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Klipsch R-41M review

Since its inception in 1946, Klipsch has made a name for itself in the world of loudspeakers with a series of products that showcase flat frequency response and an immersive sound without breaking the bank.

Following the same philosophy, their R-41M proves once again that high-quality audio doesn’t always require huge investments.

Whether you’re looking to upgrade your home theater or make your just refine your time relaxing and enjoying music, a pair of R-41M offers excellent quality for just about $150.

Let’s take a look at these popular loudspeakers and analyze their pros and cons, who they’re intended for, and what alternatives the market offers.

About the author

I am an audiophile and audio engineer with over 10 years of experience in the music industry. When testing passive speakers, I’m interested in clarity and neutrality, first and foremost, but I also want the sound to be enjoyable and engaging. When I use my hi-fi equipment for deep-listening sessions, I pay attention to the quality of frequency response across the spectrum, and when it comes to bookshelf speakers, I ensure they can perfectly reproduce whichever music I throw at them.

Klipsch R-41M bookshelf speakers review
Image: Klipsch

Final verdict on the Klipsch R-41M 4.0

Don’t let the size of these bookshelf speakers fool you, the R-41M are loud and can easily envelop a small/medium size room into sound. They can reproduce audio with pristine clarity throughout the spectrum and are a perfect solution to upgrade both audio systems and home theaters.

Despite that, and depending on the music genre you listen to, you may want to invest in a subwoofer. Because of their size, low frequencies are not their forte, and if you’re into genres characterized by a powerful bass, you might be disappointed by their performance.

What I like

  • Excellent transparency and accuracy throughout the audio spectrum and at all volumes.
  • Immersive sound imaging.
  • Easy to setup.
  • Price.

What I don’t like

  • If you enjoy music with a lot of bass, you’ll need a subwoofer.
  • Not good for large rooms.
Buy Klipsch R-41M at: Amazon

Design 4.0

First off, these are small speakers, just 11.3″ x 5.75″ and 7.9″ deep, so if you’re looking for speakers that’ll visually impress your guests as they enter the room, I suggest you look elsewhere.

The minimal design will fit virtually any environment, with a textured wood vinyl finish and copper woofer that feel quite retro and timeless.

Personally, I love the stripped-down design, which has always been a trademark of the Indiana-based brand.

Build quality 4.5

These bookshelf speakers are built to stand the test of time, with a high-quality and solid construction that gives the cabinets a sense of strength and reliability.

The R-41M comes with grille covers that attach magnetically to the cabinets. You can use them to stay on the safe side or to magnify the vintage style of the speakers, but the speaker’s design and build quality are more than enough to protect them from unexpected accidents.

Sound 4.0

Now, let’s get to the juicy part. The sound coming out of the R-41M is crisp and pristine, and it gets more vibrant when you increase the volume.

As you would expect from a member of the Klipsch Reference series, the sound is much bigger and fuller than you’d expect from such tiny speakers.

The 1″ aluminium LTS horn-loaded tweeter does an outstanding job at reproducing higher frequencies with transparent clarity, and the 4″ IMG woofer handles lower frequencies well enough to create an immersive sound effect.

Similarly to the rest of the Reference family (the older R-14M, R-15M, and the R-51M), the R-41M loses a bit on the lower frequency side, but truly we can’t expect more from the size and budget of these speakers.

To evaluate the bass frequencies reproduced by the R-41M, I played “Angel” by Massive Attack and “Royals” by Lorde, and in both cases, I felt some of the deep background textures were lost. Nothing major, but worth noting if you’re into powerful basslines.

To test the overall sound balance, I tried Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean”, and I was astounded by the spatial clarity and consistency of the music reproduced. Highs are crisp and not too bright, while lows are enhanced yet subtle enough to magnify the track’s intrinsic qualities.

A pair of R-41M speakers won’t have any issues performing as a home theater system. In fact, while I think they create a pleasant and enveloping surround sound, they also shine as front speakers.

Compared to other bookshelf speakers

At under $150 a pair, the Klipsch R-41M are decent cheap bookshelf speakers. Let’s take a look at a few alternatives that might give you a better picture of what you can get for the budget of the R-41M.

Klipsch R-41M vs Polk T15

While the R-41M has a frequency range of 68 Hz – 21 kHz, the Polk T15’s frequency range is 48 Hz – 40 kHz, meaning the latter can reproduce lower frequencies and give you a more robust bass performance.

That said, the R-41M seems to be more versatile and “forgiving” as a speaker, working well in rooms of various sizes, whereas the T15’s sound is best in mid-sized rooms but gets muddy in small and large environments.

Read the full Polk Audio T15 review

Klipsch R-41M vs Edifier R1280DB

To me, the winner here is clearly the R-41M. Compared to the Edifier’s R1280DB, bass frequencies coming out of Klipsch’s speakers sound much more realistic, and the overall soundscape is more balanced.

The R1280DB’s sound is crisp and bright but not enough if you’re aiming for a high-fidelity experience.

Klipsch R-41M vs Sony SS-CS5

This comparison is a difficult one because both speakers are excellent for the money. The SS-CS5 is a 3-driver speaker that goes up to 50 kHz, which, unless you’re a dolphin or a bat, you might not care about; yet the music has a sense of airiness that’s unmatched by the R-41M.

Again, compared to the Klipsch’s speaker, the SS-CS5 requires a more thoughtful placement in the room, as the sound changes drastically depending on the pair’s disposition. All in all, there’s no clear winner here.

Read the full Sony SS-CS5 review

And if you want to upgrade

At approx $330, the Elac Debut 2.0 B5.2 seems the perfect choice if you want to upgrade from the Reference series. The sound is fuller, and the speakers are powerful enough for large rooms while maintaining exceptional transparency. The bass response is powerful and deep, and the dynamic expression feels more vibrant when compared to the more affordable R-41M.

Who are the Klipsch R-41M bookshelf speakers best suited for?

Thanks to its versatility, the Klipsch R-41M will work well as part of a home theater setup as well as in an audio system for small/medium-size rooms. Bear in mind you might need a subwoofer in both cases to achieve optimal surround sound.

If this is your first step into the audiophile world, these speakers are an excellent option because they work well in most environments, are not power-draining, and offer a faithful sonic reproduction.

The quality and accuracy of sound offered by the R-41M are impressive for the price range, so it’s undoubtedly a safe choice for anyone looking for quality bookshelf speakers under $200.

Buy Klipsch R-41M at: Amazon