Klipsch Icon W Speakers More Than Just a Pretty Face

INDIANAPOLIS (April 22, 2009) — Today’s sleek flat-panel televisions are challenging speaker manufacturers to develop modern, space-saving products that look as good as they sound. Klipsch has responded with its Icon W Series of slim, furniture-grade home theater speakers.

According to Mark Casavant, vice president of product development for Klipsch, the Icon W Series targets a new demographic, one that places equal value on form and function. He believes these speakers represent an all-new level of sound and beauty for the company.

“Icon W is intended for consumers who buy with both their eyes and ears. When compared to traditional box products, these speakers are more refined, taking up less space yet still delivering the high-output, low-distortion sound Klipsch is known for,” claims Casavant.

Dramatically reducing a speaker’s enclosure volume, as seen in the Icon W Series, poses some engineering challenges. It all boils down to the laws of physics. The larger the speaker cabinet, the more output and dynamics you are going to get. However, Klipsch engineers found a way to generate excellent output and dispersion from these slim Icon speakers by employing an all-new proprietary technology called the XT Tractrix® Horn.

For 63 years, horns have been the driving force behind Klipsch speakers. The XT engineering takes this time-proven philosophy to new levels of sophistication by altering the surface geometry of the horn with four “bumps” that are shaped like flower petals. It’s a technology that creates a wider dispersion pattern and provides more latitude in placement.

There are five models in the Icon W Series: the WF-35 and WF-34 floorstanding speakers, the WB-14 bookshelf speaker, the WC-24 center channel and the WS-24 surround speaker.

The WF-35 and WF-34 floorstanders each employ three high-output woven fiberglass cone woofers—5.25 inches and 4.5 inches respectively—with powerful ceramic motor structures to unleash the kind of bass you hear and feel. A premium 1-inch titanium tweeter mated to an 80-degree by 80-degree round XT Horn delivers the speakers’ precise high frequencies. Single-piece magnetic grilles allow you to expose the drivers for a more powerful stance, or cover them up to have the speakers fit more elegantly into the room.

The WB-14 bookshelf uses one 4.5-inch fiberglass cone woofer, while the WC-24 center channel and WS-24 surround have two. All of these models utilize 1-inch titanium diaphragm compression drivers mated to 80-degree by 80-degree round XT Horns. A threaded insert on the WB-14 and dual key hole brackets on the WS-24 allow for wall mount applications.

Even though the Icon W Series employs modern, technology advancements on the inside, it reflects a classic approach on the outside, featuring timeless wood veneer cabinets in espresso or cabernet finishes.

“We wanted a product with a beautifully unique finish, one that a discriminating consumer would associate as high-quality in both the audio and furniture industry,” said Casavant.

While competitors are using domestic veneers, such as cherry, oak and maple, Klipsch selected an exotic, non-endangered Berlinia veneer from West Africa, which has a strong, graphic grain. In fact, Berlinia is a sister veneer to Zebrawood—an endangered species in its native habitat—which is often featured on luxury goods.

Every Icon W cabinet is carefully sanded, sealed and stained. Much like in high-end furniture manufacturing, the stain is then top coated with a polyurethane finish. This spray application involves 10 coats, with sanding in-between each coat to achieve the proper thickness. The cabinets are also inspected at every sanding level to ensure clarity over the stained veneers.

 

The Icon W Series is available for purchase at select specialty retail outlets nationwide, including Magnolia Home Theater, Crutchfield, Rowe Photo, Stereo Advantage, World Wide Stereo, 6th Avenue Electronics, J&R Music World, Ultimate Electronics, ABT, Vann’s and OneCall. U.S. MSRP pricing is as follows: $1,499 for a pair of WF-35 floorstanders, $1,199 for a pair of WF-34 floorstanders, $599 for a pair of WB-14 bookshelf models, $499 for each WC-24 center channel and $749 for a pair of WS-24 surrounds. For added bass punch, either the Klipsch XW-500d ($999 U.S. MSRP) or XW-300d ($699 U.S. MSRP) subwoofer would complement these speakers.

 

Icon W Series System Recommendations:

WF-35 Home Theater System ($3,746 U.S. MSRP): Two WF-35 floorstanding speakers, one WC-24 center channel, two WS-24 surrounds and an XW-500d subwoofer

- WF-34 Home Theater System ($3,146 U.S. MSRP): Two WF-34 floorstanding speakers, one WC-24 center channel, two WS-24 surrounds and an XW-300d subwoofer

- WB-14 Home Theater System ($2,396 U.S. MSRP): Four WB-14 bookshelf speakers, one WC-24 center channel and an XW-300d subwoofer