Klipsch is known for audio products that deliver an incredible amount of performance and quality at a reasonable price.
At CES 2015, they announced a brand new home theater system—the Reference Premiere line. As a set, the system will run you close to $3,800—more than most high-end kitchen appliance suites. But as you'll see, a steep asking price is a fair for this system's impressive design and high-end performance. Here's the speaker lineup:
Two floorstanding speakers (150W/600W), each with dual 8" woofers and a single horn-loaded tweeter
Two surround speakers (100W/400W), each with dual 5.25" woofers and dual horn-loaded tweeters
Center speaker (150W/600W) with quad 5.25" woofers and a single horn-loaded tweeter at 150W/600W)
15" subwoofer (400W/800W) with vented enclosure
How do they look?
Cherry or ebony—no matter what you pick, it'll look good.
Home theater systems walk a fine line when it comes to design. There are systems that are sleek and modern, looking almost like they were pulled out of the future. And then there are systems that look more like a wood-paneled Volvo.
The Reference Premiere line falls somewhere in between. The cherry or ebony wood paneling has a classic look while the polished copper is more elegant and stylish, with chamfered molded rubber separating the two.
It’s obvious that a lot of work went into making the system look unique, certainly enough for it to stand apart from the pack of average home theater systems. No doubt these speakers will step up the looks of your theater setup, and likely make your friends green with envy in the process.
How do they sound?
I’m going to start off with a major disclaimer: The floor of a trade show is a pretty awful place to judge the sound quality on a set of speakers—especially home theater systems.
That being said, we were amazed how great these speakers sounded. To stifle the restless din of the show floor, Klipsch just blasted the volume on its speakers. They amped it up so much that during the demo I noticed a steady stream of exhibitors wandering over from their own booths to check the noisy speakers.
You might expect the sound quality to diminish—even slightly—with all that volume over the racket of the show floor, but that just wasn’t the case. Instead, the audio was detailed and nuanced—with no detectable distortion.
Each speaker's tweeter includes a technology called Linear Travel Suspension, which minimizes distortion for more detailed performance, as well as a proprietary horn called Tractrix Horn, which is specially designed to maximize high-frequency output without the hiss. The spun-copper subwoofers offer additional clarity over a balanced frequency response, making for a highly efficient overall speaker system.
While the individual speakers can be bought separately, experiencing them as a whole is something else. From the electric sound of Deadmouse's "Raise Your Weapons" to the bass and guitar solos of Vital Tech Tones' "The Litigants", the Reference Premieres transported me to the front row of a concert, allowing me to feel the music in it’s ideal state.
At CES, the system was precisely positioned so that when the sound hit your ears it emanated from the source, and wasn't reflected off a wall. This was one of the big contributing factors to the concert-like experience, so it's worth bearing in mind that speaker placement is integral to getting the best possible audio performance out of any speaker set. You can find the specs for the Reference Premiere line here.
Bring the concert home with you.
The Reference Premiere line is an impressive home theater system that’s sure to deliver not only incredible sound, but elegant interior design as well. It’s available now and will set you back almost $4,000, but remember that you can always pick up individual speakers to complement an existing sound system. They're priced as follows: