The Ultimate Klipsch R-15M Review: Is it For You?
Klipsch makes some of the finest speakers on the market today. Their attention to detail in design and engineering leads to speakers that are elegant in their aesthetics and sophisticated in their sound.
The R-15Ms hold that tradition, with the signature copper-spun woofer, sleek design and fantastic sound. It’s compact size still sounds huge, with the clean midrange that is expected from any Klipsch product.
While it’s still a bookshelf speaker and, thus, lacking in low-end, it’s a fantastic addition to any setup. Read on to see why we think the Klipsch R-15M is so great.
|Frequency Response||62Hz – 24kHz|
|Power Handling (Peak)||340W|
|Price||$249.99 per speaker|
Design and Build
The first thing that stands out about this speaker is how good it looks. Klipsch has always had a keen eye for design, and the R-15M is a continuation of that sound tradition.
The centerpiece is a copper spun IMG (injection molded graphite) woofer. This beautiful piece of engineering is a fingerprint of Klipsch speakers. It’s slightly darker than normal copper and reflects like beautifully.
It has a sound advantage as well, though. It’s exceptionally lightweight while maintaining extreme rigidity, able to reproduce low frequencies without cone breakup or distortion. This makes the speaker sound better, yes, but also means power handling is better too.
The rest of the speaker is pure business. Strong lines on an onyx black body accentuate the woofer all the more, with small Klipsch logo between the woofer and the tweeter. It’s a small detail, but the logo placement is something I’m especially fond of as it doesn’t break the look of the speaker while still adding branding.
The back is simple too. You get a rear port and two 5-way binding posts, embedded into the body so you can push it all the way up against a wall.
If it isn’t clear yet, I love Klipsch speakers, and much of the reason why is the design. The R-15Ms are beautiful with a woofer that stands out without being bombastic. Tasteful branding makes you proud to show off these speakers, with an overwise black shell that drips elegance.
The R-15Ms are completely passive bookshelf speakers, so there aren’t many features that do much outside of producing great audio. However, so interesting design choices are what helps that occur.
The top of the speaker features an LTS (linear travel suspension) tweeter. Like the copper spun woofer, this tweeter helps minimize distortion during playback for enhanced top-end. The two pair together for maximum power efficiency.
The tweeter is aluminum, paired with Klipsch’s proprietary 90×90 Tractrix Horn technology. This goes a long way in enhancing not only the top-end response but the imaging of the speaker as well. In the end, this produces a natural and lively top-end.
The speakers are relatively small, coming in at just under a foot tall and only seven-inches wide. Despite that size, Klipsch has managed a big sound from these speakers thanks to the thoughtful woofer and tweeter combo.
There aren’t many features to note on the R-15Ms, but there doesn’t need to be. Klipsch’s smart design makes these speakers handle sources beautifully and that’s all they need to do. A passive speaker with passive features.
Above all, the sound is what stands out most about these speakers. Klipsch’s attention to detail in crafting and tuning the speaker is apparent with a clear and natural sound that few others can rival, even at far higher price points.
Klipsch’s signature sound shines through. If you haven’t had the pleasure of demoing a speaker from them, let me break down the sound. It’s natural, hitting in all the right spots of the frequency spectrum, without any unnatural peaks or valleys.
This is particularly true in the midrange. This area is full and rich while still not overpowering the rest of the sound. It manages a smooth response without being too scoop and without being too overpowering.
However, the low-end response is what really shines. Despite the small size, the speakers kick out a decent amount of bass. The 5.5-inch woofer manages a fantastic low-end, largely due to Klipsch’s smart engineering. The speaker handles power very well and allows the woofer to operate efficiently, and thus, have a better low-end.
Highs are where people part on Klipsch speakers. Some say they sound too hyped, other say it’s not enough, and the discrepancy is present here too. For my personal tastes, the highs are perfectly placed, slightly recessed, but not too dulled.
Regardless where you stand, the general consensus is that Klipsch speakers sound great and the R-15Ms are a continuation of that. If you want to fill out your setup with a pair of great sounding bookshelf speakers for not too much money, look no further.
The Klipsch R-15Ms are some of the better speakers you could buy for the money. The sound is fantastic, with keen detail in areas that other speakers miss out on. The looks are certainly nice, with the beautiful black edges and copper spun woofer.
If you want a speaker that looks great and sounds great without spending too much money, then the R-15Ms are for you.
What do you think of these speakers? Let us know in the comments below and, as always, thanks for reading.
Alternatives to Consider
Polk Audio Rti A3 – $239.99
As far as speaker options go, Polk always seems to ride right behind Klipsch. So, naturally, a good alternative would be a similar speaker from the loving brand. These speakers are slightly larger, able to handle much more amount of low-end before cutting off.
The design is much different than the Klipsch. Instead of rear-porting, there’s front-porting, with a 6.5-inch woofer and 1-inch soft-dome tweeter. You don’t get the sexy copper spun woofer here, but instead a more traditional look.
If you’re looking for a slightly larger speaker that doesn’t go too far out on a limb in terms of looks, this is a great choice.
JBL Arena 130 – $224.95
JBL isn’t my first choice for many speakers on a relative budget, but this one is actually quite good. Using the HDI waveguide technology, this bookshelf is able to spread sound around a room like few other speakers can.
It has a 7-inch woofer, plenty of surface area to crank out as much bass as you need. The 1-inch woofer is embedded in the waveguide, helping to disperse high frequencies throughout the room and kill the dreaded “sweet spot”.
While not as pretty as the Klipsch, this speaker still has a sleek look and should be considered for bass-heads.
Edifier S1000DB – $349.99
Coming in more expensive, but with features to boot, is the Edifier S1000DB. This bookshelf speaker is the same size as the Klipsch, but totally active, meaning no separate amp is required to make it function.
This comes with pros and cons. On the bright end, the speakers are totally contained and open up the possibilities to remote control and Bluetooth input. The downside is, you’re probably running the speakers with a suboptimal amp.
The built-in one of the S1000DBs is quite good, but not as good as separating it out. Even so, this is a great choice for those who want everything under one roof.