Klipsch Synergy B-2 Bookshelf Loudspeaker Reviewed

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In recent years, Klipsch has done an impressive job in diversifying its loudspeaker products, offering a wide variety of form factors and targeted applications for its unique horn and driver technologies. Part of its prodigious, sixteen-model Synergy series and the baby brother to the Synergy B-3, the Synergy B-2 Bookshelf Loudspeaker utilizes the same basic design and features, but with smaller drivers and at a $100 lower price ($250 per pair MSRP). The design employs the company's signature Tractrix Horn coupled to a ¾-inch aluminum-dome tweeter, crossed over at 2.3kHz to a 5 ¼-inch IMG (Injection Molded Graphite) woofer. An aggressive looking design, the horn protrudes over the top of the black ash cabinet, clad in titanium plastic and flowing into the woofer, also clad in titanium and featuring a silver cone. The B-2 employs a rear-firing port, which fits elegantly into the enclosure on a circular slope. The B-2 offers a single set of five-way, gold-plated binding posts mounted very nicely on a triangle-shaped fitting inset into the cabinet. The B-2 offers a very good level of fit and finish, with an aggressive, modern profile that may require conservative buyers to leave the grills on.

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The B-2 presents a nominal 8 ohm load with a 92dB efficiency. While not as efficient as its big brother, the B-2 didn't pose any problems for even entry-level receivers to drive. However, the B-2's sound did improve with better quality power sources, so buyers may want to explore those options.

The B-2 sounded a lot like the B-3, with some interesting differences. The classic, forward Klipsch sound certainly reigns supreme, but the B-2 offered a somewhat better tonal balance. The B-2 sounded a bit warmer and well-rounded, but retained the slightly directional sound that often comes with horn drivers. The bass had a balanced, punchy appeal with some depth, and blended nicely with the lower midrange. The B-2's midrange sounded more natural and detailed than did the B-3's, and provided the speaker with an overall more listenable and coherent quality. The B-2 preferred rock and electronic music, but not overly so, as the warmer midrange stretched well into classical, jazz, vocal, and piano material. Of course, the B-2 played plenty loud when asked, with only moderate breakup.

Read about the high points and the low points of the B-2 on Page 2.

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