The market is getting flooded with wireless speakers that connect over Bluetooth or even WiFi. Klipsch, until now did not have a wireless speaker for sale. With Klipsch R-15PM, they intend to enter into the wireless home audio arena. Klipsch already has great speakers that produce very natural sounds and offer a very satisfying listening experience. The addition of R-15PM into their line up is another feather in the hat. It offers plenty of input options and having a power amplifier on the inside makes it even more worthy of buying.
Well Engineered looks
The Klipsch R-15PM’s physical design is a result of good engineering. Why certain part of the speaker looks the way it is will get clear when we start looking at it from an engineering perspective. The speaker is black in colour. The copper dome of the driver is an immediate eye catcher and so is the rectangular driver just above it. Copper and black contrast each other and have kind of become the trademark colours of the company.
On the rear there is a power jack, USB port, RCA input, optical input and the 3.5 mm input port. Obviously, it also gives you the option for Bluetooth connectivity. You cannot miss the shiny volume knob in the middle of it all. Apart from that, there is a pair of output terminals that connect to the second speaker. Also, you will notice that the enclosure has a hole on the back which is meant for bass-reflex rear firing. There is a small slider switch above the RCA jacks which have “Phono” and “Line” written over it. When set on Phono mode, the pre-amplifier inside is activated, when on line, it gets disabled. Use phono mode when your turntable lacks preamp.
Just besides the RCA input jacks is the Sub out port which allows you to connect an external sub woofer for better bass which is a great thing because as we all know…. “Its all about that bass”.
On the front side, the top speaker driver is the square tractrix horn. Tractrix horns are known for creating circular wave patterns. They have a circular mouth, but the one you find on the R-15PM has a square mouth which is indicative of a modified tractrix horn. Klipsch says that the square mouth is responsible for a better high frequency response. Add the LTS (Linear travel suspension) to the tractrix mix which produces even better result on the whole.
The woofers on the other hand are copper spun with a magnetically shielded IMG diaphragm, which according to Klipsch produces least distortion and very clean output. The IMG diaphragm is actually composed of polypropylene and graphite, which has more strength as compared to paper diaphragm. Whether it really affects audio performance is not clear.
Both the drivers’ are suspended with rubber lining that prevents resonance from occurring. The speakers being only 12.5″ x 7″ x 11″, they are small enough to be placed on a desktop and would look just great on a wall as well.
Performance that everyone loves
The Klipsch R-15PM has 5/5 star rating on Amazon. People love these speakers because of the very crystal clear sounds and very natural tone it can produce. Even at high volume levels the distortion remains no where to be heard. It comes with a class D power amplifier which is known for very good efficiency as compared to class B amplifiers. That results in very less heat being dissipated by the amp. On the other hand, they also known produce distortion but it is quite the opposite when it comes to the amplifier inside the R-15. Class D amps generate Pulse train that varies in the width and frequency. When we speak of pulses being used to represent audio, it is natural that there is going to be lot of distortion. But if the frequency of the PWM being generated is quite high, it can be passed through a low pass filter and we get rid of the distortion altogether. This is exactly what is being done inside Klipsch R-15PM that results in superb audio.
The R-15PM is what they say “Turntable ready”. Which means you can directly connect the vinyl turntable output into the speakers and the rest is taken care of. There is a high quality phono preamp which is basically a low noise amplifier and further down the signal chain is the high power amplifier which can pump out a massive, room shaking 50W of audio power per channel.
Having the amp on the inside is a good thing for two reasons; firstly, it saves space and secondly, the internal connectivity with the drivers ensures highest quality of cabling. Lesser the cabling, better is the audio quality. This is because, whenever you are connecting a different cable, the point at which two cable segments join may have different impedance, causing reflections that further result in distortion. It is also possible that the two cables may be of different gauge which again results in mismatch of impedance. Although, the effect of impedance mismatch is next to none at audio frequencies, it is still present and following the guidelines will only allow you to actually listen to music the way it was meant to be listened.
The speaker has a lower frequency cut off at 62Hz and goes all the way up to 24kHz. It is really recommended to use an external sub woofer if you want to listen to the lower bass tones. The sounds really become differentiable while listening to these speakers. You can hear distinct tones of various instruments and dialogues also stand out from the rest of the scene quite effectively. There is special emphasis given to the high tones with the tractrix square horn but instead of sounding too bright, it complements the rest of the tones and the end result is balanced, natural audio.
Almost every genre of music plays just fine on these speakers except the deep bass kind which requires you to have a sub woofer for optimal performance.
Why would you not buy speakers with inbuilt phono pre-amp, 50W per channel output capacity, it sounds like a reference speaker and costs only $499?
You can truly appreciate all its glory when you load up a 24 bit lossless audio file and find yourself trying to identify its flaws, which I am sure you will find none.