|Speakers and Headphones|
lipsch, one of the first U.S. loudspeaker companies, has been building premium speakers since 1946. When Paul W. Klipsch—one of America’s most celebrated audio pioneers and Engineering and Science Hall of Fame inductee—founded Klipsch & Associates, he was hand-building every speaker inside a tin shed in Hope, Arkansas.
Paul Klipsch was a relentless perfectionist who spearheaded the Hi-Fi movement with the company’s foundation product: the Klipschorn® (still manufactured today). A true music lover, Paul’s ultimate goal was to reproduce the excitement of a live orchestra performance in his living room.
He achieved his objective by making the Klipschorn a fully horn-loaded design—technology that established industry standards for high sensitivity, wide dynamic range, low distortion, smooth frequency response and powerful bass. As a result, horn loading has—and always will be—the driving force behind the Klipsch brand’s highly efficient, stunningly precise sound.
Fred S. Klipsch and his wife, Judy, purchased Klipsch & Associates from Paul in 1989, moving business operations to their hometown of Indianapolis, Indiana, while continuing manufacturing and distribution in Hope. Fred’s decision to purchase the company almost seemed like destiny.
In the mid-1980s, Fred Klipsch saw a loudspeaker advertisement in a magazine that bore a familiar name—his. He tore out the Klipsch & Associates ad and carried it around with him for three years before calling the company’s founder. Although they had never met, Fred and Paul Klipsch discovered they were cousins and, without an heir, Paul began talking about a way to keep his privately held company in the family. From there, Fred and Judy would spend the next two decades transforming the humble company into a highly regarded global brand and technology powerhouse, while keeping Paul Klipsch’s legacy alive. (Read Custom Retailer story on Fred and Judy's 20th Anniversary of owning the company.)
Fred and Judy, along with their passionate team, have completely redefined product categories. They’ve navigated the company through major changes in the audio market, as records and cassette tapes have given way to CDs and MP3 files and television channels are now broadcasting in 5.1 surround sound.
Today, Klipsch sells hundreds of premium speakers for every lifestyle, application and budget. The brand’s diverse product portfolio encompasses home theater, professional cinema, installed whole-house contracting, commercial, computer speakers, iPod docks and headphones.
As the audio world continues to evolve to meet the listening preferences of consumers, Klipsch will look to the future with an eye for the past. Everything Klipsch does today and 100 years from now will reflect Paul’s no-compromise spirit and the brand’s commitment to delivering the world’s most powerful, detailed and emotional sound reproduction.
A Single Focus, Many Markets
The Klipsch mission is to be the leader in all categories in which it competes:
• Home Audio/Home Theater
• Personal Audio (headphones, iPod docks, computer speakers)
• Wireless Whole-House Sound
• Custom Installation
• Professional Cinema Sound
• Commercial Sound/Business Music Systems
Home Audio/Home Theater
From satellites to floorstanders, every Klipsch speaker delivers dynamic performances with unmatched precision. Regardless of what Klipsch product line you choose from, you’re hearing the result of over 60 years of class-leading research and development experience.
Offering the highest level of perfection in every respect, the Palladium Series is the pinnacle of modern-day horn-loaded technology and craftsmanship. Taking the “live” music concept into a new realm, this high-end seven-model lineup utilizes new materials, transducer advances, proprietary technologies as well as exotic styling to create a luxurious balance of performance and lifestyle. Conceptualized as the ultimate global expression of Klipsch, this carefully planned and executed flagship series brought in design and engineering teams from around the world. Top professionals from Indianapolis, Indiana; Los Angeles, California; Hope, Arkansas; Munich, Germany; Guangzhou, China; and Shenzhen, China participated in bringing this remarkable vision to fruition.
Icon X Series
A statement of style in extruded aluminum, the Icon X Series combines intelligent engineering and striking cosmetics to deliver unrivaled audio experiences for music and film alike. These speakers, with their delicately curved forms and slender proportions, are a perfect complement to today’s flat-panel displays. Icon X was the first series to utilize the company’s XT Tractrix® Horn technology, a design that generates excellent output and dispersion from slim cabinets.
Icon W Series
To the eye, the Icon W speaker series reflects a more classic approach, featuring furniture-grade wood veneer cabinets available in espresso and cabernet finishes. But to the ear, there is nothing traditional about them. The Icon W speakers deliver full-bodied sound performances from slimmer enclosures by utilizing the same XT Tractrix® Horn technology found in the Icon X line.
Icon V Series
The Icon V Series was born out of feedback from Best Buy, where the speakers are sold exclusively. We learned that people want superior, affordable sound in the lifestyle speaker category. We met these needs by applying the same XT Tractrix® Horn technology that’s featured in the other Icon lines. Icon V speakers, with slim black vinyl cabinets and furniture-grade wood veneer top caps, are a true representation of high-performance, high-style and high-value home entertainment.
