One of the most commonly asked questions about the Klipsch brand is the difference between its Reference and Reference Premiere series. While both product lines feature an incredible range of premium quality speakers equipped with modern engineering and packed with a wide variety of features, they also have their unique differences to cater to different home theater enthusiasts’ needs. Without further ado, let us quickly delve into this Klipsch Reference vs. Reference Premiere review and determine their fundamental differences.
With numerous speaker brands available in the market, it is confusing to choose one that meets all our sound needs. Klipsch is a reputable brand that produces top-quality and highly efficient sound systems at affordable prices. The brand crafts premium speakers wrapped in careful engineering to deliver an immersive and fully satisfying home sound experience.
Two of the most popular Klipsch speaker lines are the Reference and Reference Premiere series. The Reference series comprises 13 models, each equipped with the latest technological advancements in audio and all the material and cosmetic upgrades from previous Reference speakers. Alternatively, the Reference Premiere series is the brand’s flagship for home theater speakers and was released in early 2015 and later redesigned in 2018. Let us look at the differences and similarities of these two speaker lines and decide which has more powerful speakers.
What are the differences between Klipsch Reference vs. Reference Premiere?
Klipsch Reference vs. Reference Premiere – How do they compare?
Design and build quality:
The Klipsch Reference series combines audio technological advancements and modern materials to create sound devices that deliver a more impactful and powerful sound and home theater experience. It consists of 13 models, loaded with the brand’s iconic spun-copper IMG woofers and its proprietary horn-loaded technology. Likewise, each speaker features a polished and modern appearance with low profile magnetic grilles, textured, and scratch-resistant wood grain vinyl. They also have a reinforced MDF cabinet construction that reduces vibration and improves sonic accuracy.
Available in different scratch-resistant finishes, the Klipsch Reference Premiere comes with a tower that has cast aluminum feet to resonance and floor contact, copper woofers, and magnetically attached grilles. They also have rubber feet that aid with sound isolation. These speakers also come with the brand’s horn technology for controlled sound directivity and less electrical power when delivering loud sounds. They also feature a titanium tweeter with a diaphragm and Linear Travel Suspension technology for low distortion sound delivery and premium cerametallic woofers that deliver impeccable low-frequency sounds.
The Klipsch Reference Premiere series is, therefore, more versatile and durable than the Reference series.
The Klipsch Reference series speakers deliver natural acoustics that brings your music and movies to life. These speaker series comes with Klipsch exclusive 90° x 90° Tractrix Horn Technology that produces high-frequency energy and reduces artificial filtering or reverb caused by indirect sound bouncing off surfaces, like walls. With this horn technology, the speakers provide the best dynamics, detail, and clarity from your music and movies. Furthermore, these speakers come with a Linear Travel Suspension aluminum tweeter with Kapton suspension that minimizes sound distortion and improves sound resolution and detail.
On the other hand, the Klipsch Reference Premiere series speakers produce unparalleled sound performance. Like the Reference series, these speakers also come with the brand’s proprietary Tractrix horn loading technology for high-frequency sound energy aimed directly at the listener. They also feature a compressed and molded silicone face matted into the 90° x 90° Tractrix Horn for reduced resonance and smoother frequency response. Its titanium diaphragm tweeters have the brand’s Linear Travel Suspension technology for a real-life sound experience. The speakers also come with an exclusive Wide Dispersion Surround technology that provides incredible sonic detail with less-than-ideal placement configurations.
The Klipsch Reference Premiere series provides a more vibrant and detailed sound quality than the Klipsch Reference series.
When tested for bass response, the Klipsch Reference Premiere speaker series performed better than the reference speaker. We listened to Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus ‘Old Town Road,’ and the Klipsch Reference Premiere speaker really brought out the different notes in the song at varying volume levels, unlike the Reference speaker that portrayed a bit of distortion at high volume levels. However, when watching Stranger Things season 3, both speakers performed equally well by delivering a clear and detailed sound performance.
The Klipsch Reference(r-51m) speaker is a tabletop/bookshelf speaker as it does not come with mounts in its package. On the other hand, the Klipsch Reference Premiere (RP-400m) speaker comes with keyhole mount brackets at its back to hang on the wall. The RP-400m also comes with a single 5-way input screw terminal that accepts bare wire up to 12 gauge and banana plugs for lasting and flexible connections.
The Klipsch Reference Premiere speaker is more flexible due to its input terminals, which the Reference line does not possess.
Klipsch Reference vs. Reference Premiere – A comparison review
Klipsch Reference (r-51m) review:
The Klipsch Reference series speakers are affordable speakers with high-end features. They provide a compact yet powerful solution that fulfills all your audio fantasies at the flick of a button. With their spun-copper IMG woofers and proprietary horn-loaded technology, these speakers produce the brand’s unique sound quality with life-like acoustics.
The Reference speaker series feature a sleek design with their reinforced MDF cabinets, textured and scratch-resistant wood grain vinyl finish, and exposed fasteners. Its solid construction reduces vibrations for improved sonic accuracy and less audible coloration.
These speakers come with a 90° x 90° Tractrix Horn that delivers high-frequency sound to the listener without sending sound waves to unintended directions. Its horn technology also reduces artificial filtering and reverb caused by indirect sound bouncing off surfaces, guaranteeing the best sound detail and clarity in your home theater experience. The speakers also have a rear Tractrix port that matches the woofer and cabinet for easy airflow with minimal turbulence and distortion even at the lowest frequency.
Its Linear Travel Suspension (LTS) aluminum tweeter also aids in minimizing sound distortion for improved and detailed sound performance. The Kapton suspension, an incredibly rigid and light material, improves its efficiency by improving audio detail and resonance in the tweeter.
Klipsch Reference Premiere (RP-400m) review:
The Klipsch Reference Premiere series features the brand’s signature acoustics and cutting-edge technology to deliver the ultimate premium hi-fi listening and home theater experience. Its features reproduce your movies and music with absolute fidelity while giving you the fullest and widest frequency spectrum possible.
When it comes to design and build quality, these speakers are available in multiple scratch-resistant finishes, including ebony, piano gloss, and walnut. They also have a sturdy, flexible, and detachable grille which connects magnetically to the cabinet, making it easy to blend with any décor. Owing to their copper anodized trim rings, laser-etched logo treatment, cast aluminum feet, and satin painted baffles, these speakers have a modern and premium look.
Designed to remove all distortion virtually, the speakers come with titanium tweeters with a Linear Travel Suspension system and cerametallic woofers with high tensile strength. Its tweeters also have a hybrid 90° x 90° Tractrix Horn, which is the best 2-way sounding horn system from Klipsch to date. As a result, the speakers produce clear and detailed sound with reduced sound distortion and improved transparency to the speakers’ high-frequency response.
The Reference Premiere series also comes with a rear Tractrix port with a geometric design that allows airflow with minimal turbulence and distortion for detailed and clean low-frequency sound performance. The speakers also feature dual input terminals that enable users to bi-amp or bi-wire them for a customized and high-performance experience.
Final verdict: So, which is better, Klipsch Reference or Reference Premiere?
The Klipsch Reference Premiere series has more robust and sturdily built speakers than the Reference series. Their high-quality aesthetic material and hybrid Tractrix Horn allow it to deliver the brand’s signature sound quality without compromising the speaker’s durability.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Are the Klipsch Reference Premiere speakers two ways speakers?
Yes. They come with a tweeter and a bass speaker.
Are the Klipsch Reference series speakers mountable?
Yes. But you may have to use a shelf or speaker brackets.