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Klipsch RB-61 II Bookshelf Speakers Review

First Impressions

When I received my pair of Klipsch RB-61 II Reference Series speakers, I was pleasantly surprised by their dimension and build quality, far exceeding my initial expectations from the purchase. The smaller size of these bookshelf speakers, combined with their solid and well-balanced tone, immediately piqued my interest as it hinted at their potential performance.

Audio Performance

These speakers’ sound quality is exceptional, which can be attributed to several notable features. The RB-61 II consistently produces a well-balanced sound, with each music component, be it strings, woodwinds, brass, or percussion, resounding with pronounced clarity and realism. The highs are sparkling, the mids are perfectly in tune, and the lows deliver quite a punch. I’m pleasantly surprised by the bass performance of these speakers. It’s powerful enough that I found using an additional subwoofer unnecessary, even for bass-heavy tracks.

However, it should be noted that the audio can be pretty bright. This results from the horn tweeters’ raw power, which can produce a harsh sound at higher volumes. I found that pairing them with a warmer amplifier helps to balance out the edginess.

Versatility Across Genres

I’ve enjoyed music across a diverse range of genres for over three decades. Be it jazz, opera, techno, rock, country, classical, or R&B, the Klipsch RB-61 II speakers handled them all remarkably, delivering precise, expressive, and authoritative sound that did justice to each genre. Every instrument and voice was reproduced with an incomparable balance of lushness and reality, causing even poorly recorded tracks to stand apart.

Remarkable Bass and Treble

Despite not incorporating a subwoofer into my setup, the RB-61 II speakers produced deep, rich, and tight bass – not remotely boomy, which was a massive win. This level of performance, combined with the speakers’ perfect midrange and treble ratio, diverse musical landscape, and the silky smoothness of the sound, made the listening experience refreshing and delightful.

Efficiency and Longevity

A magnificent feature of the Klipsch RB-61 II speakers is their efficient performance with a low power requirement. This efficient sound production, coupled with their overall build quality, promises longevity. You can expect these speakers to serve your audio needs for many good years if treated with care.

Klipsch RB-61 II Bookshelf Speakers

Movies and Music

Not only do the RB-61 II speakers shine in music reproduction, but they also excel in amplifying movie audio. The broad sound stage, combined with unparalleled detail and clarity, genuinely gives you the feeling of being in the theater. It’s as if you’re immersed in the scene instead of merely observing from afar. With movies, these speakers are a match made in heaven.

Build and Design

The Klipsch RB-61 II bookshelf speakers have a firm, sturdy build. They have a good weight, signifying the large magnets behind the drivers. The front ports are a nice touch, especially if you place them close to walls. However, I was taken aback by the coated foam surrounds on the 6.5 drivers, having been accustomed to Klipsch’s usual rubber surrounds. Though I must say, the fact that they last a good number of years compensates for this.

Potential Downsides

Despite the numerous positives, there were a couple of reservations. The surround on the 6.5 drivers on these speakers is foam coated, a departure from Klipsch’s older model that employed rubber surrounds. The preference between foam or rubber is subjective and depends on your past experiences with speakers and your setup.

Another potential downside could be the tweeter’s brightness. Some users might find it overpowering and might have to make EQ adjustments or pair it with a warm amplifier to balance out the highs, especially for more sensitive recordings.

Pros and Cons


  • Strong dynamic sound profile
  • Efficient power use
  • Deep, rich bass, even without a subwoofer
  • Clear and expressive sound for a range of genres


  • Foam coating on driver surrounds
  • Potentially overpowering treble


In summary, the Klipsch RB-61 II Reference Series speakers have delivered far beyond what I expected. Their punched-up sound quality, versatility across genres, impressive bass production, and efficiency make them sterling for any audio setup. A few minor adjustments for the brighter tweeter and awareness of the foam-coated surrounds could be in order. Still, these are outweighed by the many benefits of owning these compact powerhouses.

Bass Response
The consensus among reviewers is that the Klipsch RB-61 II definitely delivers when it comes to bass. The bass performance is described as deep, rich, and tight. It's not overwhelming, but it manages to fill the room. Some even mentioned that they didn't feel the need to add a subwoofer, which tells you a lot about the speaker's bass capabilities.
Treble Detail
The treble has come across as a bit of a mixed bag. While many reviewers praise its power, clarity, and detail, stating that it's extremely revealing and bright but in a good way, a few reviewers have also found it a bit harsh and bright at times, and suggested a need for equipment that could buffer this brightness.
Midrange Clarity
The Klipsch RB-61 II is also hailed for its midrange clarity. Listening to it feels like the singer is in the room with you, the instruments sound real and this speaker really brings to life all sorts of music genres. However, male vocals can be a bit hit and miss dependent on tonality and recording quality.
Reviewers have a positive opinion about the design as well. Almost everyone comments on how neat looking these speakers are -- whether employed as a living room centerpiece or hidden away in a corner, they never fail to deliver. The build quality is mentioned as being solid with good weight, giving assurance of longevity.
Sound Quality
Overall, reviewers heap praise on the impressive sound quality of the Klipsch RB-61 II. Its powerful and vibrant sound profile is consistently referred to as crystal clear, lively, silky, smooth, and invigorating. The speaker reveals every single detail of the music, with only a few minor flaws here and there, mostly linked to recording's quality.
Value for Money
The Klipsch RB-61 II offers a lot of bang for your buck, and multiple reviewers not only boasted about the speakers' versatility and sound quality, they also mentioned how this speaker compares favorably to more expensive ones. In fact, the quality surpasses the price point and it's definitely a great investment that won't disappoint.
Total Score
Rating Summary
We love the Klipsch RB-61 II for several reasons. First are the sheer value-for-money and the power these speakers pack. They can easily compete with more expensive units either for music or home theater setup, and they consistently impress with their deep, tight bass and midrange clarity. The treble performance is particularly bright, detailed and revealing although it tends to expose poor recordings and could seem a bit harsh if not complemented with the right equipment. Male vocals also change based on tonality and recording. The soundstage is wide, and the overall sound quality is top-tier, with a vibrant, lively, and accurate tone. Lastly, the solid, spacing-friendly design ensures that no matter where these speakers are placed, the sound quality won't get compromised and they'll look good doing it.