Are these speakers worth it? A Klipsch R-15M review

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We’ve been looking for a solid pair of speakers for a while now. Recently, an alternative by Klipsch caught out attention, so we decided to give them a try. In our Klipsch R-15M review, we’ll judge these bookshelf speakers to see if they’re worthy of our time (and money). They aren’t as expensive as other Klipsch products, which begs the question: are they as good as their reputation suggests? We’ll see about that.

How to pick bookshelf speakers

If you aren’t familiar with audio equipment, choosing your bookshelf speakers might be slightly more complicated than you expect. Before we dive into our Klipsch R-15M review, there are a couple of things you should know first, namely:

About the sound

Bookshelf speakers have the advantage of being larger than both soundbars and computer speakers. If you invest your money wisely, it’ll also mean more potential at your disposal. The bigger enclosure allows you to fit bigger drivers into it, which is crucial to ensure a powerful sound.

However, you still need to take the time to select your candidates thoughtfully. You’ll find plenty of 2-way systems that are somewhat lacking either at the higher or the upper range. To keep a consistent performance, you have to ensure that both the woofers and tweeters have similar quality.

Furthermore, you’ll also have to consider that many bookshelf speakers are passive. As opposed to active speakers, they require an external amplifier to work properly. The kind of audio output you’ll get will be heavily influenced by the amp paired to your speakers, so beware.

Shape, size, and design

A benefit of going for bookshelf speakers instead of towers or larger equipment is the convenient size. Still, many of them are rather bulky, which means that measuring the area before settling for a candidate is necessary. Nonetheless, they should be easier to accommodate than almost any other high-fidelity speakers.

They are great for small houses, apartments, and the like due to the versatility that their size allows. Whether you’re looking for a living room or bedroom setup, bookshelf speakers are your best choice. However, for larger venues, you’ll need something stronger if rattling the windows is a must for you.

Fortunately, their small size makes it easier for you to include a subwoofer to upgrade the setup. Having a set of bookshelf speakers paired with a good subwoofer is, for most, the ideal audio enthusiast’s budget setup.

Behind the stage

Thankfully, bookshelf speakers’ connections are pretty straightforward. Although it might sound daunting for the casual enthusiast, there isn’t too much to worry about in that regard. Most of them use the traditional 5-way binding post that connect easily to any amplifier. But you need to make sure that your amplifier is big enough to power your speakers.

The speakers’ impedance, expressed in ohms, allows you to know how much power they might require. Commonly, a lower impedance means more power consumption. Still, the exact amount of energy available to the speakers will depend on your amp’s impedance rating and setup wiring. However, wiring your speakers might be trickier, because there are different ways to go about it. Parallel wiring gives the speakers more power to work with, but wiring them in series might best for smaller amps.

Klipsch R-15M review

Klipsch has a great reputation among audio hardware enthusiasts and professionals alike for many reasons. When we stumbled upon the R-15M bookshelf speakers, we were eager for the opportunity to try them. We’ve heard many good things about it, and we’ve always like Klipsch sound in general. While we were at it, we decided to write a Klipsch R-15M review.

Overall, we were pleased with our purchase, because these Klipsch speakers were a steal at that price point. All things considered, the things that we loved the most about the R-15M were:

The Klipsch sound

Above anything else, the smooth yet vibrant sound of these bookshelf speakers was what sealed the deal for us. Klipsch is known for making great speakers, and these weren’t an exception. This 2-way setup feels comfortable at any range, both due to its powerful drivers and carefully crafted design.

Mids, lows, and highs are well-defined and beautifully harmonized between them, and the dynamic range is equally adequate. However, the audio fidelity is the star of the night, being way beyond its price tag.

The 94 dB sensitivity and nearly null frequency response ensure that you get to witness every detail in any recording. However, you’ll need an amplifier, which could muddle the sound somehow, so being careful is important to preserve such fidelity.

