Klipsch Reference vs Reference Premiere: Analyzed Review and Comparison

To complete your home theater set up Klipsch is one of the perfect option. And you can choose different speakers from different series and select the suitable one for you. Klipsch Reference Series and Klipsch Reference Premiere Series is the best to complete home theater system. But some people get confused between this two series and cannot make the decision. Today we are going to compare Klipsch Reference vs Reference Premiere and clear all the confusion.

Klipsch Reference Series and Klipsch Reference Premiere Series are both amazing lines of speakers. Both lines of speakers feature the work of modern sound engineering and also both deliver a mind-blowing experience of home audio.  They are all speakers of exceptionally premium quality. And speakers from both of these series maintain a group of special criteria, which are high deficiency, low distortion, controlled directivity, and broad and flat frequency response.

But despite that, they have their own differences. If we take a look at Klipsch Reference vs Klipsch Reference Premiere, we will see they have differences in Woofer Cone, Voice Coil Former, Finish, Tweeter Diaphragm, Inputs, Horn Material, Cabinet Bracing, etc. Even both series have differences in price as well.

Comparison of Klipsch Reference vs Reference Premiere

As we have said earlier that even though the Klipsch Reference and Klipsch Reference Premiere have a lot in common and both these series fulfill certain criteria, but they have major differences in some of the aspects. And to give you a brief idea about the main differences between them I’ve put down a comparison table about the Klipsch Reference vs Klipsch Reference Premiere. The table is mentioned below.

Ground of Comparison Klipsch Reference Klipsch Reference Premiere
Woofer Cone Injection Molded Graphite (IMG) Cerametallic
Voice Coil Former Kapton Titanium
Tweeter Diaphragm Aluminum Dome Titanium Dome
Tweeter Housing None- open back Vented Housting
Horn Material ABS Plastic Silicon Composite Coated
Cabinet Bracing Multi-Piece Bracing H Bracing
Inputs Single Terminals Dual Terminals (Selective Models)
Finish Standard Vinyl Finish Premium Venyl Finishes (Ebony and Walnut Options) with Satin painted baffles

Piano Gloss Options

Foot Material Molded ABS Plastic Cast Aluminum

Basic Things about Klipsch Reference

The Klipsch Reference Series has been a hallmark of premium speakers of Klipsch for so many years now. The latest iteration combines modern materials and technological advancements to deliver a piece of more impactful and powerful music and an excellent home theater experience. The Klipsch Reference series features the proprietary 90° x 90° Tractrix horn technology of Klipsch to ensure the best clarity, dynamics, and detail possible for audio devices to deliver.

Klipsch Reference speakers also come with injection-molded graphite woofers and aluminum tweeters to give a flat and broad frequency response at the low price point that these speakers are offered. The series is comprised of 13 models, including Dolby Atmos-enabled speakers and powered monitors. And all these are infused with cosmetic and material upgrades from previous Reference speakers, as well as the latest technological advancements in the audio sector. These speakers can produce an ample amount of clean and immersive bass with a full midrange, yet open and smooth high end that is unmatched for any comparable speaker that you’d find sitting in a display next to it. If you’re looking to get that signature sound of Klipsch that we always keep hearing about, but don’t want to take out a second mortgage, the Klipsch Reference series is the way for you. And they won’t disappoint you at all.

Deep into the Klipsch Reference Series

The biggest benefit of the Reference series is the price of the speakers, as a user can easily get a lot of power and performance for the money. Major big-box retailers carry them and offer live demos as well. You can purchase the speakers easily from the website of Klipsch, “Klipsch.com” or any one of the dealers authorized by them.

And the thing is, it is not only affordable, the main thing that concerns any audiophile, the sound quality, is also really great of the Klipsch Reference Series. The Reference Series is up to the mark and keeps up with the benchmark Klipsch has set. Bass fanatics will love the Reference series due to its design that’s front ported and on floor standing towers because they provide a more dynamic, musical, and immersive experience from the speakers by venting the lowest part of the speaker’s frequency response to the listener.

Reference speakers have air and presence. The high frequencies in Reference speakers are not as damped as other speakers, moreover, it can be said they breathe life into music. There’s a great balance in Reference speakers for the critical listeners who want natural sound, music, and movies that come alive and deliver an emotional and immersive listening experience.

