The good news, as you will find in this Klipsch RP 160m review, is there are alternatives to traditional floor-standing speakers.
Like every other audiophile, the allure of large floor-standing speakers is always an attraction. But, alas, space constraints mean there’s only so much space to dedicate to a set of speakers.
The Klipsch RP 160M offers you the same sound quality with a smaller footprint.
If you’ve got cash to spare, the Klipsch RP-160M is one of the better choices when you’re looking for bookshelf speakers.
Here, we’re going to find out why.
Things to Consider Before Buying the Klipsch RP-160M
The first thing that you need to consider when it comes to choosing speakers for your home is space. After all, stuffing two large speakers in a small living space will only add to the clutter and make your room seem overstuffed.
Keeping that thought in mind, the Klipsch reference premiere RP-150m / RP-160m solves the problem of space constraints for many people. But, one issue that people face when it comes to selecting compact speakers is the relatively low sound quality that often accompanies small-bodied speakers.
The low sound quality can be a big problem for those who prefer to hear their music at high volumes (as it should be).
What sets the Klipsch RP-160M bookshelf speaker apart from the rest is you’re getting speakers from a brand that’s been at it for over 70 years.
That’s right. The brand Klipsch was founded back in 1946 by Paul W. Klipsch, who was considered by some at the time to be somewhat of a mad genius when it came to speakers.
The proof of this can be the fact that during his lifetime, Klipsch had 18 patents to his name, with his most notable invention being the Klipschorn. The Klipschorn was a horn loudspeaker that was able to transform the entire room into a soundboard. This design is still used by the industry today.
With the RP-160M bookshelf speakers, Klipsch also aims to deliver a performance that’s just as thrilling. The main selling point of theRP-160M speakers is its horn that also makes it instantly recognizable as an authentic Klipsch design.
The RP-160M bookshelf model comes under the new Reference Premiere line and is undoubtedly making waves in the compact bookshelf speaker niche due to its impactful sound quality and visually appealing design.
While the speaker might seem a bit on the larger side when it comes to bookshelf speakers, that’s because it houses a large 6.5″ woofer along with its redesigned Tractrix high-frequency horn, both of which come together to deliver a genuinely scintillating sound experience.
Presenting the Klipsch RP-160M Speakers
Some might find the Klipsch Reference Premiere RP-160Mto be slightly larger and heavier than the average bookshelf variety. But these speakers more than make up for their size and weight with their sophisticated sound quality.
Some of the main selling points of the RP-160M bookshelf speakers are the Tractrix horn tweeter, and copper spun woofer, which makes these speakers instantly recognizable by fans of the Klipsch brand.
Other features of the RP-160M speakers include the premium quality MDF construction of the cabinet and the polymer veneer finishing that instantly give it a top-shelf look.
The powerful woofer itself is made from Cerametallic (a combination of ceramic and aluminum), mounted by a polymer baffle.
This material helps to prevent sound from the back and front of the drivers from colliding and causing noise interference within the speaker.
The Klipsch RP-160M sports a Titanium tweeter placed within the improved 90×90 Tractrix horn. Such placement is a significant leap for Klipsch when it comes to acoustics since it’s starting with an equation that gives you maximum power transfer right off the bat.
At the moment, Tractrix is the best horn equation you can use in speakers, which means, with the Klipsch RP-160M, you’re getting access to cutting-edge sound technology in a convenient and compact design.
Pros of the Klipsch RP-160M:
- Powerful and crisp sound quality
- Titanium tweeters
- Tractrix technology
- Low impedance
- Delivers much power
Cons of the Klipsch RP-160M:
- Larger footprint as compared to many other bookshelf speakers
- Some might feel it’s a bit thin on the bass line
Let’s take a detailed look at the Klipsch RP-160M.
Visually Stunning Bookshelf Speakers Makes it the Centre of Attention
Those who are familiar with the Klipsch brand will not have any problems recognizing its unique design. The solid MDF construction of the cabinet and polymer veneer finish instantly gives it a premium-quality look.
