What We Like
- Beautiful copper woofer.
- Exceptional performance.
- High headroom digital amplifier.
What We Don’t Like
- Significantly lacks in features at this price.
Klipsch may make some products that don’t hold the latest in features, but one thing remains timeless on them – the sound. The R-12SW is no exception to that, delivering earth shattering low-end without a single issue, easily making it one of the best sounding subwoofers under $500.
One area of this subwoofer that doesn’t look traditional at all is in the absolutely stunning design. Starting on the front, a beautiful 12-inch spun-copper Cerametallic woofer graces this edge which can, shamefully, be hidden by a removable cloth grille. The rest of the box is finished in a subtle crushed black polymer veneer, giving a sleek but interesting look. The back is pretty barren, with volume and crossover knobs, RCA and line inputs, phase switch, and an attached power sable.
The copper and black finish is mesmerizing overall. While a cloth grille is included, it would be a shame to cover up the stunning copper woofer. The cone shines, accenting a cabinet that doesn’t stick out too much, but oozes quality. The subwoofer is gorgeous, minimal, and will fit (and maybe enhance) any setup, especially paired with other speakers from Klipsch’s reference line.
For the money, this subwoofer is lacking a bit in the features department. Typical necessities for a high caliber subwoofer are present including phase reversal, auto signal sensing, and tuneable low pass are present. Outside of that, the only notable feature is the inclusion of a WA-2 port. This allows you to purchase and hook up a wireless kit from Klipsch that will wirelessly connect your subwoofer to the rest of your setup. It’s a $129.99 wireless kit, but the option is there nonetheless.
Yes, there are a lack of features for this price point. No built-in wireless functionality, no extensive tuning controls, and an attached power cable are just a few of the list of things this subwoofer is missing. However, this subwoofer really isn’t meant to be feature rich. It’s meant to be a workhouse, and to be a very good workhorse at that. While the lack is disappointing, it didn’t hurt the experience too much overall.
The real star of this show truly is in the performance. This subwoofer sounds absolutely breathtaking, only rivaled by how good it looks. The copper spun cerametallic woofer is incredibly rigid while also being extremely lightweight. This means the woofer can reach very low in the frequency range without cone breakup and distortion. As Klipsch puts it, “more boom, less effort”.
This is aided by an all-digital amplifier that grants 300W RMS and 600W dynamic power, giving a high ceiling to push the speaker, again allowing clear, tight, and concise bass across listening levels.
Klipsch really shows their authority in the audio field with this subwoofer. It sounds massive, never becoming overinflated, but always satisfying.
The Klipsch R-12SW is an exceptional subwoofer, delivering a truly premium experience. A lack of features is easily made up for by a breathtaking design complete with a copper spun woofer and performance that could only come from a company like Klipsch.