I have these speakers 3,5 years and i am very satisfied for it's reliability(no problem at all),high levels(efficiency),strong bass,nice mid and highs (amp source direct on)and totaly very good sound that you don't find in other speakers costs twice! I drive them with Marantz PM-68 integrated amplifier (95 Watt at 8 Ohm) and I have heard excessive sound levels for my listening room (7 x 5 m)with clear and almost audiofile sound. I think that interconnects (between internal speakers)should be better quality(very thin)but just this for weakness. I'm very satisfied using these speakers after 3,5 years of use(for it's price).I think you will find better sound if you spend almost twice money.I compared with other speakers costs almost twice and i didn't find any remarkable sound difference.I would strongly recommend them!
This is a follow-up review. I don't feel bad about that, because these speakers have not had a review in several months. I have since upgraded my system with JBL Studio Series S-38 mains and S-center, which are probably the best budget speakers on the market. By budget I mean under $1000/pair. They compete with about anything under $2000/pair. Stereophile magazine rated the S-38 very well in the June 2001 issue. Compared to Paradigm, Mission, and Acarian Systems Alon Petite; the JBL compared well each time. In one area, they reminded the author more of his $5500/pair and $12,000/pair speakers than of any other budget speakers he has ever heard. Stereophile Guide to Home Theater also reviewed the JBL Studio Series in the February 2001 issue. The author compared them to a $93,000 ATC system, and they still earned his respect. In fact, he said that he would give movie enthusiats "an almost unqualified recommendation." He said that the quality of sound that JBL gives at the price is "astonishing." Now, back to the KLH. KLH is not considered a top brand. But with all the buzz about the JBL Studio Series (see reviews on this website for the S-38 and S-center), and I love mine dearly; my KLH towers are hooked up to the same amp as the "B" mains. I use them quite often, and while they are not as good as my JBLs, I find that they still allow a lot of musical pleasure. They are very efficient, so weak amps can perform their best. In other words, a little power can push these to unbearable volume. Bass output is good. Their dual 8" woofers reproduce percussion as naturally as my JBLs, but they don't go as deep. The tweeter can reach very high, and is not too bright. They are built very well for cheap speakers, but they do have foam surrounds. That should be expected with a $200/pair set of speakers. They are heavy enough to damp vibrations, they are 3 feet tall, and feel solid enough. When placed correctly, they make a nice soundstage, and reproduce voices for movies in 2-channel sound very naturally. Magnetic shielding allows placement very close to the television. I know that with all of their advertisements, Bose (Better Off with Something Else) is the first name the casual listener recognises in speakers. While not as good as my JBLs, these do compete with them in some areas; and would blow Bose speakers away. I urge anyone who is thinking of buying Bose speakers to listen to these first. At $200/pair, I would put them against any speaker made by Bose. But please ask for the 283. I've heard the big brother - the 915 - and I wasn't particularly impressed by it. I am going to give a higher rating this time. As these speakers have broken in, and I have tinkered with placement and different sound sources, I believe they deserve a higher rating. I rate my JBLs as giant killers for anything under or around $2000/pair. These towers are not as good as my JBLs, but they come close in some areas like voice reproduction/midrange reproduction, natural percussion, and openness. Since they still earn some of my attention after being spoiled by the Studio Series, I have to rate these as giant killers too. At $200/pair, they should compete with many speakers costing several hundred dollars. I recommend them to people with tight budget, low-powered amp, large listening room, an interest in buying Bose or Sony speakers, any or all of the above. The quality you get for $200 is amazing. I haven't seen the black ones in person, but my woodgrain ones are nice-looking too. They passed the asthetic requirements of my fiance' well. On a side note, I have Celestion Little 1 surround speakers. Celestion is a top brand, and even though comparing to a tower is not really fair, these KLH towers blow them away in terms of sound quality. I wish I could mount a pair of them on the wall somehow. :) They have been very reliable for the better part of a year. I have never been disappointed, especially for that low price. 5 stars for value. High bang for your buck factor. Also 5 stars this time for overall rating, because, if they can compete with my JBLs in some areas, then they bury many others under several hundred per pair. Give them a listen at your local Rex store.
In the store, these looked skinny, but they look large in my living room. They have two 8" woofers and a rear port at the top. Three way design.
I listen to country music mostly, which generally doesn't have much bass. However, these have all that I need at low to moderate volume. The bass really comes out at higher levels. I usually don't use my sub for music, as these give adequate punch.
Midrange is fairly natural, and highs are clear and strong. Midrange works better with DVD movies than with music. Still good with music though.
When listening to some music, I feel the desire to jump up and dance. It's been a while since I've had that effect from speakers. Sound is clean, and they are efficient, with 90dB. My living room is moderate at ~20x15, and more than 50% volume is hard on the ears. You won't have trouble powering these with that kind of efficiency. BTW, my receiver is a JVC 7000, which puts out 110 watts in stereo (100x5 in surround). They are rated to handle 250 watts. I don't know why you would need that much power, unless you were listening across a football stadium. :)
I compared to two models of Sony towers, Kenwood, Jensen, more KLH towers (915), Cerwin-Vega, and JVC's. These beat all the others hands-down, except for the JVC, which also sounded good. The KLH 283 had the warmest, most natural sound of all. It also beat the KLH 915 hands-down. I'm sure that 915 would really crank with high volume, but I was interested in sound *quality*. There was no competition from the Sonys.
They seem well-built and sturdy. When placed well, they give a good soundstage. Since I have a sub/sat system for home theater, I wanted these for music. But they beat all of my satelites for mains by a good measure. They are the only speakers I've ever owned that can keep pace with my Cerwin-Vega LW-12 (but it's "only" at half volume). Of course, my JBL S-center just arrived as I am typing, and I bet it will. :)
They work well with music, but better with home theater. You will need a sub for powerful HT bass, but I rarely use my sub with music, as these have enough alone.
If you are interested in nice tower speakers for a low price, you will be happy with these. Not "audiophile" quality, but why spend thousands of dollars when you can have decent speakers for a couple hundred? There are warmer sounding speakers, but these won't disappoint you. Sensitive, clear, fairly warm, and fairly natural sounding. I can't imagine a better tower for the same money. Perhaps a hundred or two more apiece.
I am giving these a 5 star value rating, because they give you more than your $100 apiece asks for. I am giving them 4 stars for quality, as they are very good, but nothing at this price range will be the best anywhere - just good. Plenty good enough for me. You will never miss the expensive speakers.
These speakers are great, especially for the price. I paid only $140 for the pair. They are better than my Cerwin-Vegas in most areas, and the CVs cost twice as much. I haven't had any problems with them at all, and I have had them for 2.5 years. They get very loud without any noticable distortion.
I went to K's Merchandise the other day to check out some speakers. To be more specific I was interested in the JBLs N38 which were $199 each.
While listening to the JBLs I noticed the price tag on the KLHs.............$80 each!!!!!! What the......?
I rushed to the "console" and selected the KLHs.
WOW!!!! The sound was so much more.......well I can't explain it.
The bass wasn't so powerful as the one on the JBLs but the mid and higher frequencies sounded really GOOD!!!!
I thought why not? I'm going to buy a sub anyway, sooner or later.
I really like these speakers. I'm not an audiophile but I trust my ears.
I know some people might think I'm a jerk, comparing these to the JBLs, but I don't care. If I could spend more than $200 for speakers I would surely check out higher quality speakers but unfortunately I can't.
For this price I think these speakers are great. Period.