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Klipsch - Reference Series 12" 400W Powered Subwoofer - Black-Front_Standard

Customer rating

Rating 4.8 out of 5 stars with 507 reviews

98%
would recommend to a friend

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  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    It surprised me with its power.

    Posted
    Tornado
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Member

    I purchased this sub as part of an entire home theater makeover. All new speakers and receiver. I bought it all together at one time, so it was a big investment. I am a few weeks now into the new system. I got a 7.2 receiver with the intention of running 2 subwoofers, as I have a fairly large living room, with 13 foot vaulted ceilings. I just didn't think 1 sub would have the power. So my plan was to get 2 of the 10 inch klipsch subs. They were on sale when I was building the system. Just before I had the bestbuy guys start rounding up all the pieces for me, I noticed an open boxed R120SW sitting over in the corner. The R120SW was not on sale and was several hundred more than the smaller 10" models i was looking at. I was going to get 2x 10" for what one 12" cost. To my surprise however the open box R120SW had a price tag on it for $179.99. I knew this had to be in error, but I brought it up to the bestbuy staff and said if that sub is that price I will buy it. Since it was stickered at that price, they called a manager over and they ended up honoring the price it had been labeled as, even though it was a clear error. It should have been about $370. So I got this subwoofer and an insanely good deal, and the best buy staff were awesome in honoring the sticker and just acknowledging it was a mistake. The manager was a really nice guy. Left a really good impression on me. If they had not honored the price I wouldn't have pushed it, as my whole goal was to go with 2x 10" subs anyways. Given the good deal, I decided to just go with the 1x 12" sub for now and see how it did. So lets get to the actual review of the product. I came home with the single R120SW instead of the two R100SW subs. I was still skeptical that one sub would be enough for the room. After many hours setting everything up and wiring it all, I fired it all up. I was thoroughly surprised at just how good this sub sounded, and that it seemed to have plenty of power for the room. Its been a few weeks now and I've done a lot of testing, movie watching, music, you name it. This sub has performed so well that I've decided I don't even need a 2nd sub. This thing will knock pictures off the wall and vibrate the whole house without any help. One thing I think that helps me and my large room is that the sub does sit in a corner of the room, and it just seems to amplify the low frequency waves. I moved the sub around one day and found that when it wasn't in the corner it wasn't nearly as pronounced, but still sounded good. I power the system with a Denon 7.2 ch. receiver. After running the audysey auto set up process, the sub runs at 50% gain on the back knob, and -9db in the receiver, and still delivers monster bass. If you really push the sub, it will dump so much bass into the soundstage that its not even comfortable. I have the sub tuned where it just handles those low notes in a complimentary way. It pushes those low notes out with a powerful subtlety that just makes you smile when you hear it and feel it. If I wanted to however, I could easily have this sub overpower the rest of the klipsch speakers with bass. I think sitting in the corner has a lot to do with that as well though, its like that corner of my room is perfectly designed for a subwoofer. Room placement on a sub can make a massive difference. Needless to say this sub has been one of the most exciting parts of my new system. I love strong, powerful low notes. I like a powerful subwoofer, which is why I was going to go with 2. But this thing has done it all solo. I have no real negatives to mention with the sub. The adjustments on the back are standard controls you get on any powered sub, so nothing fancy there.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Great sub, but has limitations

    Posted
    Thos25
    • My Best Buy® Member

    Bought two on Black Friday since they were 50% off. I'm using them with a Pioneer Elite Sc-95 receiver, Klipsch RF-83 mains, RC-64 center, DefTech BP7002 rears and 2 Klipsch CDT5800 III (for Atmos). All speakers set to small with crossover at 80. I am also running LFE to the powered subs in the BP7002 though. I used these to replace dual DefTech Supercubes that were showing their age. These things absolutely destroy my supercubes in terms of overall loudness and quality in general. My old subs were at +2 on receiver and about 50 gain. I've got these subs at -12 on the receiver and maybe about 20 on gain and they're definitely putting out significantly louder bass. After dialing them in they're pretty tight. I haven't noticed any port noise though, which is good. I tested to see how low they'd go and anything under maybe 27 Hertz really starts to drop off. At 30 it's still very loud. By 25 it's significantly less output. By 20 it's almost non-existent. Appearance wise they're very nice. I like the green power indicator that's visible through the grille as opposed to being in the back. Detachable power cord is nice as well. However, I would say Klipsch has really dropped the quality of the black Ash wood veneer since the original reference series came out years ago. It's definitely not matched to my other speakers. Overall I'm giving a 4. At 50% off they're miles ahead of anything else in the $250 range. At $500 they're still very good, but you're getting into a price range that you could pick up an SVS or HSU for a bit more and get an entirely different class of sub. Bottom line if you're an average person looking for a nice, loud bass that's plenty deep for most movies and games, they're great. If you're looking for a sub that's gonna shake you down to 18 Hertz because you're a true audiophile, this isn't it. They're just in a weird price range where it's not a cut and dry decision.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Better than anticipated

