If you do not get carried away by these speakers, I do not know what to do. The wireless compact speakers from American Klipsch do not sound as accurate as many other speakers do, but it never gets boring with The Sixes.
They’re a bit like American muscle cars, really. Angular and decorated on the border of arrogant, with brutal performance, but little finesse.
That does not mean they are hopeless. One should just be aware of what kind of speakers these are.
You do not need an amplifier or CD player to get sound in Klipsch The Sixes. The 42 cm high speakers in real walnut veneer, are wireless and ready to play when you have plugged one speaker into power – and attached the cable to the other speaker.
Universal Bluetooth is used here as a wireless transmission, which is very convenient because almost everything from mobiles, laptops or tablets can stream music with Bluetooth.
This allows the whole family to use the speakers. They can also be connected to a turntable, or CD player if you have one. On the back of one speaker, there is also an input for an audio source via USB and optical cable. So you can use them with Spotify or Tidal on your laptop.
Or next to the TV, which connects to the speakers with an optical cable.
In this sense, it covers the needs of many. You get significantly better sound from the TV, the old equipment – turntable included, can be plugged into the speakers, and you can stream music from the sofa in the living room.
Should you for incomprehensible reasons want even more bass, there is output for subwoofer on the back. But I doubt the usefulness of just a subwoofer here.
You control the speakers either with the copper-colored potmeters on one speaker, or the included remote control. They can not be controlled with an app on the mobile, as you can with Klipsch wireless speakers with Play-Fi.
They also do not support multi-rooms.
They look much more elaborate than the less expensive Klipsch R-15PM. Which is also a pair of wireless speakers. With turntable and USB input.
The fine wood veneer and the cool copper details lift the quality impression several notches, compared to the black R-15PM.
Also technically, the more expensive speakers are more interesting. Four amplifiers with 100 W power, each running its own speaker element. Klipsch’s trademark, the Tractrix horn, is based on a treble element that extends to 24 kHz. A 165 mm bass sits below, with bass reflex port on the back. It reaches 40 Hz, which is more than enough to reproduce bass instruments with realism.
The speakers are not small enough to fit on bookshelves. You will not place them there anyway, because then you will get a thunder bass from another world. Leave some space between the speakers and the back wall, then the sound is better balanced.
The vinyl renaissance does not seem to end right away, so it’s time for a turntable input on the Klipsch speakers. It is exclusively adapted for MM pickups, and can be used as a regular line input with a switch on the back.
There is also a mounting for the earthing from the turntable, so you avoid hum.
I plugged in a Rega Planar 1. A very good-sounding budget player, with just MM pickup, and was disappointed.
The turntable input is not the biggest strength of the speakers. The soundscape becomes flat, withdrawn and the music sounds dullly boring. Colorless I would say. If a turntable is to be used with the speakers, I strongly recommend buying a separate amplifier (RIAA) for the turntable. Which is plugged into the same socket. just remember to move the switch to the line input.
Jekyll & Hyde
With Bluetooth streaming, the Klipsch speakers sound far louder. At normal cuddle volume, for example to background music, you notice that it is good with bass here. The midrange and treble are slightly overshadowed by the warm and potent bass. If you turn up the volume so much that you have to raise your voice, they immediately sound fresher. Then the balance is much better, and everything that takes place in the midrange comes out much better in the soundscape.
It was best when I plugged a MacBook with Tidal HiFi, right in the USB input. Then suddenly details and nuances that I did not notice with Bluetooth, came out much better.
Gabrielles You Are Free, sounded grassy engaging with copious amounts of bass. Not deep bass, but serious bass rhythm with muscles behind every beat on the drums. At the same time, it was entirely possible to hear the vocals and instruments behind, clearly reproduced with good focus.
I turned up the volume even more on Katy Perry and The Weeknds Bon Apétitt, and was almost overwhelmed by how loud I could play, before the soundtrack cracked. Then the treble becomes harder at the edges, and the bass loses some precision. But then you play loud.
It was a lot of fun, and the playlists on Tidal gave me a pure party atmosphere. With the volume at 11 o’clock, there will never be a dull moment with the Klipsch speakers.
They are not as refined or balanced as a pair of Dynaudio Xeo 2 or 4, and the Quad 9AS sounds more restrained than The Sixes. It may also read as boring, but more neutral sound appeals more to the brain than the heart, and when it comes to just these, they are going straight to the heart.
So they lack the correctness of hi-fi speakers, but they have other qualities that make them attractive.
The hipster appeal is soaring on the Klipsch wireless speakers. You can almost smell beard oil and freshly brewed beer when you see the warm brown walnut veneer that surrounds the speakers. They do not win awards among the hi-fi Puritans, but I doubt if they were ever in the minds of the Klipsch engineers. They must have had fun when they made The Sixes, because it is very contagious to the listener. If one can forget hi-fi and just enjoy the music, despite the flaws and shortcomings, there is not much more fun than these among active and wireless stereo speakers.