Paul W. Klipsch

Legendary knowledge.

In 1978, Paul W. Klipsch was awarded the Audio Engineering Society's second highest honor, the prestigious Silver Medal, for his contributions to speaker design and distortion measurement. Mr. Klipsch was inducted into the Audio Hall of Fame in 1983. In 1997, he was inducted into the Engineering and Science Hall of Fame, an honor shared by Thomas Edison, George Washington Carver and the Wright brothers.

While perhaps we all can't be so brilliant, we can certainly do our part to pass along nuggets of his genius, as well as basic audio info for the layperson. Which is why we have this section of our website. Use the search form below to enter some keywords based on what your are looking for.

Happy learning!


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  • I ran the test tones and I am getting sound out of all the speakers, but I still have no surround output outside of the test tones.

    Not all modes or all soundtracks are designed to produce output from all channels. Below is a list of possible reasons for lack of output in a channel or channels.

    During Stereo decoding (no mode LED's lit) the system will only output from the main left and right speaker, and the subwoofer.

    Dolby Digital can be anywhere from 1 (mono) to 5.1 channels. Not all Dolby Digital soundtracks are designed to produce output from all 5 channels. In general, the DVD packaging, or the DVD player On Screen Display should provide an indication of how many channels of information are contained in the soundtrack.

    Some soundtracks may not be surround encoded, and processing these signals with Pro Logic II Music mode or Movie mode may result in output from only the center channel, or no surround output. This does not indicate a problem with the system.

  • What is Dolby Digital?

    Dolby Digital soundtracks can contain anywhere from 1 (mono) to 5.1 channels of information. Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtracks can have post processing applied to them such as Pro Logic II Music or Movie mode, or you can listen to them in just Stereo.

  • What is a full-range acoustic experience?

    It’s the perfect acoustic situation where a listener gets a true-to-life sound experience with crisp highs and deep lows.

  • How do I bi-wire?

    Your speaker must have two separate positive and negative connections (one set for the woofer and one set for the midrange/tweeter). Connect one wire between the positive terminal on the amplifier/receiver the positive terminal on the speaker. Connect the other wire from the negative terminal on the amplifier/receiver to the corresponding negative terminal on the speaker. Remove the jumper straps connecting the two sets of speaker inputs. Repeat this process for the second set of terminals on the speaker, connecting them to the same positive and negative terminals on the receiver/amplifier. Repeat the steps for each speaker you wish to Bi-Wire, connecting them to the appropriate terminals on your receiver/amplifier.

  • How do I bi-amp?

    Bi-amping is similar to bi-wiring, but involves separate amplifiers, one for the woofer and one for the midrange/tweeter. Passive bi-amping involves a direct hookup between each amplifier and the speakers separate high frequency and low frequency input terminals (if the speaker is so equipped). Active bi-amping involves inserting an active (electronic) crossover network between the preamp and the power amplifiers typically one amplifier for the woofer and another amplifier for the mid/highs. This should only be done on a speaker that does not have a, passive crossover network in the speaker. Ideally the active crossover would be designed to work with a specific loudspeaker. Passive bi-amping is easier to do but care must be taken to match the gain structures of the amplifiers if they are different designs. Failure to do this may result in a noticeable upset of the speakers spectral balance (too much or not enough bass for instance). Active bi-amping is a difficult and expensive approach that we do not recommend with any of our home entertainment loudspeakers.

  • Can any of your speakers handle a full kilowatt each or more?

    To answer to this question, we should first talk briefly about efficiency. Our horn-loaded speakers are extremely efficient, meaning you will get more output for the input you put into them, with less distortion. For example, Klipsch speakers rated at 100 dB sensitivity will take 1 watt input and hit 100 db output 1 meter from the front of the speaker. Each 3db more sensitive one speaker over the other gives you the equivalent of doubling the amp power.

    With highly efficient speakers, you do not want to put 1000 watts into them, even peaks. If you do the math yourself (each doubling of power in gives you 3Db more output) and 1 watt into 100 dB sensitive speakers gives you 100dB’s out, 2 watts gives 103dB’s, 4 gives 106dB’s, 8 watts 109dB’s etc. etc., 1000 watts would (if it did not fry the speaker) give you dB levels that would almost instantly blow your ear drums. A “high” power amp like that is designed for much less efficient speakers (for example 88/ 89dB sensitivity or less), although, again, at that type of output, even for just instant peaks, it will probably fry any “home audio” speaker.

    If you enjoy really “loud” (and clean and lifelike) sound, we suggest our Klipsch Reference Series RF-7 II speakers. They are rated at 250 continuous/1000 peak, but, again, you will never put that much into them unless you want to blow yourself through the wall behind your main seating position.

  • Where is the best place to put surround speakers?

    Surround speakers are generally designed to be placed on either side of the main listening position, approximately 5-7 feet above the floor. They should be mounted on a wall or positioned on a stand with some space on either side of the speaker (this is especially needed with bipole and dipole speakers which need wall-reflected sounds for maximum effect).

    Klipsch WDST™ surround speakers offer more flexibility in that if side walls are not available, a rear wall or even a combination of a rear and side wall may be used to create excellent surround effects.

  • Where is the best place to put my main speakers in my room?