So if you are wondering what can you expect in the listening experience with a Klipsch Reference speaker, you should know that you can expect vocals to have a great smoothness in frequencies. Guitars and cymbals will cut through busy instrumentation and arrangements, and reverb trails will finally be audible, but not out of place.

Basic Things about Klipsch Reference Premiere

The Klipsch Reference Premiere series was released early in 2015 and then was reimagined in 2018. It is widely considered as the flagship series of home theater speakers by Klipsch. Many of the other premium home audio product lines of Klipsch get their sonic signature and tone from the Reference Premiere series as well.

You will get titanium tweeters and the patented Cerametallic woofers of Klipsch on the Reference Premiere series if you decide to buy one. They also have two features that sonically set them apart from the Reference series and give them the perfect most transparent sound. The Klipsch Reference Premiere series speakers also feature a Tractrix bass port that is located on the back of the speaker models and also the 90° x 90° hybrid tractrix horn lens. All these features were developed so the speakers can reproduce the music you listen to or the movies you watch, with absolute fidelity. And also can give you the fullest and widest frequency spectrum possible. Once you listen to a set of Reference Premiere speakers, they are going to keep you hooked with them.

Deep into the Klipsch Reference Premiere Series

As we are getting into a detailed discussion about the Klipsch Reference Premiere series, we should know that there have been nearly more than 60 years of audio device manufacturing experience till now.

And by using all that experience and taking every step possible these speakers were engineered to be the most transparent and cleanest sounding ones with the least amount of distortion. Any component in a speaker that emits sound and moves air is going to have slight distortion by nature.

But to further reduce the problem in the speakers of this series, woofers and tweeters are designed to remove virtually all distortion, so that you can get as close to your music as possible, almost as though you’re enjoying the show or in the recording studio.

If we look at the woofers first, we’ll see that they are made out of Cerametallic material, which is a unique process of hardened anodized aluminum sandwiched by ceramic layers. It gives the woofer a high amount of tensile strength, while still being well damped.

This added strength means that the woofer can vibrate as fast and far as possible without losing any energy due to flex, which is a huge benefit because this also makes the speaker very efficient.

Going up the frequency spectrum, the new titanium tweeter on the Reference Premiere features a Linear Travel Suspension system which, guess what, minimizes distortion and improves transparency to the speaker’s high-end frequency response.

Since the bandwidth capable woofers have been extended, the tweeters are not going to be as susceptible to distortion. That means the users will get the widest and flattest frequency response and the lowest distortion possible. The new 90×90 hybrid tractrix horn that is used around the tweeter is the best sounding 2-way horn system manufactured by Klipsch to date.

Listeners will also notice a much more natural bass response and tone from any Reference Premiere speaker due to the work of tractrix ports. What horns do to high frequencies, in essence, is achieved by adding the tractrix port as a bass reflex tuning.

Low-end frequencies can emanate from the port without turbulence, thus giving the speaker a deeper sounding and wider frequency response. Old Klipsch users will notice the smooth baffle design on the Reference Premiere layout, as opposed to older Reference II speakers.

For instance, if we were comparing the RF-82 II to a new RP-280F, the baffle and motor board on the RF-82 II is a separate part that houses the woofers. The new baffle design on Reference Premiere ensures minimal diffraction from baffle reflections.

Thanks to the excellent directivity and efficiency of the silicone horn-loaded titanium tweeters, you should be transported to the studio your music was recorded in. Listen to how instruments have their space and the soundstage of a live performance is recreated.

You will feel like you are getting to touch the musical instruments. And lastly, Reference Premiere speakers should have clear, dynamic response and headroom, thanks to their efficiency and low distortion components. You should get a great response from any genre of music.

So it is safe to say that, the Klipsch Reference Premiere series speakers will take any kind of music or movies and make it sound as amazing as it was when it was originally produced.

Some Popular Speakers of the Klipsch Reference Series

As we have looked deep into the details of the speakers of the Klipsch Reference Series, now for your convenience a list consisting of some of the best products of the Klipsch Reference Series is given below.

So that you can easily get to know more about the features of these products and see if any of these speakers fit your preferences, and it will help to easily choose a speaker from this particular series.

