thing, don’t skimp on the center channel. This speaker, placed front and center, is the most important and often overlooked component of a surround system. If it doesn’t keep up, you’ll find yourself constantly turning up the volume to hear what people are saying and down when the special effects kick in. I hate that.

Figure a price range. To get an idea of cost, read audio pubs like Sound and Vision and Stereophile, or simply hit up Google. Be sure you are browsing established, authoritative websites. These should give you plenty of fair brand information, pricing expectations and product reviews.

When you’re ready to buy, decide where. Options include mass retail, specialty audio/video store or a custom installer. Disclaimer: No matter which you choose, be sure they are authorized by the manufacturer to carry the products. Here’s why.

        • At mass retail, you will find good products that target the average consumer. Because these stores operate on a large scale, you typically receive limited consultation services and have to set the system up yourself. The bonus is that the prices are generally lower.
        • A specialty retailer is a boutique-style setting catering to the audio enthusiast. They tend to be more knowledgeable and willing to spend the time with you, and are experienced in the art of the demo. Prices may be higher, but the products are usually a step above the mass retailers, and they often deliver and set up for you.
        • The more expensive custom installer route takes you further down the primrose path. The contractor comes to your house and designs your home theater system for you – not much different than hiring an interior designer. A good way to find a reputable custom installer is by contacting the Custom Electronic Design and Installation Association (CEDIA).

Take your favorite movie and CD with you if a demo is an option, and a diagram and the dimensions of the room to allow the salesperson to determine what speakers will work for your area. Be detailed with your needs and present your budget up front, but be willing to understand you may have unrealistic expectations.

After weeding out the speakers that are too expensive or don’t complement your décor, start actively listening. You don’t need a trained ear, it’s simply whatever sounds good to you. However, pay attention to things like:

        • Can you understand what is going on?
        • Is the dialogue crystal clear?
        • Are the speakers dynamic (going from a quiet passage to a loud passage quickly without sounding muddy or strained)?

Tip: If you are building a home theater system, it is NOT a good idea to mix and match between the brands because speaker companies typically design their products to work together to produce sounds at the same levels and tones.

Once you have fallen in love, determine what external equipment is needed to drive it all. This part can get tricky, but don’t panic.

        • If the speakers are passive (no amplifier built-in), a receiver is necessary. This is the box with a tuner, preamplifier and amplifier all packed into one. Check the power rating of the speakers to match up with the power of the amplifier. Don’t be embarrassed to ask for help – a lot of guys are clueless in this area.
        • Most speakers do not come with speaker wire – don’t forget to buy enough to position the speakers where you want them in your room.
        • Do you need stands? Mounting brackets? Double check what’s included to make sure you have everything you need.

You see? Nothing to it. If you’re nervous about installing, and of course have chosen Klipsch, feel free to call our helpful support team for assistance. We can’t wait for you to start enjoying your music and movies how they were meant to be enjoyed.


Have additional buying tips? Questions? Ask in the comments section.

Soundbar vs Surround Sound

Trying to decide between using a soundbar or a home theater system for your home? We’ve listened to your requests and put together this overview to ease your mind and open your ears to the difference in set up and sound quality.

As you know, soundbars are all the rage with their sleek design, easy installation process, wireless set up, and ability to produce a form of surround sound. Does this mean you’ve found a replacement for a separate-piece surround sound system with front, rear, and center speakers? For some of you – heck yes! For others, no way. It all comes down to what in-room experience you looking for.

Let’s break down the pros and cons of each so you can decide what’s best for you.

Soundbar Overview

Pros:

  • Easy installation and connectivity
  • Minimal wires
  • Modern design
  • Great for small-medium living spaces
  • Excellent virtual sound, which simulates the surround sound experience

Cons:

  • May need to buy separate subwoofer (although many Klipsch systems include a sub, such as our HD Theater SB 3, R-10B Soundbar and R-20B Soundbar)
  • The placement of the soundbar creates specific “sweet spots” in your listening experience
  • Does not produce complete surround sound, especially in larger living environments

Surround Sound System Overview

Pros:

  • Full range surround sound
  • Able to place speakers in multiple stations for optimal acoustics
  • Maximum bass
  • Audiophile theater system presentation

Cons:

  • Most quality systems require running wires from the receiver to each individual speaker
  • Takes up more space
  • More involved installation process
  • More expensive

Q: Does Bigger = Better?

Big speakers may provide the look of a major sound producing machine, but remember, looks can be deceiving. While it is true large speakers have the ability to produce eardrum pounding sound and are an excellent choice for a large room, soundbars and smaller speaker systems are more than capable of producing quality sound. Make an informed decision and learn how to ensure a quality set up by reviewing the following section.

