Kodak released their improved Super 8mm film in 1965. It was a big step. You could then record whole movies to watch at home, if you had the equipment, of course. And the money to pay for it. Not really a consumer product for the people.
And the sound? Dreadful would be the only way of describing it. But it had been a step forward. An in-depth Klipsch R-41SA Review such as this could not even have been imagined back then.
Along came Sony…
In 1975, Sony released Betamax. An affordable way for people to watch films at home, it transformed home entertainment forever. It was noticeable that people wanted to build their own film libraries. Something that hadn’t been considered. It was also noticeable that there was a huge market. It wasn’t long before a lot of people wanted a slice of this new pie.
Technology on the rampage…
Things got better, the visuals improved, and the audio had to catch up. Manufacturers went into overdrive to produce the goods. And now we have Surround Sound. It is like being in the cinema. Well, almost, but not quite.
But Surround Sound was not the end result. Technology was out of the cage now. It had escaped, and anything was possible. We shall go back to that later. One of the companies striving for audio excellence in this new field was founded in Arkansas in 1946. They were called Klipsch. But who are they?
Now based in Indianapolis, they still have some of their operations in Arkansas. They are an audio company that makes some very visually recognizable speakers. But they are also some of the best speakers on the market.
Their innovative tweeter and driver designs have elevated them to another level, as we shall see. But their speaker systems are still set at a reasonably cost-effective price. As a result, these are some of the best affordable home theater speakers currently available.
With their home cinema entertainment range Klipsch has a very clear format. They make speaker systems that allow you to expand and grow. You don’t have to buy it all at once. You can add bits when you want. And they all have that very distinct Klipsch look. The Klipsch R-41SA is one of those add-ons for when you want to get serious about sound.
Let’s clear something up…
Before we take a look at this product, we feel we ought to clarify something. There is a whole marketing program in some circles about being “Made in America.” Some companies are hysterically neurotic about it. So are some consumers. Some companies are not wholly honest about it either.
Sorry to burst the bubble, but most things these days have components that are “Made in China.” Some have all their parts made there, some just a few parts. It’s the way things are these days. Klipsch speakers have their share of parts from there. This speaker is a good example.
Klipsch speakers are good. They are well-made, sound the business, and are great value for money. Frankly, we wouldn’t care if they were made on the Moon. They work; that is all that matters. And this particular speaker will be the icing on the cake for some consumers and their home systems. Let’s take a look…
Klipsch R-41SA – Overview
Sound doesn’t travel straight at you. Sound comes from all directions at once. This was always a problem with most home cinema systems. Good as they are, the sound is mostly projected straight at you from the speakers. Understandable, of course. Not anymore.
The sound is now totally immersive and comes alive from all directions, including over your head. These are Dolby Atmos-enabled speakers. That is what they do. We shall look at Dolby Atmos a bit further soon.
Add these to monitor or tower speakers, and the sound comes alive. The Klipsch Tractrix horn technology and well-positioned woofer drive the sound into the ceiling and then down again. Completely enveloping you as you listen.
But they can also be used in other ways. They make for some of the best wall mounted speakers or even bookshelf speakers. But it is their compatibility with Dolby Atmos where they score the points. But what is Dolby Atmos?
As we said earlier. Technology escaped from the cage and was rampant. The creation of Dolby Atmos could well be the most significant event in sound. It has taken Surround Sound to a whole new level.
With a Dolby Atmos system, the sound is everywhere. The speakers are designed with angled elevation in their cabinets. This means that they will bounce the sound of the ceiling and down to the listener.
It makes you feel like you are in the middle of what’s going on. A great idea unless you are watching ‘Saving Private Ryan.’ So, it’s no surprise these are some of the best Dolby Atmos speakers available. Let’s now take an even closer look…
They are made from reinforced MDF to reduce any vibration of the cabinet. This improves the sonic accuracy and eliminates any audible coloration. It is given a rather stylish-looking black vinyl wood-grain finish. Furthermore, it makes them some of the most durable home theater speakers on the market.
In recent years Klipsch has reverted at times to a cheaper-looking finish. It’s good to see that this speaker has been designed with nice aesthetics and a modern appearance. They will certainly fit into the decor in most homes.
They have detachable grilles. When removed, these show the expected copper-spun driver and the Tractrix horn. So much a part of the Klipsch style. It is also noticeable that the speaker fixings are uncovered. In our view, a nice touch that emphasizes the modern design.
What produces the sound?
There is a four-inch spun-copper injection-molded aluminum driver (IMG). Also, a one-inch aluminum tweeter is located in its 90 by 90 square Tractrix horn.
