Klipsch The Sixes Review: Sixth Sense of Rhythm
In the hi-fi world, there are all-in-one solutions right and wrong. Klipsch The Sixes monitors are right in the right category – they don’t know how to make coffee, but with their help you can combine all your favorite streaming services and even a vinyl player into one!
It should be noted that recently the popularity of active monitors among Hi-FI lovers has increased significantly, and this is no coincidence. Today, few buyers of high-quality equipment purchase it with the expectation of further improving the system through long upgrades and replacement of components. Nowadays, people need the highest quality sound here and now, and preferably without the hassle.
And it is precisely for such music lovers that Klipsch The Sixes monitors are designed. At the same time, the designers of the company did everything to make the owner instantly feel his involvement in the legendary heritage of the American brand.
The appearance of Klipsch The Sixes does not even refer us to the “golden age” of audio in the 1970s and 80s, but even further, to the turbulent sixties and even fifties of the last century. In any case, the design of the dust-proof grill in combination with the retro-logo of the company is more like what the right acoustics were seen by the creators of the best examples of audio equipment of the middle of the last century.
As with most models in the Heritage series, the monitor cases are finished with natural walnut veneer, and the top panel seems to be made entirely of solid wood. Copper screw heads, logo plate and copper-plated volume knobs, input selectors and a two-position power switch round off the speaker’s vintage look. Unlike most modern loudspeakers, The Sixes are equipped with massive protective grilles made of perforated metal sheet, additionally covered with dense fabric. Such “grills” are able to protect the speakers not only from dust, but also from serious physical impact.
As for the speakers used, there are no surprises here. The high-frequency range is traditionally entrusted to a tweeter with an inch titanium diaphragm, loaded on the proprietary Tractrix horn with a tractrix opening. A 165-mm speaker with a polymer cone on a wide suspension is responsible for the mid and low frequencies. The acoustic design of the model is a bass reflex, its port is located on the rear wall exactly opposite the magnetic system of the HF driver.
The pair works on the “master-slave” principle, in which the left speaker receives an already amplified high-amplitude signal. The built-in amplifiers in the right monitor deliver 100 watts of continuous power per channel, with peaks of up to 200 watts. The manufacturer does not indicate the frequency of the crossover between the bands. The maximum SPL that a pair of Klipsch The Sixes can create at a distance of one meter reaches 106 dB, which is quite good for bookshelf monitors of this size.
In addition to the amplifiers, the electronics includes a digital-to-analog converter capable of signaling up to 24 bit / 96 kHz resolution, which can be fed to a monitor via either the optical input or the USB-B port. A 3.5 mm jack is provided for connecting analog signal sources, as well as one pair of RCA connectors, the operating mode of which can be switched between a linear or phono stage for MM heads. Yes, yes, not only a CD player, but also a turntable can be directly connected to Klipsch The Sixes, resulting in a nice and compact audio system. For those who want to add weight and power to the low-frequency range, there is a separate subwoofer output. The package includes a small infrared remote control.
It should be noted that the lower panel of the cabinet is equipped with a wooden plinth that allows the speakers to tilt slightly back to direct the emitters to the level of the seated listener’s head. Of course, placing monitors on the floor is unlikely to be a good idea, but when choosing stands or stands, tilt is best taken into account.
The signal sources were a Lyngdorf CD 2 CD player, an HP laptop with connected music services and Hi-Res files, and a Samsung Galaxy Note 9 smartphone.
Like any good powered monitors, the Klipsch The Sixes are very sensitive to the quality of the signal being fed to them, and convincingly demonstrate the difference between recordings in different resolutions and between the sources themselves. Of course, the wireless Bluetooth option is on the bottom step, and even the original files in Hi-Res FLAC are not distinguished by the refinement and abundance of detail in the high frequency range. However, the same compositions, when fed via USB, instantly transform for the better, the contrast is truly striking.
When the analog input and the CD player are used, the monitors reveal all their best trademarks – explosive dynamics and bright emotional mid-frequency range. So, the famous concert album of Jimmy Page and Robert Plant “No Quarter” was able to completely capture the attention and force himself to listen for the hundredth time. The album “After Hours”, saturated with hits, by Gary Moore, who left us untimely, brings down on the audience not only bright guitar solos and riffs, but also stitching bass parts.
And Mozart’s violin concerts performed by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra made it possible to enjoy the brilliant violin of David Oistrakh, which retained all its timbre richness and did not fall victim to the simplification that often happens in budget systems. Well, the audiophile recordings of Nora Jones and Lara Fabian, as always, were great.
Even when turned off, the Klipsch The Sixes grab everyone’s attention, and their cheerful and emotional sound with excellent dynamics is taken for granted. We can only regret that Klipsch decided to release such magnificent monitors in a limited edition – hurry up, the quantity is limited!
Klipsch The Sixes Specifications
- MAX ACOUSTIC OUTPUT 106 dB (1M stereo pair)
- HIGH FREQUENCY DRIVERS 1” (25.4mm) titanium tweeters on Tractrix® horns (each speaker)
- WOOFER 6.5” (165.1mm) long-throw woofer (each speaker)
- ENCLOSURE TYPE ported
- POWER 100W x 2 continuous @<1% THD 200W x 2 short term peak power
- FREQUENCY RESPONSE 40Hz ~20kHz @ -3dB
3.5mm miniplug (analog)
Phono pre-amp / RCA Analog
USB Type B
- OUTPUTS Subwoofer output
- DIMENSIONS (WxHxD) 8.625” (22cm) x 16.75” (42.55cm) x 11” (27.9cm)
- FINISH OPTIONS Walnut
- VOLTAGE 110/240 VAC
Right speaker: 17.74 lbs (8.05kg)
Left speaker: 16.00 lbs (7.26kg)
- BUILT FROM 2016
- INCLUDED ACCESSORIES:
4-conductor speaker cable (for R to L connection)
3.5mm aux cable
USB Type B to USB Type A cable
Optical (TOSLink) Cable
Wireless Remote Control
- 1” Titanium-loaded Tweeters with Tractrix Horns
- 6.5” Woofers with a Ported Enclosure
- 1 x pair of RCA phono level inputs with switch for Phono/Line input versatility (Phono Pre-amp with ground screw terminal)
- Bluetooth® wireless technology
- 1 x 3.5mm mini jack line level
- 1 x Digital optical
- 1 x USB digital audio from a PC or Mac
- Single RCA line level output for connection to sub.