Klipsch Heresy III Review

Klipsch Heresy III Review

Some products seem to have been granted an endless life – thanks to the well-thought-out conception and specific stimuli, they always remain up-to-date. An excellent example of this is the “Heresy” from Klipsch. It was presented in its original form as early as 1957 is now on the market as “Heresy III.” We also know from other technical areas that “oldies” can have quality. The automatic diver’s watch “SuperOcean” from the traditional Breitling company is a classic that has never lost its topicality. Their origins date back to 1957, but they are still technically up-to-date, Breitling Superocean and Klipsch Heresy.

This watch is mentioned here because it saw the “light of the world” in the same year as the Klipsch Heresy III. But back to our test candidate. Equipped with a tweeter and mid-range horn and the resulting very high-efficiency level, the Heresy, which is available in walnut, cherry, or black, is still making a good impression as a promising acoustic alternative in the home stereo system. Our test report clarifies whether this mission is successful.


  • More suitable dynamic range with power
  • Available in Cherry, Black Ash, or Walnut wood veneer finish
  • Masterpiece design that captures the authentic Klipsch center channel speaker
  • Sound great; deliver low distortion, dynamic, and smooth sound
  • 99 dB sensitivity
  • Admirable bass response
  • The speakers work well in most modern rooms or even in a small room


  • Some don’t pick the boxy appearance
  • Not as magical- or rich-sounding as other expensive speakers
  • The speakers cheeped out on the speaker terminals, although understandable for their price

Technical specifications

  • High and midrange horn
  • Bi-wiring connection terminal
  • Slightly angled base so that the speaker is aimed acoustically at the listener

The closed Heresy sets standards with its extremely high efficiency of 99 dB (1W/1m). This effective conversion of incoming energy means that it can also be operated with less powerful amplifier units. At +/- 3 dB, the frequency response ranges from 58 to 20,000 Hz. As a result, the maximum sound pressure that can be achieved is an immense 116 dB.

Horn constructions are used for the treble and midrange, and a large bass driver (30, 48 cm) completes the equipment. The nominal impedance is 8 ohms. The performance data is impressive, the achievable continuous output of 100 watts is not particularly high, but the short-term impulse load capacity, 400 watts, is a word for such a compact box.

Due to a special frame under the speaker, the Heresy is slightly angled, so no sound components are lost in the direction of the audience’s feet. This is an advantage that should not be underestimated, especially in the service of a clear, precisely focused voice display. At 20 kg each, the Heresy is not lightweight. The dimensions of 60.5 cm (height) x 39.97 cm (width) x 33.66 cm (depth) ensure living space compatibility.


  • Good case processing
  • Classic Klipsch logo
  • Fully satisfactory but not perfect fits

The Klipsch Heresy III is edgy – but the surface quality is absolutely fine, thick speaker protection grilles with magnetic attachment to the box. The Heresy presents itself with an overall clean finish. The whole thing looks relatively rustic but convinces when viewed objectively. The surface quality is impeccable. The magnetically fitted, thick speaker grille is qualitatively visible and tangible above what many competitors offer. The fit of the grid is good. The case is very angular – slight contemporary curves are not part of the concept here. However, the corners are neatly finished, supporting the overall qualitative impression.

The chassis is properly screwed, the case looks very robust due to the thick walls. However, we didn’t like the sloppy processing of the underside of the box. There is an uneven surface combined with paint splashes. Even if this side of the Heresy is hardly visible in everyday life, the customer can expect more care with such details. The loudspeaker cable connection terminals are designed as a bi-wiring variant and correspond to the standard. Overall rating processing concerning the price range is very good.

Horn construction – aggressive. US speakers- so many highs, hardly any mids, thick bass. Old basic construction – acoustically no longer up to date, you only have to look at the old-fashioned look. Of course, as just shown, one could meet the Heresy with many prejudices. But this box didn’t deserve all of the unfounded devaluations.

Hidden in the rustic-conservative robe is a top speaker that hardly shies away from any comparison. Especially not when it comes to level stability, here the Klipsch competes with excellent representatives of the floor-standing speaker league (Canton Karat 709DC, NubertnuLine 120) and achieves similarly good results, despite the modest dimensions.

In Bon Jovi’s “Living on a Prayer” and “Keep the Faith,” the Heresy marches forward so dramatically, even at high volume, that listening is a joy. Jon Bon Jovi’s characteristic voice separates the Klipsch box from the instruments even at high volume so that the impression of a single muddy musical layer never arises.

Instead, the Heresy combines crisp dynamics with an enormous impression of space, without the result appearing artificial or inflated. With Gigi d’Agostino’s “Welcome to Paradise,” the sound converter creates an outstanding volume – thanks to the expansive woofer.

Real big hall disco trance like “Ikarus – the Flight” by Flutlicht is handled with sovereignty that sets standards, the bass sounds hard, the effects whip around the listener, the deliberately aggressively mixed voice detaches itself from the loudspeaker and aims in the middle into the listening room. The harshness of the bass is so massive that sensitive natures will leave the listening room – but the hobby trance dancer will explode with joy because of the impulse fidelity, which the Heresy shakes easily “out of the box,” is amazing, almost frightening.

