There aren't many brands which hold much weight in people's minds.
Klipsch vs. Bose is a battle of 2 brands who are heavyweights in their domain.
But, do you know why?
It's because both brands provide quality across multiple product lines for decades. Klipsch has been around since the 40's while Bose has been around since the 60's. Naturally, one would think Klipsch has the advantage because of their head start. But this shows what a great reputation and quality product can do.
Since we talk about both of these brand's speakers a lot, we'll discuss how they separate themselves from the competition, and how they stack up against each other.
Founded by the legendary Paul Wilbur Klipsch, this company was built on 4 principles:
1. High Efficiency/Low Distortion
2. Controlled Directivity
3. Wide Dynamic Range
4. Flat Frequency Response
Every principle set forth here was set by Mr. Klipsch himself. It's all about providing the best sound experience for the user, but it's also an appreciation for engineering itself.
Mr. Klipsch was an audio engineer studying at Standford University which is where he honed his skills. But formal education doesn't create greatness because it doesn't encourage creativity.
It's only through passion where someone can make a breakthrough, and Mr. Klipsch was passionate about audio.
It was his passion which led him to create his own speaker in his own tin shed. Once the first model came out, and he saw how receptive people were, he started his own manufacturing business leading to the creation of the company.
Now, let's talk about the principles set forth by Mr. Klipsch.
The first principle he wanted was "high efficiency/low distortion." This needs to be every speaker's goal. It's all about creating something valuable to others, and how can a speaker be valuable if it's not working how the user wants.
Klipsch's horn technology is all about efficiency, meaning it provides clear sound without a lot of power. A lot of common speaker problems lead to distortion. Sometimes speaker maintenance helps, but sometimes it doesn't.
Increasing wattage is a solution, but this will also lead to distortion if the speaker can't handle it. This principle of efficiency was so important to him he even made a law alongside it.
Klipsch's law: Efficiency is inversely proportional to distortion
This means when efficiency goes up, distortion goes down and vice-versa. The second principle is "controlled directivity." In basic terms, controlled directivity means directing the sound to the right place without wasting energy. As an outdoor speaker site, we encourage wide dispersion of sound to cover a wide area, but controlled directivity doesn't contradict this.
It can still cover a wide area without wasting acoustic energy with the technology they produce. A noticeable theme amongst these 2 principles alone is energy conservation. Each speaker from Klipsch is designed to maximize power. It comes down to the smaller details to create quality products. The ability to control sound direction is impressive. But that doesn't make a complete speaker.
A complete speaker has range. And Klipsch's speakers have "wide dynamic range." Their speakers allow you to here soft sounds with clarity while louder sounds come through without distortion.
What more can you ask of a speaker?
The reproduction of sound is the last principle Klipsch values. Also called "flat frequency response." Whatever sound comes from the track is what Klipsch produces through its speakers.
Klipsch has a lot of audio products. They have 4 product lines excluding the headphones section. The 4 product lines they have are home theater, home audio, wireless, and outdoor speakers.
We'll talk about products from each of the 3 categories besides outdoor speakers because we're going to talk about that in the next section.
The home theater section is the product section with the most products for Klipsch. It includes bookshelf speakers, sound bars, floorstanding speakers, and much more.
Floorstanding speakers are perfect for your living room television. Most people put a couple floorstanding speakers in front of a wide-screen television. Other times, floorstanding speakers can be found in a recording studio. They're great because they have full-range, signature to Klipsch's principle of having a wide-range.
The home theater section also includes surround speakers and subwoofers. Both these products can add more spice to your home theater. And there's 4 different types of surround speakers in their surround speakers section.
Let's talk about one of them which is the RP-502S.
The RP-502S has "Hybrid Tractrix Horn Technology." What's special about this technology is it reduces unwanted reverb from the sound bouncing off the walls. Basically, it's like your listening to the speaker as if you were right next to it.
If you look at the KS-525-THX, then you'll notice it has dual tweeters. More tweeters means better frequencies.
Having 4 different products in the home theater section might seem like a little or a lot depending on who you are.
But what matters is the quality in their products.
Another product line we want to mention are their computer speakers. Computer speakers aren't known to be the best speakers because of their frame. But, Klipsch has made a few adjustments to make sure you feel their presence.
To illustrate these adjustments, we're going to talk about the ProMedia 2.1 THX.
For the computer speakers to be loud, they came with a subwoofer.
This particular product comes with a 6.5 inch subwoofer emitting 200 watts. Some outdoor speakers don't even reach this wattage power.
You also know this is a quality product because THX ran 2,000+ tests to ensure it's quality. If you're wondering what you get when you purchase the ProMedia, it comes with 2 speakers and 1 subwoofer.
Feature Outdoor Speakers
There are 2 types of outdoor speakers for Klipsch:
Do-it-yourself and custom installation.
There is no difference in quality but there are more custom installation speakers than DIYs. For the DIY section, you get 2 types of outdoor speakers, surface mount and rock speakers. The custom installation has landscape, surface mount, and rock speakers.
Since we can't talk about every speaker, we'll talk about the best from both the DIY custom installation sections.
First up is the AW-650 which we've talked about in our "Best Outdoor Speakers Of 2020" post.
The AW-650 is a mountable speaker which is perfect under a patio or atrium. It's considered to have power handling and high sensitivity.
For those who don't understand what these terms mean, let's define them for you. Power handling means the max power a speaker can use in a short amount of time. Most speakers won't be able to play at their max for long. Knowing how much power it can handle is useful for knowing its limits.
Having a high sensitivity on the other hand is a relationship between power and electrical input. A high sensitivity speaker doesn't need as much electricity to produce a lot of decibels unlike other speakers. Other specs you might want to know is its decibel range is at 95 and its wattage comes at 85.