HD Theater Series
A high-definition picture demands high-definition sound, and these compact, easy to set up 5.1 speaker packages make it an affordable reality. The HD Theater 500 and 300 are available at price points that are among the lowest in company history, yet still perform like a classic Klipsch product. We've taken decades of research and development experience to value engineer these systems, while staying true to our audiophile heritage. They utilize durable, high-quality components and include the same horn-loaded technology that has made us an industry leader for over 60 years.
Quintet™ Home Theater System
Introduced in 1998, the Quintet set the standard for big sound from small speakers—moving on to become our best-selling surround-sound system of all time. Now in its fourth-generation, this popular setup boasts acoustic and aesthetic improvements, so it looks and sounds better than ever. The Quintet bundles four speakers and one center channel. The SW-350 subwoofer, sold separately, perfectly anchors the Quintet without dominating your room.
THX® Ultra2 Series
This extraordinary custom home theater series brings real cinema sound to the comforts of home by using the same professional-grade technology as Klipsch’s renowned professional cinema systems. Because they expertly deliver the raw explosiveness and fine detail of any film format, our THX Ultra2 products will shatter your expectations for home theater performance.
Since 1999, the Reference Series has been a force to be reckoned with. Now in its fourth generation, these speakers combine high-end materials, handcrafted precision and innovative technology. In fact, this sophisticated series reproduces unforgettable music and movie soundtracks with complete accuracy and astonishing realism.
Synergy Series speakers are the world’s greatest value in high-performance home entertainment. Whatever the source material, these high-quality products deliver everything from the softest whisper to the most intense, heart-stopping action with amazing clarity, definition and intensity.
The vintage Klipschorn (the only speaker to be in continuous production for over six decades), La Scala, Heresy and Cornwall are among the most revered and highly acclaimed loudspeakers in the history of high fidelity audio. Driven by a love of music and desire to hear an “orchestra” in his home, audio pioneer Paul W. Klipsch revolutionized the way the world listened to recorded music when he began building his Heritage line of speakers in 1946. For the first time ever, people were able to experience the power, detail and emotion of a live performance at home. Assembled by hand from start to finish by skilled craftsmen in Hope, Arkansas, where the Klipsch legacy began, the Heritage Series is a testament to high-performance audio that has stood the test of time.
Personal audio is more popular than ever as it plays a pivotal role in shaping our individual entertainment lives. Most of us couldn’t imagine life without MP3 players or computers. Therefore, we’ve developed several premium sound solutions that make digital music libraries and video games larger than life.
Headphones and Headsets
Our award-winning Image Series, which launched in 2007, transcends the boundaries of in-ear headphone and headset design, offering unequaled comfort, superior noise isolation, musical accuracy and enhanced bass at any given price point.
Unlike traditional, circular-shaped ear tips that put stress on the pressure points inside your ear, each Image product utilizes Klipsch’s patented oval ear tips that naturally fit the shape of your ear canals, making them virtually impossible to feel. Plus, these exclusive tips produce a perfect acoustic seal, which minimizes outside noise so you can enjoy your music at lower, safer volumes.
iPod/MP3 Audio Speakers
Credited with a number of prestigious awards, our class-leading iPod/MP3 speakers put a fresh spin on classic audiophile sound by turning digital music players into high-performance, high-style entertainment centers. And as long as the iPod continues to strike the right note with consumers, we will further our commitment to enhancing the digital music experience.
Established with the launch of its ProMedia® v.2-400 (the first computer speaker in the world to be THX-certified) in 1999, Klipsch’s multimedia audio division has been praised by the electronic entertainment industry for its groundbreaking, market-leading designs and received countless high-profile awards.
Wireless Whole-House Sound
In order to cater to consumers who want to spice up their homes without tearing their walls apart or bothering with time-consuming, wire-based installs, Klipsch sells an innovative wireless series of co-branded products.
The hidden LightSpeaker System combines a long-lasting LED bulb and wireless speaker into a single unit that installs like a light bulb. It fits almost any fixture with a standard Edison socket, such as 5- and 6-inch recessed can lighting as well as floor and table lamps. You can use the LightSpeaker to add brilliant light and ambient music to your kitchen, living room, master bath—even your garage—in mere minutes. The LightSpeaker relies on a standalone wireless transmitter. A music source, such as a laptop or an iPod, connects to the transmitter and it wirelessly sends the sound to the LightSpeaker.
RockSpeaker (Available June 2010)
If you own a LightSpeaker System, you can buy the corresponding wireless all-weather RockSpeaker, with rechargeable battery pack, a la carte and sync it to the LightSpeaker’s wireless transmitter. You can connect two music sources to the transmitter, as well as establish two separate listening zones. The sheer convenience of the rock speaker is a major selling point, but when you factor in its sound quality, you’ll question how you ever gardened without your favorite tunes.
Klipsch has a wide variety of architectural offerings to better serve the residential contracting market. Whether for home theater or stereo music applications, our easy-to-install in-wall, in-ceiling and outdoor speakers let users enjoy design-friendly, reference-quality sound with zero compromises.
