The Journey of a Legend
On March 9, audio legend Paul W Klipsch (PWK) is born in Elkhart, Indiana. As it turns out, he will be the only child of Oscar Colman Klipsch and Minna Pearl Eddy.
While working in Chile, South America maintaining electric locomotives, Paul W. Klipsch continues his amateur radio passion. While comparing horn to cone-type radio speakers, he discovers the superior efficiency of horns.
In graduate school at Stanford University, one of Paul W. Klipsch’s classmates mentions to him that speakers sound better in a corner.
Using the ideas that horn speakers are more efficient and that they sound better in a corner, Paul W. Klipsch develops a crude prototype of the Klipschorn®.
Paul W. Klipsch receives a patent on his Klipschorn speaker design and essentially helps kick off the Hi-Fi era.
At age 42 and initiating his fifth career, Paul W. Klipsch registers the name Klipsch & Associates and begins selling his Klipschorn speakers out of a tin shed in Hope, Arkansas. A local cabinetmaker and the Baldwin Piano Company assist Paul in building his first 20 Klipschorn speakers.
Paul W. Klipsch acquires his first factory building, formerly the telephone exchange building for the Southwest Proving Grounds in Hope, Arkansas, and hires his first employee, cabinetmaker Lloyd McClellan. The first Klipschorn built here is numbered 121. Today, the original factory is the Klipsch Museum.
Paul W. Klipsch introduces his experimental Heresy speaker, effectively the world’s first commercial center channel speaker. A year later, it is demonstrated at the World’s Fair in Brussels, Belgium.
Paul Klipsch designs the La Scala speaker for the performing arts sector. Arkansas gubernatorial candidate Winthrop Rockefeller later uses it as a public address speaker.
Klipsch & Associates beefs up its professional speaker line with the 500-pound MCM speaker. Designed for touring sound and cinema applications, the MCM delivers enough power to rock the house down.
Paul W. Klipsch receives the Audio Engineering Society's second highest honor, the prestigious Silver Medal Award, for his contributions to speaker design and distortion measurement.
While it’s possible that cinemas used the Klipschorn in the early 50s to wow audiences, Klipsch formally gets into the professional theater business after selling an MCM system to John Allen. In fact, Allen established the first ever “digital” audio presentation of a soundtrack using Klipsch speakers.
Paul W. Klipsch is inducted into the Audio Hall of Fame.
At age 85, Paul W. Klipsch sells Klipsch & Associates to second cousin and Indianapolis businessman Fred S. Klipsch and his wife Judy. While manufacturing remains in Hope, Arkansas, business operations move to Indianapolis, Indiana. The company is re-named Klipsch, Inc.
Klipsch begins supplying the residential contracting market with two in-wall speakers – the IW 100 and IW 200. The Academy center channel speaker is introduced, representing the company’s first center channel speaker designed specifically for use in home theater surround sound applications.
With 5.1 home theater surround sound gaining more momentum, Klipsch begins building its audio portfolio with the introduction of its first powered subwoofer line.
In honor of Paul W. Klipsch’s achievements, New Mexico State University (PWK received his Bachelor of Science degree from NMSU in 1926) renames its engineering department the Klipsch School of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
Klipsch introduces the Rebel “8”, the company’s first compact “satellite” speaker offering.
Paul W. Klipsch is inducted into the Engineering and Science Hall of Fame, an honor shared by Thomas Edison, George Washington Carver and the Wright brothers. The Engineering and Science Hall of Fame recognizes those who have improved the quality of the human condition through an individual contribution using engineering and scientific principles.
Klipsch also introduces its Synergy Series with monitor and tower product lines.
Replacing the 1996 Rebel system, Klipsch introduces the Quintet to meet consumer demand for an even smaller, space-saving speaker package.
Klipsch introduces the first computer speaker system in the world to be THX®-Certified. At $249, the ProMedia v.2-400 forever changes the way people think about multimedia speakers. The first generation of Reference Series speakers is introduced to the market.
Klipsch moves into its current headquarters location on the northwest side of Indianapolis. Also, the company is re-named Klipsch Audio Technologies. Fred S. Klipsch is named Indiana Heartland's Ernst & Young 2000 Entrepreneur Of The Year® in the manufacturing category.
