Klipsch’s extensive Reference series contains several subwoofers. The so called “upper” part of the lineup, comprised of three different 10, 12, and 15 inch sized models, features an upgraded design, more power, and a few other notable features such as wireless connectivity.
|Speaker Type||powered, ported||(<-- same)||(<-- same)|
|Continuous Power||200 W||300 W||400|
|Peak Power||450 W||600 W||800|
|Response Range||27 - 125 Hz||24 - 125 Hz||18 - 125 Hz|
|Warranty||2 years electronics, 5 years non-electronics||(<-- same)||(<-- same)|
Review and Discussion
The design of these upper reference subwoofers is a notable upgrade from the already highly popular reference 8, 10, and 12 subwoofers. The aesthetic improvements are subtle, yet significant. We’re not too crazy about the translucent front cover, but that can always be removed.
The design upgrades are functional as well – the sheen bottom bezel actually elevates the speaker cabinet and gives the bottom and front firing port the air and surface it needs to function. The advantage of this is that you can place the speaker pretty much anywhere, whereas most bottom ported or driver firing speakers need their stands to rest on a hard surface. The drivers are also an upgraded composite copper blend that’s stiffer, lighter, a little slicker looking, but that stays true to Klipsch’s signature black and copper design.
The 110 and 112 are have both more power and a deeper response floor than their 10 and 12 counterparts, and the 115 is an all new 15 inch driver that has a whopping 400 W continuous power output and a response floor of 18 Hz, which is truly excellent. They are, somewhat necessarily due to the new design, significantly bigger – the 115 is 75 lbs and almost 2 feet tall.
The other major upgrade each of these subs has is wireless connectivity, meaning you don’t have to worry about connecting the sub to your receiver, just to the wall somewhere. This is nice as it reduces cable management and makes it easier to place your sub wherever it works best, maybe the corner of the room far off somewhere.
The one shortfall that these subs still have, like their predecessors, is a rather low response ceiling. It’s important to be able to set the crossover as high as you need to to optimize your main speakers, and while most decent speakers will reproduce well below ~ 100 Hz, mid-range woofers might start to under perform before that. We like a sub response ceiling to ideally be at least 200 Hz, but a relatively low 125 Hz ceiling might be perfectly fine depending on what speakers you have.
Klipsch’s subwoofer warranty is decent, but not spectacular – 2 years for electronics is somewhat short where other competitors will just offer 5 years of coverage all around.
Our Overall Take, As Compared to the Competition
The R-115SW is really quite spectacular with how powerful it is, and how low it can go – it has the lowest response floor that we’ve seen with all of the home theater subwoofers we’ve looked at. But it’s still quite expensive and probably overkill for most people. The R-110SW and R-112SW are great too, with a lot of power for the driver size and ported design, but… still pretty expensive and possible overkill. a ~150 W sub will perform just excellent for many, and there are significantly cheaper competitors that, among other things, have a superior warranty.
If you’re willing to pay a premium for the design, power, and things like wireless? By all means, it’s hard to go wrong with any Klipsch loudspeaker. If you’d rather focus on pure value and perhaps not overpaying? We’d say check out our favorite budget subwoofers here for starters. It can never hurt to look around a little. Or to wait a bit even – chances are likely that as these speakers age, the price will decline.