Klipsch Reference R-820F Tower Speakers Review


MSRP $1000
(H × W × D)
43.00” × 10.94” × 17.50”
1092mm × 278mm × 445mm
Power Type Passive
Frequency Response 35-21,000 Hz
Klipsch Reference R-820F Tower Speakers

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: The Klipsch Reference R-820F floorstanding speakers deliver dynamic, room-filling sound with a punchy low end, courtesy of their 8-inch woofers. The signature Tractrix horn-loaded tweeter offers crisp highs imbuing clarity to vocals and instruments. Aesthetically, they boast a classic, sleek design. On the flip side, some may find the high frequencies slightly aggressive, and careful system matching is recommended to avoid harshness. All in all, they're a compelling choice for those craving lively, cinematic audio experiences.

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Klipsch Reference R-820F: Our Take

The Klipsch Reference R-820F tower speakers are a significant addition to the company's well-established Reference series, known for producing a high-quality audio experience. The R-820F model boasts a sleek design, standing tall with a brushed black polymer veneer cabinet that easily blends into modern living spaces. With dimensions of 43 inches in height, 10.9 inches in width, and 17.5 inches in depth, these speakers make a statement both visually and acoustically in any room they inhabit.

The R-820F features Klipsch's proprietary Tractrix horn technology, which is designed to ensure that high-frequency sounds are aimed directly at the listener and to reduce artificial reverb or filtering caused by indirect sound bouncing off walls - meaning these speakers should deliver a crisp, clear sound. Coupled with this is the Linear Travel Suspension (LTS) aluminum tweeter, minimizing distortion for enhanced, detailed performance. The LTS tweeter has been a staple in previous Reference lines, contributing to their reputation for superior sound clarity.

The tower speaker also boasts dual 8-inch spun-copper IMG (Injection Molded Graphite) woofers, which are exceptionally light yet rigid - providing a remarkable low-frequency response with minimal cone breakup and distortion. The bass-reflex via rear-firing Tractrix port technology means the R-820F is engineered to deliver the deepest bass possible from a tower speaker, satisfying users who are seeking a robust, room-filling sound with dynamic range.

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Sound Performance

With regards to sound performance, the R-820F towers are designed to deliver energetic, lifelike sound that brings movies and music to life. The overall sound signature is geared towards delivering a detailed and dynamic range, with a focus on vocal clarity and extensive highs that Klipsch speakers are known for. The efficiency of these speakers is notable as well; they can produce more volume per watt of power than many competitors, making them suitable for use with a wide range of amplifiers and receivers.

However, despite their high-quality sound reproduction, some users might find the Klipsch R-820F speakers to lean towards the brighter side of the audio spectrum. This is characteristic of Klipsch's house sound and can be either a pro or a con depending on personal preference. Listeners who are sensitive to treble or prefer a warmer sound might consider this when deciding on the R-820F. Furthermore, while the bass is impactful, those seeking an even deeper bass experience may need to pair these towers with a dedicated subwoofer for maximum performance.

Comparison with Similar Products

When considering other products in the market, potential buyers often compare the Klipsch Reference R-820F with other brands such as Polk Audio, Bowers & Wilkins, or ELAC. For instance, the Polk Audio T50 is another floor-standing speaker that comes at a lower price point, which might appeal to budget-conscious consumers. Meanwhile, the Bowers & Wilkins 603 series offers an alternative for those seeking an even more premium audio experience with a correspondingly higher investment. Similarly, ELAC's Debut 2.0 F6.2 floorstander is praised for its excellent sound quality and could be considered by those who prefer a warmer sound profile than what Klipsch offers.

It's also worth noting that the Klipsch R-820F speakers are part of a larger ecosystem. The Reference series includes center channels, subwoofers, and surround speakers that can be matched together for a cohesive home theater system. This modular approach allows users to build their system over time or to tailor the setup according to their space and budget constraints.

Installation and setup of the Klipsch R-820F are fairly straightforward thanks to their user-friendly design. The binding posts are robust and ensure a secure connection with speaker wires. Furthermore, the inclusion of rubber feet allows for stable placement on various surfaces. Nevertheless, due to their size and weight—approximately 54 pounds each—moving them into position can be cumbersome and might require assistance.

In conclusion, the Klipsch Reference R-820F tower speakers represent a solid investment for audio enthusiasts looking for dynamic sound performance with an efficient design. While they offer distinct advantages such as high efficiency and clear highs, prospective buyers should also consider the brightness of the sound and whether an additional subwoofer might be necessary for their audio preferences. With various competitors on the market, it's advisable for users to weigh their options based on desired sound characteristics, budget, and brand affinity before making a final decision.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does the horn-loaded tweeter in the Klipsch R-820F affect its sound performance?

The Klipsch R-820F sports the company's signature horn-loaded tweeter, a hallmark of Klipsch's design philosophy. This design choice offers a unique sound performance by improving the efficiency and directivity of the high-frequency sounds. The horn shape can project sound more effectively into the listening space, potentially resulting in a more dynamic and lifelike audio experience, especially for the high-end details. Additionally, the horn loading can reduce distortion, allowing for clearer and more accurate treble reproduction. This is especially beneficial for listeners who appreciate the nuances of well-recorded music or the crispness of dialogue in film and television.

Can the Klipsch R-820F speakers be bi-amped or bi-wired, and what are the benefits of doing so?

For audiophiles looking to optimize their audio system's performance, bi-amping and bi-wiring can be attractive options. The Klipsch R-820F towers are indeed equipped to handle both bi-amping and bi-wiring, thanks to their dual binding posts. Bi-wiring involves using separate wires for the high and low frequencies from the amplifier to the speaker, which can potentially reduce interference and result in a clearer sound. Bi-amping takes this a step further by using two separate amplifiers for the highs and lows. This can provide more power and control over the speaker drivers, potentially yielding a more dynamic and detailed audio performance. However, it's important to note that the benefits of bi-amping or bi-wiring can be subtle and may depend on the quality of the rest of your audio system and your personal sensitivity to audio nuances.

What type of room environments are the Klipsch R-820F speakers best suited for?

The Klipsch R-820F floor-standing speakers are quite versatile and can adapt to various room sizes and environments, which is something their fans often celebrate. Their efficiency and dynamic range make them suitable for larger rooms where filling the space with sound is a priority. However, their precise soundstage also allows them to perform well in more intimate settings. The design of the horn tweeter helps project sound efficiently, which means they can deliver clear and powerful audio without needing to be pushed to high volume levels. On the flip side, this efficiency means that room acoustics play a significant role in their performance. Rooms with a lot of hard surfaces may experience more pronounced reflections, so some acoustic treatment or careful placement may be beneficial to mitigate potential harshness and create a balanced listening experience.

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Klipsch Reference R-820F

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