How Do I Compare a Soundbar to a Surround Sound System?

As with any audio product, there are varying levels of quality and associated performance depending on the device. The best soundbars will overpower and outperform the run-of-the-mill surround sound system. So, the question is, what performance standards do you look for? We’ll make this part easy on you. Just refer to the below list on how to understand the specs to find the quality speaker system you desire.

  • Sensitivity

The speakers’ effectiveness of converting power (watts) into volume (decibels). The higher the sensitivity, the less power the speaker needs to deliver the effective sound. To put it quite simply – a higher sensitivity rating = loud, clear, high quality sound.

Speaker

Sensitivity Rating

Power Needed To Produce High Volume

Speaker A

85 dB

100 Watts

Speaker B

89 dB

50 Watts

Speaker C

92 dB

25 Watts

*less power to produce higher volume is key for speaker longevity

  • Frequency Response

The range of frequencies that are audible to humans lies between 20 and 20,000 Hert (Hz). Some of the lowest frequencies (below 35 Hz) are more felt than heard (like an earthquake in an action movie), and are produced by the subwoofer. Review the frequency response range to understand what kind of listening experience you will gain with the associated highs and lows that the speaker produces.

  • Power Handling

How much power, in watts, a speaker can handle before it is damaged. Simply put, the higher the power handling, the more likely you are to piss off the neighbors.

  • Impedance

How much electrical resistance is presented against the current flowing from your outputs. Impedance will fluctuate since the speaker will produce sounds at varying frequencies, but all manufacturers will publish a nominal impedance figure. 8 ohms is the norm, though some speakers can handle a 4ohm load (just make sure your receiver matches this load).

SUMMARY

Hopefully this helps to answer some of your questions on how to choose the right speaker system. Remember, much of it comes down to personal preference, but be sure to do your homework when it comes to reviewing the specs and associated performance standards of each sound system. We’re sure that either choice will amplify your current set up and make PWK proud.

Anatomy of a Record Player

Before there were MP3s, CDs, and cassette tapes — heck, even before eight-track tapes — there was the record player. Although today, unless we have an affinity for vinyl, we think of record players as “old-school”, often forgetting they revolutionized music and the music industry as much as MP3s have today. Record players allowed for listening to music at home for the first time; before the record player, it was live or nothing. It made such an impression, we still call music releases “records” and “albums,” and the spinning album phrase “getting rotation” still means a song is heard on the radio.

Once record players came onto the scene in 1877, they didn’t leave until almost a century later — although they never fully left. Nostalgia as well as preference for the sound quality has kept vinyl alive, and DJs and hip hop artists still use turntables as part of their music-making. We celebrate the beauty of albums with our recent collaboration with Classic Album Sundays – monthly active listening sessions of entire albums in a studio setting with the best equipment available. It’s a truly unique experience.

So how does a record player work? What are the different components, and how do they work together to produce sound? Let’s take a closer look at this amazing game-changing contraption.

The Turntable

Although “turntable” and “record player” today are used almost synonymously, a turntable is technically the part of the record player where the record sits. Sometimes the turntable is also called the “revolving platter.”

The center of the turntable includes a metal rod, holding the record in the center as it turns. The plate of the turntable itself is generally metal, typically covered with plastic or rubber so the record isn’t inadvertently scratched.

The least expensive record players use steel for the turntable. The steel plates used in record players are light and cheap to produce, however, the consequence is that these plates have a low inertia, meaning any instability with the motor speed are quite pronounced.

A more expensive turntable plate is aluminum. Aluminum plates have better balance, reduce vibration, and don’t accentuate motor speed instabilities.

The turntable’s rotation is controlled by the turntable drive system. The two main types of drive systems are the belt-drive system and the direct-drive system. The belt-drive system goes a long way in reducing noise heard from the motor, because the elastometric belt helps to absorb vibrations and other low-frequency sounds. A direct-drive system, by contrast, doesn’t use intermediary gears, wheels, and belts. The advantage of a direct-drive system is later models had stronger motors and pitch control sliders. For this reason, direct-drive turntables were favored by disc jockeys for decades.

The Stylus

turntableThe stylus is the needle that rests against the record. Ideally, a stylus is a cone-shaped component made from diamond, which is the hardest natural material on Earth. Besides diamonds, sapphires are also commonly used for record needles. The stylus is connected to the tone arm by a flexible strip of metal. The flexibility in the middle allows for the stylus to ride up and down within the record grooves.

The stylus can be either spherical or elliptical. Elliptical styli have the advantage of increasing the fidelity of the music by allowing for more contact with the record groove. A spherical stylus provides less fidelity but is more sensitive.

