It can be hard to compare competing products head-to-head in a winner take all fashion, especially when looking at Klipsch and JBL because these brands are very different. However, comparing various brands based on quality, price, and performance among other factors is always good when buying. In this article, we compare Klipsch and JBL brands.
Which Should You Choose?
The best option for you is to listen to both JBL and Klipsch and choose the one you like. It really comes down to a matter of preference.
Before we go further, you can also check out the following comparisons:
- Klipsch vs KEF Speakers
- Klipsch vs MartinLogan
- Klipsch vs Boston Acoustics
- Klipsch vs Definitive Technology
- Klipsch vs Polk
- Klipsch vs B&W
- Klipsch vs Elac
- JBL vs Harman Kardon
- Klipsch vs Marshall
- Klipsch vs Wharfedale
- Origin Acoustic Vs Klipsch
- Hertz vs Focal
History and Overview of Klipsch
Klipsch Audio Technologies (also known as Klipsch Speakers or Klipsch Group, Inc.) is an American loudspeaker manufacturing company based in Indianapolis, Indiana. The American-based Klipsch subs are among the best speakers in the market.
They, however, are not known when they were introduced, albeit after the second world war, but they have actually gained prominence since 2011 when they were purchased by Vox electronics company.
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.
These speakers are known for their unique speaker style, like the Klipschorn; a different presentation from other speakers like the JBL. Klipsch speakers are very efficient. One of the best models from the Klipsch brand is the Klipsch R-100S.
History and Overview of JBL
JBL speaker brand was launched at the end of the Second World War, in the year 1946, with the same founder starting Altec Lansing as well. 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. Today, they are not lagging behind even though many users tend to portray them as inferior compared to the Klipsch speakers. Today, JBL speakers are many in severe countries.
These speakers are standard and are less expensive too. They were very popular back then, but Klipsch has overtaken them. The JBL Professional LSR10S is one of the best-selling subs with a class D amp among other features.
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 sounds.
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 its 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.
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 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.
JBL Build Quality
JBL speakers are well built with Aluminum, Nickel, and Cobalt which is a strong high-power permanent alloy. JBL has always been a forerunner in the audio design industry, from simple portable speakers like the JBL Flip and Clip to large floor-standing speakers with sleek horns like the JBL TR225.
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.
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.
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, the high cost of quality materials, and the cost of advertising.
Headphones: $10 – $200
Amplifiers: $50 – $5000
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.
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.
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.
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 computers, 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.
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.
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.
JBL 4429 Vs Klipsch Cornwall IV
These are two brands that differ in a number of specifications, and performance, therefore, cannot be the same. In this particular scenario, let us compare JBL 4429 with Klipsch Cornwall IV.
The JBL Model 4429 is a well-known monitor speaker that offers mighty sound levels that are highly accurate, and pose of very excellent imaging. This is an improved version of JBL 4428, with its 175ND-3 midrange unit model newly developed.
The speaker’s sensitivity remains at 91dB. Also, it has a UHF transducer, an improved HF compression driver, a horn design, a new crossover network, and also an improved internal bracing which all combine to make JBL 4429 better than the previous versions.
With optimum good sound quality, deep bass, and the lack of sound distortion even at the highest volume, this compression driver speaker is one of the best in the Klipsch category. The speakers however require bigger space and are not exactly lifestyle speakers.
Frequency Response & Sensitivity
On the other hand, Cornwall has a frequency response of 34Hz-20 kHz with its sensitivity (102 dB) superseding that of JBL 4429. The impedance is 8 ohms compatible while the power handling capacity is at 100W/400W.
Even going by the sensitivity of 102dB @ 2.83V / 1m enjoyed by the Klipsch Cornwall, it makes it superior to the JBL 4429, although it is an improved version of the JBL series.
Klipsch Heritage Vs JBL
For purposes of this article, let’s compare JBL Flip 5 with Klipsch Heritage Groove.
- JBL has an AUX input, Klipsch Heritage does not have
- JBL has 2000Hz more high-frequency compared to the 20000Hz for Klipsch
- JBL has a socket for a 3.5mm audio jack
- JBL comes with remote control and also voice commands
- Both have passive radiators and don’t have stereo speakers
- They both lack magnetic shielding
- They possess rechargeable batteries with battery-level indicators
JBL Flip 5 appears to have more advantages compared to Klipsch Heritage, making it a more ideal and efficient brand.
JBL ES80 Vs Klipsch
Both brands are known for quality output, but depending on what you are looking for, you will decide which one to go for.
It is a 4-way loudspeaker with dual 6-inch woofers. The crossover points are 700Hz, 3.6 kHz, and 12 kHz. The reported sensitivity is 90dB. Its frequency response is rated at 45Hz to 40Hz (-3dB).
- It provides a good level of performance, with detailed highs, solid midrange, and good bass performance
- It is compatible and performs well with all music materials i.e. classical, rock, jazz, vocal, etc.
- Plays loudly without breaking up
- It is remarkable with or without grills
- Good imaging
- Needs more power to perform its best
- It is not cheap
- Lacks soundstage
Comparing Klipsch RF-82 II for instance directly with JBL ES80, the following come to the fore:
- Deep bass
- Attractive and durable
- Excellent imaging
- Poor crossover frequency
- It has a compressed midrange
The ES80 has a higher sensitivity, and that means it’s more efficient in terms of output compared with Klipsch.
