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JBL vs Klipsch

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JBL and Klipsch are two renowned and well respected brands in the audio industry and produce high quality speakers, soundbars, headphones and subwoofers.
In this article, we will cover a general overview of both brands, looking specifically at sound quality, durability, price and so on.
Of course, each brand has different devices at different price points, however we will compare them as closely as we can.

Quick History

JBL Quick History

JBL was founded in 1946 by James Bullough Lansing just after World War II. It is headquartered in Los Angeles, California, USA. The company manufactures amplifiers, loudspeakers, and headphones with the JBL Professional LSR10S being one of its best-selling subs with a class D amp, among other features. It is currently owned by Harman International after its Vice president Bill Thomas sold it in 1969.

In the 1970s, JBL entered the studio industry and launched its new technologies academy of motion pictures’ first full-line portable system in the 1980s. Also, the company was the first to introduce titanium in high-frequency diaphragms.

Klipsch Quick History

Klipsch Audio Technologies (also known as Klipsch Speakers or Klipsch Group, Inc.) is an American loudspeaker manufacturing company based in Indianapolis, Indiana. The company was founded in Hope, Arkansas, in 1946 by Paul W. Klipsch. Klipsch audio also makes loudspeaker drivers and enclosures, as well as complete loudspeakers for high-end, high-fidelity sound systems, public address systems, and personal computers.

It has expanded a lot and has undergone a lot of changes since its establishment. Klipsch audio still manufactures some legacy speakers that have been around since the days when the genius of P.W. Klipsch made his first speakers.

Sound Quality

JBL Sound Quality

JBL speakers tend to depict a neutral, balanced sound profile. Their bass-heavy audio profile makes them ideal for party and personal use, especially for those looking for deep bass to listen to modern pop and hip hop music. The speakers are also loud with rich sound.

The speakers perform well in both high and low volumes. Built for DJs and other professionals, the speakers are tough and reliable. The Bluetooth speakers have long battery life lasting 24 hours or more.

On the other hand, JBL headphones are packed with features that help them deliver a well-balanced sound that closely follows the Harman curve.

However, the design and fit of these headphones are not very comfortable. A top-of-the-range JBL could sound unique with the depth, power, and accuracy every listener appreciates!

Klipsch Sound Quality

Klipsch speakers are well-known for the high quality, stunningly precise sound they produce, which can be matched by only a few select brands. The speakers produce crisp highs, powerful bass, and full, encompassing sound with low distortion. However, many people don’t like the Klipsch sound because it can tend to sound ‘bright’ or harsh.

Klipsch speakers use a horn tweeter (Klipschorn), which is what makes horns and brass instruments sound more realistic. They are ideal for higher frequencies, which is why Klipsch speakers are often recommended when dealing with high-frequency sounds (like movies and certain music genres). This is also why high-efficiency design is a core Klipsch design principle.

Klipschorn design, patented by the founder, Paul W. Klipsch himself, is a fully horn-loaded three-way speaker, which means that it houses three separate speaker units, each with their own diaphragm and horn in three frequency ranges: high, mid and low. Separating the frequencies in this way ensures less frequency modulation distortion. The Klipschorn design is still used in many Klipsch speakers, which explains their quality audio and energy efficiency.

Features

JBL Features

JBL manufactures futuristic speakers to ensure users can easily fit them into their modern home systems. Bluetooth speakers and subwoofers from JBL, for instance, come with the following features:

  • Polypropylene or cellulose-fiber cones
  • Rubber surround
  • Frequency response depends on specific speakers
  • Sensitivity of about 2.83V at 1 meter
  • Power handling up to 250W RMS

Klipsch Features

Klipsch devices are best known for the premium sound they produce, but they also have a host of features to ensure a wholesome experience for users.

Below are some common features that Klipsch speakers are known for:

  • HDMI-eARC connectivity: Single Cable, Single Remote
  • Dolby Atmos Decoding for immersive surround sound, stereo multiple channel systems
  • 8K Video Pass-Through
  • Dialogue enhancement mode for crystal clear voices
  • Bluetooth, NFC, WiFi, HDMI, USB Audio, and Analog/AUX and optical audio input connectivity
  • Built-in universal wifi for existing Smart Home ecosystems- featuring Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Spotify Connect
  • Klipsch Connect and Klipsch stream are two apps that can be used with your speakers. There are a lot of features included in the apps apart from controlling your Klipsch sound system. They are available for both iOS and Android.
  • Efficiency and low power consumption: Due to the company’s use of horn-loaded speakers, they are able to manufacture speakers with high sensitivity (efficiency). It also makes the speakers consume less power compared to similarly performing speakers.

Build Quality

JBL Build Quality

JBL speakers are well built with Aluminum, Nickel, and Cobalt which is a strong high-power permanent alloy.

Also, the wireless speakers are high quality and built with solid features. The performance is reliable and they are waterproof which makes them all weather.

How To Pair Your JBL Speaker To Your Device

The headphones however have a plasticky build that makes them look average despite the well-balanced sound.

Klipsch Build Quality

High-efficiency design is a core Klipsch design principle, and this is evident in all their products. Klipsch devices are very popular for the quality and sturdy materials that are used in their construction. This gives their products excellent performance and remarkable durability.

The materials used in construction, such as wood, cerametallic material or plastic, are carefully selected for their acoustic, aesthetic and durability properties.