Even a diamond-tipped stylus will need to be replaced after a while. Experts recommend changing the stylus after every 1,000 to 2,500 hours of listening pleasure.

The Tone Arm and the Cartridge

The tone arm is the arm of the record player that holds the stylus and, together with the cartridge, it is responsible for actually producing the sounds. Tone arms can be straight or curved. Which one is better? It depends who you ask. Some people insist curved tone arms produce better sound, but DJs and hip hop artists usually prefer straight arms because they’re easier to scratch with.

As the stylus follows the grooves of the record, vibrations travel through the metal wires inside the tone arm and arrive at the cartridge at the tone arm’s end. The cartridge contains coils within a magnetic field, and when the vibrations hit these coils, they are transformed into electrical signals. These electrical signals can be amplified and broadcasted through the speakers.

Amplifiers and Preamplifiers

Today, most audio receivers are designed for the signals that come out of a CD, DVD, or MP3 player. That means that they are not well-equipped to play the audio signal coming out of a traditional record player. Older audio receivers included what was called a phono preamplifier (also known as a preamp or phono stage) to boost record player signals to appropriate levels, but modern receivers lack phono preamps. Some record players include built-in preamps to solve this problem; talk to a true audiophile, however, and they will insist that you get a dedicated preamplifier for the best sound quality.

The right preamp depends upon the cartridge. Modern cartridges will play well with preamps at the 100pf to 150pf level; older cartridges, such as those from the 1980s, work better with preamps of the 200pf level. It should be noted, though, that if your cartridge hasn’t been changed since the 1980s, you should go ahead and replace it anyway!

Summary

In short, the vinyl record is placed upon the revolving platter. As the record revolves, the stylus bumps up and down within the groove, sending its vibrations along metal wires within the tone arm and into the cartridge. The cartridge converts these vibrations into an electrical current using a magnetic field. This current is sent into the preamp, which boosts the signal on its way to the speaker. When the amplified current hits the speaker — presto! — we hear music or whatever is recorded onto the vinyl.


We hope you enjoyed this short tour of the anatomy of a record player. Did we leave out anything crucially important? Do you still listen to vinyl? Let us know in the comments section below.

5 Movies With Kickass Surround Sound

Whether you’re a hardcore audiophile looking for the ultimate sound experience or a casual movie watcher out to make movie-watching at home more immersive, it’s tough to find the perfect soundtrack to show off your surround sound home theater system.

Sure, you’ll probably want to hear a few big explosions, but to truly get the best out of your home theater, you need a film with a wide and nuanced aural range, not to mention one that takes advantage of the directional effects made possible by a surround speakers.

The good news is we’ve already spent a ton of time searching for that perfect soundtrack for you. From trade shows to dealer events, customer demos to new product testing, this is what we like.

The Dark Knight

If you buy one movie for your surround sound system, let this be it. From the bank heist opener all the way to the end credits, the sounds of The Dark Knight envelop the viewer and integrate seamlessly with the films visuals to create an impeccable home theater experience.

Hans Zimmer’s almost oppressively dark score sets the perfect backdrop for Christopher Nolan’s Gotham, and the film’s dialogue is crystal clear throughout. If it’s pyrotechnics you’re looking for, well, The Dark Knight’s got that too. Particularly impressive is the film’s truck flip scene during one of the Batman’s epic battles with the Joker.

The Dark Knight – Batman vs. Joker Scene (truck flip)

This movie is the real deal. With audio engineering that never draws attention to itself, The Dark Knight is ideal to show off your home theater and have a great movie-watching experience in the process.

Wall-E

Pixar has long had a reputation for producing not only great-looking children’s films, but great sounding ones as well. Wall-E hits the mark in both regards. For those who have followed the company, it should come as no surprise that Pixar, originally part of Lucasfilm, puts a high premium on the quality of sound in its films.

The world of the lonely robot is unbelievably immersive and nuanced, and uses the directional possibilities of the surround sound system to their full potential. In addition to the sound effects in film, the soundtrack and score are top-notch both in terms of suitability for the film and recording quality. The film’s opening song creates a truly beautiful moment.

Wall-E Opening Scene

This is the perfect movie for kids and their audiophile parents to watch together. While it may be the unbelievably detailed CGI visuals many viewers notice first when viewing Wall-E–and they do look great–any true audiophile will immediately struck by the enormous attention to aural detail evidenced by the soundtrack of Wall-E.

Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World

Russell Crowe’s nautical adventure as Jack Aubrey is one of the best-sounding movies out there, truly taking advantage of the possibilities of surround sound to create an enveloping maritime atmosphere.