    Posted
    Michael88
    • My Best Buy® Elite Member

    I currently have klipsch premiere bookshelves and was on the market for a subwoofer to pair with them for music listening. After seeing the r-120sw was on sale 50% like Black Friday prices, I decided to buy one. I honestly had no intention of keeping it, I figured it was going to just be a 1 note, boomy mess of a subwoofer. To my surprise it sounds very good, has good articulate bass, picks up on the distinguished notes and plays decently deep when it needs to. I can’t stress enough on placement and volume/crossover setup. After listening some more and making more adjustments, gain/crossover and position, I found it to be excellent at the $224 price, I decided to buy a second one. After hooking up the second one, the quality and frequency response increased greatly, very smooth and flat response. I have each set to 9 o’clock on the gain and 60hz crossover to my r-150m’s and they blend perfectly, they don’t overpower them, and the amount of headroom I have is great. Would I have bought them at $449 each, no, I would have went with SVS, but the sale price motivated the purchase. Now knowing how they sound I think they are worth $449 asking price. If you take the time to set up and give the rear port a foot or 2 of space from the back wall, it won’t sound boomy or muddy.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Didn't really know what I was getting....

    Posted
    Randy
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus Member

    Needed a new sub to replace my Bose Acoustimass 10 setup so I'd have a dedicated sub without all the custom wire connections. Reviews looked good and the price was fair. Knew I was in trouble when they brought it out on a dolly! Man, this thing is big! Could double as an end table! (no hiding it from my wife, unfortunately, she couldn't miss this beast). Used my new Denon 1295W auto config. to dial everything in. Worked like a charm as soon as I plugged it into the right ports in the back of the receiver. Tons of thumb, distortion's not that bad. Do have to dial it back a little at louder volume but totally happy with it. Looks and sounds great. I'm no expert, obviously, but this thing does exactly what I wanted it to do. Adds such depth to movies and music, fills the entire room (14x24). Wired the room for two but I don't need anything more than this. Love the Klipsch brand, had a 5.1 computer setup from them for a decade that just kicked the bucket, but i've always loved the sound from my Klipsch's

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Bass Lovers Rejoice

    Posted
    HarvickFan
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network

    This subwoofer brings the boom, period. It’s built like a tank, like all Klipsch products are known for. It has both phase and frequency controls to help dial in the tone you want, plus a master volume control to fine tune how the sub fits in with your overall system, as to not overpower the other speakers and become too boomy. You can set the sub to always be on, or set it to automatically turn on only when it receives a signal from your receiver, and you can also manually power the sub off, without having to disconnect anything, for those times when you need to be a little quieter, but still have the rest of your system running. Different audio sources might require some slight fine tuning – for example watching a DTS or Atmos movie, versus regular cable versus listening to music. But once dialed in, this subwoofer delivers across all of them. Setup was super simply, and just place the sub in a corner and be amazed. With the 200W RMS of power this sub will easily fill any space with the type of bass you dial in. It also has the copper cone that Klipsch is known for, so you can use with the grill cover on for a traditional look, or remove it and let the copper cone shine for a more aggressive look. I love how much depth and tone this thing adds to my listening experience.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Awesome!

