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Klipsch - Reference 12" 400W Powered Subwoofer - Black

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This Klipsch Reference R-12SW subwoofer features a 12" spun-copper IMG (injection-molded graphite) woofer and built-in digital amplifier, so you can easily add robust bass to your existing audio setup.

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    Klipsch - Reference 12" 400W Powered Subwoofer - Black - Larger Front
    Klipsch - Reference 12" 400W Powered Subwoofer - Black
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    Overview

    What's Included


    • Klipsch Reference 12" 400W Powered Subwoofer
    • Grille
    • Owner's manual

    Ratings & Reviews


    Overall Customer Rating:
    99% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (1452 out of 1481)

    Features


    12" powered subwoofer

    With a front-firing, high-excursion, spun-copper IMG (injection-molded graphite) woofer and rubber surround produces thunderous bass with minimal distortion.

    Built-in digital amplifier

    Delivers 400W peak power (200W continuous) for robust audio.

    Low-pass crossover

    With variable phase control from 0° to 180° enables you to match the subwoofer to your existing Klipsch speakers (not included) and control the bass level.

    Front-mounted LED indicator

    Lets you know whether the power is on or off.

    L/R line-level RCA jacks and L/R binding posts

    Make it easy to connect your speakers and receiver.

    MDF bass-reflex enclosure

    Promotes optimal performance.

    Removable grille

    Remains acoustically transparent while protecting the subwoofer's components.

    Brushed polymer-veneer finish

    Offers a stylish look to complement your existing décor.

    29-120Hz frequency response (±3dB)

    Promotes faithful audio reproduction.

    116dB efficiency

    For powerful sound.


    Customer rating

    Rating 4.8 out of 5 stars with 1481 reviews

    98%
    would recommend to a friend

    Pros

    Cons

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Excellent Subwoofer

      Posted
      LiveHappy
      • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

      I just recently upgraded my HDTV to a Sony 75 (luv it - thank you BB) which led me to re-evaluate my home theater components. I have Klipsch fronts and center speakers that I am very happy with. But my two Yamaha 10 inch subs just didn't seem to have that deep punch in your chest feeling that many reviewers here have mentioned. I listened to the DefTech subs that are setup in the Magnolia room, which were played with other Deftech speakers that also have SWs in them. Not exactly a level playing field when you are trying to evaluate a single sub. My research indicated mixed, but generally satisfied reviews for the DTs, but they come with a bit of a premium in price that I wasn't sure I could justify, at least not before I tried the Klipsch subs. BB actually keeps their Klipsch speakers in the cheap seat section, sandwiched between two isle shelves about 4 feet apart. It's nothing like their Magnolia room setup. IMO this is an injustice to a brand that is so highly regarded and has generated many millions, I am sure, for BB. JMO. So, it really leaves no choice but to buy and try, which BB is really good for and I only live a few miles away. So, away I go with my Klipsch 12 SW after work one night. Had to get it right out of the box (wife said I had that little boy at Xmas look on my face :) ), hook it up, plug it in and play the best available action movie I could get my hands on. There really wasn't much to the setup - low pass filter - turn to max per manual, volume-turn to about 1/4, and a couple of other de minimus settings. I chose, what else, but a war movie and sat back to wait for the explosion scenes. And let me tell you, I got punched right in the chest with every artillery shell that landed. Plenty of bass and then some, way more than my two 10 inch Yamaha subs could ever produce. It also produces crisp, responsive bass for music. I really got into listening to the bass player on a number of tunes. I was holding out the possibility of adding a second sub, but that would def be overkill and would make the table I would have to put it under sing too much. My room is 15 x 21 with an open floor plan to the kitchen and I noted some concern about this with the DefTech SW reviewers. I can tell you, hands down, this sub is plenty for my space. I think it would be overkill for a small apartment, though. I keep it at about the 1/4 mark and adjust the volume from my AVR remote. This time out, with some extra coin to spend for a premium brand, Magnolia Room-snooty SW, I found that spending more doesn't necessarily mean getting more. The price point for this item is substantially below the Mag room competition and IMO performed as good, if not better than the DTs. Also, the reviews on this item have been overall stellar from BB, Amazon and Crutchfield customers. For price and quality, Klipsch is hard to beat. I'm very happy with this item.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

