Klipsch RP-500SA Review (2020)

In this Klisch RP-500SA review, we will be discussing why these speakers are some of the best you can get for your home audio setup, especially if you are keen on using Dolby Atmos technology.

If you desire to cement your home’s status as the best place to watch movies or listen to music, you have to count on Klipsch’s speakers and full home-theater systems. Their professional manufacturers have put more than 70 years of acoustic technology into their systems to give you an intense and fun experience.

Dolby Atmos

The Dolby Atmos adds extra height channels to provide an enveloping sound effect in your room.

In other words, it is a ‘Surround Sound Technology’ which is developed by an American company Dolby Laboratories. The professional Dolby manufacturers specialize in audio noise reduction and audio encoding. They have introduced many technologies in their line such as Dolby A, Dolby SR, Dolby FM, Dolby Digital, and Dolby Digital EX.

They have used Dolby Atmos Technology in the RP-500SA speaker, which means the sound can be interpreted as a three-dimensional object.

Particularly, in movie theaters, the Dolby Atmos speakers play an important role.

Their height channels create a more immersive sound. Instead of hearing the simple sound of rain, you feel like the rain is falling from above.

Similarly, the sound of the helicopter doesn’t move around the same height, it moves from over your head and gives you a realistic experience. 

The Dolby Atmos is also known as the ‘immersive format’ in the speakers. It is a new way to experience music in the 21st century. That’s why it is found everywhere, from the biggest commercial cinemas to the smallest of home theaters.

This entire technology was first introduced in the cinemas with Brave (2012 film).

The speakers with Dolby Atmos Technology either feature built-in height channels or fit-on-top models.

Here is a short video explaining Dolby Atmos:

Therefore, the placement of the Klipsch RP-500SA speaker demands special attention.

They are designed to be wall-mounted as front or rear speakers but the front position gives better sound effects. It delivers an overhead sound for a true cinema-grade listening experience.

In case it is not possible to install them on the wall, place them in an upward position on both sides of your TV so that it can fire the sound up to the ceiling and reflect it back down to your listening position. This will mimic the real ‘height effect’.

You can also place them on top of your existing left and right floor standers; it saves space and works surprisingly well.

Hybrid Tractrix Horn Technology

The Hybrid Tractrix Horn Technology offers a unique combination of precision, clarity, and effortless power. It utilizes an acoustic horn to increase the overall power of the driving elements, such as ‘Compression Driver’ which produces sound waves with a metal diaphragm.

The Klipsch RP-500SA speakers count on this hybrid technology for a premium sound range which:

  • Has a flat frequency response in the bass, mid-range, and treble.
  • Is low in modulation distortion for extraordinary sound.
  • Exhibits controlled directivity; the sound patterns are directional.
  • Accurately produces both soft and loud sounds.
  • It can be driven by the relatively low-powered amplifiers.

The Klipsch manufacturers have redesigned the Hybrid Tractrix Horn Technology from the ground to deliver the ultimate home theater and hi-fi listening solution.

For that reason, their speaker produces approximately 3 times more sound power than cone speakers and used in large venues like theaters, auditoriums, and sports stadiums.

Though this technology works well with the surround sound and conducts the sound waves to open air, it still has a drawback that can be felt in some movies and music tracks.

The frequency response in these speakers, due to Hybrid Tractrix Horn Technology is a tad uneven because of resonance peaks.

In a way, if the response drops off in the sound, the frequency won’t be available too.

This is a real issue in movies and music tracks with too many low-range sound effects. You won’t be able to feel the resonance. It doesn’t mean all speakers with Hybrid Tractrix Horn Technology are like that, in reality, it depends on the size of the speakers too.

If the speakers are large, they can catch even the lowest frequency efficiently and give great power to it through their driver.

However, if you have a subwoofer in your setup, you won’t have this issue.

In case you are thinking about how this happens exactly in the Hybrid Tractrix Horn Technology, let us give you an example.

The radiation patterns in the sound vary with frequency. The main purpose of the horn speakers is to emit high-frequency sound through the narrow beam. It often gives a poor off-axis performance, particularly in the low-range or soft sound.

But this same technology works rather well in action movies and fast music category. With immense amplifier power, it produces rich surround sound in the room with large pressure variations and immense clarity.

Here is a good video by Klipsch explaining why they use this design:

Design

The Klipsch RP-500SA speakers are available in ebony, walnut, and piano black finishes. Their surface is scratch-resistant and gives an elegant look. Plus, it is not just the finish that makes it look exclusive, the furniture-grade wood siding is fancy looking also.

When you look at it, it looks like it is sliced in half on a diagonal. Due to this design, the drivers of Klipsch RP-500SA are set at a specific angle; they are angled downwards towards the listening position.

That’s why it is imperative to place or install them in the right position. You have to stand them on their narrow end so that the drivers can angle down and give the surround sound you desire. Also, ensure they are placed on a higher shelf or on top of the floor standers.