    Posted
    Reggievision
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Member

    I’m using this sub woofer with the Yamaha RX 671 7.1 system I blew up my 50 W Sony and decided to upgrade at first I thought it might be too much but it blended right in with my system right out of the box! I haven’t even experimented with some of the advanced features like trying it in and out of phase yet but The blend I have now is amazing the bass is more felt than heard even though it’s front firing I didn’t have a corner available as directed in the instructions but it bounces off of the walls and it is hard to even tell where it’s coming from it’s so evenly disbursed! I have ascertained it’s coming from everywhere in my family room LOL sub woofer bass is definitely an instance where More is better I have it set to flat zero on the amp and halfway up on the speaker and it blended in perfectly as a matter fact this speaker is so good I’m looking into other speakers for my home theater from Klipsch to round out the 7.1 system yes I recommend this speaker it is the best one I’ve ever had and probably the last one I’ll need and yes I know sound because I am a professional musician with 40 yrs experience of Live sound . when streaming audio through the system it will blow your mind explosions during movies are reproduced in a way u have to hear to believe i’m going to unpause my movie right now , thought you should know how good this subwoofer sounds

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

    plenty of power and a bit boomy

    Posted
    bd43274
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • Top 1000 ContributorTop 1000 Contributor

    the good: -tons of power -certainly enough low end -puts tons of boom in a home theater the bad: -crossover tuning is needed to prevent a super muddy response. even with this, i still don’t think it competes with the likes of subs like SVS. -because it can sound just a bit loose, it may not be the best sub for music, depending on the genre. misc: -copper woofer, some will like it and some won’t. i keep the grill on pesonally, so it makes no difference to me. overall: when i first connected this sub and fired it up, i was very unimpressed. however, as it was broken in over the next few days, it became significantly less “boomy” and much more enjoyable to have as part of my system…with the right crossover point set. have the crossover set too high and it can muddy up the low end in my opinion, and the margin for error on this sub is relatively small. i am personally a big fan of Klipsch speakers…i love their mids and their tweeters are spectacular in their price range, but their subs are not quite up to par with the rest of their lineup in my opinion. that being said, if you want bang for your buck (literally?) and this sub is going in your home theater, it’s not a bad way to go for the price. for me it’s probably closer to 3.5 stars than 3, but 4 stars feels like too much.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Awesome Sub!!

    Posted
    masc360
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • Top 1000 ContributorTop 1000 Contributor

    Subwoofer's are one of the most important pieces of a home theater but often times they do not get the praise or respect they deserve. A good subwoofer can help elevate your system to new levels. It can help hide some deficiencies of your speakers but only if you have a good sub. If you just pick any sub and do not get one that will help your speakers it will not make as much of an impact. That being said this Klipsch subwoofer packs a punch, it goes so well with the Klipsch speakers I have and it helps round out the sound from the speakers. For being a big black square it sure does look really good. The design and especially the copper color of the cone looks great. If i had to make one complaint is that the light to signify if the speaker is on or off is on the front of the speaker behind the grill and it can be hard to see unless you are looking directly at it. I personally prefer it on the rear so if i need to check if my sub is working a quick glance in the back and I can see if the light is on while I make adjsutments.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

    Average subwoofer

    Posted
    SubwooferMaster
    • My Best Buy® Elite Member

    I have over 25 years of speaker / subwoofer listening experience with many speakers and subwoofers listened too; and I've also built many quality subwoofer enclosures. So as an audiophile, I know good sound. This subwoofer is average and definitely will never go on my list of recommended subwoofers. There's a reason why this subwoofer is 50% off since only being released for only four months and that's due to the sound quality. So any subwoofer can put out bass, but there is such a thing as bass quality and accuracy and this sub fails on both those two levels. This sub does not go as low as other subs This sub is not accurate across the bass spectrum This is sub is muddy sounding The crossover is average as best With all that being said, this subwoofer gets LOUD and there's not a whole alot of distortion at high volumes. You really have to play with the volume, crossover, and your receiver's settings to get it dialed in to sound decent. Now..........I know it all sounds negative, but listen: If you're looking for sub that gets LOUD and needs to fill a subwoofer void......then this is it BUT If you're looking for accuracy, fidelity, and true low end across the whole bass spectrum......don't get this sub.