      Incredible sub for the money

      Posted
      Chris

      I went back and forth on what to do regarding a subwoofer. I had just added two in-ceiling front hight speakers to go to 7.1.2 system in my bonus room to scratch my itch for Dolby Atmos. But like any good case of poison ivy, scratching only made me more itchy. Atmos is AMAZING!!! After trying 7.1.2 I just had to upgrade to 7.2.4 for the full Atmos immersive effect! After some serendipitous gifts and flattery toward the wife, she green-lighted me to buy an external amp to power 2 additional Atmos in-ceiling height speakers. After the installation, however, my sound still was missing something. It lacked the warmth, depth, and fullness I was looking for. I was running only 1 Polk 12” sub at that point and the low-end was definitely the weak point. I kicked around the idea of spending more on the SVS ultra to replace the Polk, but when the Klipsch subs went on sale recently I thought I’d buy the r-10sw to run in parallel with my Polk instead. I liked the r-10sw, but at 32hz low-end it just didn’t dig deep enough on its own, or even while running alongside the Polk sub. So back to the drawing board I went... All other speakers in my system are Klipsch Reference Premier, so I wanted to buy Klipsch subs if I could. I know brand matching on a sub doesn’t matter sound-wise, but it’s cool nonetheless. So ultimately I decided to retire the Polk 12” sub and I bought the Klipsch R-12sw to run along with the R-10sw. The result was fantastic. I now get the low end frequency (I tested it down to 23hz without significant roll-off) and more than enough power. You can hear and feel the difference. Running these two subs I have plenty of headroom on the low end. Because I don’t need to drive them hard, they sound clean, tight, and accurate... as well as monstrously powerful when called on to be so. I am giving this 4 stars because if ran single, while still good, the R-12sw calls attention to itself in the room. However, when run in tandem with another decent sub, the result is every bit as good as running a single higher-end SVS Ultra. My advice is to buy the R-12SW... but if you’re picky about your audio experience like I am, buy two of them if you can. Any decent AVR has two sub pre-outs, and two of these (on sale) will give you a high-end experience for middle of the road money. But by all means, know that the subwoofer(s) is not the place to shave cost on your home theater system. Without some muscle and finesse in the low-end, you’ll always have a nagging sensation that something is missing. The result of running two R-12sw subs will leave you with a smile on your face and will leave your guests preferring your home over your local cineplex. At the sale price of $299 each, its worth the money all day long—100%.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 1 out of 5 stars

      Failed Driver, No Support

      Posted
      JackRudy
      • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
      • My Best Buy® MemberMember

      I have other new model Klipsch products that function very nicely. I purchase this product in November 2017. Unfortunately, this subwoofer has a very annoying buzz/rattle. I diagnosed the issue and it is definitely not the case or electrical panel or loose wires. The issue is specifically the driver itself. It may be that the coil has separated or something within the mechanism, but I have isolated the problem with 100% certainty. The speaker is not over driven. I have two subwoofers, both 12", one from another manufacturer and the Klipsch is the only one malfunctioning. I opened a support case with Klipsch on Sept 1. Did not receive a response so I updated the ticket on Sept. 4 to ask if there was an SLA. It is now Sept 8 and still no acknowledgement. I am very disappointed that someone in the company did not bother to provide a simple acknowledgement to my issue. As a consumer, all aspects of my experience affect my satisfaction and future purchasing decisions. Customer service is equally important to product functionality. If the company had handled my issue in a responsible, timely manner, I would not be writing this negative review. With regard to the speaker itself, I unfortunately cannot evaluate it with precision because it has never performed as designed.

      No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

      Good volume, but thumpy

      Posted
      BrentT

      The Black Friday sale of these subwoofers spurred me to complete my Dolby Atmos 5.x.2 setup with KEF 301's for the left, right, and center and KEF Ci200Q's built in for overhead and rear surrounds. The KEF's are very clean, but I had doubts that their recommended T-2 subwoofer would have enough volume. (Found out that my local Magnolia store will be selling KEF in 2017.) Spurred on by the sale price of $225, I purchased my first subwoofer. Once hooked up in the center of my room (due to the couch layout), I found this subwoofer did a good job filling up a large 20'x35' room with sound. I found I had to turn up the subwoofer to about 75% to get a good amount of bass for this room. Unfortunately any setting above 50% caused heavy reverberations in the speaker and the cabinet. I don't have meters or the background to identify the culprit frequencies that cause the thumpy / boomy sounds, but I would guess around 30-40 Hz. The bass guitars in songs caused the speaker to no longer offer clean bass. After reading subwoofer reviews online by Sound & Vision, I realized I was looking for cleaner bass, which is typically delivered with a sealed subwoofer. I even tried "sealing" this subwoofer with a pillow, and that did help in removing the reverberations. I was also noticing a a "bass hole" between my KEF 301's ~138Hz -3dB lower frequency and the Klipsch R-12SW's 120Hz -3dB upper frequency. (Please keep in mind that -3dB means half the nominal volume at the speaker's other frequencies. -10dB means 1/10th the nominal volume.) So for the "small" satellite speakers I already installed, I also realized I needed to find a sub that get up to at least 150Hz or so. I tried an SVS SB-2000 from my local Magnolia store, but the SVS even with its higher power rating had less volume than the Klipsch. Also tried the small KEF T-2, which was clean but had quite low volume.

