Klipsch Reference R-51M vs. Presonus Eris E3.5

Klipsch Reference R-51M Bookshelf Speakers Presonus Eris E3.5 3.5” Near Field Studio Monitor
$350 $100
Dimensions (H × W × D)
13.00” × 7.00” × 8.56”
330mm × 178mm × 217mm
10.24” × 7.00” × 7.68”
260mm × 178mm × 195mm
Power Type
Passive Powered
Frequency Response
62-21,000 Hz 80-20,000 Hz
ASR Score
n/a 1.5
ASR Score w/Subwoofer
n/a 4.3

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In the bustling realm of compact speakers, the Klipsch Reference R-51M and PreSonus Eris E3.5 cater to different audiophiles. The R-51M offers a robust, dynamic sound with its signature Tractrix horn-loaded tweeter and punchy bass, ideal for those craving a lively home listening experience. Conversely, the Eris E3.5, with its near-field studio pedigree, aims for clarity and flat response, appealing to creators and sound purists who seek accuracy for mixing and critical listening. Choosing between these two comes down to preference: the visceral, room-filling performance of Klipsch or the transparent, precise output of PreSonus.

Speaker Comparison

When it comes to outfitting your audio space with top-notch equipment, the choices can be overwhelming. In the world of compact speakers, two models often vie for the attention of audiophiles and casual listeners alike: the Klipsch Reference R-51M Bookshelf Speakers and the PreSonus Eris E3.5 Near Field Studio Monitor. Both are well-regarded in their respective sectors, the Klipsch for its home audio lineage, and the PreSonus for its studio pedigree. But how do they stack up against each other?

Design and Build Quality

The Klipsch Reference R-51M speakers carry forward the classic design ethos for which Klipsch is known, with a refined look that includes a textured wood grain vinyl and the iconic copper spun IMG woofers. In contrast, the PreSonus Eris E3.5 has a more utilitarian, functional design aimed at the studio environment, with a compact form factor that favors a no-frills, all-business aesthetic. The build quality of both speakers is solid, but the Klipsch offers a more visually striking presence that is designed to be showcased in a living space.

Klipsch Reference R-51M Bookshelf Speakers
Klipsch Reference R-51M arrow (at Amazon.com)

Sound Performance

The Klipsch R-51M offers a lively and dynamic sound with its signature Tractrix horn technology, which ensures high-frequency sounds are aimed directly at the listener, minimizing room reflections and enhancing detail. The bass reflex design with a rear-firing port also contributes to a well-rounded low-end. Conversely, the PreSonus Eris E3.5, with its smaller 3.5-inch woofer, delivers a surprisingly robust and accurate sound for its size, with a focus on flat response for critical listening. These studio monitors shine with their clear midrange and tight bass that's ideal for mixing and reference purposes in a near-field setting.

Functionality and Connectivity

The R-51M's primary function is to serve as part of a larger home audio system, offering the simplicity of passive speaker design requiring an external amplifier. On the connectivity front, it means traditional binding posts that support various speaker wire types. The Eris E3.5, being an active studio monitor, has a built-in amplifier and diverse connection options, including TRS and RCA inputs, making it a breeze to integrate into a studio environment. Additionally, the Eris E3.5 includes front-panel controls for volume and a convenient aux input for quick connection of mobile devices.

Presonus Eris E3.5 3.5” Near Field Studio Monitor
Presonus Eris E3.5 arrow (at Amazon.com)

When considering usability for the end-user, it's clear that each speaker has its own realm of expertise. The Klipsch R-51M is the quintessential choice for users seeking a passive speaker that will integrate into a larger home theater or stereo system, while the PreSonus Eris E3.5 is purpose-built for the studio environment, offering immediate control and flexibility for content creators, sound engineers, and multimedia professionals.

Value for Money

Value for money is a significant consideration when comparing these two speakers. The Klipsch R-51M, though priced higher, brings with it the prestige and engineering of a storied audio brand, as well as a powerful and engaging sound that can fill a room with ease. The PreSonus Eris E3.5, on the other hand, offers incredible value for aspiring producers or those needing a reliable near-field monitor solution without breaking the bank. It provides professional features at an accessible price point, which makes it especially attractive for those just starting in the world of audio production.

In conclusion, choosing between the Klipsch Reference R-51M and the PreSonus Eris E3.5 depends largely on the intended use and the listener's environment. The Klipsch excels in a home audio setting where its power and design can be appreciated as part of a larger system. Meanwhile, the PreSonus Eris E3.5 caters to the precision and functionality required in a studio setting, offering a clear and accurate sound for mixing and monitoring. Both sets of speakers stand out in their respective fields, making them exceptional choices for their targeted markets.

Check Current Prices:

Klipsch Reference R-51M Bookshelf Speakers
Klipsch Reference R-51M Bookshelf Speakers
Presonus Eris E3.5 3.5” Near Field Studio Monitor
Presonus Eris E3.5 3.5” Near Field Studio Monitor

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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.