R-15M’s upper range

These Klipsch speakers caught our attention because they include a couple of fancy features despite their price point. The R-15M’s tweeters are nothing short of impressive. The aluminum diaphragm compression driver is only 1”, but paired with a 90×90 Tractrix horn becomes outstanding. It delivers a clean and vivid sound profile thoughtfully tuned to blend seamlessly with the IMG woofer.

The linear travel suspension tweeters are among the best of their kind when it comes to highly-detailed sound. For that reason, these are the same tweeters featured in Klipsch’s flagship Palladium series. This kind of proprietary hardware sets these apart from its competitors, without bulking up the price tag too much. They are efficient, and their sound is superb, resulting in a solid upper-range up to 24.000hz.

R-15M’s lower range

In the same way, the spun copper low-frequency driver exceeded our expectations when they were given time to shine. These 5.25″ magnetically shielded IMG woofers have a great response down to 62hz, with a 54Hz low-frequency extension. This creates a punchy and rumbling bass that, aided by the neatly shaped read-port, can be felt deep within.

Additionally, the woofers and tweeters, together, are a match made in heaven for any audiophile. For the price, you’ll be hard-pressed to find something as well-rounded as the R-15M’s sound. Thanks to its powerful drivers and well-designed horns and rear-ports, these Klipsch speakers can create an atmosphere anywhere. Although it isn’t the best acoustic experience money can buy, it’s certainly among the best reasonably-priced ones.

Design

The R-15M belongs to the Reference series, which is characterized by its particular style. The Reference woofers feature bronze-colored details over a layer of dark tones that gives them a distinct appearance. The brushed polymer veneer also complements their design nicely, besides making them blend into any setting effortlessly.

For total discretion, the Klipsch R-15M includes a strong and unobtrusive grill that’s easily removable. Without it, you’ll get the old-style vibe that the driver’s color scheme and the big horn lend to any room. However, despite being bookshelf speakers, the R-15Ms, at 8.1x7x12.5 inches and 10.3 pounds, could be slightly big for some settings. Nonetheless, with their handsome looks, you can rest assured knowing that they won’t attract the wrong kind of attention.

Pros

  • Great audio fidelity
  • Impressive upper range
  • Low power input
  • Attractive design

Cons

  • You need an amplifier
  • They’re slightly big

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Klipsch high end?

Klipsch has a long history of making audio hardware, dating back to 1964. You can find Klipsch speakers in cinemas, theaters, and similar venues all over the world. They’re mostly focused on high-end speakers, but over the years have continuously offered lower budget speakers and other products. However, even the most affordable alternatives perform exceedingly well due to the brand’s compromise to delivering high-quality sound for everyone.

Why are Klipsch speakers so expensive?

For starters, their top-grade models are unmatched in many regards when it comes to raw performance. However, Klipsch’s speakers are also expensive because they’re among the most reliable alternatives in the market. Similarly, the years of research and development that went into each unit also need to be considered. High-quality audio equipment is often expensive, and Klipsch’s products are among the best of their kind.

Is Klipsch better than JBL?

Such comparisons are hard to make without talking about any particular models from these brands. JBL is a common go-to choose for both small and heavy-duty audio equipment. However, their mid-range home speakers usually lack clarity and are heavily bass-driven. Klipsch, on the other hand, excels in that particular area, delivering a more detailed and gentle listening experience. For a household setting, we would recommend Klipsch’s speakers, and JBL for bigger venues, like events and such.

Final Thoughts

These bookshelf speakers by Klipsch were a pleasant surprise, with a remarkable sound and solid construction. They have a few shortcomings, but such highly-detailed audio at that price point compensates them easily. For the money, they’re among the best choices in the market right now, as our Klipsch R-15M review proved.

Still, they aren’t the most inexpensive pair of speakers in existence but, overall, they are a solid investment. The R-15M’s body seems ready to endure the direst circumstances, and those drivers are unlikely to fail anytime soon. All things considered, Klipsch managed to deliver a very well-rounded package without inflating the price tag excessively, which is commendable. If you’re an audiophile searching for something nice that won’t break the bank, then look no further.

 

For more great reviews and product insights, make sure you visit us at Red Diamond Audio or connect with us on social media!

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