What We Like
- A distinctive, attractive design which surpasses others at this price.
- Surprisingly powerful, high quality audio from such tiny speakers.
- Small form factor means lots of placement options.
What We Don’t Like
- Not a subtle performance, but the sheer energy counteracts this issue.
Founded in the 1940s, Klipsch (previously known as the far more old-timey ‘Klipsch and Associates’) have been in the audio business for a long time and create products across a variety of fairly disparate sectors of consumer audio.
The RB-10 is the smallest bookshelf speaker that Klipsch has produced thus far, and it’s certainly a far more interesting visual design than you tend to find in competing models at a similar price point. It certainly makes a nice change from the black on black, fairly nondescript and often uninspiring visuals of even significantly more expensive models.
The woofer of the RB-10 is made from an eye catching, copper colored material which is something of a hallmark of Klipsch’s product range and is described as ‘Cerametallic’. The benefits of this material, according to Klipsch, are several. It’s strong and durable, but also surprisingly light. And, importantly, the cone is designed not to flex or resonate whilst undergoing frequencies within the operating range of the woofer.
Another nice feature is the keyhole on the back panel which allows you to mount the unit on a wall if you so choose. The choice is yours to make.
As well as the aforementioned keyhole slot for wall mounting, a threaded insert is included which will enable you to attach the speakers to the vast majority of standard wall- or ceiling-brackets. This is certainly handy, but most users will probably stick to placing them directly onto a surface given the small form factor and easy fit it affords.
The two-way system of the RB-10s is also magnetically shielded, so you can finally leave all of those hard-drives you have lying around the house on top of one of them without worrying about losing all your data. (Seriously, though, magnetic shielding is a good thing.)
So, these speakers are pretty tiny. As such, it would stand to reason that the sound they produce is, by extension, not so much on the large side. It turns out that this couldn’t be further from the truth, and if anything were proof that size doesn’t matter, this is the product to put the final nail in that argument’s coffin.
The sound is absolutely brimming with energy. It’s bright, it’s clear, and it’s supremely well balanced for a device at this price point. We tested them out on a variety of tracks (including plain old spoken word), and they rose admirably to each and every occasion. It’s by no means a subtle listening experience—nor, probably, the most accurate—, but it’s a lot of fun. It’s loud, big, and in your face. Quite the opposite of what you would expect. The bass is punchy, mids are bright and warm, and the highs have a good deal of clarity.
If you’re in the market for some powerful, affordable speakers that you won’t have to make much space for, the RB-10s are an obvious choice. A highly energetic listening experience that won’t break the bank, and delivers across the board.