Klipsch Reference R-51M

Features

  • 1″ Aluminum LTS tweeters
  • 90×90 Square Tractrix Horns
  • Dual 5.25″ Spun-Copper IMG Woofers
  • Bass-Reflex via Rear-Firing Port
  • Strong, Flexible Removable Magnetic Grille
  • Dimensions: 13.3″ x 7″ x 8.5″

Klipsch Reference R-41PM

Features

  • Built-in All-Digital Amplifier
  • 1″ Aluminum LTS tweeters
  • 90×90 Square Tractrix Horns
  • 4″ Spun-Copper IMG Woofers
  • Bass-Reflex via Rear-Firing Port
  • Strong, Flexible Removable Magnetic Grille
  • Dimensions: 9.75″ x 5.88″ x 7.5″

Klipsch Reference R-34C

Features

  • 1″ Aluminum LTS tweeter
  • 90×90 Square Tractrix Horn
  • Quad 3.5″ Spun-Copper IMG Woofers
  • Bass-Reflex via Dual Front-Firing Tractrix Ports
  • Strong, Flexible Removable Magnetic Grille
  • Dimensions: 5.2″ x 26″ x 6.2″

Klipsch Reference R-625 FA

Features

  • Built-in Elevation Channel for Dolby Atmos®
  • Dual 1″ Aluminum Diaphragm Compression Tweeters
  • Main Channel: 6.5″ Copper Spun Magnetically Shielded IMG Woofers
  • Height Channel: 5.25″ Copper Spun Magnetically Shielded IMG Woofers
  • 90×90 Square Tractrix Horn
  • Bass-Reflex via Rear-Firing Tractrix ports
  • Strong, Flexible Removable Magnetic Grille
  • Dimensions: 40” x 9.4” x 17.3”

Klipsch Reference R-820F

Features

  • 1″ Aluminum LTS tweeter
  • 90×90 Square Tractrix Horn
  • Dual 8″ Spun-Copper IMG Woofers
  • Bass-Reflex via Rear-Firing Tractrix ports
  • Strong, Flexible Removable Magnetic Grille
  • Dimensions: 43″ x 10.9″ x 17.5″

Klipsch Reference R-41SA

Features

  • Dolby Atmos® Overhead Sound Effects
  • Keyhole Mounting for On-Wall Elevation/Surround Sound Use
  • 1″ Linear Travel Suspension Aluminum Tweeters
  • 4″ Spun-Copper IMG Woofers
  • Strong, Flexible Removable Grille
  • Black Textured Wood Grain Vinyl
  • Dimensions: 7″ x 5.75″ x 13″

Klipsch Reference R-120 SW

Features

  • 12″ Front-Firing Spun-Copper IMG Woofer
  • All-Digital Amplifier with 400 Watts Peak Power
  • Volume, Low Pass Crossover, and Phase Control
  • Line Level/LFE RCA Inputs for Maximum Receiver Compatibility
  • Dimensions: 16.5″ x 14″ x 19.2″
  • Black Textured Wood Grain Vinyl

Klipsch Reference R-100SW

Features

  • 10″ Front-Firing Spun-Copper IMG Woofer
  • All-Digital Amplifier with 300 Watts Peak Power
  • Volume, Low Pass Crossover, and Phase Control
  • Line Level/LFE RCA Inputs for Maximum Receiver Compatibility
  • Dimensions: 14.5″ x 12.5″ x 16.4″
  • Black Textured Wood Grain Vinyl

Some Popular Speakers of the Klipsch Reference Premiere Series

We also looked deep into the details of the speakers of the Klipsch Reference Premiere Series, now a list consisting of some of the best products of the Klipsch Reference Premiere Series is given below for your further convenience.

So that you can easily get to know more about the features of these products and see if any of these speakers fit your preferences, and it will help to easily choose a speaker from this particular series.

Klipsch Reference Premiere RP-8060FA

Features

  • Built-in Elevation Channel for Dolby Atmos
  • 1” Titanium LTS Vented Tweeter with Hybrid Tractrix Horn
  • Main Channel: 8″ Spun Copper Cerametallic™ Woofers
  • Height Channel: 6.5″ Spun Copper Cerametallic™ Woofer
  • Bass-Reflex via Rear-Firing Tractrix port
  • Dual binding posts for bi-wire/bi-amp
  • Strong, Flexible Removable Magnetic Grille
  • Dimensions: 43.12” x 10.90” x 19.80”
  • 71 lbs
  • Ebony or Walnut
  • 43.12″ H x 10.9″ W x 19.8″
  • 32Hz-25kHz frequency response

