Having a subwoofer can make a huge difference to a standard sound system. Commonly, a typical pair or group of speakers are unable to handle the lower frequencies produced by an audio signal. However, subwoofers are specially designed to handle lower frequencies with ease.
The boost to lower-end frequencies a subwoofer can make a massive difference to the overall sound. If you’re regularly watching movies or listening to a lot of bass-driven music, a subwoofer can help bring your watching and listening experience to life.
With the addition of a good subwoofer, you can expect an overall richer sound, as well as a more defined bottom end, and without any of that horrible unwanted booming.
However, the question is, can the Klipsch deliver all the positives a subwoofer has to offer? Let’s find out as we get this Klipsch Sub-12HG Review underway…
Build Quality & Design
This is a big subwoofer and not one that’s going to be easily hidden.
Two elements of this subwoofer set it aside from the usual Klipsch design cues we’re so used to seeing. Firstly, the driver is not copper spun, and secondly, since it has a down-facing driver, there is no necessity to have a detachable panel. This means that, unfortunately, there’s no beautiful driver to look at.
We accept that there are some sound advantages to a down-firing driver, which we’ll look at in more detail later, but we really miss the aesthetics of the copper Klipsch driver.
The Klipsch Sub-12HG subwoofer driver is contained in a well-built MDF cabinet with a brushed polymer veneer surface. This is raised off the ground a couple of centimeters by some rather odd space-ship like looking adjustable feet.
Despite the advantage of these feet being able to be placed in multi-positions to prevent cabinet movement on hard floors, we can’t help thinking that they seem out of place. They’re all shiny, look at odds to the design of the cabinet, and they unnecessarily stick out.
What’s more, they also prevent the subwoofer from being more neatly positioned, and they look flimsy and susceptible to damage.
Surely feet placed under the unit are a far more stable and neater solution? The fact is that this the way Klipsch has gone with most of their other subwoofers. What’s more, most of their other subwoofers have forward-facing classic looking Klipsch drivers, and real wood veneer finish. Frankly, they look a lot nicer!
There is nothing wrong with the quality of the cabinet or in the quality of the materials. Klipsch has been around since 1946, with an excellent reputation for build quality, and with the Klipsch Sub-12HG, they have made a subwoofer that certainly lives up to their heritage.
They’re also not afraid to back their workmanship. They supply a five years limited parts and labor warranty for the driver and two years limited parts and labor warranty of all other parts.
Features & Specifications
As we said, this is a big subwoofer. It measures; 18” x 15” x 20 “ and weighs 40 lbs. The woofer at 12” is large to match the dimensions of the cabinet. It’s a down-firing driver with an RMS power output of 300 watts and a peak power output of 650 watts. We have absolutely no complaints about that.
To the rear of the speaker are the large venting port and a host of connectivity options. These connections include; stereo RCA inputs, two stereo speaker-level inputs, and also two outputs.
Controls to rear include; a phaser switch, to ensure the integration of any attached speakers, a mains power switch, an adjustable crossover, and a power level to select the degree of bass.
The mains power switch can be set at off, auto or on. When the switch is set to auto, it will automatically power up or down when it detects an incoming audio signal. That’s pretty cool.
Also pretty cool is the ability to set your crossover frequency anywhere between 40hz to 120hz, in order to get the best low end for your particular room. And finally, there’s an LED light on the front of the unit that shows red when the amp is on standby and blue when the unit is on. We like that too.
The first point to address about this subwoofer is the placement of the driver.
The majority of subwoofers, like most speakers, have front-firing drivers to push out sound to the listener. However, the low frequencies of sound coming from a subwoofer don’t need to be directional. This is because the very nature of these low-level frequencies makes them almost impossible for our ears to accurately locate.
The good news is that because of this, subwoofer placement and design have for fewer constraints than conventional speakers. So, since the listener is unable to directly detect the position of very low-level sounds, downward-firing speakers can be placed anywhere in the room without affecting the sound.
But that said, it is always best to experiment because depending on the surface it is placed on, you may notice a difference in the sound.
Basically, down-firings drivers allow the floor’s surface to act like a resonating board, which in turn helps to create an intense bass response. The intensity of this response will give you a more immersive sound experience and also give you the physical feeling that you’ll feel in your chest.
Additionally, another advantage of down-facing speakers is that waveforms that can distort the quality of sound, are given less opportunity to form.
The good news is that it performs exceptionally well, given its size and price.
Klipsch excels in making great products in the budget and middle of the market, and the Klipsch Sub-12HG is no exception. Here is a subwoofer that sounds deep and rich with plenty of accuracy. Also, there’s no doubt that the down-firing speakers certainly seem to play a significant part in producing some room-shaking sounds.
When the crossover setting is correctly dialed in, and the Klipsch sub is paired with the right receiver and speakers, the blend of sound is superb.
At the very lowest frequencies and at high volumes, there is some slight booming, but this is minimal. Generally, the bass remains tight, accurate, and punchy in all but the most extreme of settings.
The Klipsch sounds precise and easy to listen to through a wide-genres of music. Though it’s capable of taking peak output of up to 650 watts, and that’s a lot, this subwoofer is probably best suited to a smaller or medium-sized room. Larger rooms would probably benefit from either a bigger subwoofer or additional units.
Klipsch Sub-12HG Pros & Cons
- Adjustable crossover.
- It produces tight, accurate sound at low frequencies.
- Good value.
- Solid build quality.
- Five-year warranty on the driver.
- The legs look fragile.
- It does not have the typical Klipsch look or design.
There are a huge number of excellent and affordable speaker options available at the moment. It’s therefore also worth checking out our reviews of the Best In Ceiling Speakers, the Best Powered Speakers, the Best In Wall Speakers, the Best Wireless TV Speakers, the Best Studio Monitor Speakers, the Best Party Speakers, and the Best Bookshelf Speakers under 500 dollars on the market.
The bottom line is that the Klipsch sub-12HG is a great sounding and well-built subwoofer for the price. We were impressed with its ability to deal with a broad range of musical sound, and it’s ability to deliver very high-quality, low-level undistorted bass at higher volumes.
Whilst the looks are not typically Klipsch and won’t be for everyone, this is a hard subwoofer to overlook. It offers great value for money and really does make a strong case for itself.