Klipsch R-15PM Active Speakers
Up next, connecting via Bluetooth from my iPad and streaming from Tidal. Mumford & Sons cover of the classic 'The Boxer' sounded detailed and clear, the slide guitar sounded very good, but again as a whole it was lacking just a hint of presence in the midrange.
The scale however, felt good for a box of such small size, and the imaging was excellent.
'Veto' by Sohn is an excellent electronic composition with a clean vocal and the R-15PMs did it justice.
There are sections throughout the track where there are multiple beats all happening in the rhythm section at once and the R-15PM’s did a great job of breaking them all down and giving them their own place within the mix.
After listening to several tracks via Bluetooth, it became clear that this also, strangely gave a better performance than USB.
Perhaps in Klipsch's wanting to grant so much connectivity, the USB input was a casualty?
Damien Rice's 'The Blower's Daughter' again streamed from Tidal via Bluetooth sounded fantastic, delivering a good balance. Rice's vocal having good emphasis in the centre of the presentation. Acoustic guitars fluttered their way through arpeggiated chords off to the far right. All in all, an excellent reproduction.
Using the Pioneer PL-30 Turntable I also had in for review, I decided to test out the capability of the internal phono stage.
This was the part I was dreading, if I'm being honest. I just didn't really have high expectations for a phono stage integrated into a pair of active monitors. Not because the Klipsch R-15PM’s had been lacking in any way, but because I'm always wary of products claiming to have such a sheer amount of connectivity options.
A phono signal in particular is actually very complex because unlike line level sources such as CD players, iPods etc, the signal has to be amplified by a large amount just to get it to equal the level of those other sources, only to have to be amplified again.
If any noise from surrounding components happens to make its way into that phono signal, then it too would also be amplified, so it can be a bit touch and go.
I'm very glad to say though that this was an instance I was glad to be wrong.
The performance from the integrated phono stage was as good as I'd heard on any integrated into an amplifier up to similar price points.
It offered low noise and good gain, enough to give a solid, dynamic and punchy sound, evident when playing back The Bronx' 'IV', high octane punk rock at its most energetic!
I mentioned earlier in the review the lack of selectable left or right designation for the active speaker. This was a big drawback for me.
Being forced into connecting all your sources to a right only position proved to be a frustrating endeavour.
All of my 1m long cables were too short to connect from source to speaker and thus required relocating the source to suit, so make sure you have long enough cables to accommodate.
The credit card remote has become accepted as standard within this price range, but given the Bluetooth connectivity, it would have been nice to see a dedicated control app as an optional alternative.
Lastly, with so many connectivity options, one was bound to struggle and in this case it seems as though it was the USB. It was by no means unlistenable, but it didn't offer nearly as much transparency as both the digital optical and Bluetooth alternatives.
With the R-15PM's, Klipsch have managed to put together an astoundingly good value for money pair of speakers. They offer excellent sound from the majority of their many connection options, they look decent and are well priced.
When you consider too that you eliminate the need for an amp, a DAC as well as a phono stage, their true value becomes even more apparent.
If you don't want to bother with a stack of components, or just want something easy to setup to play your analogue and digital music through, the Klipsch R-15PM's are a no brainer.
Definitely one for the audition list.
Klipsch are distributed in Australia by Powermove.
Mid-2010 MacBook Pro with Audirvana Plus
Wireworld Platinum Starlight 7 USB Cable
Belkin Toslink Cable
iPad 4th Gen
Pioneer PL-30 Turntable
Lover of Hi-Fi, Music and Recording Engineering. I particularly like the affordable and value-packed products; finding that diamond in the rough.
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