Klipsch The One II Review
In August, Klipsch expanded its range of tabletop stereo Bluetooth speakers. We took a look at The One II and turned it up a notch. With Klipsch The One II, Klipsch marks the next evolutionary stage of the award-winning first-generation wireless speakers from Klipsch. Thanks to its compact housing, it can be set up almost anywhere. At the same time, the compact speaker houses a real 2.1 sound system with a total output of 60 watts. The One II thus offers real stereo sound in the smallest format. Equipped with Bluetooth 4.0 and an analog 3.5 mm jack, The One II can handle a variety of playback sources. In addition to The One II, Klipsch also offers the Heritage Groove, The Three II, and The Three GVA in the tabletop stereo speaker range.
Klipsch Audio Technologies is a speaker manufacturer from the USA. The company was founded in 1946 by Paul Klipsch in Hope as Klipsch and Associates. The company manufactures speakers for home use and professional PA systems and headphones. The first concept was the “Klipsch-Elkhorn.” With just 100 watts, it was then possible to experience frequencies beyond 50 Hz and with a high sound pressure level, which is rarely achieved today. In January 2010, Klipsch was bought by Audiovox but is still used as a brand name.
- It gets loud
- AUX input
- No graphic EQ
- It lacks low-bass
Optics & equipment – Retro and modern
Klipsch The One II is a compact speaker system primarily characterized by its modern design and mid-century fashion. Its dimensions of 32 cm x 15 cm x 14 cm are presented in real wood, either walnut or black. We wrap The One II in a retro fabric that reminds us of the glory days of the 50s and 60s.
Other defining elements include the brushed silver and embedded control unit, which offers suitable rotary and toggle switches for selecting the source. The graceful and timeless appearance enables a versatile installation, whether in the office, study, or the living area. The enormous weight of almost 4 kilograms only gives an idea that there is valuable technology inside.
Encased in wood, The One II houses two 57.15mm high-frequency full-range drivers supported by a 114.3mm subwoofer. The maximum power is 60 watts, which allows a maximum volume of up to 103 dB. The One II gets its power from the included power supply unit.
In addition to the Bluetooth, we are also offered a 3.5 mm aux connection. A CD player, radio, or even a cassette player can be connected to the 3.5 mm aux connection. Unfortunately, The One II lacks the integrated preamplifier for operating a turntable. This is only offered with the more expensive The Three II model. For the Bluetooth standard, Klipsch used Bluetooth 4.0, which provides us with a guaranteed data transfer rate of 16 bits at 44.1 kHz. Unfortunately, we did not find further information about the Bluetooth codec, AAC, or SBC. Licensed Bluetooth codecs such as aptX, aptX HD, or Sony’s LDAC have not been used.
The compact Bluetooth speaker is very easy to operate. The illustrated box describes the most important features, while the operating instructions are available in several languages and can be put aside. The top rotary control is used for coupling, while the toggle switch selects the input source. The bottom knob does its job for the volume. That’s it – no rocket science. Only the cable of around 130 cm from the power supply unit is a bit too short in our opinion; it should have been 2 meters long.
Sound & sound image
For our test purposes, we used the 3rd generation Echo Dot, the Huawei P30 Pro (it has the Bluetooth codec SBC, AAC, aptX, aptX HD, and LDAC), and a smart TV. All three devices could be paired without any major problems. With the Echo Dot, we can access all of Alexa’s skills and use Amazon music, while the Huawei offers us high-quality sound from amazon-music HD. We only saw the connection to our Smart TV as an option to upgrade the TV sound.
O, we can say one thing straight away, the better the source, the more beautiful and fulfilling the sound experience. The Amazon Echo Dot certainly fulfills its purpose here and can please our ears with music, but the sound does not come close to the quality of our Huawei smartphone and HD app. The differences are particularly evident in the presentation of the sound image and its powerful volume. The smart TV was only an option and, unfortunately, has to continue to see itself only as an option. The One II has been designed more for the music sector and is particularly weak in Hollywood cinema. The subwoofer came too much to the fore and hardly allowed the dialogues to appear. But that’s certainly not why Klipsch’s The One II was designed for.
However, in connection with the amazon music HD app, its true power comes to the fore and reveals a feeling that we only know from large floor-standing speakers. The bass dominates here, paired with the two tweeters to create a full-bodied sound. Despite stereo, this does not appear as clearly as we know it from microsystems of the same strength. This is probably due to the narrow distance between the two tweeters, perhaps less important. After all, this is a compact loudspeaker and not a hi-fi system.
However, Klipsch The One II can compete and keep up with a microsystem. Despite a powerful bass and honest-looking highs, we miss the mids in certain music genres. We fed the Bluetooth speaker with everything that our ears approved. But they are so honest and left the hit song in front of the door. The One II scores particularly well in electronic sounds such as dance and trance, but also with voice-heavy music. Again, we miss the mids, which appear but too often seem lost with classic soundtracks or game soundtracks.
On the other hand, if you like the good old music of the Beatles, Stones, or Stevie Wonder, you will be spoiled with a sound that reminds us of the old days of a record player – honest, direct, and clear. So, the compact The One II blossoms into our hearts and lets us experience all our music. We don’t find it tragic that The One II doesn’t have any sound gimmicks to create a spatial sound.
Conclusion on the Klipsch The One II
With The One II, Klipsch not only brought a compact and, above all, attractive Bluetooth speaker, but also a real power pack. Even when turned up to the max, it lets us experience music in a way we have only known from floor-standing speakers and microsystems. Its price is certainly not immediately interesting and affordable for everyone since not much is technically offered here, even on a purely superficial level. But anyone who has experienced it will quickly take it to their hearts and will not want to be without it. With an output of 60 watts, it makes every small system extra and is an ideal music loudspeaker for the many other rooms in our house. Moreover, the One II offers a graceful appearance that looks noble and high-quality. This is also reflected in the sound and sound image.