Klipsch Horns in on Flat-Panel TVs

If you're old enough to remember the extremely popular (and still produced!) Klipsch Heresy speaker, you'll probably be a bit surprised by the look and feel of some of the latest Klipsch loudspeaker introductions. On the other hand, if you're young enough that the first thing you think of when you hear the name "Klipsch" is one of their svelte ProMedia personal audio systems, then you'll probably just say, "Cool!" Either way, you can't fault the venerable 58-year-old company for focusing its engineering efforts on keeping up with the times.

Today, of course, keeping up with the times means having speakers that complement flat-panel TVs. Klipsch recently debuted two new Reference Series models specifically designed to sound great while looking good next to a plasma or LCD TV. The new Klipsch RVX-54 and RVX-42 are both constructed from single-piece extruded aluminum enclosures with one-inch titanium-dome compression drivers mated to round Tractrix horns. (Klipsch matches the proprietary Tractrix horn to the high-frequency driver in order to increase efficiency and reduce distortion.) The floor-standing RVX-54 packs a row of four active 5.25-inch aluminum woofers below the high-frequency driver. The shorter, bookshelf-able/wall-mountable RVX-42 places a four-inch woofer on each side of the high-frequency driver.

Klipsch sized the 24-inch tall RVX-42 with a 42-inch flat-screen TV in mind. The slim speaker (only 4.5 inches deep) sports a dual keyhole mount - sized to fit a single-gang electrical box - on the back. There are also dual threaded inserts (for popular wall mounts or an optional pedestal base) that allow the RVX-42 to be positioned horizontally as a center channel or vertically as a front or rear satellite speaker. A built-in bass-compensation switch lets you tailor the internal crossover network to provide the optimum bass output depending on whether the RVX-42 is mounted on the wall or used on the pedestal stands.

The 49.3-inch tall RVX-54 is 6.5-inches deep (although it sits on an 11-inch x 11-inch base). Available in black or silver, they'll set you back $799 each. The RVX-42 has an MSRP of $450 each. Both the floor-standing and the bookshelf models are available in black or silver.