Klipsch Reference Premiere (RP-150M, RP-160M) Monitor Bookshelf Speakers Review

Last updated on: 10-31-18
Bottom Line: exceptional volume and power, as per usual with Klipsch. Likely overkill for a lot of people. There’s a decent chance these will become discounted in the near future, might be worth waiting to pull the trigger.

The 160s in the black/walnut variety

Important Specs Overview and Comparison Table

Speaker Typepassive, 2-way, back ported(<--same)
Continuous Power Handling75 W100 W
Peak Power Handling300 W400 W
Impedance8 ohms(<--same)
Sensitivity (db/W/m)9396
Response Range (+/- 3dB)48 - 25k Hz45 - 25k Hz
Woofer Size5.25 in6.5 in
Unit Dimensions (w x d x h)8 x 11 x 15 in9 x 13 x 17 in
Unit Weight15 lb20 lb
Warranty5 years(<--same)

Review And Discussion

When it comes to making the loudest and most powerful speakers available, Klipsch usually takes the cake, and their reference premier monitor bookshelf speakers are no exception. They’re the higher end line up over the highly popular reference bookshelf speakers (reviewed here), featuring upgraded specs, design, and aesthetics.

While the 150s are plenty loud, the 160s have 100 W of continuous power with a whopping 96 efficiency rating, which is about double the volume per watt over a ~86 dB rating, just to give you an idea. Either of these, the 160s especially, will suffice for home theater speakers in just about any room that isn’t exceptionally large.

The response floor of 48 and 45 Hz respectively is also a significant improvement, and very good for a two way bookshelf speaker. While we think that two way bookshelf speakers generally do best when paired with a subwoofer, these reference premier speakers could certainly perform well as standalone speakers.

Both the tweeter and woofer have upgraded materials: titanium and Klipsch’s proprietary cerametallic polymer – really designed to be both very light and stiff, which is the theoretically ideal property of a driver. Beyond that, the cabinet has been revamped, with a nice bottom stand that angles the speakers slightly upward. Each’s vinyl cabinet finish comes in three colors: cherry, walnut, or black.

These speakers are quite large and heavy for two way bookshelf speakers with standard 5.25 and 6.5 inch woofers respectively, we’re not sure why, so they might be a little harder to place. Klipsch offers a 5 year warranty on all its passive speakers, which is pretty top of the line coverage.

Our Overall Take, As Compared To The Competition

It’s currently hard to recommend the RP-150 when the lower but comparable R-15M (reviewed here) is going for so much cheaper. But, Klipsch has recently released new generation versions of both its reference and reference premiere speakers (review forthcoming), and there’s a great chance these older reference premier speakers will also get discounted soon. Definitely worth keeping your eyes peeled.

The RP-160M is exceptionally loud and honestly going to be overkill for a lot of people, but for the price it is a solid value, and it’s hard to ever go wrong with a Klipsch loudspeaker.

Get the Klipsch Reference RP150/160 on Amazon

See our current picks for the overall best budget bookshelf speakers