Klipsch Reference R-41M vs. Polk Audio T15

Klipsch Reference R-41M Bookshelf Speakers Polk Audio T15 Bookshelf Speakers
$150 $150
Dimensions (H × W × D)
11.30” × 5.75” × 7.90”
287mm × 146mm × 201mm
10.63” × 6.50” × 7.25”
270mm × 165mm × 184mm
Power Type
Passive Passive
Frequency Response
68-21,000 Hz 65-20,000 Hz
ASR Score
2.8 0.3
ASR Score w/Subwoofer
5.7 3.3

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In the realm of compact, budget-friendly speakers, the Klipsch Reference R-41M and Polk Audio T15 bookshelf speakers offer distinct sonic signatures for the discerning listener. The R-41M brings Klipsch's renowned dynamic energy and crisp highs, courtesy of its Tractrix horn-loaded tweeter, to the table, promising an engaging experience with pronounced detail. Meanwhile, the Polk T15 delivers a warmer sound profile with a more laid-back treble, which might appeal to those seeking a soothing listening session. Both provide admirable performance for their size, but the choice ultimately hinges on personal preference for either Klipsch's spirited articulation or Polk's mellow smoothness.

Speaker Comparison

When it comes to fleshing out your home audio setup, bookshelf speakers are a quintessential component for those looking for a combination of compact design and substantial sonic performance. The Klipsch Reference R-41M and the Polk Audio T15 stand as noteworthy contenders in the bookshelf speaker segment, each offering a unique listening experience catered to the discerning ear of an audiophile. In the world of compact speakers, these two models have generated buzz for their performance, but how do they really stack up against each other?

Design and Build Quality

The Klipsch Reference R-41M boasts the brand's signature copper-spun IMG woofers and a tractrix horn-loaded tweeter, a design ethos that's both functional and aesthetically captivating. The Polk Audio T15, on the other hand, has a more understated look, with a simple, yet elegant, black wood grain finish. Both speakers exhibit a high level of craftsmanship, but the Klipsch with its more distinctive design might catch the eye of someone looking for speakers that also serve as a conversation piece.

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Sound Signature and Performance

Klipsch is known for their lively and engaging sound, and the R-41M lives up to this reputation. These speakers have a forward, dynamic sound that can bring out the excitement in rock, pop, and other genres that benefit from a punchy presentation. Conversely, the Polk T15 offers a warmer and more balanced sound that might not grab your attention immediately but will be more forgiving and versatile across a wider range of music genres. While both speakers perform admirably, your preference might depend on whether you value the immediacy of Klipsch or the relaxed nature of Polk.

Klipsch Reference R-41M Bookshelf Speakers
Klipsch Reference R-41M arrow (at Amazon.com)

When it comes to low-frequency response, neither speaker is a bass powerhouse due to their compact size—the physics simply don't allow for earth-shattering bass. However, the R-41M, with its larger rear-firing port, has a slight edge in bass response over the T15, which is best supplemented with a subwoofer for those seeking a full-range listening experience. On the higher end of the spectrum, Klipsch's aluminum tweeter delivers crisp and detailed highs, whereas the Polk's soft-dome tweeter produces smoother treble, perhaps less detailed but also less likely to induce listener fatigue over long periods.

Polk Audio T15 Bookshelf Speakers
Polk Audio T15 arrow (at Amazon.com)

Power Handling and Efficiency

Efficiency is another area where Klipsch often stands out. The R-41M has a higher sensitivity rating compared to the Polk T15, meaning it can deliver more volume per watt of power input. This makes the Klipsch more suited to pair with a wider range of amplifiers, especially those with lower power output. On the other hand, the Polk T15 is still easy to drive but may require a bit more power to reach the same volume levels, which is an important consideration depending on your existing equipment.

Durability is paramount in a good speaker, and both sets have robust, well-dampened cabinets that resist unwanted resonance, preserving sound integrity. Connector-wise, the Klipsch provides a more secure connection with its five-way binding posts, compared to the simpler spring-loaded clips on the T15. This may be a minor detail for some but could be a deal-breaker for audiophiles who always seek the most stable and high-quality connection for their gear.


In the final analysis, choosing between the Klipsch Reference R-41M and Polk Audio T15 bookshelf speakers will come down to personal taste and the specifics of one's audio system setup. The Klipsch offers a more dynamic and engaging listening experience with a higher sensitivity, while the Polk counters with a warmer, more balanced sound and requires a bit more power to shine. Both speakers have their merits and will appeal to different listeners. Whether you prioritize the crisp clarity and efficiency of the Klipsch or the smooth, even-handed sound of the Polk, both are solid contenders in the realm of bookshelf speakers, worthy of any audiophile's consideration.

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Klipsch Reference R-41M Bookshelf Speakers
Klipsch Reference R-41M Bookshelf Speakers
Polk Audio T15 Bookshelf Speakers
Polk Audio T15 Bookshelf Speakers

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Disclaimer: the speaker data listed on this website are correct to the best of our knowledge, but we do not guarantee the accuracy of the data. Please double-check any measurements with the manufacturer before making a final purchasing decision.