Klipsch’s 16-in subwoofer beast takes aim at the Sonos Sub to score a low end win

Klipsch RP-1600SW product image
(Image credit: Klipsch)

Klipsch has taken the wraps off a new range of Reference Premiere Series subwoofers, complementing the recent release of its Reference Premiere speakers.

Billed by Klipsch President Paul Jacobs (with no sense of hyperbole) as the "biggest, baddest, loudest, most powerful subs the earth has ever seen", the new subwoofer range covers four new models, and the flagship sub may have the chops to live up to such bold claims.

The clear highlight is the biggest RP-1600SW, which features a neighbor-troubling 16-inch driver able to provide a whopping 1600W of peak power rumble, with a headline-grabbing spec of being able to deliver frequencies as low as 14Hz.

All four models boast a front-firing spun copper Cerametallic driver, alongside an integrated high-efficiency class-D amplifier with an analogue preamp design. Klipsch claims this combination helps provide greater depth into the lower frequencies, while also allowing for a distortion-free, true-to-source reproduction.

The range starts with the entry-level RP-1000SW that’s based around a 10-inch woofer capable of outputting 600W. The next tier up is the RP-1200SW, which has a larger 12-inch woofer with an 800W peak power output.

Going one further notch up is the 14-inch driver packing RP-1400SW which offers 1000W of power, with the RP-1600SW topping out the new line-up.

Each sub in the range features anti-scratch ebony vinyl finish that’s coupled with steel grille posts, a woven cloth grille and shock-absorbing rubber feet

The new Klipsch's subs are set for release in April and are priced at £899 / $749 for the RP-1000SW, £1099 / $999 for the RP-1200SW, £1399 / $1399 for the RP-1400SW and finally £1849 / $1799 for the RP-1600SW.

Analysis: Klipsch may have hit a high with a super low 

While 20Hz is regularly considered the subwoofer sweet spot for home cinema (and 20Hz is the lowest pitch the human ear can actually hear – beyond that, you're feeling the rumble) getting below that register for an even more guttural depth is often a trade-off with distortion. As a point of reference, the Sonos Sub notably bottoms out at 25Hz.

We’re therefore really intrigued to see how the RP-1000SW lives up to its promise of “true-to-source” clarity when driven – and how hard that mammoth 16-inch driver really hits.

Often, augmenting the low end can be done by adding extra subwoofers to your home cinema setup – and as TechRadar writer Dave Meikleham recently pointed out, Sonos has been somewhat thrown into the shade by Sennheiser's new multi-subwoofer surround system recently too. 

Ultimately, the arrival of a huge sub from a trusted name such as Klipsch could mean more challenging times for multi-room audio giant Sonos… 

Kevin Lynch

Kevin Lynch is a London-born, Dublin-based writer and journalist. The author of Steve Jobs: A Biographic Portrait, Kevin is a regular feature writer for a number of tech sites and the former Technology Editor for the Daily Mirror. He has also served as editor of GuinnessWorldRecords.com and has been a member of the judging panel for the BAFTA British Academy Video Game Awards. Alongside reviewing the latest AV gear, smartphones and computers, Kevin also specialises in music tech and can often be found putting the latest DAWs, MIDI controllers and guitar modellers through their paces. Born within the sound of Bow Bells, Kevin is also a lifelong West Ham fan for his troubles.