Klipsch SPL-150 subwoofer review Page 2

Positioning the SPL-150 is not the charade it could have been. Its relatively bijou 34kg makes it fairly easy to move around, and the rubber isolating feet soak up small flooring imperfections to stop it wobbling. The front port gives you a lot of confidence in backing it up to a wall too, making it a versatile woofer in terms of where you can put it. Klipsch recommends corner placement to make use of the added boundary gain, and for the ultimate in-room LFE compression suggests one SPL-150 in each corner, run simultaneously through four WA-2 wireless kits. That would leave you lighter to the tune of around £4,000 and very probably deaf by Christmas. I like the idea though.

Gordon's Alive!
Getting the LFE level right was equally straightforward after I abandoned using the rather coarse onboard low-pass filter. With bass management duties assigned to my AVR and the level knob set mid-way, the SPL-150 was ready to rock. 'For god sake, strap yourselves in!' I mused when I slipped the Blu-ray of Flash Gordon into the deck for some high-camp, low-frequency fun.

My death-grip on the sofa arms, anticipating an uncontrolled assault of woolly LFE, transpired to be misplaced. Dialled in to the rest of the system, the SPL-150 neatly underpinned the thumping Queen soundtrack and did nothing to slow the infectious rhythm of Football Fight. While Klipsch's SPL models are never going to bag awards for being neutral and understated, I was pleasantly surprised how well this flagship sub rocked along to the film's aged score without turning it into a boom-a-thon.

Nudging up the volume, the Hawkman vs Ajax scene is a pure smile-fest, combining ridiculous sound effects, spectacular visuals and Bryan May wringing every last note out of his guitar. Brian Blessed's dialogue benefits from the sub's weight. The Klipsch keeps the pace well, backs up the fire-fight and does a reasonable job of turning the kitsch explosion of the Ajax into an almost modern LFE triumph. For something altogether more high brow than Ming the Merciless's high brows, 2004's House of Flying Daggers continued the colourful cult movie theme. Thrown pebbles and drums – you know the scene – had the SPL-150's copper cone in a visible state of flux, reaching a fair way into its throw range with the volume cranked right up. There was no shortage of room-filling output, but the initial drum attack did lack the visceral feel of faster subwoofers and there was some smearing of the drum's overall tone.

Boom Boom Shake Shake The Room
The SPL-150 is a fabulous concept in delivering big subwoofer bass at levels your mother would disapprove of, and for a relatively affordable outlay. Its lightweight cabinet is perhaps its weakest link, adding its own take on the overall sound, so it's not a sub for those in search of razor-sharp edges to LFE transients. But it's cracking value for money nonetheless, and lots of fun.

HCC Verdict

Klipsch SPL-150

Price: £850

We say: The SPL-150 delivers on its 'badass bass' promise. Impressive LFE depth and energy for the price, but subtlety and speed aren't strong points.

Overall: 4/5


DRIVE UNITS: 1 x 15in spun Cerametallic copper finish woofer ENCLOSURE: Front slot-ported ONBOARD POWER (CLAIMED): 400W (RMS) FREQUENCY RESPONSE (CLAIMED): 18Hz-125Hz REMOTE CONTROL: No DIMENSIONS: 495(w) x 546(h) x 566(d)mm WEIGHT: 34.2kg

Features: 2 x RCA line-level inputs; LFE input; WA-2 wireless kit input; simultaneous wired/wireless connection; variable low-pass filter; switchable 180-degree phase control; auto power on