Klipsch Reference Premiere RP-6000F

Features

  • 1” Titanium LTS Vented Tweeter with Hybrid Tractrix Horn
  • Dual 6.5″ Spun Copper Cerametallic™ Woofers
  • Bass-Reflex via Rear-Firing Tractrix port
  • Dual binding posts for bi-wire/bi-amp
  • Strong, Flexible Removable Magnetic Grille
  • Dimensions: 39.62” x 9.35” x 17.02”
  • 49 lbs
  • Ebony or Walnut

Klipsch Reference Premiere RP-4000F 

Features

  • 1” Titanium LTS Vented Tweeter with Hybrid Tractrix Horn
  • Dual 4″ Spun Copper Cerametallic™ Woofers
  • Bass-Reflex via Rear-Firing Tractrix port
  • Dual binding posts for bi-wire/bi-amp
  • Strong, Flexible Removable Magnetic Grille
  • Dimensions: 34.12” x 7.42” x 12.03”
  • 29 lbs
  • Walnut or Ebony

Klipsch Reference Premiere RP-504C

Features

  • 1” Titanium LTS Vented Tweeter with Hybrid Tractrix Horn
  • Quad 5.25″ Spun Copper Cerametallic™ Woofers
  • Bass-Reflex via Rear-Firing Tractrix port
  • Premium Scratch Resistant Ebony and Walnut Finishes
  • Strong, Flexible Removable Magnetic Grille
  • Dimensions: 6.81” x 31.13” x 14.46”
  • Ebony, Walnut, or Piano Black

Klipsch Reference Premiere RP-600M

Features

  • Sold in pairs
  • 1” Titanium LTS Vented Tweeter with Hybrid Tractrix Horn
  • 6.5″ Spun Copper Cerametallic™ Woofers
  • Bass-Reflex via Rear-Firing Tractrix port
  • Dual binding posts for bi-wire/bi-amp
  • Strong, Flexible Removable Magnetic Grille
  • Dimensions: 15.69” x 7.95” x 11.85”

Klipsch Reference Premiere RP-500M

Features

  • 1” Titanium LTS Vented Tweeter with Hybrid Tractrix Horn
  • 5.25″ Spun Copper Cerametallic™ Woofers
  • Bass-Reflex via Rear-Firing Tractrix port
  • Premium Scratch-Resistant Ebony and Walnut Finishes
  • Strong, Flexible Removable Magnetic Grille
  • Dimensions: 13.50” x 6.81” x 9.50”

Klipsch Reference Premiere RP-500SA

Features

  • 1” Titanium LTS Vented Tweeters with Hybrid Tractrix Horns
  • 5.25″ Spun Copper Cerametallic™ Woofers
  • Switchable Crossover Setting for Dolby Atmos or Surround Sound
  • Keyhole Mounting for On-Wall Elevation/Surround Sound
  • Premium Scratch-Resistant Finish
  • Strong, Flexible Removable Magnetic Grille
  • Dimensions: 7.39” x 6.81” x 11.16”

Klipsch Reference Premiere RP-402S

Features

  • Dual 1” Titanium LTS Vented Tweeter with Hybrid Tractrix Horns
  • Dual 4″ Spun Copper Cerametallic™ Woofers
  • Wide Dispersion Surround Technology
  • Premium Scratch Resistant Ebony and Walnut Finishes
  • Strong, Flexible Removable Magnetic Grille
  • Dimensions: 11.85” x 10.26” x 6.51”

Klipsch Reference Premiere RP-8000F 5.1 Home Theater Pack

Features

  • Includes: (2) RP-8000F, (1) RP-404C, (1 Pair) RP-502SB, and (1) SPL-120
  • Titanium LTS Vented Tweeters with Hybrid Tractrix Horns
  • Spun Copper Cerametallic™ Woofers
  • Strong, Flexible Removable Magnetic Grilles

Klipsch Reference Premiere General Advantages over the Klipsch Reference

In this part we will look at some of the advantages the Klipsch Reference Premiere holds over the Klipsch Reference. Some of these advantages can come in really handy, and as a user, you should keep these advantages in mind while you are going to choose between speakers of one of these two series by Klipsch. The ways Klipsch Reference Premiere are ahead are-

Woofer Cone

Cerametallic is lighter than Injection Molded Graphite or IMG for more output and better efficiency. Cerametallic is also more rigid than IMG for less distortion at high levels. And as Reference Premiere series use Cerametallic as woofer cones and reference series use injection molded graphite, Klipsch Reference Premiere enjoys a good advantage here.