      No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

      Disappointing performance

      Posted
      JustGoodAudio
      • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

      I was looking for a subwoofer for my stereo setup. I purchased a Pioneer Elite 2.0 receiver with the KEF Q100 bookshelf speakers. I was looking to fill in the low frequencies that the bookshelf speakers just can't produce. I've always heard great things about Klipsch speakers, and the ratings are always top notch. After much consideration I decided to purchase this Klipsch 12" sub. Once it was connected I started to try and tune it. Setting gain, and adjusting the crossover. But nothing I did could make this sub sound right. The bass sounded hollow, and very lacking in the low end. I just don't understand what type of application this sub would be useful in. Long story short, I returned and ended up purchasing the ML 10" Dynamo 500. Night and day difference. Very full and warm low end frequencies. Anyone serious about producing good audio, I would not recommend this sub. Maybe this sub is good for people who want something loud, but not really interested in quality audio. Sorry Klipsch, I really was excited about the sub, but at the end it just didn't measure up. Anyone coming from the car audio world. It's like comparing old school J.L. or Infinity Perfect subs to Kickers or Alpines. Two different types of customers. One looking for sound quality and the other looking for SPL.

      No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Buy two - HOLY COW!!!

      Posted
      DigitalDaveyboy
      • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
      • My Best Buy® MemberMember

      This is my second review because after much research I added a second subwoofer of the exact same model. If you want incredibly balanced bass with full room immersion, buy two! I was impressed with my first unit, but was hesitant to buy a second because of the increased floor space and cost requirements. After a few weeks of research on low frequency sound wave characteristics and travel, I took the plunge and will never go single subwoofer again! The people at Klipsch designed these to work great as single units, but they're just amazing when paired with a second unit across the room! The bass is so even and smooth you'll be a believer too! If you go dual subwoofer, remember to turn the subwoofer volumes down because you'll be running double wattage. Also, it's worth it to spend time adjusting your overall speaker balances. At the end of the day it's not about more bass, it's about BETTER bass, and running two of these Klipsch subwoofers knocks it out of the park! Perfect 5 stars!

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Great sub for its use

      Posted
      Kory
      • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
      • My Best Buy® MemberMember

      For the front firing sub family, this is a great sub. If you are after a hard hitting punchy sub, I prefer the down firing subs. I have 2 down firing subs and went with this front firing sub to balance me out. It is a very clear sub, no muddy bass in this sub and it sounds great at the bass range I prefer. I will run 60Hz - 80Hz on my down firing subs, I set the front firing at 110Hz, and I have the crossover in my receiver set at 90Hz, some in the 90Hz-110Hz makes its way through, but that is what I am wanting from this front firing sub and not getting into my down firing subs. Its pretty well balanced out and a bit of everything makes its way through. This sub does very well with my 60Hz - 80Hz down firing subs, as far as not too much or too little of the 90Hz 110Hz bass from this front firing sub. I have different settings for different music/movies. For music, my system is built for heavy metal, dub-step, Memphis rap, country; rock sounds good on anything if you can balance kick drum bass and bass guitar with subs and not with woofers that creates bass interference with the sound as a whole. Movies and theater, hands down this sub is a great fit for you. For music, this sub will give you a great range with the exception of not being a very punchy sub, but that is not what it is designed for. For what it is designed for it is fantastic.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

      I Wish I Liked This More

      Posted
      Kraig
      • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

      I wanted so bad, to like this. Upon first plugin, and what I thought to be tune, it was extremely punchy and muddy. I ended up having to dial this sub way back (in crossover freq and gain) to correct its "flaws", but it still wasn't what I was looking for. It always sounds as if it is being pushed harder than it wants, even when dialed back. The SW-450 10" that I have outperforms it in both quality of sound and sub bass frequency, able to perform better at very low frequencies, without even a hint of port noise. I can agree with most of the mid-range reviews of this product, as I think it would be great for a budding audiophile, but lacks the depth required of someone who knows what they are really looking for. This felt a bit cheap in quality, especially considering its namesake. Seems to be a lower model than the previous, comparably priced subs. This product would be well suited to a consumer looking for a loud system, but not refined and warm. My recommendation of this product would be based on the level of system a person was looking to build. I would rather spend the extra dollars to make it right, as I simply cannot go backwards in sound quality from where I am currently.

      I would recommend this to a friend




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