Klipsch The Sixes
Klipsch The Sixes are amazingly looking speakers that remind you of times back in the 1960s or ’70s when your father or grandfather used to make parties.
Maybe the main difference would be that the Sixes are self-powered and members of Klipsch’s new Heritage Wireless series. Not that 50 years ago, there were no active speakers, but they were rare. Being self-powered means, you don’t have to hook them up to a receiver.
There is a golden band with a toggle switch and shiny control knobs on the bottom of the right speaker, which tell you right away that there is an amplifier inside. It houses two 100-watt amplifiers, one for each of the speakers. These controls and the jack panel on the back are why the right speaker (17.7 pounds) is heavier than the left (16 pounds). There is a cable that connects the right speaker to the left one.
Klipsch The Sixes have a 1-inch titanium tweeter with the well-known Klipsch Tractrix horn (that lowers distortion and improves efficiency) and s 6.5-inch woofer. They come in a natural walnut finish with grilles covered in a piece of fabric. The grilles attach magnetically.
The size of the speakers is 17 x 8.6 x 11 inches. You can’t mount them on stands because there is no flat bottom. The base of each speaker has an open wood riser that elevates the cabinet.
We mentioned before that there are shiny knobs on the bottom of the right speaker. One of them controls the volume, and the other is a source selector, allowing you to choose between Bluetooth, AUX (for analog via 3.5mm minijack), USB, Digital (via an optical connector), and Phono (via a set of RCA jacks). Klipsch provides remote control and cables for each hookup scenario, except Phono.
It is a bit disappointing that The Sixes don’t have support for Wi-Fi, so you can’t network them with other Wi-Fi-enabled speakers in a multiroom setup.
- Well build quality and design of the 70s
- Easy setup
- Good overall sound quality
- Good bass for the size
- Nice magnetic grilles
- No Wi-Fi
- Awful phono preamp
- No soundstage
There is nothing more straightforward than the system setup. You connect the speakers with a thick braided cable with four-pin-locking-collar connectors, plug in your chosen source and flip the power switch.
If you connect your smartphone via Bluetooth, you will get a crisp and clear sound with a solid fat bass. Not bad for Bluetooth.
If you connect your laptop via USB and play some jazz, for example, the sax’s sound takes you sitting upfront in some small club.
The speakers can also be very loud and get brighter at high volumes but without any distortion.
But something is missing. The sound can be flat and muffled. Klipsch The Sixes are relatively well balanced, a bit dark sounding, and struggling with some music, mostly with lower ends. This situation is especially noticeable with Vinyl. It just doesn’t feel right. The sound is veiled as if the treble control is way down. You don’t hear the cymbals’ sparkling, and the instruments are dull, without any soundstage. There is no dimension of the vocals as well.
The main reason for this, in my opinion, is in the phono preamp built in the speakers. So if you connect the speakers with an outboard preamp, you get a completely different story. The speakers just come to life.
The room gets full of energy, and the muffled sound is gone. Suddenly, you have a soundstage, the mid-range changes from garbage to so much better. The treble opens up, and the bass is tighter while the mids are cleaner.
Instead of using the speaker’s built-in stage, it is better to use an external phono stage. The difference is significant, like day and night.
They can sound great and satisfy even the biggest rockers or jazz enthusiasts.
Klipsch The Sixes are good speakers for their price that come with an amp and digital connections. They only take 5 minutes to set up and have a 20ft long cable that attaches them (which means you can separate them as much as you need).
If Vinyl is a part of your plan, then you should consider an outboard phono preamp if you like to enjoy the speakers at their finest. Although it is an exciting choice of receiver-less setup, the lack of Wi-Fi is a poor choice. Also, some people might miss having tone controls onboard.
But if you like a system that is easy to set up and you prefer the retro ’70s style, then you should give The Sixes a try.