    No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Solid subwoofer for the money

    Posted
    MrFunk
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus Member

    I bought two of these subwoofers on Black Friday when they were half off. One is setup with my Pioneer SC-95 amp and Martin Logan Motion 40s. It definitely adds to the low end but might not be the most accurate, deepest or tightest bass. Same for the one setup with my home theater, its shakes the room but leaves some accuracy to be desired. Also keep in mind it is a 12 inch subwoofer so its footprint isn't small. I wish there were other finish options. It looks and feels cheaper than other subwoofers in the $400-$500 range. Plus glossy black would look much better and match my speakers. For $225 this subwoofer is a fantastic value(and reason I'm giving 4 stars rather than 3) but if it is more expensive I'd wait for a better sale or look at alternatives. If quality is your main concern I'd look toward alternatives. Still its better than what 90 plus percent of people have in their houses.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Good Upgrade from a 10" Sub

    Posted
    TCW0010
    • My Best Buy® Member

    A fantastic upgrade over my Polk PSW10 10" subwoofer that I have used for years. Surprisingly at low listening volumes, the Polk 10" kept up with Klipsch just fine (sound quality, no distortion, boomy-ness), but it wasn't until the mid to high listening volumes that the Klipsch blew the old sub out of the water. Nice clean bass with no distortion at high volumes. The gain knob is set in the middle and it's enough bass to fill my space for my 15'x25' room with an open floor plan to the kitchen. Rattles my walls and floors. Consider it as a massage chair with a vibrating function. I was a little concerned with the rear port due to my placement at the corner of the room, but I did not hear any air pushing in and out of the port despite being up against the wall. This sub is awesome. Crisp and clean bass at all listening levels. Only con is the sub drops in volume below 29 hz. Some dubstep or hip hop music go lower easily. Typically, 12" subs can hit the low 20's, but this is an entry level 12" sub.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Excellent sound and value

    Posted
    Denny
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Member

    The R-120SW is a fantastic subwoofer. It provides outstanding clean, clear, deep thunderous bass and the power to rock the house with ease. Klipsch has outstanding products and my sub paired with the R-820F floor standing speakers in front, R-34C center channel and RP-6000F rear speakers provides amazing sound which clearly destroyed my old Bose system it replaced. My room size is odd 26' wide from left to right and 13' back from the sub to sitting area with another 10' open behind us with cathedral ceilings and the R-120SW handles it with ease and then some. I could dial up the thunder a lot more on it if needed but really have it set just right without making the wife go crazy lol. Pair this Klipsch with it's other products for outstanding sound and value. No need to pay more for something double or triple the price...use that savings to bring in more Klipsch speakers to finish your surround sound system.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Solid choice for subwoofer

    Posted
    Jason
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus Member

    I purchased this sub before there were too many reviews, but I needed an option to replace an old pioneer sub. Most theater sites recommend expensive subs for low frequencies, but they typically sell for $500+ for entry level serious subs (SVS, Hsu, PSA, RSL). I think that this sub sits perfectly in between those and has great output. It's a big step up from an entry level speaker without breaking the bank. I have a massive basement where it's located (25x45 room, 10k cuft), and it fills the viewing area great with plenty of bass and across the room when listening to music. In a room my size you do not get the guy wrenching feel from the super low frequencies, which it certainly should in a smaller space; however, I didn't expect that in this price point and have been pleasantly surprised. I have mine positioned in the corner by my TV, and it's running with my KEF Q100 mains for a 2.1 setup. I'm not a huge bass addict, but it can get to pretty loud volumes. I have no problem recommending it to friends, and I'm guessing that it will start to climb the lists on home theater sites as a serious budget contender.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

    Very Okay

    Posted
    Zioina
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus Member

    Really good sub for music amd not so much for home theater punch and rumble. I have an older SVS 12 that takes this thing around block and spanks it in just about every way. That also said I have older h-100 that also beats the theater performance of this sub. But where this sub really shines is in music, it has a very nice tone for music re-production. It lacks punch and range for home theater, you might have to spring for the more expensive version of this sub for that. So honestly it depends on your setup, if you can pick this up on super sale it's worth it, at full price I'm not impressed. If you have no sub look into a Bic-12 or h-100 if you are on a budget or if you have more in the budget spring for an SVS or the higher end version of this sub. But again it comes down to you and your space and your budget. I've heard better for cheaper so this thing gets an average score from me.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Now this is a quality subwoofer