Zhi-Vago’s “Celebrate” is much quieter, so it’s also good for chilling – the Heresy also gives this piece a high level of expressiveness. Again, the powerful, hard, non-reverberating bass draws attention. The Klipsch loudspeaker easily keeps up with the fairly high basic speed of the title. The vocal-instrumental distribution is balanced; the Heresy does not put voices in the background.

In general, the lining of the upper mid-range is convincing – there is by no means an inappropriate setback here, but rather a precise accentuation with harmonious vocal outlines. The KLF classic “Last Train to Transcentral” is transmitted with force and massiveness, while the Heresy manages to fling the effects and sound elements into the listening room convincingly. The expensive, classy bookshelf speakers like that in general, their lining of the upper mid-range is convincing. Again, there is no inappropriate setback here, but rather a precise accentuation with harmonious vocal outlines.

Expensive, classy bookshelf speakers like The Onkyo D-302E are more delicate than the Klipsch but are quickly overwhelmed with such pieces. The Onkyo box, in particular, inspires fans of classical music and jazz with its pronounced penchant for sensitivity, and the box is also appealing for its design in terms of level stability.

The power and the coarse dynamics of the Heresy are unattainable for the D-302E. The Polk Audio LSi-15 is also very powerful, emphatic, and level-stable – however, the box seems much more sedate and covered-sounding than the lively Klipsch, especially in the high-frequency range. Nevertheless, the Heresy shows very nicely in the KLF title “Church of the KLF” that subtle sound structures can be built up appealingly – here, the acoustic elements are very successfully linked.

Let’s come to the classics of the 80s – “Cold Days, Hot Nights” by Moti Special falls into this category. The bass is powerful but honest and not overdone. Instrumental interludes and effects are again transmitted at high speed. The whole depiction of the Heresy is full of verve and characterized by a refreshingly expansive spatiality. Dynamic leaps are mastered “on the fly,” so to speak, and thus appear authentic and direct.

This esprit in playback is also evident in Madonna’s “Express Yourself.” The vocal and instrumental parts reach the audience unfiltered and precisely by angling the Heresy – the box is pointing straight at the auditorium. With the Madonna hit, it is achieved that the voice appears atmospherically very dense and clearly outlined.

The Heresy also gets along well with more subtle things – such as the theme “You only live twice” from the James Bond film of the same name (“James Bond Themes,” played instrumentally by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra). The clear, surprisingly transparent high-frequency reproduction is just as pleasing as the high overall harmony of the piece. Individual instruments do not sound synthetic but realistic and well-founded.

In “Live and let die,” the Heresy also scores, right at the beginning of the successful instrumental interpretation using electric guitars. The rapidly changing dynamics once again pose no problems for the Klipsch box. What distinguishes the speaker is the high efficiency due to the horn construction. It is, therefore, possible without difficulty to connect the sound transducer to a high-quality Kenwood CD receiver K1 to operate.

The achievable levels are also high here, and the bass sounds rich and clear. But, of course, the maximum volume that can be achieved is not comparable to that made possible by our very powerful Rotel RC1090/RB1090 stereo preamp/power amp combination, which is much higher. But it is not necessary to operate an enormously powerful amplifier in connection with the Heresy—overall sound rating considering the price range excellent – excellent.

Conclusion on the Klipsch Heresy III

Optically “old school,” technically excellent, the Heresy III offers qualities that are well above average. The old-fashioned look is polarizing – but the acoustic performance is undoubtedly superb. The levels mastered by the relatively compact box are so high that many speakers that are significantly larger in terms of volume and footprint have to give up desperately small.

The Heresy implemented the power delivered by our high-performance pre/power amp combination with remarkable consistency, clear, dynamic playback even at high volume proved that Klipsch designs are not known for their high resilience for anything.

Furthermore, due to the enormous efficiency of 99 dB/1W/1m, you don’t have to use an amplifier terminator to achieve high volumes – a very high-quality CD receiver can also be used. The tonal interpretation of the legendary box convinced us -honest, lively, powerful, and suitable for almost all styles of music.

US loudspeakers are often said to be lax in dealing with small musical details – the Heresy proves that this prejudice is by no means always confirmed. On the contrary, it collects details accurately and integrates them into the overall acoustic picture with unbelievable speed. Furthermore, the horn construction, which enables the already mentioned excellent efficiency level, is also a great success with this speaker.

The Heresy inspires with an understandable, lively high-frequency range, which always remains neutral and does not drift into the aggressive unintentionally. Just if the medium wants it and the sound carrier contains a voice with a lot of punch and some sharpness, the talented speaker also transports these characteristics into the listening room. Overall, given the performance profile, the Klipsch Heresy III impressed us as an acoustically contemporary box, which is also very interesting in terms of price.

Klipsch Heresy III Review
Klipsch Heresy III Review


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