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KLH Model 16
4 Reviews
rating  4 of 5
MSRP  250.00
Description: 6-1/2” 2-Way 120 Watt Bookshelf Speaker Pair


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Reviews 1 - 4 (4 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by messenger618 a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: February 14, 2012

Bottom Line:   
Not really sure of the year, but who cares. Bought them at a second hand store, not a scratch on them, for $20,,,and they kick some butt for that money, especially, as one other reviewer said, I would put them up against a lot of higher dollar speakers. I'm going to use them for very small venues with a Yamaha Sub, a mini 100 watt amp from Parts Express, and a Behringer Xenyx 1202 FX mixer; a Shure SM86 condenser, and my laptop for music/karaoke source. Can't beat it for a very small venue, and quick set-up ! I will always count my KLH 16's as a wise decision and $20 well spent.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   1995



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Joel a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: July 31, 2001

Bottom Line:   
I was looking for a cheap pair of compact speakers for my office. I did not want to spend $300 or $400 a pair for a small pair of quality speakers but I did not want junk. My home systems are high end : JBL, Mission, Polk, Klipsh Chorus w 15 inch drivers and horns. When I saw the display at Brandsmart with a price tag of $28 each for KLH speakers I thought how bad can they be? The salesman said to my surprise that they were actually quite good and to sell them for $28 was a sin. I AB'd them to speakers in the store costing 3 0r 4 times more . To my amazement there was very little difference. Once I got them home I was surprised how much better they sounded. The base was better than I was expecting. Even at high volumes there was no distortion. To say the least I am impressed with the quality for the price. You would have to spend a whole lot more to improve on the sound. If there is a Brandsmart near you then run don't walk and pick up a pair before they run out. They had other similiar KLH speakers at unreal prices such as 8" 2-way towers for $48 each. No kidding!

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2000

Price Paid:    $56.00

Purchased At:   Brandsmart USA



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Yuri a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: May 22, 2001

Bottom Line:   
I was shopping for cheapo studio monitors, then I bumped into these at Brandsmart USA. I thought, heck, $56 for a brand new pair isn't going to hurt too much even if they sound terrible, and I could still use them to check my mixes on a 'bad' system. Brandsmart also had NHT S0/S1, JBL S26, Infinity IL-10, AR15/17. At the store, the KLH 16's really didn't sound worse than those other bookshelf speakers that were at least four times the price, and they clearly sounded better than similarly-priced models (Sony, Yamaha, Jensen, other KLH). Granted, all the display models weren't placed optimally, so it was hard to tell which speakers really sounds best.

If you take the metal grilles off, these speakers are quite plain, except for the woofers' light yellow speaker cones. When I took them out of the box, I was impressed with the quality of the construction. The cabinet feels solid: if you knock on the top of the speaker, you don't get a resonant, hollow sound--it's more like a dull, muted thud. The front baffle's edges are radiused, presumably to reduce edge diffraction. The back has 5-way gold-plated connectors that will take bare wire, spade lugs, or banana plugs. On this model, there is no provision for biwiring (which, unlike biamping, doesn't really improve the sound, in my opinion). So all in all, this didn't look like a regular cheapo KLH speaker.

When I checked the KLH web site (www.klhaudio.com), it seems that the Reference 16 isn't really the cheapie model--it retails for $250 a pair (which is still less than NHT, JBL, AR, and Infinity). KLH used a more expensive woofer (6.5" woven fiberglass), but they also put in the cheaper tweeter (5/8" polycarbonate). The other $120+ models in the store all used a 1" metal or fabric dome tweeter. But at $56, I'm not complaining.

So how does it sound? Not bad at all! After a few hours of break-in, I listened to all sorts of music: pop, jazz, rock, classical, solo piano. These get a decent amount of bass, especially for the size (a little bigger than the NHT Super Ones). The KLH 16s produce more bass than the Super Ones, the IL-10s, the Proto-Js, or the Reveals, but not as much as the Monitor One Mk IIs, the S26s, the SBMs, or the YSM-1s. The quality of the bass is impressive: on these speakers, acoustic bass sounds clear and detailed, not tubby, muddy, and indistinct. Also, when I plugged in my synthesizer and played my solo sine wave patch, I could tell that the bass response is reasonably even. On my cheap multimedia speakers, I can hear the uneven frequency response when I play a simple chromatic scale with the sine patch because some notes are noticeably louder than others. Not so on the KLH 16s.

