As I’ve made it clear in another post, I’m quite a fan of Klipsch’s speakers. It counts as one of the top manufacturer, right in the same league as Bose, and – I say this from personal experience – delivers a power packed performance well worthy of the price tag. In terms of aesthetics, I won’t exaggerate, but Klipsch makes some of the best looking speakers around. Just check out their ‘Gallery’ range and then tell me that it doesn’t look outrightly awesome!
I like to divide Klipsch outdoor speakers into two broad categories: regular, and rock.
The difference will become clear in a few moments.
Klipsch Outdoor Speakers – AWR-650-SM ‘Rock’ Speakers
Some love it, others hate it. Klipsch ‘Rock’ speakers seem to elicit extreme reactions in people. The reason, of course, is their rather unique design.
Klipsch rock speakers are modeled to look like real garden rocks. The speakers are incorporated within this rock like shell itself, and look straight out of Flintstones. The rock like enclosure is UV resistant and highly durable. You can drop these speakers from 10 feet and still have them functioning as well as new.
While aesthetics aren’t really a big consideration when you are buying speakers, the unique design of these ‘rock’ speakers either tends to turn people off completely or turn them into instant fans. For some, it is far too tacky for the price tag (and I fall in this group myself), while others find the design very appealing and well, ‘outdoorsy’.
Going beyond the design, if you look inside at the heart of these speakers, you will find a robust set up that is more than capable of delivering a great audio performance, no matter the setting. The speakers have a range between 66 Hz to 20 kHz and deliver 50W continuous/200W peak power. The driver components are two 0.75″ polymer dome tweeters and one 6.5″ polymer cone dual voice coil woofer. Despite their intimidating appearance, these speakers weigh just 5.9kg. Performance-wise, they deliver a very powerful, crystal clear performance and are perfect for outdoor parties.
These Klipsch outdoor speakers are sold in two finishes – sandstone and granite. For my money’s worth, I’ll prefer the granite finish. It just looks more…natural.
Klipsch Outdoor Speakers – Regular Speakers
Under this category, we have the AW-650, AW-500, AW-400, AW-500-SM, AW-525 and KHO-7 outdoor speakers. These durable speakers all feature a UV resistant, dust proof enclosure with a rust-proof aluminum grill.
The most powerful among these is the Klipsch AW-650 outdoor speaker which delivers 85 watts of continuous, 340 watts of peak power and features a 1″ titanium dome tweeter to render high frequencies with utmost clarity. The frequency response is between 70 Hz to 20 kHz. This is a very durable and powerful speaker that delivers crystal clear audio. A couple of these around the pool will be more than enough to power your outdoor parties.
But the AW-650 is extremely expensive, priced at $549 for a pair. If you aren’t in the mood to shell out a small ransom for a pair of speakers, but still want the Klipsch quality, then you can opt for the Klipsch AW-400 2-way outdoor speaker, which retails for less than half of the AW-650 at $249. It delivers 50W continuous, 200W peak power, which, while not the same as the AW-650, is more than enough for a large outdoor area. The enclosure is very sturdy as well. The 1″ tweeter is made of polymer, instead of the AW-650’s titanium, but does a great job nonetheless.
The Klipsch AW-500 outdoor speaker is the more expensive, more powerful sibling of the AW-400, priced at $350. This mid-range Klipsch outdoor speaker features 1″ polymer dome tweeters sealed in an ABS enclosure, and delivers 65W continuous, 260W peak power. If you want something that is better than the AW-400, but won’t cost the earth, the AW-500 is a great choice.
These three Klipsch outdoor speakers come highly recommended, but of course, you can opt for the other models mentioned above, depending on your requirements and budget. There is very little to choose between them, except for the price and power output.
1. Klipsch AW-650 Outdoor Speakers – The best outdoor speakers you can buy. Period.
2. Klipsch AW-500 Outdoor Speakers – Not so expensive as to hurt your pocket (unlike the AW-650), they still deliver a very powerful performance. Don’t think that they are cheap though.
3. Klipsch AW-400 Outdoor Speakers – The cheapest Klipsch outdoor speakers you can buy. That doesn’t mean that they don’t perform well. In fact, they will absolutely tear through any competition that you throw at them. I only rate them lower because of their comparison with the AW-650.
4. Klipsch AWR-650-SM ‘Rock’ Speakers – The ‘rock’ design isn’t everybody’s cup of tea. Many would find the design tacky. Still, in terms of performance, these speakers blow away the competition. Still not as good as the regular speakers though. For the same price, I would recommend the AW-500.