The LTS tweeter…
Exclusive to Klipsch, the aluminum Linear Travel Suspension, or LTS tweeter, is designed to reduce any distortion. This helps to create its detailed and exceptional performance.
To achieve a high level of efficiency and sound detail, Klipsch used Kapton, a very light but rigid material. This is used for the tweeter suspension design. LTS tweeters are included in some of the higher-level speakers. As a result, these are some of the best sounding home cinema speakers you can buy at the price.
As we have said, these are essentially designed for placement on tower speakers. But they can be used on other surfaces where they can be pointed at the ceiling. But they are more versatile than that.
They can be wall-mounted to act as rear, front or side speakers for elevation. Or you could use them as a rear Surround Sound support speaker. They have a mounting system built-in that allows you a variety of options. Regardless of where you place them, you’re getting some of the best surround sound speakers out there.
These speakers are relatively compact, measuring 13 by 5.75 by 7.5 inches and weighing only 6.75 pounds. Finding room for them as stand-alone speakers won’t be a problem.
These are not powered speakers. That means they are not wireless and will have to be wired up to an AV receiver or amp. A high level of quality in the build, so no complaints there. A great styling makes them look the part and ensures they will fit in any home.
For most people, this will be an important issue. What do they sound like? Let’s break it down a bit to consider the performance.
The R-41SA is flexible. But its prime purpose is to act as a reflective height speaker working with Dolby Atmos. The difference in what you hear will be similar to what you see when you compare a standard photo with a 3D image.
The speaker design and Tractrix horn technology ensure that the speaker excels. The sound is aimed at the ceiling and bounces down. All the time reducing any unwanted reverb or filtering.
The tweeter offers a clean and natural sound that recreates the emotion of the higher frequencies of the music. Klipsch’s tweeter linear travel suspension design reduces distortion and provides a detailed performance.
Don’t forget the woofer…
The four-inch woofer plays its part. The injection-molded graphite driver cones are very light but also rigid. That provides an excellent response from the low frequencies with little to no breakup or distortion.
Two well-designed and excellent speaker systems. Matching up this tweeter and the driver results in high-class speaker performance and efficiency.
The sound is the winner…
The sound, as we can see, is the winner from the performance of these speakers. They can handle 100 watts of power at peak or 50 watts each at RMS. You will need to ensure you don’t wire them up to a very powerful amp.
There is a built-in 2-way crossover splitting the audio signal into low and high-frequency bands. Despite the technology packed into this pair of speakers, the price point is extremely competitive.
Klipsch R-41SA Review – Pros and Cons
- Good strong build using quality materials.
- Impressive black finish that will fit any decor.
- A four-inch spun-copper injection-molded aluminum driver.
- A one-inch aluminum tweeter is located in the Tractrix horn.
- Built for use with Dolby Atmos.
- The angled design of the speakers helps to project sound upward.
- A Linear Travel Suspension design, or LTS tweeter.
- Removable grilles.
- A great sound that puts you at the center of the movie or music.
- Sold as a pair of speakers at a very competitive price point.
- They are not powered or wireless; you will need to wire them up to an AV receiver or amp.
- Fifty watts RMS might be a bit underpowered for some.
Looking for Something Else?
We have the right speakers for you. Check out our in-depth reviews of the Best Bookshelf Speakers Under $1000, the Best Budget Studio Monitors Under $200, the Best Wireless TV Speakers, the Best Floor Standing Speakers, and the Best Powered Speakers you can buy in 2021.
Also, take a look at our comprehensive reviews of the Best 7.1 Home Theater System, the Best Computer Speakers Under $100, the Loudest Portable Bluetooth Speakers, the Best In Ceiling Speakers, and the Best Party Speakers currently on the market.
Klipsch R-41SA Review – Final Thoughts
What if you haven’t got Dolby Atmos? Very quickly, the answer came. If you haven’t got it and you like quality sound, then you’d better get it. And secondly, these speakers are good enough for just about every listening requirement.
As long as the power rating isn’t a problem for you, then these are a great pair of speakers. Designed to do a specific job with Dolby Atmos, they can be used in multiple ways. Whichever way you use them, they are going to enhance the sound. But if you do use them as intended with Dolby Atmos, then be prepared for a sound sensation.
Don’t bother to hide behind the sofa for the opening six minutes of ‘Ryan’; it isn’t gonna help. Just like in the movie, it is going to come at you from all angles and all directions. And at this price point, they represent great value. Klipsch seems to have produced another quality set of speakers.
Until next time, happy listening.