From the creaking of the boat’s planks to the subtle sound of the sea’s water against its hull, the level of detail represented in the soundtrack’s quieter moments is only eclipsed by the intensity of its battles, with floor-shaking cannon fire and roaring explosions.

Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World – Final epic battle

Master and Commander’s soundtrack is arguably one of the most enveloping you’ll find.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Regardless how you feel about Shia LaBeouf and the Transformers franchise, there’s no denying this movie sounds great. The action scenes in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen are made unbelievably intense by the impeccable sound engineering.

And, despite the power and intensity put forth by the film’s soundtrack as the giant robots smash each other to bits, the films’s soundscape is also impressively nuanced.

While your ears are being bombarded by the sounds of the on-screen destruction, you’ll still be able to pick out individual helicopters, explosions, and firearms within the cacophony.

Transformers Revenge of the Fallen – Shanghai Scene

While it may not go down in history as a cinematic landmark, it’s clear that Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen sounds great. If you’re in the mood to see some great-looking and great-sounding computer-generated action scenes, this movie is where it’s at.

The Hurt Locker

A departure from the rest of the films on the list, Kathryn Bigelow’s Academy Award-winning The Hurt Locker’s more serious and contemporary subject matter is enhanced immeasurably by the film’s startlingly realistic soundtrack.

While the film’s expected wartime sounds are both extremely powerful and extremely detailed–each weapon fired and specific type of explosion has its own unique sonic signature–it’s some of the film’s quieter moments which truly stand out in terms of sound design. The characters’ breathing as they deal with the extreme stresses of the Iraq War is a constant barometer of their internal state, and the chime-like sound of shell casings hitting the rocky ground provides one of the film’s most powerful moments.

"The Hurt Locker" – Official Trailer [HD]

The soundtrack of The Hurt Locker is truly enveloping, and only serves to intensify the impact of an already impactful film. If you’re looking for a surround sound experience with emotional weight, The Hurt Locker is the perfect choice.


If you’re like us, you’ve put a lot of time, sweat and money into your set up. Show it off with any of these films. Agree or disagree? Have suggestions of your own? Leave us a comment.

The Klipsch Joint

You know the feeling when you discover something completely epic and you try to explain it to someone and you just get a blank stare? Then you realize you’re the only one who knows…and it makes your discovery all that much cooler.

It’s the underground. It’s the speakeasy. It’s the club everyone wants to belong to, but doesn’t know it yet. And you have the secret handshake.

Welcome to the joint.

12 things you should know about us before you attempt to impress your friends:

          1. Don’t embarrass yourself. It’s pronounced Clip-shh. Not Clips. Not e-clipsh, not Klipish. You can do this.
          1. We are not German, although they make great stuff too. We are American, founded by an American. 1946 was the year we changed how the world listens.
          1. We were born in a tin shed in Hope, Arkansas out of our founder’s desire to bring live music into his home. Because let’s face it, dressing up for the symphony can be daunting. Especially in Arkansas.
          1. About our founder… It’s no stretch to guess his name was Klipsch. Paul Wilbur, to be exact. An eccentric genius. A true audio pioneer. An Engineering and Science Hall of Fame inductee. A no-bullshit artist who was proud to piss off his neighbors.
          1. You can absorb all of PWK’s madness here. Don’t get lost.
          1. When nothing on the market fit his needs, he built his own speakers. Because that’s what brilliant people do. Enter, the Klipschorn. To get techy for just a second, the fully horn-loaded design is a patented technology that established industry standards and is the driving force behind our stunningly precise and efficient sound. So successful, so unique, so fabulously vintage…we still hand-make them today in the same town where it all started. Hope. You can geek-out more here.
          1. While our history is rich, storied and frankly amazing, we continue to kick ass. Our stuff simply sounds better because PWK’s founding sound principles still guide us in everything we do today. Engineering perfection never goes out of style.
          1. Our pro speakers are in movie theaters. Lots of movie theaters. The really cool ones, anyway.
          1. Our in-ear headphones are the most comfortable in the world. Of course that’s an opinion, but it’s the correct one. We have the patented oval ear-tips to back it up, and the testimony of, well, about everyone who has tried them. They are oval because our ear canals are oval. It was our smack on the forehead moment that changed in-ear headphones forever.
          1. Countless high-profile artists love and use our stuff. That’s how good we sound.
          1. Movies, TV shows, and even video games feature our stuff without asking. That’s how good we look.
          1. Our community forum boasts some of the most brilliant and helpful audiophiles in the industry, many of whom have been posting daily for years. We listen to them. We respect them. We would not be who we are without them.

We think that’s enough to get you started. When you are ready to dive in, visit the links below. You’ll be glad you did.

 

Klipsch: Keepers of the Sound