    Posted
    Russ
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite Member

    For the past couple of years I have been buying inexpensive subwoofer. Different brand and sizes. Some don’t sound good then other don’t last. Saw this on Black Friday for half off so I decided to get it. I didn’t know what I was missing until now. It really packs a punch to the chest and shakes my whole house. They are paired with jbl speakers but it blended in really well. It’s a super power full sub. I only have it a quarter way on volume and gets super loud. Even in my 15 by 20 room it fills it with bass. At first it was a bit boomy but as time went on it cleared up and is tight. Not the best for music but during movies it’s a whole different sub. I can’t get over the quality of it. I have kids so I keep the grill on but take at times to look at the the really nice looking copper woofer. I highly recommended it. Klipsch is one of the most respected brands in audio. I highly recommended it to anyone who wants a powerful quality subwoofer.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Good but not great

    Posted
    Sesante
    • My Best Buy® Elite Member

    Picked up this sub Black Friday for half price. Honestly it’s way better than most of the junk subs you find online or at stores in the 100-300 price range. For the Black Friday sale it’s definitely worth it’s price. At normal retail price you can find a better sub. As for use with music i feel its a boomy mess for my taste and decided to use it exclusively for movies. (LFE) only vs (LFE+Main) with a crossover at 80hz. For this application it works great as you don’t really need accurate reproduction for an explosion. Overall not bad for the price but definitely not an audiophile sub. Just my two cents.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Great sub for the money

    Posted
    pianoman58
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus Member

    Have had this sub installed for a weeks now and am very pleased. I have it hooked to an Onkyo 676 receiver and it works great. Just make sure you have a high quality sub cable though, the cheap one (purple ends) I got at Best Buy had hum even though I had used on a Sony sub previously. Replacing with a higher quality shielded cable fixed the problem. Like other reviews this sub will shake your house so having less than half on the input control and tweaking the eqs on the AVR should help you get a very blended sound with your main speakers. Regular price is a little high so try to catch on sale. I was able to get an open box special at less than $200 but if you do that check to make sure it had a power cable as mine did not and I had to run back to Best Buy across town to get one.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Loud and deep bass

    Posted
    CadillaCATS
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase

    This was a Christmas gift for my brother and sister-in-law. They had a 10 inch which died after a few years (the amp circuits fried) and 8 inch which died almost instantly. My brother studied and listened to this sub at the store and asked for this if someone bought this for him and his wife. I bought it on Cyber Monday so I got a real good deal on the price. It came within 5 days after placing the order. He texted me and said it was LOUD. When I went to his house to visit and hear the sub for myself, it was loud! The bass is pretty deep and I dare say it could possibly handle some of the 90's bass music. For rock music, it really fills that low end he was missing. Of course he has his stereo hooked up to his television and the surround sound now sounds awesome.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Excellent sub.

    Posted
    mhall
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase

    Love this sub. I caught it on a black friday deal and saved 100.00. This was a big step up from my F12. I have RP-280F fronts and RP-450C center and wanted to complete the set. When I first hooked it up I kept getting video distortion and interference . I went back to magnolia at best buy and the guys figured out it was drawing a lot more power than the sub before. The solution was to ground the sub with a Higher end cable with a ground. I didn't think buying 100 cable would make a difference but I bought the cable and went home to try. Best 100 cable I ever bought as soon as the ground was connected my sub came alive and all distortion stopped. Love this sub and I want to thank the Guys from best buy Magnolia in Naperville Illinois they were spot on and knowledgeable .

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Nice sub for the money!

    Posted
    Audioguy
    • My Best Buy® Member

    I replaced a Yamaha with dual 8 s that I bought from B.B. in 1998 20 years ago . As for the sub I liked it so much that I ended up buying a second one for my system. My rec room is 25x25 and once I dialed in the gain and cross over both subs sound really good for movies in combo with my JBL studio s 312 mains. Black Friday pricing was too good to pass up. I was missing out bigtime thinking it couldn't get much better than my old Yamaha.For the money you would be hard pressed to beat these subs. Best bang for the buck !! I buy brick and mortar when possible to support Best Buy and other retailers.

    I would recommend this to a friend