Klipsch has gone with the traditional black and copper color scheme, but the cosmetics seem to blend nicely with the overall design and construction of these bookshelf speakers.
What makes the design of the Klipsch RP-160M bookshelf speakers unique is that the whole enclosure angles backward since the speaker rests on a slightly angled wooden base.
The RP-160M is an exclusive speaker for Klipsch because the company has rolled out its brand new enclosure, which surrounds the 1-inch titanium LTS driver.
The Hybrid Cross-Section Tractrix Horn is said to enhance the sound quality of the speaker and is an excellent addition to the speaker’s design.
The Tractrix horn nicely integrates into the design of the speaker. It spirals out from the tweeter to the brushed polymer veneer baffle finishing, giving these speakers a truly regal look.
While Klipsch has gone old-school with the design of the RP-160M, they have managed to blend the trademark Klipsch horn with the fresh new design of this speaker with relative ease.
90×90 Hybrid Tractrix Horn Enhances High-Frequency Response and Extension
The Klipsch RP-160M bookshelf speakers have a lot going for them. The 90×90 hybrid Tractrix horn is a useful addition to the mix for improved high-frequency responses and extension while offering significantly improved dynamics.
Klipsch has also tweaked the design of the Tractrix horn this time around by using a compressed molded rubber construction, which works to dampen high frequencies.
This molded rubber, in turn, helps reduce any hardness to the sound quality while making every detail crisp and clear for the listener.
The inclusion of the 90×90 hybrid Tractrix horn to the design of the Klipsch RP-160M makes it possible for the user to get the most natural sound experience when turning up the volume of the RP-160M.
LTS (Linear Travel Suspension) Titanium Tweeter
For improved sound quality, the Klipsch Reference Premiere RP-160M features an LTS titanium tweeter that helps to minimize any sound distortion while amplifying the performance of the speakers.
The efficiency of the LTS tweeters, when it comes to delivering precise and smooth sound quality, is the reason for their inclusion in the design of the RP-160M and all previous Klipsch speakers included in the Reference lineup.
The Linear Travel Suspension technology has also played a big part in the Klipsch Palladium services, which has put the LTS tweeters at the core of all Klipsch speakers.
Spun Copper Cerametallic Woofers
The Klipsch RP-160M bookshelf speakers boast spun copper Cerametallic woofers, which significantly enhance the big and powerful sound that the RP-160M speakers have come to be known for.
For those of you who aren’t aware, Cerametallic is a combination of ceramic and aluminum, which is said to enhance the output of the woofers. The Cerametallic woofers used in the RP-160M bookshelf speakers represent the peak of the RP-160M’s sound quality.
One of the primary reasons why Cerametallic construction is so important in the design of these speakers is to:
- Accommodate minimal cone breakup and distortion
- Helping maintain the rigidity and lightweight construction of the bookshelf speakers.
Not to mention, when the spun copper Cerametallic woofers pair with the Tractrix LTS tweeter, the result is best-in-class sound quality.
Tractrix Port Gets You the Cleanest Low-Frequency Response on the Market
Of course, the features do not end there for the Klipsch RP-160M bookshelf speakers. These speakers also boast newly designed Reference Premier ports that leverage high-performing Tractrix geometry.
Such geometry means faster air transfer in the cabinet, resulting in a cleaner and more powerful low-frequency response than any other bookshelf speaker available in the market today.
A large claim for any speaker manufacturer, but you know that Klipsch can back it up.
High-Flexibility, Removable Grille
The Klipsch RP-160M bookshelf speakers also feature an elegant grille design that also has a few tricks up its sleeves.
This sturdy but flexible grille can be magnetically attached to the body of the speaker. Its removable design means that the grille can either be kept on for its appealing aesthetics or removed for use as a low-key performance piece.
The Combination of the Cerametallic Woofer and Tractrix Technology Delivers Tonally Accurate Sound
The Klipsch RP-160M bookshelf speakers do not require a high-end amplifier to get you all the quality sound on offer.