Klipsch breaks ground on the Engineering and Technology Center, one of the Midwest’s most advanced audio research facilities, boasting two anechoic chambers, digital electronics workstations, an engineering model shop and an industrial design lab.
On May 5, at the age of 98, audio legend Paul W. Klipsch dies. Throughout his lifetime, this relentless perfectionist earned 23 patents.
At the 2004 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Paul W. Klipsch is inducted into the Consumer Electronics Hall of Fame, which was established in 2000 by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) to honor the leaders whose creativity, persistence and determination helped shape the consumer electronics industry.
Klipsch enters the iPod® accessories space with the iFi, the first iPod-dockable home stereo system on the market. Klipsch acquires Danish brand Jamo to accelerate global growth.
Fred S. Klipsch is inducted into Junior Achievement’s Central Indiana Business Hall of Fame. In August, the company acquires Audio Products International (API), makers of the Mirage®, Energy® and Athena® speaker brands. The Arkansas Institute for Performance Excellence (AIPE) selects Klipsch’s Hope, Arkansas-based manufacturing facility for a 2006 Commitment Award. Best Buy honors Klipsch with a Bravo Award for being its Vendor Partner of the Year in the Audio Video Division.
While Fred S. Klipsch receives an honorary doctor of technology degree from Purdue University, the company enters several new product categories including headphones and high-end. Image and Custom are marketed as the industry’s most comfortable, highest performing headphones. Image X10 is also recognized for being the world’s smallest, lightest in-ear headphone design.
Klipsch receives a patent for its skew horn design (#7,275,621), a technology that’s featured in the R-5650-S and KS-7800-THX in-wall speakers. Introduced at the IFA show in Berlin, Germany, the luxurious Palladium P-39f floorstanding speaker, at $20,000 a pair, represents the pinnacle of modern-day horn-loaded technology and craftsmanship.
For the second year in a row, Best Buy honors Klipsch with a Bravo Award for being its Vendor Partner of the Year in the Audio Video Division.
In January, while the Image X10 headphones and Icon Series XF-48 floorstander receive 2008 CES Innovations Awards, the company unveils the custom Klipsch bike, built by Klipsch and Orange County Choppers™, during CES at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas. Later in the year, Klipsch speakers are installed in the new OCC headquarters in Newburgh, N.Y.
In April, Klipsch partners with six select retailers on selling its Reference Series speakers online for the very first time.
In July, the entire seven-model, high-end Palladium Series becomes available worldwide, while the KL-7502-THX in-ceiling speaker scores a 2008 Product of the Year Award from Electronic House magazine.
In May, Klipsch introduces the Image S4 headphones. At the time, it is one of the most successful product launches in company history.
Klipsch introduces its affordable HD Theater Series, proving a high-def picture demands high-def sound.
In August, Klipsch takes its headphone business a step further, introducing the Image S4i and S2m headsets. The S4i was deemed the first third-party headset to offer full control of the iPhone 3GS, iPod touch and iPod music and video content.
Klipsch introduces the fourth generation Quintet, an 11-year-old product that continues to be the company’s best-selling surround-sound system of all time.
In September, Fred and Judy Klipsch celebrate 20 years of owning the company.
The Image S4i also receives a 2010 CES Innovations Award, while Maximum PC puts the ProMedia 2.1 Wireless on its “Best of the Best” list.
Klipsch diversifies its headphone offering by introducing the Image ONE, the company’s first-ever on-ear sound solution.
Klipsch becomes the official headphone sponsor of the World Series of Poker® (WSOP).
Klipsch Group, Inc. makes yet another splash in the industry after introducing five all-new, cross-brand compatible subwoofers.
Klipsch Group, Inc. is purchased and becomes a wholly-owned subsidiary of Audiovox Corporation (NASDAQ: VOXX). Soon after, Fred. S. Klipsch transitions to a board member of Audiovox and Paul Jacobs is appointed CEO of Klipsch.
Jamo product design and engineering relocates to the company’s Indianapolis headquarters, while Klipsch Group Europe establishes new headquarters in Paris, France.
Indianapolis’ renowned outdoor amphitheater becomes the Klipsch Music Center and further solidifies an exciting relationship with Live Nation Entertainment.