Professional Cinema Sound
If you’ve been to the movies in the last 30 years, chances are you’ve enjoyed Klipsch professional cinema sound. The world’s largest cinema chains, including Regal Cinemas and Malco Theatres, turn to us to provide the power, detail and emotion of today’s complex film soundtracks. In fact, 50 percent of all new theaters in North and South America, as well as Korea and Australasia install Klipsch products.
Commercial Sound/Business Music Systems
Many of the world’s finest and most recognized brands use high-performance Klipsch commercial loudspeakers to create unique, memorable experiences for their customers.
As the premium commercial audio brand distributed by Muzak, Klipsch speakers have been featured in hundreds of high-profile installations including the Ron Jon Surf Shop in Orlando, the Cold Stone Creamery in Times Square, the Sheraton New York Hotel and Towers in Manhattan and the Granite Mountain Harley Davidson dealership in Georgia.
Science Behind the Klipsch Sound
Paul Klipsch believed four principles to be the foundation for great sound. They continue to drive the design of every new Klipsch speaker, today and tomorrow:
• High Efficiency: Klipsch utilizes horn-loaded technology in each of its speaker categories, minus headphones, because the horn shape results in accurate and dynamic sound transmission.
• Low Distortion: Klipsch horn technology reproduces the softest sounds with remarkable clarity and detail and the loudest sounds with no harshness or distortion.
• Controlled Directivity: Klipsch horn technology assists in accurately directing sound, which, in turn, creates a more lifelike soundstage.
• Flat Frequency Response: We believe in delivering sound just as directors and musicians intend. Therefore, our stunningly accurate speakers offer no unnatural highs, mids or lows.
A Greener Approach to High-Performance Sound
One of the ways that Klipsch helps preserve environmental resources is through electromagnetic efficiency. Klipsch speakers are among the most efficient converters of electrical power into great sound on the planet. While average home speakers require 1 watt of audio power in order to produce 85 to 88dB sound levels, Klipsch speakers can produce 3 to 6dB more sound output using that same 1 watt. A 3 to 15dB range is more typical if you include the company’s founding product, the Klipschorn®. If you consider only a 6dB difference, that reduces amplifier power needs by a factor of four, cutting amplifier electricity utilization by 75 percent and ultimately helping save the environment.
Klipsch products are also RoHS (reduction of hazardous substances) compliant, meaning they do NOT contain substances that have been found harmful to humans and the environment. We’ve also made energy improvements to our production plants, using more efficient heat sources and insulation.
Exclusive Klipsch Technologies
• Tractrix® Horns have always been the driving force behind Klipsch’s stunningly precise acoustics. Featured in every Klipsch speaker category, except for headphones, this proprietary technology provides a unique combination of precision, clarity and effortless power.
• The XT Tractrix® Horn delivers a wider dispersion pattern—80 x 80 degrees—than a traditional Tractrix Horn. It is a technology that allows the slim Icon X, W and V speakers to deliver a wider sound field, while also providing more latitude in placement.
• A scaled down version of Tractrix® Horn technology, Klipsch MicroTractrix Horns allow the company’s compact satellites, iPod solutions and computer speakers to deliver the same dynamic, unmatched sound transmission as the larger models.
• A signature feature on the Reference Series speakers, Klipsch’s Cerametallic woofers exhibit a very high stiffness-to-mass ratio and superb damping, resulting in a powerful, solid bass foundation.
• Exclusive Tapered Array technology, featured on all Klipsch center channel speakers, takes the home theater experience to the next level by uncovering every word, whisper and sigh.
• As the cornerstone of every Klipsch surround speaker, proprietary Wide Dispersion Surround Technology (WDST) provides astounding sonic detail for rooms with less-than-ideal placement configurations.
• Featured on Klipsch Reference Series subwoofers, exclusive Digitally Controlled Subwoofer technology (DCS) allows home theater fans and music lovers to easily customize the level of bass performance that goes into their entertainment experiences.
• Klipsch’s patented oval ear tips for headphones and headsets are anatomically shaped to accurately fit inside the human ear canal. These soft, oval silicon tips reduce ear fatigue and provide excellent noise isolation for superior audio performance.
Klipsch’s worldwide headquarters building in Indianapolis, Indiana features a state-of-the-art audio research and development facility. The Klipsch Engineering and Technology Center is one of the most advanced audio facilities in the U.S. It boasts two anechoic chambers (echo-free rooms), digital electronics workstations, a full-featured transducer lab, an engineering model shop and an industrial design lab.
The Klipsch Group, Inc., headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, oversees business operations for the Klipsch®, Jamo®, Mirage® and Energy® speaker brands and distribution companies worldwide. This technology powerhouse is focused on leveraging its highly acclaimed product lines to offer a unique and powerful single supply source for its retailers, distributors and contractors globally.