Review: Klipsch R-115SW

Sub with hurricane strength

For those of you who want the most bass for your money, this 15-inch air pump from Klipsch R-115SW is the way to go.

Klipsch R-115SW

Our verdict

The R-115SW delivers phenomenal bass pressure over a very wide frequency range. Here you get a powerful subwoofer that pushes well all the way down to the subsonic frequencies you not only hear, but feel!
A potent sub like this also requires more work with placement and adjustment. The size and need for space will also be an obvious factor for many.
  • Type: Bass reflex
  • Bass element: 15 “
  • Amplifier: 400 W RMS
  • Frequency response: 18-125 Hz
  • Dimensions: 54.6 x 49.5 x 56.6 cm (H x W x D)
  • Weight: 34.2 kg
Show more
Show less

Price: £ 8990

American Klipsch has been around for over 70 years, and is a well-known brand for those who love bass, pressure and fresh sound levels. In conjunction with the launch of the new Reference Premiere series, Klipsch also released three new subwoofers: a sensible 10-inch, a just-right 12-inch, and a wild 15-inch. You can guess which one we chose!

Klipsch is by far the biggest sub in the test, and is difficult to hide. The large cabinet and the characteristic copper-colored 15 ”Cerametallic bass give a real rocking impression. The cabinet is of the bass reflex principle, but uses a slit-shaped instead of the traditional round bass reflex port. The finish is made of fairly simple vinyl, with a brushed surface structure.

Sound quality

It’s not often we see 15-inch subwoofers in this price range anymore: Large bass elements almost seem to be an endangered breed, on a par with large petrol engines. But there is no substitute for cubic!

None of the other subs in the test manage to create as much life and stir as the R-115SW. The bass reproduction is powerful and hard-hitting, with plenty of dynamic surplus. The deep synth bass on the intro to Mad Max goes through marrow and bones, and the subwoofer still has a lot to go on! The 15-inch does not have to have as large a diaphragm rash as a 12-inch for a given sound pressure, and can thus keep the boil long after the smaller subs have thrown in the towel.

We were excited in advance whether this would be a typical “party bass” without sufficient depth or precision, but Klipsch shames our prejudices. It keeps up well with even the fastest of drum beats, and hits both hard and precisely. The bass guitar is reproduced with a juicy pressure that vibrates in the diaphragm!

The R-115SW has an impressively wide frequency range. While the other subwoofers roll off gradually from about 30 hertz and down, Klipsch maintains a really juicy sound pressure all the way down to 20 Hz. It also survived our torture test without kneeling: The only minus we note are some tendencies to gate noise. According to Klipsch, the slit shape is designed precisely to minimize door noise, but we notice some blowing sounds at extra high volume at low frequencies. But then the Klipsch sub is already in the process of tearing down the house!

The potent bass brings with it some challenges. Precisely because the sub plays so powerfully and deeply, it will make any problems with the acoustics in the room more prominent. We would have liked to see Klipsch include a built-in DSP with EQ capability, as Elac has done with its app. Without this, one depends on an external device such as DSPeaker Antimode, or a surround receiver with a parametric equalizer to compensate for problem frequencies in the room.


The R-115SW is physically larger and more space consuming than the other subwoofers in the test, but also kicks harder. The powerful 15-inch is able to move so much air that the bass becomes a physical experience: You can literally feel the pressure on your body. At the same time, the bass is precise and fast enough to play convincingly on both music and film. For those who have space and want a proper raw bass, we can safely recommend the Klipsch R-115SW. Just remember to peel off all the hatches, send out a neighbor alert and screw on all the movables before you press play!

Thanks for reading Tech Reviews.

Create your free account or to continue reading.

Lost your password? Please enter your email address. You will receive mail with link to set new password.


Alternatives to Klipsch R-115SW

JBL L82 Classic

Let The Good Times Roll

The compact JBL L82 Classic offers so much fun for the money, that we call them the best in class.

DALI Oberon On-Wall C

Integrates with the surroundings

Dali has made its wireless technology available at a price that most people can relate to. And in a size everyone can accomodate.


Party on the go

Sony's new generation of wireless speakers with extra bass sounds even better than before.

Belkin Soundform Elite

Belkin breaks the sound barrier

A network specialist and a high-end audio company have joined forces to create a smart speaker with hi-fi quality.

Harman Kardon Citation One MKII

Greatly improved Citation

Harman Kardon Citation One MKII sounds like a much larger speaker. Far more harmonious sound than in the first edition.

Sonus faber Lumina III

Hand-built sound quality

Sonus faber Lumina III is the obvious choice of speakers for smaller rooms

Sony HT-G700

Impressive sound

Few soundbars can simulate surround sound like the Sony HT-G700.

JERN W8000

Columbus egg in cast iron

Audioform has made a speaker that is so cheap and good that everyone can join.

Sigberg Audio Inkognito 12 onwall

Bass beast on the wall

Finally, an interior friendly subwoofer that delivers real physical bass! Sure, it will cost you but the returns include gorgeously musical bass notes and hefty low-frequency effects i movies. And best of all: you can hang it on your wall.

Samsung HW-Q66T lifestyle

The most balanced sound

If you are willing to give up Dolby Atmos and DTS: X, there is hardly any better soundbar for the price, than the Samsung HW-Q66T.