    Correct speaker placement leads to the best sounding bass and the best imaging. It is generally a good idea to keep speakers 4-6' away from side walls to minimize early reflections. Those reflections upset the tonal balance of the speaker and also interfere with proper imaging. In general, placing a speaker closer to a corner or back wall will produce more bass. Raising a speaker off of the floor (such as putting it on a stand) will reduce bass. The two (or three) speakers you have on your front channels should also have their midrange/tweeters all at the same height in order to create an even image. It is particularly disconcerting when a pan jumps up and down as it moves across the front stage.

    Finally, we recommend, with Klipsch speakers, that the midrange/tweeter horn be "toed-in" toward the listener to create the best imaging. Experiment with distance from the back wall till bass balance is smooth and extended. To achieve good imaging without a "hole in the middle" do not place speakers father apart than the distance between you and the speakers. That is, not more than an equilateral triangle. If your speakers are too close together, you will reduce the width of the image almost to mono. Try to keep the distance between your Left and Right speakers a little more than half of the distance from you to the nearest speaker.

  • What is the rear center channel for and what type of speaker should I use?

    The rear center channel is a recent extension of both Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 processing, called EX and ES respectively. It is based on the same principle as the front center channel which is to "localize" sounds in the center of the soundstage or give them a distinct area they are appear to come from, filling in the sound gap between the left and right rear channels. Therefore, the same type of speaker used for the front center may be used for the rear center. Because of the need to "localize" the sound to the center, a monopole center channel speaker is usually the best choice. Some electronics offer the option of using TWO rear center speakers. What will sound best is dependent on the size of the room and what type of surround speakers you choose. WDST™ surrounds generally do not require the addition of a rear center, but adding one enhances the localization of events in the rear sound field.

  • How should I set my home theater receiver for a particular speaker size?

    The "bass management" option on today's home theater receivers is designed to route mid- or low-bass or both frequencies to a subwoofer in the system. What setting you should select is based on the bass capabilities of the speakers in question.

    In general, "satellite" and bookshelf speakers should be set to "small." Floor-standing speakers should be set to "medium" or "large" depending on their ability to accurately reproduce deeper bass. At the same time this option is set, the frequency of the subwoofer's bass reproduction should also be set. If, for example, you have small bookshelf speakers you have set to "small", you should set your subwoofer to 100-120 Hz. If you have big speakers set to the "large" setting, you should set the subwoofer lower (i.e. 50-80 Hz).

    The correct settings on both the receiver and subwoofer will allow the subwoofer to pick up the bass where the speaker leaves off; creating a smooth transition that reduces boominess at frequencies both the subwoofer and the speaker are delivering. The correct settings are best obtained after experimentation yields the best sound to your ears.

  • I don’t see my speaker in the AirPlay menu in iTunes or on my iOS device.

    If your G-17 Air speaker does not appear in the AirPlay menu, follow these steps to resolve the issue: 

    1. Verify that all your AirPlay-enabled devices are logged on to the same home Wi-Fi network (check the home network names on all your devices to confirm). 
    2. Verify that your iOS device or computer has WiFi turned on and is connected to the same home WiFi network as your G-17 Air speaker. 
    3. Check Internet or network connectivity on all affected devices. Temporarily disable firewalls (both network and local) and security software. Security software and firewalls may block ports that AirPlay uses to stream content. You can often resolve issues with security software by updating, correctly configuring, or uninstalling security software. 
    4. Ensure that no other devices are trying to stream AirPlay to your G-17 Air speaker at the same time. Only one device may access the speaker at a time. 
    5. Turn off Bluetooth on your iDevice by tapping Settings > General > Bluetooth. 
    6. If attempting to use AirPlay from a third-party app or a website from your Safari app on your iDevice, confirm that the app or website is AirPlay compatible (refer to the developers of the app or website for additional information).
  • Where is the best place to put a subwoofer in my room?

    It is generally believed that the bass you hear below approximately 80 Hz is non-directional. This means that you can point the loudspeaker in any direction and the sound will still reach the listener's ears. Since much of the bass that subwoofers produce is below that frequency, you can place the subwoofer almost anywhere in the room. This is the opposite of full-range speakers, which have just a few placement options in a room that allow them to sound good, since they must be positioned for the best combination of imaging and tonal balance. Putting a subwoofer in a corner of the room may cause the sub to sound louder. If your subwoofer is a ported design, keep it at least twice the diameter of the port exit (probably 6-12 inches) away from the nearest wall, so that air flowing out of the port is not obstructed. If the bass seems too boomy, you can fine-tune the sub by moving it farther from the wall until it sounds smooth to your ears. 

    The best way to find the ideal place for your subwoofer is to hook it up and put it right where you will be sitting in the room. Set the subwoofer to level, low pass and phase. Play something with consistent, deep bass and move around the room on your knees; this way your head is about where it would be when you are seated. The spot where the bass sounds best is a spot where you might put your subwoofer. You may find more than one location. 

    Corner placement of the subwoofer typically yields the loudest output (highest efficiency). This does not mean that it will always sound best in this position; experimenting with placement is always suggested. It's also important to have the sound from the sub reach the listener in sync with the sound from the main speakers; otherwise the sound may not blend properly. You should not be able to hear your subwoofer as a separate entity—it should seem that your main speakers go deeper with greater impact and authority.