Audio scientist, pioneer and maverick. The late Paul Klipsch was all of those things and more, which is why the American audio pioneer’s work has stayed relevant throughout the years: from the post-war Hi-Fi era which prioritised crisp sound quality above all else, to the new wave of digital audio and the newfangled race towards tiny speakers and tinier wireless earbuds.
But the latest and greatest Klipsch Jubilee speaker, the company’s new flagship of its award-winning Heritage series of speakers, is a throwback to Klipsch’s horn-loaded speaker-making roots. After all, the company’s first product – and its flagship for the next 75 years – was the now-legendary Klipschorn, designed and fashioned within a rickety tin shed in Hope, Arkansas, circa 1946.
The Jubilee is also the last product that Paul Klipsch himself worked on prior to his passing – the company’s website states that it was his dream “to create a loudspeaker to satisfy even the most ardent audiophiles”.
Cleaner audio with horn speakers
Horn speakers, after all, are known for their ridiculous efficiency vis-a-vis producing lots of sound for very little juice – which means higher accuracy with less distortion, and therefore cleaner audio. They also produce audio with that’s highly directive compared to their cone cousins. Great for a home setup where guests are always in that “sweet spot” (but not so great, say, at a concert).
There’s only one problem with horns: they need to go big in order to get bass that really thumps. Which is partly why the Klipsch Jubilee, which comprises two separate, fully horn-loaded two-way speakers, is almost 170cm tall, more than a metre wide and around 75cm deep.
In short, you need plenty of room if you’re going to fork out for a pair of these beauties. And plenty of cash lying around too, since the pair goes for an equally hefty US$35,000 (S$48,000).
We’ll spare you the details (audiophiles can click here), but just know that the Klipsch Jubilee comes with all the bells and whistles you’d expect. These include dual 12-inch subwoofers and three four-inch ports to shore up the bass, a compression driver with a seven-inch axiperiodic titanium diaphragm (for better sound clarity and accuracy) and the use of an active crossover network to ensure highly accurate, true-to-life audio reproduction.
These will be handcrafted in the United States, and are available in two real-wood veneer finishes: satin black ash, or American walnut. Each speaker is grain-matched to wood veneer panels from the same timber too, meaning that both in the pair are almost identical (and therefore easier to match with your living room decor).
There’s also a limited-edition version of the speakers to commemorate the brand’s 75th birthday, which comes with tons of extra goodies including a book, a poster, Klipsch T5 II True Wireless earphones (engraved with the 75th anniversary logo, of course) as well as a one-year membership to the Klipsch Museum of Audio History.