The specs quote a 55Hz - 20kHz frequency response with no tolerances (which makes the whole thing meaningless). After playing with CoolEdit and a sound level meter, I think those may be the +/-3db points. The speakers don't make a sound when you feed them 20 Hz sine waves, although you can feel (and see) the woofer cone vibrate. I got them to produce a faint tone at 31.5 Hz, and you I could clearly hear 40 Hz, albeit at a lower level (maybe the -10db point). At the other end of the spectrum, my SPL meter says that these speakers have no problem reproducing the 20 kHz tone, which I can't hear.

I noticed as I was playing my synthesizers that these speakers can get very loud without noticeable distortion. Just like the studio monitors, it seems that this pair can take the punishment. The specs say 120W max, but I started to feel uncomfortable with the sound level before I could push my power amp that far.

The Reference 16s are rear ported, so I was a little worried about room placement, and at first, I tried to keep them away from the wall. As it turned out later, I found that they sounded better near the wall. The one sheet owner's manual says "Your speakers have been designed to be the most in balance when they share a wall and are within two feet of another surface."

What I didn't like with this model was the sound of the tweeters when they're 3-4 feet away from you. I had set up these speakers in the classic nearfield monitor position: the two speakers and my head are the vertices of an equilateral triangle with the tweeters roughly at ear level. In this configuration, the imaging is decent, and the sound is detailed, but it's slightly bright on axis. Maybe KLH should have put in those 1" silk-dome tweeters instead of the 5/8" polycarbonate ones.

Interestingly enough, when you're more than five feet away from the speakers they sound a little better. The owner's "manual" confirms this: "Your speakers are designed to produce a 'stage-like' image. To take full advantage of this feature, the speakers should be separated by about half the distance from your ear to the speakers. For example, if you are about 10 feet from the speakers when listening, the left and right speakers should be about 5 feet apart."

Ok, that does it. Without the grilles, they look like the inexpensive studio monitors. But by design, they don't quite behave like the cheapo reference monitors (whadda ya expect for $56?). So the hunt is still on for proper monitors (Genelec 1030A, JBL LSR28P, Quested F11, Dynaudio BM6A, Mackie, whatever).

Ok, so maybe they'll work as studio monitors for a high school kid with a really low budget. I mean, all you have to do is get used to the speakers. But this was an interesting experiment nonetheless, and I ended up with an inexpensive pair of bookshelf speakers that sound good in a small room. This is a very good product at a terrific bargain price and I still use them today for casual listening. I don't know of any speakers that sound better until you start shelling out about three or four times the money I spent on this pair.

My setup:
Source: various Roland, Yamaha, and Korg synths, Yamaha DSP Factory (DS2416 sound card and AX44), Midiman Audiophile 2496
Preamps: Behringer and Mackie mixers (don't laugh)
Amps: Alesis RA300, Hafler P3000?, Fender SPL7250, QSC

Overall:
People need little bit of a reality check on this site--why does everything have to be 1 or 5 stars? That said, four stars overall, five stars (I mean it) for value.

The specs:
KLH Model 16
6.5" Woven Fiberglass woofer
5/8" Polycarbonate tweeter
Magnetically Shielded
8 ohms average impedance
87 db @ 1W-1m
55 Hz - 20kHz (no tolerances given)
5 - 120W recommended amplifier power
8 1/4" W x 13 3/16" H x 9 11/16" D

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Used product for:   3 months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1999

Price Paid:    $56.00

Purchased At:   Brandsmart USA



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Jim Scooler a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: August 24, 2000

Bottom Line:   
These are from the KLH Reference Series (their top-of-the-line). KLH hasn't had much respect from the audiophiles, but I have been extremely happy with the performance of these little speakers (6 1/2" woofer, 2-way).

The bass is much tighter and louder than my 8" Cerwin Vega's they replaced. The midrange is excellent, but the highs are a little brighter than I prefer. Although, I can't wait to match them up to good subwoofer!

The yellow woven fiberglass woofers behind the black metal grill is quite attractive, and the high quality binding posts belie the price of these speakers. I got them on auction from Amazon.com for $40/pair + shipping! I have seen them online typically for $100/pair (MSRP: $250).
For $100, they are an unbeatable value.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2000

Price Paid:    $40.00

Purchased At:   Amazon.com




Reviews 1 - 4 (4 Reviews Total)

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