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Klipsch vs Audioengine – Detailed Comparison

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Klipsch and Audioengine are two renowned and well respected brands in the audio industry. Klipsch focuses on the hifi market and targets audiophiles while Audioengine focuses on the budget customer. 

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

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.

Audioengine Quick History

Audioengine was founded in 2005 by Brady Bargenquast and Dave Evans, both of whom had previously worked with companies like Apple, Harman, Gibson Guitars and Alesis. It is an American company that designs and builds audio products such as powered speakers, amplifiers, subwoofers, cables, and other audio accessories.

The company still manufactures audio equipment with the aim of building ‘…products that not only sound great, but don’t cost a fortune.

Sound Quality

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.

Audioengine Sound Quality

Audioengine manufactures speakers that offer exceptional audio quality, especially at their price tags. Their speakers have remarkably accurate sound production and detail in some cases without extensive DSP. This ensures that their speakers give a clean and balanced audio output without overemphasis on some tone ranges.

Features

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.

Audioengine Features

Audioengine speakers have a lot of features that make it easier for users to operate them. Here are some commonly found features on Audioengine devices:

  • Bluetooth 5.0 compatibility and support for AAC, AptX, and SBC codecs.
  • 5mm Aux input, LFE wired connectivity
  • Very low distortion, even at high volumes
  • Support for USB 1.1 and above
  • Built-in ComboPorta for charging your iPod and other USB charging devices
  • Remote control support
  • Audioengine app for remote control and other functions

Build Quality

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. 

Audioengine Build Quality

Audioengine focuses on using the right materials for every component in their devices to give the best output.

The Audioengine 5 for example, has a Kevlar woofer for deep bass and silk dome tweeter for smooth highs. Everything is enclosed in a solid chassis made of sturdy plastic.

Ease of Use

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.

Audioengine Ease Of Use

Audioengine devices are easy to set up and use. They’ll probably work with your existing remote controllers as they support universal remote controls

Audioengine speakers also have a wide range of connection options, so you’ll surely find some that work well for you. Their speakers are usually light and portable too (the Audioengine 512 weighs just 2.5 pounds), so it’s quite easy to carry them around.

Cost

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.

Audioengine Cost

Audioengine speakers offer superior sound output for very cheap prices. Most of their speakers are well below the $500 mark,(the Audioengine 512 costs somewhere around $100) though they still offer great audio quality. This is in line with the company’s focus of building ‘…products that not only sound great, but don’t cost a fortune’.

Check out the range of prices for their most common products

  • Amplifiers: $170 – $230
  • Subwoofers: $100 – $350
  • Speakers: $100 – $650

Space Requirements

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.

Audioengine Space Requirements

Audioengine devices differ widely in size and therefore require different amounts of space. Their products range from small, portable Bluetooth speakers and desk speakers to large home cinema speakers.

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.

Audioengine Remote Controls

Some Audioengine speakers come with their own remote control, while others support the use of universal remote controllers. Audioengine also has apps that you can control your device with.

Connectivity Options

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.

Audioengine Connectivity Options

Audioengine devices connect wirelessly to your PC or phone with Bluetooth, AptX, and SBC codecs support. You can also connect multiple speakers together for an immersive sound experience using the Google Home app.

Wired connectivity includes 3.5mm aux audio input and a lot of USB connectivity options including USB 3.0, USB 1.1 and micro-USB

Power Range

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.

Audioengine Power Range

The power range differs for different Audioengine devices based on their performance and power source. Battery-operated speakers consume much less power compared to powered speakers. The battery-operated Audioengine 512 consumes about 20 Watts while the active Audioengine A2+ consumes 60 Watts.

Frequency Response

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.

Audioengine Frequency Response

Audioengine produces speakers with a wide frequency response range. The frequency responses are pleasing to hear and give precise sound outputs. The Audioengine 512, a compact Bluetooth speaker, has a frequency range from 60Hz on the low end and 20KHz on the high end while the Audioengine A2+ ranges from 65Hz to 22KHz.

Conclusion

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. If you want to get the best speakers you can find but are on a tight budget, the Audioengine line of speakers will give you what you want – quality sound that won’t break the bank.

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