Klipsch Reference Premiere (RP-250F, RP-260F, RP-280F) Floorstanding Tower Speakers Review

Last updated on: 9-10-18
Bottom Line: Hard to go wrong with a Klipsch loudspeaker, and the RP tower speakers are loud and powerful like their predecessors, but the marginal design improvements might not be worth the extra cost. Probably yet another situation where the best choice will be whichever’s the most discounted at the time.

the largest RP-280F

Klipsch’s Reference Premiere series is a newer and even better full lineup of loudspeakers, built off of its already great and still highly popular Reference series. The lineup includes three different floorstanding tower speakers, just like the Reference lineup does, with improved specs, improved design, but still with Klipsch’s signature ebony and copper look.

Spec Overview

Speaker Typepassive, ported, 2-way(<-- same)(<-- same)
Continuous Power Handling100 W125 W150 W
Peak Power Handling400 W500 W600 W
Sensitivity96 db/W/m97 db/W/m98 db/W/m
Response Range35 - 25k Hz34 - 25k Hz35 - 25k Hz
Warranty5 years(<-- same)(<-- same)

Review and Discussion

Each of the three Reference Premier tower speakers varies in size and power, but otherwise have the same design – they’re each clearly a corresponding upgrade from the lower tier Reference tower speakers (R-25, R-26, R-28). Usually when companies develop higher tier or newer generation products, the design is a little flashier, but the Reference Premier design interestingly seems to be dialed back a bit and understated. The port has been moved to the back, the stand is now a standard extended base, and the sheen bezel that previously housed the drivers has been removed. The horn has also been changed to a non-sheen vinyl finish that’s much closer to the cabinet finish. If a layperson would look at either, we think they might guess the non Premier version was the newer and better speaker.

We actually quite like the design – it seems like a bit of a throwback to a more classic trademark Klipsch speaker, and the signature copper cones contrast better without sheen surrounding. Or you can opt to put on the included front foam-grill and they’d look like fairly standard tower speakers.

Functionally these speakers have been upgraded too, of course. Both the horn and woofer materials have been redesigned and upgraded, and while the power specs are the same as the lower Reference versions – which is still very loud mind you – the response floor has been slightly improved on all three. Each is the kind of tower speaker that could sound great on its own, without really needing a subwoofer like many cheaper speakers would. Klipsch offers a 5 year warranty on all of it’s passive speakers, which is comparatively top of the line.

Our Overall Take, As Compared to the Competition

You really can’t go wrong with any Klipsch loudspeakers, and they tend to be the emphatic winner when it comes to power and loudness – not many other comparable tower speakers boast the specs that the R and RP tower speakers have.

That said, it’s hard to justify paying much more for a Reference Premier speaker when the original Reference is still as good as it is, and the only tangible improvement with the Premier version is a slightly lowered response floor and a new design. Many might understandably opt for a less expensive tower speaker and spend the saved money on a subwoofer. Also, many people just don’t need the sheer amount of power each of these brings: Unless you want to fill a very large room, they might be overkill.

We suspect that Klipsch will eventually retire the legacy Reference speakers and the Premiers will eventually discount to about the same price to eventually make way for the next lineup. Klipsch really likes to churn out the next generation products from what we can tell. All in all? If you can get any of the RP speakers at a discount, they’ll be a good buy that will last for many years. Otherwise? It might make sense to get a cheaper Reference set while they’re still available.

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