Klipsch R-120SW active subwoofer review
We tested the Klipsch R-120SW active subwoofer a few weeks ago. The testing took place in a renovated family house in Telki, Pest County. One of our company’s returning customers was curious about the performance of the Klipsch subwoofer freshly purchased for his cinema, so he invited us to his home for testing. Tamás Szikszai-Horváth, the owner, is constantly developing his home cinema system. Corner bass traps, ceiling and wall mounted diffuser front acoustic panels provided the ideal sound for the room. In order to achieve a real cinematic experience, we have proposed to place acoustic curtains in front of large window surfaces – so the acoustics can be further improved, and even complete darkening can be achieved with special woven home textiles.
So let’s look at the subwoofer
Klipsch has been manufacturing speakers since 1946, so they are not for beginners in this field. The side of the 120SW speaker box is about half a meter long, and the 30cm subwoofer is brass-colored. The MDF speaker housing is covered in black, glossy vinyl, which is scratch-resistant and also keeps fingerprints away, which is a very pleasant surprise, as it makes it even easier to keep the speaker clean. The reinforced box reduces unpleasant resonances almost completely. Rubber feet protect the parquet from scratches. The rigid, lightweight, concave, copper-vaporized membrane (IMG-Injection Molded Graphite) subwoofer is powered by a 400-watt digital amplifier. Use the LED on the front panel to see if the subwoofer is on or off.
There is a very large reflex opening on the back of the box that significantly reduces turbulence and distortions. On the back there are frequency control, power and other mode buttons, as well as a phase changer. The L / R line for stereo amplifiers and the LFE connectors for AV amplifiers are also located on the back. The cutting frequency can also be adjusted. The frequency transmission is 29-120 Hz, the power is 200/400 Watt, the maximum sound pressure is 116 dB. Large black spikes guarantee complete insulation from the floor. The minimalist design is eye-catching and fits easily into virtually any room with any style and furnishings. The speaker weighs 14kg, which may make it feel a little heavy. We would clearly give 5 out of 5 points for its appearance.
We started bass testing with classical music. We listened to the song Torreádor from Bizet: Carmen’s 3/4 act opera. The Klipsch subwoofer performed great. We could hear full-bodied, powerful and clear bass, the wind and other instruments also sounded perfect, we experienced incredibly real sound, but at the same time the bass was controlled, it didn’t degrade the other frequency ranges either. Then we moved on to other genres and eras, Dua Lipa’s current hit, Pysical, sounded. In this case, we were not disappointed either, the bass radiated by the subwoofer was penetrating, natural, and the sound was not distorted at high volume. Subwoofers play a very important role in cinemas, so it is worth choosing them carefully. Starring the matinée idol, Jason Momoa, we played the 2018 film Aquaman. The sounds of Klipsch’s subwoofer gave a perfectly real feel, the splash of water sounded as lifelike as if the character had crashed into the water in our immediate vicinity. The music inserts and sound effects were also absolutely clear and detailed.
While watching Tomb Raider’s 2018 action film, we also became active characters in the story, the deep ones here were very beautiful and balanced as well. In 2009, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince went to the cinemas. Each sound of the film, coloured with wonderful music, was transmitted crystal clear, firmly by the subwoofer. The bass did not suppress the mid and treble either.
Advantages and disadvantages
The Klipsch R-120SW subwoofer has several advantages in its price range:
-clear, distortion-free bass
-creates a real cinematic experience
-perfect for listening to music as well
-screw and fingerprint resistant
The only drawbacks are the relatively large mass and the fact that sounds below 29 Hz are a little difficult to hear.
Overall, the Klipsch subwoofer is a very attractive, high-performance, fair accessory for home theaters. The basses are full, realistic and controlled, so they don’t hurt the other frequencies. Absolutely worth the price. If it were to be evaluated, we would give it 4.9 points on a scale of 1-5.