Voice Coil Former

Titanium former provides better power handling with less electrical damping, thus it can have better frequency response than Kapton voice coils. So titanium voice coil helps the reference premiere have an edge with the frequency response over the reference series.

Tweeter Diaphragm

Klipsch Reference Premiere series uses titanium in their tweeter diaphragm, whereas the reference series uses aluminum. Titanium is lighter than aluminum for less high-frequency distortion and better efficiency.

The titanium also ensures more rigidity than aluminum, which means titanium causes less distortion and also creates a flatter high-frequency response than aluminum. So the reference premier series has an advantage over the reference series in this aspect.

Tweeter Housing

The vented housing that is used in the Klipsch Reference Premiere series, diffuses standing waves behind the tweeter diaphragm for reduced high-frequency distortion. And for that, the reference premiere series has an edge over the reference series.

Horn Material

The horn material of the Klipsch Reference Premiere series uses silicon composite coating, whereas the reference series uses ABS plastic. Silicon composite coating dampens horn resonance for reduced high-frequency distortion, which does not happen in the case of the use of ABS plastic as horn material.

That’s why the reference premier series enjoys an advantage over the reference series.

Cabinet Bracing

For the cabinet bracing of the speakers of the Klipsch reference premiere series, H bracing is used. And H Bracing uses single piece brace with holes machined out. And whereas the reference series uses multi-piece bracing, the bracing system of the reference premiere is single piece bracing.

The single-piece bracing system allows the speakers to have more robust and less resonant cabinet construction. So the Klipsch Reference Premiere series have a better cabinet bracing system.

Inputs

In case of input terminals, the Klipsch Reference series uses single terminals, and the Klipsch Reference Premiere series uses dual input terminals in selective models. And the dual input terminals allow for bi-wiring or bi-ampiring for reduced distortion and increased and customizable power or current distribution.

On the other hand, these features aren’t available in the case of single input terminals. So by using dual input terminals in some of the models, the reference premiere series has gone ahead of the reference series.

Finish

In terms of finish, the reference series speakers have standard vinyl finishes, and the reference premiere series speakers have premium vinyl finishes. Premium vinyl finishes loll more like real wood. Moreover, the reference premiere speakers have satin-painted baffles that provide elegant finish detail.

These speakers also have Piano Gloss finish options, which offer true furniture-grade finishes for high-end customers. And all these different kinds of high-end finishes offer better looks and more aesthetics and help the speakers more to blend in with the ambiance than speakers with standard vinyl finishes.

So the Klipsch Reference Premiere Speakers are better than the Reference ones in terms of finish.

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Foot Material

Cast aluminum is used as foot material for the speakers of the Klipsch Reference Premiere series, which has a more premium look and feel than molded ABS plastic. And molded ABS plastic is used as the foot material of the Klipsch Reference series speakers.

Also cast aluminum provides more rigidity and a platform that’s less resonant. So Klipsch reference Premiere is better than Klipsch Reference in this particular department too.

Whereas both these series have their advantages and disadvantages of their own, the Klipsch Reference Premiere series clearly has the edge on many of the mentioned aspects over the Klipsch Reference series. And all these have put the Klipsch Reference Premiere series significantly ahead.

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Final Verdict

As per the above discussion as an audiophile, you can clearly see which series have an edge over the other series. But you shouldn’t jump to a conclusion yet. As there are many factors you must look into before choosing a speaker for your home from any of these two discussed series.

Some of the factors that might be of concern are the size of your room, your availability of different accessories to support the speaker, etc. But most important of the factors are your budget or ability to spend and the way you are going to use the speaker.

Even though the Klipsch Reference Premiere series triumphs over the Klipsch Reference series in almost every area build and performance-wise, the Klipsch Reference speakers are not lagging much behind.

They work really well on their own, and they can meet the needs of many audiophiles easily. And not to mention, they cost less than the reference premiere series, so these speakers are also budget-friendly. So if you are not looking for really high-end performance, you can easily choose the Klipsch Reference speakers.

However, the Klipsch Reference Premiere speakers are easily the better ones among these two series of Klipsch without any doubt.

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