Klipsch XF-48 Speaker System Setup
Since the tower speakers are self-powered, the XF-48 Home Theater System's setup may be a little unusual. I say "may" because you can feed the towers with line- or speaker-level signals. Theoretically, the XF-48 should do its best with a line-level connection, but I slightly preferred the sound with the speaker-level input. Either way, the speaker is powered by its internal amplifiers.
Wait a minute—an amplified speaker-level signal is then amplified again inside the speaker? No. The speaker-level input "pads down" (attenuates) the signal reaching the XF-48's internal amplifiers, which then re-amplify the signal, so there must be some small loss in the overall transparency. But to my ears, the speaker sounded a little more "relaxed" using the speaker-level input. In addition, the non-powered center and surround speakers are driven from their speaker-level inputs (no choice for these speakers), and the entire system sounded more in-sync using the speaker-level connection to the XF-48s. If you have a pair of interconnects handy, by all means, try the line-level connection and see if you agree or not.
I did notice a small amount of hiss/noise coming from the XF-48s when I was within three or four feet, but only when I wasn't playing music or movies. I don't want to make a big deal about this—I certainly couldn't hear any noise from my couch, which was eight and a half feet away. The noise was present with the line- or speaker-level connection.
I configured my A/V receiver to treat all the Icon X speakers as "small" with an 80Hz crossover.
The XL-23 comes pre-mounted on a round pedestal base, and it's vertically oriented for use as a left or right speaker. Since I used it as a center speaker, I had to remove the pedestal for horizontal placement. A sturdy metal wall-mount bracket is included.
The XB-10 surround speakers can be wall- or shelf-mounted. If neither option is possible, pick up the matching 28-inch-tall XFS floor stands ($299/pair). Their design and extruded-aluminum finish matches the speakers and features a wire-management system to conceal the cables.
Curiously, the XW-500d doesn't come with a remote, but its IR control codes are available from Klipsch's website. Then again, since you can't see the topside display from your seat, you probably won't have much need for a remote. I used the "Flat" and "Music" presets most of the time, but if you prefer a bigger bass sound, go for the "Punch" and "Movie" settings.
Just a thought: The XF-48 might be a contender for the ultimate iPod speaker system. All you'd need is a cable with a stereo 3.5mm connector for the iPod and RCAs to plug into the XF-48s!