If it is not possible to have this placement, you can opt for an upward-firing position. Let them face the ceiling as the sound will bounce back and make you feel that things are moving over your head.

 The Klipsch Company has included acoustically transparent grille. They look good, but some customers are against grille too as they believe they cover the beauty of this handsome speaker.

The color scheme of this system is black and gold which appears quite premium. Even in the lavish living rooms, it looks incredible.

The weight of each speaker of RP-500SA is a good 8lbs. In reality, we weren’t expecting this weight, but it is much heavier than the comparable Atmos models. This is probably because of its frame too which is MDF – Medium Density Fiberboard.

When we look at its interior, it has an all-new vented tweeter. Its main aim is to reduce standing waves behind the tweeter diaphragm and produce smooth high-frequencies.

Its award-winning Linear Travel Suspension Technology uses the piston motion to reduce distortion and deliver real-to-life sound. Other than that, the Cerametallic Woofers are its signature too. They deliver lower frequencies with maximum efficiency.

The Klipsch RP-500SA features four sizeable rubber feet on the long side also. They keep its bottom surface of the shelf or floor-standers.

Specifications:

  • The power handling (cont/peak) is 75W/300W.
  • It has single binding posts inputs.
  • The magnetic grille is strong and removable.
  • It has keyhole mounting for on-wall elevation.
  • It has switchable crossover settings.
  • The enclosure material is MDF.
  • The nominal impedance is 8 ohms.

Klipsch RP-500SA Speakers – Pros & Cons

Pros

  • The LTS Tweeter gives the highest speaker efficiency in its class.
  • The Vented Tweeter Design reduces all those standing waves that create unwanted harmonics, distortion, and hums; they provide enhanced detail and clarity in the sound.
  • Its magnetic grille is removable and offers protection.
  • It is tested and approved by the professional Dolby labs.
  • Its extraordinary design can reflect the sound from the ceiling and fill any part of the room.
  • The Hybrid Tractrix Horn Technology focuses on high frequencies towards the listening area; it has become a core component of today’s world’s best speakers.
  • Setting up Klipsch RP-500SA is relatively easy.

Cons

  • It can be hard setting up the speakers and getting the positioning correct, especially if you are a beginner with audio.
  • The Hybrid Tractrix Horn Technology doesn’t work well on the lower frequencies.

Fluance is another great speaker brand, you can read out our favorite speakers here.

Klipsch RP-500SA Speaker – FAQs

Klipsch RP-500SA

Keep on reading as we are going to answer some frequently asked questions about Klipsch RP-500SA Speakers.

Are these speakers like the SVS Prime Elevation?

Yes, there are too many similarities and it looks like the SVS Prime Elevation. But there are a few key differences that make Klipsch RP-500SA a better set of speakers, such as, the RP-500SA are bigger and heftier and they are designed to be either wall-mounted or upward-firing.

What is the purpose of the crossover?

The switchable crossover feature in these speakers actually changes the modes of Atmos and Surround. You do that to optimize its performance. Besides, the changing of the mode depends on the placement of the speakers too. If they are wall-mounted, you opt for Atmos, whereas for rear placement, you choose the surround mode for optimal performance.

What is ‘Linear Travel Suspension’ in these speakers?

The Linear Travel Suspension (LTS) has titanium diaphragm tweeters that result in enhanced detail and clarity. Furthermore, the new vented housing also assists in lowering the distortion level which is often noticeable in the high-ranges. In other words, the LTS provides the RP-500SA speakers the best efficiency and kills all those waves that create unwanted harmonics in the sound. That’s why, today, it is the hallmark of the best speakers.

What is the anatomy of its woofers?

The woofers of Klipsch RP-500SA speakers are housed in a non-resonating, stamped-steel basket. You don’t find any distortion in them and due to their dual-layer, copper-wound voice coil, they deliver optimal acoustic execution especially in the lower frequencies.

Looking for a more budget friendly speaker? Here are some under $300 that we can vouch for.

Conclusion

All in all, the Klipsch RP-500SA has a robust combination of versatility and high-quality sound. It fits more naturally into your listening space and fills it, especially above your head, with all sorts of wonderful effects. When we compare it with other brands, it gives you more range and hits the sweet-spot of price, performance, and quality. Once you experience its surround sound quality, it becomes really hard to go back to anything else… You fall in love with them.

I hope this Klipsch RP-500SA review has helped you in deciding to purchase this amazing speaker. If you choose it, it won’t let you down.

Interested in Klipsch speakers? Check out my comparison of the Klipsch R41M vs R51M.

About Shawn Shepherd

Hi, I'm the owner of the Hifi Guide and have been an audio lover enthusiast for over 16 years. I have a Bachelor's degree in Sound Engineering and I work on producing content for the Hifi Guide in my spare time. My love for audio stemmed from my Dad who was an audio technician, and now I share my knowledge here on this website!

Want a chance to enter our monthly giveaway?Sign up below!

Win anything from speakers, headphones and soundbars, no catch!