Klipsch premieres its new Reference speaker range

US premium audio brand, Klipsch, has unveiled a new and improved version of its award-winning Reference Premiere series of speakers, which is targeted at traditional hi-fi dealers.

Now in its third generation, the new speakers feature several upgrades, including technological audio enhancements, premium materials and cosmetic details.

The range, which is distributed by Henley Audio, uses new, larger proprietary Tractrix horn technology to improve high-frequency response, while also enhancing imaging and dynamics. The speakers are available in two furniture-grade wood finishes – ebony and walnut.

Speaking to ERT at the launch event for the new products, Mike Gregory, Senior Director of Sales for Premium Audio Company, which owns the 76-year-old Klipsch brand, said: “What I like about the range and the company in general is that our CEO, Paul Jacobs, listens to everything – he takes music very seriously. That doesn’t happen everywhere, and we have an avid fan base.”

He added: “There are Klipsch fans who go on a pilgrimage to Hope, Arkansas every year [where the Klipsch factory is based] to look at the Klipsch museum and pay homage to the brand. I’ve never known anything quite like it, so we’re doing something right.

“We have a lot of happy customers and we’ve got some high expectations for this range. We’ve taken evolutionary steps with the design of the driver and the cabinet.”

Mr Gregory told ERT that with these new additions there is “a slightly greater sweet spot and sound stage”, coupled with the high frequency and the Tractrix horn, gives a real live sound – especially from a turntable.

“We’ve also come on as a brand with our flat frequency response,” he said. “Our engineer understands what makes a Klipsch a Klipsch – that fun, dynamic sound – but with our new speakers there’s a creamier mid-range than we’ve had before. It’s a more mature approach – giving more of that Klipsch that people appreciate, but with a more finessed edge.”

The 11 new Klipsch Reference Premiere series consists of:

  • Four floorstanding towers: RP-8060FA II Dolby Atmos enabled, RP-8000F II, RP-6000F II and RP-5000F II;
  • Two bookshelf speakers: RP-600M II and RP-500M II;
  • Three centre channel speakers: RP-504C II, RP-404C II and RP-500C II;
  • Two surround speakers: RP-502S II and dual-purpose RP-500SA II that functions as a Dolby Atmos elevation speaker or a rear/side wall-mountable surround.

The speakers, which retail from £459 to £2,999, are available now at select authorised retailers in the UK.

‘We have a nicely-established dealer network – they’ve been waiting for this range’

Simon Powell, Operations Director at Henley Audio, which distributes Klipsch, spoke to ERT about the appeal of the Reference Premiere series of speakers and the route to market for the new range.

“The range fits more into the slightly traditional hi-fi retailer market and it’s about what the dealer is looking to find a solution for – it can fit in in lots of different ways.

“We have one dealer, Midland Hi-Fi Studio, which is very old school – he loves this range because he has a bunch of guys who come to him who have 30-year-old valve amps. This range is a perfect way in for them because there aren’t a lot of horn-loaded speakers in this sort of price range that can give you a certain quality.

“We now have a nicely-established dealer network – they’ve been waiting for this range to come on board. It’s at a slightly more premium price point and it bridges the gap of people’s expectations of Klipsch – it’s a different proposition. We’re really chuffed and I’m confident more dealers will want to come on board.

“The Reference Base range, which we announced earlier this year, is more for the Internet and high-street locations – we’re in HMV now, for example.

“Klipsch is a great gateway into audio – it’s not totally wild and wacky like so many other consumer products out there, trying to deliver so much bass from a plastic cabinet that it will do a mischief. Klipsch are serious products, but they’re at a very accessible end of the spectrum.”