Some conservative numbers, but remember, you don't really know how good a speaker is until you play it.
If you have a garden, then this speaker would be a great place to put it. It fits in seamlessly and its acoustics spread all over. The PRO-650T has a aluminum dome tweeter. This tweeter provides efficiency other outdoor speakers can't match.
What's beautiful once you have a landscape satellite speaker is you can place it right by the pool or the patio. Some outdoor speakers are still hard to hear outside, but what's impressive about this speaker is it's small but provides a lot of power. If you're still not convinced, this speaker also comes with 2 drivers.
You have the high frequency driver which is the aluminum dome tweeter while the low frequency driver is the IMG woofer. Overall, it's a well-rounded speaker worth a purchase. We would even say it's one of Klipsch's best products.
Amar Bose is the founder of Bose.
The big reason why Bose started is due to his inquisitiveness. He was disappointed when he purchased his own stereo system and tried to figure out its weaknesses.
What he saw was the devices don't fit the physical area they're in.
Since Bose's inception, their motto has been "Better Sound Through Research."
Even before buying his first stereo system, Bose's interests in electronics was obvious.
When he was younger he would repair radios. He was so good his father would make him a sick note just so he could stay home and repair radios.
It didn't matter what type of electronic it is. Bose's love for electronics extended beyond radios.
This passion combined with his intuitiveness is what created Bose.
Bose and Klipsch have similar product lines.
One exception to this is the smart home speakers. A noticeable product you might have seen on some of our other lists is the SoundLink Revolve.
At first glance, this speaker is unique. It doesn't look like most outdoor speakers and looks more like a lantern.
Another noticeable feature about its aesthetics is its seamlessness. The grille doesn't look like it's detachable which is on purpose. Having no detachable grille makes it lighter than a usual portable speaker. Besides its aesthetics is its functionality. It's unique because of the internal parts it contains.
It contains dual passive radiators, an efficient transducer, and an omnidirectional acoustic deflector. It's amazing how a small speaker packs so much punch. Most speakers only provide one passive radiator. Having 2 shows Bose means business.
The omnidirectional components also makes it more versatile than other outdoor speakers. You don't have to limit it to patios, atriums, or roofs, you can bring it wherever you go. A big addition is it has long-lasting battery. Having 16 hours of playtime without compromising bass is a luxury.
Another product line they excel at are smart speakers. One example of this is the Bose Soundbar 500.
These speakers also have a sleek aesthetic. It's both slim and clean. Similar to the SoundLink Revolve, it's seamless. The grille is part of the speaker itself and isn't detachable. What's great for anyone who purchases this is the type of setup you can use with it. If you're interested in having more bass, you can add a subwoofer with your soundbar. If your soundbar is part of a home theater, you can add surround speakers.
And since this is a smart speaker, you can expect airplay and voice assistance built-in. Even when you're watching a movie or playing music, your soundbar will still pickup your voice. This is due to the speakers having a microphone in the back and front of the speaker.
After all the cool functionalities, you have some extra capabilities with the Bose Soundbar. One of the additions is the Apple Airplay 2 giving you a different way to connect.
Feature Outdoor Speakers
The S1 Pro System is one of those speakers perfect for tail-gating.
It's huge, and packs a lot of power. It looks like a box, but it's built like a PA system. It's a outdoor speaker system like this provides a lot of different options.
For example, you get different inputs for ToneMatch, tone controls, and reverb. If you think about it, this is used for outdoor spaces but it can be operated like it's being used for a concert.
We're saying it can be used like it's part of a concert because you can setup Bluetooth streaming, a microphone, or an instrument to it. The built-in ToneMatch helps process microphones and guitars sound natural. This in combination with the Auto EQ helps make great sound no matter what environment you're in.
A beautiful part of this speaker is it's Bluetooth also. Big speakers usually need an electrical output to power their circuitry, but this one doesn't. One unique aspect of Bose in general is their app. The Bose Connect app lets the user enable party mode. In party mode, you can connect to another Bose speaker to have a nice speaker setup on the go.
Klipsch vs. Bose
This is a battle between apples and oranges for speakers if we take a deeper look. Both speaker brands have their specialties, and both are well known.
First up is Klipsch.
Klipsch, from the principles we covered, value engineering efficiency. And before anyone criticizes Bose, we're not saying Bose doesn't, we're just saying Klipsch makes it more obvious.
An example of this is Bose's SoundLink Revolve. It has dual passive radiators, but isn't there a more efficient way to achieve the same objective without putting more components into a product?
From an audiophile standpoint, Klipsch seems to have a better reputation than Bose for audio reproduction. Klipsch has a reputation for focusing on tonal quality while Bose is known more for its durability. Bose also has more robust designs. As for affordability, the winner is Klipsch. There is a wider selection for quality speakers at an affordable price for Klipsch products.
Although Bose is more expensive, its price comes with great durability. You might want to go with Bose products if you're looking for an outdoor speaker. What's ironic is Bose doesn't specifically sell outdoor speakers. They have portable speakers which could act like an outdoor speaker. But, if you're in an environment which doesn't have extreme weather, we suggest purchasing a Klipsch product.
To put it simply, they have superior sound quality. The product line Klipsch caters to most is the home theater line. The 2 strengths of Klipsch is their audio reproduction and their affordability. If you value durability and design, Bose is more of your flavor. An x-factor for Bose which techies will love is their app.
Being able to configure to other Bose speakers to create a complete sound system is unique. Klipsch has different sound technology involving the internal components and how they're designed which users might not appreciate as much. But, summarizing everything we've stated, we prefer Klipsch because superior sound quality is what speakers is all about. Of course durability is important, but being able to reproduce natural sounds with efficiency is a technical feat. Protecting your speakers aren't as difficult as we've stated before.