The lower-end amp is a big plus for all those who would instead invest in a well-designed, powerful bookshelf speaker, and pair it up with an existing amplifier.
Dual Binding Posts for Bi-Amp and Bi-Wire Functionality
The top of the rear panel features the bass reflex port and looks quite similar in appearance to the Tractrix horn located on the front side. What’s more confusing is that it is called the Tractrix port.
You also get dual binding posts at the bottom designed for bi-wire or bi-amp connections. In case you’re wondering, the good news with the RP-160M speakers is that they are quite easy to drive, which means you don’t have to rely on bi-amping or bi-wiring.
Plugging the RP-160M bookshelf speakers to an amp is also made convenient. You can use a 12, 14 or 16-gauge wire with two banana plugs to connect to the two posts (one black and one red).
What Do Buyers Say?
As you’d expect, the Klipsch RP-160M bookshelf speakers have received rave reviews online, and rightly so.
According to the reviews, there’s plenty to like. Comments range from its sleek, slanted design to the bleeding edge technology that’s packed under the hood.
Other reviews note that:
- The Klipsch RP-160M is an excellent upgrade from the R-15M, which is a smaller, but less efficient speaker in the lineup
- And the new horn design is a welcome addition to their build.
Here are some Options if the Klipsch RP 160M isn’t for You
Here are some alternatives to the Klipsch RP 160M bookshelf speakers that you might also like:
- 3-speaker bass-reflex system
- Foamed-Mica cellular reinforced woofer
- ¾ inch Sony Super tweeter
- Max Power Input: 100 watts
The Sony SSCS5 3-Way 3-Driver Bookshelf speakers offer enhanced performance and design with 3-way, 3-driver speakers and the Sony Super tweeters that help expand the soundstage with enhanced clarity.
What gives the SSCS5 an edge is its newly developed 5.12” woofer that results in a low bass output that doesn’t hinder the finer details in mid-range and vocals.
The vibrant acoustics of the Sony SSCS5 3-Way 3-Driver Bookshelf speakers makes it a good alternative if you do not want to go with the RP 160M.
- Tweeter with wide-dispersion waveguide
- Woven Aramid-Fibrewoofer
- Dolby Atmos-enabled
- Nominal Impedance: 6 Ohms
- Max Power Input: 20 watts
If you like what you hear with the RP 160M, you’re going to love the ELAC Debut 2.0 B5.2 Bookshelf Speaker. ELAC has designed these speakers from the ground up, and it shows in its build quality and performance.
The ELAC Debut features a five ¼ inch Aramid Fibre woofer that comes along with a vented pole piece. The new soft-dome tweeter offers a full roll surround with better efficiency.
You also get a dual flared front-mounted port for multi-element crossover. While improving on its award-winning predecessor was no easy task, ELAC seems to have succeeded with the Debut 2.0 B5.2 Bookshelf Speaker
- 2 x aux inputs
- Flared bass reflex port
- Dual RCA input
- Comes with a remote control
- Max Power Input: 42 watts
If you’re okay with a less powerful sounding bookshelf speaker, then the Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers should be right up your alley. The R128oT bookshelf speakers sport a 4-inch full-range unit and 13mm silk dome tweeter.
You can connect up to two devices via the AUX input at the same time without any plugging or switching. The premium quality MRD wood build finishing gives these speakers a premium appearance, making it the right choice if you’re looking good sound and an aesthetically appealing set of bookshelf speakers.
The Klipsch RP-160M bookshelf speaker is a smart choice for those who are looking for powerful speakers built into a compact frame. For those who have space constraints, the RP-160M offers a sophisticated design that can blend well in any setting.
Coming from the Klipsch Reference Premier lineup, the RP-160M offers robust sound quality that makes for a pleasant auditory experience.
The Klipsch RP 160M bookshelf speakers are so powerful that some might find it a bit too intense for smaller rooms. While marketed as compact speakers, they can comfortably live up to expectations by filling larger rooms with a rich and powerful sound.