JBL Stage A130 Vs Klipsch R-41M
We are going to specifically look at the JBL 130 Stage and Klipsch R-41M separately and make a comparison thereafter. The R-41M has been chosen for purposes of comparison in this article.
Main Features Of JBL A130
The sub has a 1-inch Hard-Dome Tweeter, a 5.25-inch Polycellulose Woofer, a power range of between 20-125Watts with a sensitivity rating of 86dB and an impedance of 6ohms. It also has a frequency response of 55-40k Hz.
Main Features Of Klipsch R-41M
This speaker has a 1-inch Tractrix Horn Tweeter, a 4-inch Copper-spun IMG Woofer, a power range of 50 watts whereof its sensitivity rates at 90dB and the impedance of 8ohms. Its frequency response is at 68-21k Hz.
Advantages of Klipsch R-41over JBL A130
While both are 2-way speakers, the 4ohms difference in terms of sensitivity makes Klipsch more sensitive than the A130, meaning that the former is likely to play louder than the latter with the same amount of watts.
Advantages of JBL A130 Over Klipsch R-41M
- At 125 watts, JBL handles more power from your amplifier than Klipsch whose maximum input power wattage is 50.
- The woofer size for A130 is 5.25 inches compared to 4 inches Klipsch woofer size. The larger the woofer size, the more efficient it becomes.
- At 55Hz, JBL produces deeper bass than that produced by Klipsch which has a low-frequency response of 68Hz, more by 13Hz.
- On the high-frequency response, JBL is at 40Hz, meaning it will generate a higher frequency as compared to Klipsch at 21Hz.
JBL 4367 Vs Klipschorn
It is a more consumer-friendly distillation of the highly acclaimed JBL Professional M2 Master Reference Monitor.
They come with 15-inch woofers capable of producing plenty of distortion bass. It has a horn design on the compression driver, giving the speaker enviable dynamic capabilities.
Its maximum rated amp power is 300 watts, and the frequency response is 30 Hz – 40 kHz. It comes with a sensitivity of 94dB, and a nominal impedance of 6ohms.
These are very powerful speakers that can almost knock down the walls. In other words, the bass is very deep. However, the speakers are said to be violent, and therefore, may not be ideal for super-resolution and analytical music reproduction.
Has a 3-way front-loaded horn, with a frequency range of 33Hz – 17k Hz. The impedance stands at 8 ohms while the sensitivity is 105dB/2.83 V. The midrange is a 2-inch horn loaded and the bass is a 15-inch folded corner horn.
Which Is Better?
Going by the specific features above, it is no doubt the sensitivity attached to Klipschorn speakers pulls the maximum out of the small amplifier. It leaves us with no otherwise but to conclude that the Klipschorn is more powerful and more efficient. However, the horn design produces high-pitched sounds that many people consider fatiguing.
Is Klipsch Frequency Response Good?
Frequency response is also known as the frequency range. The frequency range is measured in Hertz. The broader the retort, the superior the sound quality your device conveys. Frequency response denotes the range in which a speaker delivers sound.
The frequency number is typically seen on the packaging box or the brand’s website, and the primary number is typically the lowest frequency the speaker can proficiently replicate.
As a common rule, the lesser the speaker, the lower the frequency range the speaker replicates.
The Klipsch Grove Portable Bluetooth speaker has a frequency response of 65 Hz-2200000 Hz and a sensitivity rating of more than 80dB. This connotes that Klipsch provides enhanced, more accurate, and louder auditory quality.
Is Klipsch Battery Life good?
Most handy Bluetooth speakers come with a standard or Micro-USB charging port, making it easy to set when outside or on the move. Habitually, you will find that prominent speakers have a compatible large battery whose battery life may last for about four to five hours.
The Grove Klipsch has a Micro USB charging port behind a gasket on its back, as well as a 3.5mm aux input hidden behind a rubberized cover, aiding it in achieving its IPX4 waterproof rating.
It has a 2200mAh lithium battery that holds a single charge for a maximum of eight hours, which differs depending on your volume levels and your combination of Bluetooth and wired streaming. The Groove will shut down after five minutes of inactivity and routinely repair with other Bluetooth devices when powered back on
Klipsch Vs Bose Vs JBL
A set of full-range Klipsch or JBL speakers is a far better choice than the Bose Satellite system. The thinking behind this is that Bose will give you high highs and low lows only without the mid-range sound. Ideally, Bose system is basically tweeters and a woofer.
For instance, JBL or Klipsch 6.5-inch speakers for LF, RF-LR, and RR can give more satisfactory entertainment than Bose speakers. Or even the 8-10 inch KBL or Klipsch-powered subwoofer sounds indeed great.
Also, Bose speakers are smaller in size, promising not adequate performance. Reviewers say that Klipsch speakers tend to be clearer compared to Bose.
While all three are exceptionally built to offer different specialties, it will be upon the buyer to choose any of them, depending on what you are actually looking for.
Norvan Martin is the founder of BoomSpeaker.com. He is a professional Electronics Engineer and is passionate about home theater systems and AV electronics. BoomSpeaker was created as an online hub to share his knowledge and experiences as it relates to home theaters and home audio electronics.