What HiFi: Lady Gaga, Dr Dre and now Lou Reed… celebrity-endorsed headphones are all the rage. Klipsch has teamed up with The Velvet Underground star to create a limited edition run of 2000 Lou Reed X10i in-ear headphones. The original X10i was the Best in-ear headphone £140+ in our 2011 Awards. (more…)
The Gallery series consists of free-standing or wall-mountable passive designs in four sizes. They can be bought individually, or as part of a home cinema package. (more…)
The Audiophiliac: Few big-screen-TV buyers are willing to invest in bona-fide home theater systems with a receiver, five (or more) speakers, and a subwoofer. Most folks are satisfied with the sound from the tiny stereo speakers built into the display. That’s sad, since based on what I’ve heard from the displays being reviewed at the CNET offices the sound is at best barely passable. In fact, the quality of the built-in speakers is getting worse with each passing year. Great-looking high-definition video matched to lo-fi sound doesn’t work for me, but we all have our priorities, don’t we?
Those considering stepping up to a $300 sound bar speaker are more sophisticated buyers, and by the time we get to home theater in a box systems, with five or more speakers and a subwoofer, we’re getting to the elite buyer class. I’m not joking, HTIB buyers can deal with a tangle of wires, and nearly all the setup hassles associated with a receiver-based home theater system. If you want an even higher quality home theater system with a receiver and full-size speaker/subwoofer system plan on spending close to $2,000. Sure, you can spend less, but you’ll just wind up with something that doesn’t sound much better sounding than a really good HTIB.
Here are my recommendations for the best-sounding affordable home theater solutions. (Editors’ Note: The following list is Steve Guttenberg’s personal opinion, based on his evaluation of sound quality and audio performance. For a more complete list of CNET’s official product recommendations [which takes design and features into account], check out CNET’s in-depth list of best home audio products.)
The Samsung HW-C450 sound bar ($300 street price) is a worthwhile step up from your TV’s built-in speakers.
Want something better? If you already have a DVD or Blu-ray player, put Onkyo’s HT-S3200 HTIB on your short list. It comes with five nice speakers, a hefty subwoofer, and a component grade receiver, all for around $350!
For a 5.1 channel HTIB with a built-in Blu-ray player, I like Samsung’s HT-C6500 ($650 street price).
For an entry-level receiver, I’d go with Pioneer’s VSX-920 ($399) matched up to a Klipsch RF-10 ($1,464) speaker package with tower speakers, full-size center speaker, dipole surround speakers, and a 200 watt, 10-inch powered subwoofer. This system will blow away the pitiful speakers built into your TV, as well as every sound bar and home theater in a box ever made. Chances are you’ll own this system long after your shiny new TV is taking its place in a landfill.
Klipsch: While Earth Day, which takes place on April 22, is the perfect time to reflect on what you are doing to help protect the environment, Klipsch continuously looks at new, earth-friendly ways to build its products.
All Klipsch products are RoHS (reduction of hazardous substances) compliant, meaning they do NOT contain substances that are harmful to humans or the environment.
The company has also made energy improvements to its RoHS-compliant production plants, using more efficient heat sources and insulation.
At its Hope, Arkansas, US manufacturing facility, Klipsch is researching solar power as a way to service a variety of electrical needs, as well as investigating new finishing processes that have lower volatile organic compounds, or VOC, emissions and/or waste by-products.
Klipsch also secured funding from the state of Arkansas to conduct an energy study of the facility. As a result, the company implemented several recommended changes, including the installation of a new air make-up unit as well as re-routing heated air back into the factory, rather than allowing it to escape outside.
Additionally, Klipsch has re-configured how it powers up and shuts down the factory each day, re-evaluated its nighttime security lights, and changed its lighting to lower consumption alternatives. These updates have resulted in a 30 percent reduction in electrical costs and a 52 percent reduction in gas consumption over the past two years.
AVReview: Speaker manufacturer Klipsch has unveiled a new home cinema system designed to meet the growing demand of the digital market, with the Home Theater 1000.
The 1000 plans to give listeners the ‘premium high-output, low-distortion sounds reproduction the brand is know for at prices that are amongst the lowest in company history’.
The 5.1-channel system’s speakers are each magnetically shielded with a bass-reflex design and rear port for increased efficiently and mid-bass output.
Inside the ABS enclosures rest dual 2.5in fibre composite woofers and a MicroTactrix Horn-loaded 0.75in aluminium dome tweeter.
The subwoofer is also a bass-reflex design with a front-firing port and 10in fibre composite driver.
Electronic House: Klipsch announced three new home theater packages. All three are 5.1 systems, which include left, center and right front channels, two surrounds, and one powered subwoofer.
The HD Theater 1000 has five identical speakers, each with dual 2.5-inch fiber composite woofers and a MicroTractrix Horn-loaded 0.75-inch aluminum dome tweeter. Standing 8.6 inches tall, each one includes a stand or can be wall mounted.
Nestled in the middle of the line is the HD Theater 500. Each of the front and rear speakers has a 2.5-inch IMG woofer and a MicroTractrix Horn-loaded 0.75-inch aluminum dome tweeter inside. The center channel, however, has dual woofers.
Last, but not least, is the HD Theater 300. That setup’s main and surround speakers include a 2.5-inch IMG woofer and a 0.75-inch MicroTractrix Horn-loaded textile tweeter in each. The center channel is almost the same, except it’s magnetically shielded.