However, the best small speakers manage to present appealing lower registers, without major side effects and coherent with the rest of the sonic landscape. The RB-61's overall forward sound pushed a bit too far into the lower mids and bass, creating an aggressive overall sonic profile that exposed itself more on delicate, acoustic material than on rock and electronic music. The bass rocked and grabbed your attention, but the speaker just couldn't reign itself in enough to get completely out of the way. With this in tow, classical and jazz sounded good through the RB-61, but not as transparent as more neutral speakers. On the other hand, the RB-61 excelled at electronic material and pulled you in as a listener more than most of its competition. It all depends on your tastes. If you want overall neutrality and transparency but are also willing to pay the tab for the right amplifier, the RB-61 may not be for you. However, if you want a more forward, livelier sound across all material with enough versatility to fit into most any system in your house, the RB-61 should be on your short list.
Competition and Comparison
You can compare Klipsch's RB-61 loudspeaker against its competition by reading our reviews for the Boston Acoustics CS 26 loudspeaker and the Polk RTi A1 loudspeaker. There is more information on many different products in our Bookshelf Speaker section.
• The RB-61 provides lively, punchy sound that suits rock and electronic music very well.
• The RB-61 doesn't require high power to perform optimally.
• The RB-61 looks good, and offers bi-wiring/bi-amping capability.
• The RB-61's overall forward tonal balance and aggressive presentation creates a lack of overall transparency and neutrality with acoustic, jazz, and classical material.
• The RB-61 is not small or light, which highlights its lack of on-board mounting capability.
• The RB-61 may not appeal cosmetically to those wanting to listen without the grills.
The Klipsch RB-61 provides a lot of bang for the buck, but sometimes too much. It's very easy to drive, utilizes premium parts, and provides a very lively, detailed, crisp sound with a lot of punch. However, that bang comes with a price, in the form of lower overall transparency and neutrality over acoustic music. Both cosmetically and sonically, the RB-61 gets your attention. Whether that's a good thing or not over the long haul depends on the user. For me, I enjoyed my time in front of these speakers.