Ease of Use

JBL Ease Of Use

Setting up JBL speakers may not be easy if you are not ready to handle the process. However, if your speakers are within the Bluetooth range, JBL speakers will easily pair with nearby devices.

The subwoofers may not be very easy to set depending on your car, but they are easy to use.  The wireless headphones are easy to use, whether you want to talk or just listen.

Klipsch Ease of Use

Klipsch devices are very easy to set up and use. With a wide range of ports for easy connectivity, such as the HDMI Arc port, setting up is as easy as plugging in and playing. Remote control support and iOS and Android apps also make it much easier to use your Klipsch devices.

Cost

JBL Cost

Bluetooth JBL speakers are available at a range of prices. You can, however, get them between 40 dollars and 400 dollars.

However, the GBL Go is still ranked the most affordable Bluetooth speaker owing to the added value of sound quality and portability. The cost is generally high due to the high cost of engineering, high cost of quality materials, and the cost of advertising.

Headphones: $10 – $200

Amplifiers: $50 – $5000

Klipsch Cost

Because of the materials used in Klipsch speakers, they tend to have premium prices, such as the RP-8000F floorstanding speaker, which costs from $800 to $1000 apiece. But they deliver much more than what you pay for. If you really care about the quality of the sound and the durability of your speaker, it is easy to overlook the cost.

There are also a few Klipsch product lines that do not cost as much (the Klipsch Reference RSB-3 home cinema speaker costs from $150 to $300, while a Klipsch Reference On-Ear headphone costs from $99 to $200), but sometimes this results in lesser than premium sound quality.

Space Requirements

JBL Space Requirements

JBL speakers are built to fit in many room sizes. The Bluetooth speakers are tiny in size and easily portable. Therefore, you can easily place them anywhere in your room or carry them for an outdoor listening experience.

Klipsch Space Requirements 

Klipsch speakers have a wide range of sizes, and therefore require different amounts of space for effective operation. For example, there are portable PC speakers that can be easily placed on a desk while there are large cinematic models that require much more space.

Remote Controls

JBL Remote Controls

JBL builds remote controls to help with easy and safe control of music together with other call functions on other devices such as smartphones.

JBL Click, for instance, is a mountable Bluetooth controller that makes it easier to control your music and call functions on any smartphone. However, JBL Boombox and JBL Partybox 310 do not have remote controls.

Klipsch Remote Controls

Klipsch supports some universal remote controllers as well as custom-made Klipsch remotes. This brings additional functionality to your devices.

Klipsch also has apps for both iOS and Android that can be used to control your Klipsch sound system remotely. The apps also allow for the use of voice assistants like Google Assistant, Spotify Connect, and Amazon Alexa, which respond to simple voice commands. Klips stream allows you to stream directly from music platforms such as Spotify and Amazon Music.

Connectivity Options

JBL Connectivity Options

JBL speakers, especially the Bluetooth-enabled ones, connect easily via Bluetooth. In fact, JBL makes them so that you can easily wirelessly connect up to 100 JBL speakers via Bluetooth.

Klipsch Connectivity Options 

Klipsch devices have several connectivity options including both wired and wireless choices. These include Bluetooth, NFC, WiFi, HDMI, USB Audio and Analog/AUX, and so on.

This allows you to connect your Klipsch speaker to a lot of different devices such as phones, personal computer, TV or used as part of a system of other speakers. The support for voice assistants also allows quick WiFi connection for several different speakers.

Power Range

JBL Power Range

The speakers have a high power handling capacity. For instance, the 840 Cinema Surround Speaker can handle 350 watts of continuous play, while the JBL Stage 1210 12” woofer can handle up to 250 watts RMS and 1000 watt peak power.

Subwoofers: 50W to 1600W rated power

Speakers: 50W to 250W rated power

Amplifiers: 50W to 800W per channel

Klipsch Power Range

Klipsch speakers consume much less power compared to other speakers of the same performance range. This is largely due to the horn tweeter that is used in their speakers, which reduces the need for a high-powered amplifier to boost the sound produced. 1 Watt RMS produces a 105 decibel at 1 meter sound pressure level (SPL), which is about 14–20 decibels higher than ordinary speakers.

The power range is different for each of the various Klipsch devices, so it is advisable to check the information included in the user manual.

Frequency Response

JBL Frequency Response

JBL speakers work well under various frequency ranges. For instance, the JBL ES Series speaker systems, such as the ES 20, operate between 65 HZ – 40 kHz.

The 840 Very High Power Cinema Surround Speaker for digital surround sound immersion application performs within the 60 Hz to 19 kHz frequency range.

Klipsch Frequency Response

Klipsch speakers have very pleasing and natural frequency responses. The speakers all have frequency ranges that all lie within the recommended frequencies to produce full and natural sound.

Due to the diversity of devices produced by Klipsch, there is a wide range of frequencies ranging from about 30Hz to 15KHz. The information about the frequency response of a particular device can be obtained from the user manual.

Conclusion

JBL offers a wide range of speakers for all use cases. Although most of them do not have EQs for customized sound, they have a pretty neutral sound profile. Besides, they have an excellent build quality that ensures that the portable JBL sound systems last longer. On the other hand, Klipsch has been in the speaker component manufacturing business for over seventy years and they have the experience to make great sounding speakers as shown in their array of quality devices. If premium quality sound is what you want, Klipsch speakers are great options to try out.

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