Copper load of this

Home Cinema Choice|May 2020

Copper load of this
Klipsch muscles in on the sub/ sat market with a compact reimagining of its Reference range.
Mark Craven

The idea behind Klipsch's Reference Theatre Pack is simple: bringing the US speaker brand's house sound, beloved by owners of its floor-standing models, to those with small rooms/budgets.

Our test package is actually two products combined. The Reference Theatre Pack 5.0 (£470) comprises the satellite speakers – four identical units and one dedicated centre channel model. It's joined by Klipsch's R-8SW subwoofer, which typically sells for £250, but here Klipsch's UK distributor Henley Audio offers a modest saving, pricing this 5.1 bundle at £700. That elevates it beyond 'budget' options, but still on the right side of £1,000.

Tractrix tactics

Klipsch considers the speakers in its Reference Theatre Pack as mini versions of its Reference series full-size cabinets. To that end, some of the company's trademark technology is deployed.

Each passive model features a horn-loaded high-frequency driver, a Klipsch speciality. Sat back in the cabinet is an aluminium Linear Travel Suspension (LST) tweeter, borrowed from the company's Reference floorstanders but down-sized from the usual 1in to 0.75in. Opening up around it is Klipsch's square Tractrix horn, which aims to target high-frequency delivery at the listening position, and improve dynamics and clarity.

Midbass, meanwhile, is handled by copper-coloured Injection Molded Graphite (IMG) drivers, giving these speakers the same two-tone aesthetic as the rest of the Reference lineup. Two are used in the centre channel cabinet; across the board all are 3.5in units, a bit of a step down from the 8in versions in the brand's RP-8000F tower speaker.

The overall styling departs a little from the Klipsch norm. Many of its full-size speakers flaunt a no-nonsense design, with more right angles than a Rubik's Cube convention, but these satellites are cut from softer cloth. Each cabinet is ever so slightly curved, while square corners are replaced by bevelled edges. And the black and copper look, if you ask me, works better at this smaller size.

And, yes, they are small. The satellites measure just 19cm high and 11cm wide, while the larger centre is still just 11cm high and 27cm wide. They have a reasonable amount of heft to them, though.


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May 2020