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Klipsch R-15M Bookshelf Speakers Review

Initial Thoughts

As a vinyl enthusiast who invested quite a bit in this hobby, the search for speakers that would deliver the sound quality that would live up to my turntable and receiver was quite a task. Based on various reviews and the reputation of Klipsch, an American company known for its lineage and high-quality speakers, I got a Klipsch R-15M Bookshelf Speaker pair.

Sound Quality

When hooked to my vinyl setup, the first characteristic of the sound that caught my attention was its brightness and, to some extent, its harshness. Klipsch R-15M does sport a big horn at the top that lends to a loud sound that can quickly fill up an entire room. However, this harsh and bright sound can be off-putting for some and is a feature I was initially disappointed in. I have heard it being discussed in many a Klipsch R-15M review. Nevertheless, I decided to give the speakers a “breaking in” period, and after about 24 hours of use, they mellow a bit, although the overall forceful sound didn’t entirely dissipate.

It’s worth mentioning that despite the initial harshness, the sound the Klipsch R-15M Bookshelf Speakers produce is uniquely smooth. Vocals and jazz music come out crisp and pleasing. However, the speakers started to falter when listening to heavy bass music or intricate instrumental sounds. The bass started getting muddy at loud volumes, and the complex music felt slightly distorted.

Comparison with Other Brands

Being a connoisseur of sound, I compared these speakers with a few others on the market, namely the Pioneer SP-BS22-LR Andrew Jones Designed Bookshelf Loudspeakers and Best Buy’s KB-15. The most marked difference was found when compared with the Pioneers. When all types of music were played, the expressive sound of the Klipsch R-15M speakers stood out. The tweeter design on the Klipsch speakers lends to a particular clarity and sharpness that the Pioneers lack. While the Pioneer speakers gave a balanced and smooth sound, the sharp and lifelike vocals this Klipsch pair delivered were superior.

Klipsch R-15M Bookshelf Speaker

Design and Aesthetics

The Klipsch R-15M Bookshelf Speakers managed to impress me from the moment they came out of the box. Their design exudes an air of grandeur and grace that sits comfortably in both cosmetic and sound design. The compact and striking design is well suited for those looking to minimize their setup’s footprint without compromising sound quality. Their discreet size is what makes it very multifunctional, fitting easily in a home theatre or serving as efficient surround speakers.

Size and Appearance

The Klipsch R-15M speakers deliver a robust sound without taking up a lot of space. They look small and tidy, a significant advantage in my tiny apartment. Despite their size, they can fill up large enough spaces with sound. Operating them with a subwoofer also led to a better listening experience, but I would suggest placing them correctly to truly appreciate their charm. After a bit of tweaking with their positionI’vecould eliminate the muddiness in the sound at specific frequencies. Of course, a subwoofer would require giving up the tube amp, as the Klipsch R-15M lacks a subwoofer port.

Pros and Cons


  • Crisp and clear vocals.
  • Robust sound for a compact speaker.
  • Particularly good for jazz music.
  • Fills up the room with sound.


  • Brightness and harshness in sound.
  • Complex and heavy bass music can get muddy.
  • Lacks a subwoofer port.


Despite the initial disappointment with the harsh sound, I’ve come to appreciate the unique sound signature the Klipsch R-15M delivers. It has particular strengths, notably in the clear vocals and robust, room-filling sound. However, there is room for improvement in handling heavy bass and intricate music. If you enjoy bright sound and clear vocals, this speaker may be the right fit for you. While it may not be perfect for everyone, it does deserve consideration when scouting for the best bookshelf speakers. Keep in mind that sound is subjective, and the best way to know if these speakers will work for you is to give them a listen.

Bass Response
The Klipsch R-15M provides a good bass response, adding depth to a variety of music genres. However, the bass can be a bit muddy at loud volumes, particularly for complex layers of sound.
Treble Detail
The Klipsch R-15M falls short in terms of high (treble) detail. Users report the sound can be harsh and bright, outweighing the benefits of its clear vocals and sharpness. This can make prolonged listening sessions a bit of an endurance test.
Midrange Clarity
This model features a strong midrange clarity that particularly shines through when playing vocal-heavy tracks and jazz music. However, its performance becomes muddled when dealing with intricate instrumentals or complicated layers of sound.
The Klipsch R-15M boasts a sleek, compact design that is as visually appealing as it is practical, making it an excellent addition to any room or space.
Sound Quality
Overall, the sound quality of the Klipsch R-15M is commendable. Despite the previously mentioned caveats regarding its bass and treble, the speaker provides smooth, powerful and lifelike vocals, an impressive feat given its size and price point. However, this model might not be well-suited to handle an extensive range of thoroughly complex music genres.
Value for Money
The Klipsch R-15M offers excellent value for money, providing exceptional sound quality within the practical constraints of a budget. Users have noted that it delivers performances that rival that of significantly costlier systems, making it an excellent choice for those seeking good quality audio without breaking the bank.
Total Score
Rating Summary
The Klipsch R-15M is a well-rounded speaker that provides strong value for money. It excels in midrange clarity and offers a satisfactory bass response, catering well to listeners fond of vocal-strong tracks or jazz music. However, it struggles with adequately delivering intricate layers of sound, and the treble quality is noted to be quite harsh, which may detract from the overall listening experience. Despite these minor shortcomings, the sound quality is generally impressive, especially considering its competitive price point. From a design perspective, it is beautiful, compact and well-suited to any room, further solidifying its remarkable value proposition.