Klipsch makes big speakers: In the early days of hi-fi, the company was known for its refrigerator-sized models that, like movie sound systems, used horns to generate the maximum output of tube amps. vacuum tubes common at the time. Fast-forward to the present, and the brand is still using loaded speaker drivers, but now to deliver distinctive Klipsch sound on Dolby Atmos soundbars.
Few people who have heard a Klipsch-based system would be disappointed in its performance. But there’s no escaping the reality that both the company’s speakers and soundbars take up a fair amount of space in the living room.
A new partnership aims to change that, with a press release Klipsch circulated this week announcing “a strategic partnership to develop a new line of Klipsch home audio solutions that integrate Resonado Labs technologies.”
Who is this Resonado Labs and what are they bringing to the table? “Identifying an opportunity to deliver full-frequency sound in small form factor speakers led to the development and patenting of our core technology,” Brian Cho, founder and CEO of Resonado Labs, said in the Klipsch statement. That technology is called the Res-Core engine, and it’s the driving force behind the Klipsch-Resonado Labs alliance’s plan to “define the next era of audio by developing a line of products designed to deliver the highest possible performance in compact form factors.” elegant and compact. ”
In other words, Klipsch speakers and soundbars are about to get really, really small.
A quick check of the Resonado Labs website reveals that the Res-Core is a “precision-driven motor design featuring a planar voice coil suspended between two parallel bar magnets.” In addition, the motor “is controlled by a high-performance suspension system that allows the speaker transducer to maximize piston movement to push a large amount of air for the deepest, cleanest bass.”
Breaking that down, the Res-Core voice coil (the speaker component that takes an amplifier’s electrical output and converts it into driver vibration to move air) has been designed to save maximum space, while the Motor suspension allows for compact transducers that can generate the kind of bass you’d normally expect from much larger speaker drivers.
There was no discussion of an actual product during a virtual press conference where Klipsch announced the new partnership, though a “Cinema One” was mentioned. This leads us to speculate that Klipsch-Resonado Labs’ initial offering will be a Dolby Atmos soundbar. Additionally, a Klipsch executive’s statement during the event that they “want people to experience Klipsch sound but in a compact, nearly invisible form factor” leads us to believe that the next soundbar will still use loaded drivers. with a speaker, though it will be dramatically smaller than the company’s existing offerings.
Analysis: ‘Almost invisible’ speakers and soundbars are a welcome development
Unlike the best 4K TVs, which have gotten thinner and thinner over the years even as screen size has grown, the best speakers and soundbars are still mostly big and shaped like cash register. There are exceptions like Samsung HW-S800B and the new sonos lightningbut these require a separate subwoofer to achieve satisfying deep bass, something that’s particularly important for watching movies.
If the new Klipsch-Resonado Labs partnership produces soundbars and speakers that defy the laws of physics and deliver full-range sound with punchy bass in a compact, single-box form factor, it won’t just be a technical achievement. , but a breakthrough for audio. People who might otherwise have been hesitant to add a soundbar, and especially a subwoofer, to their TV will be more accepting of additional audio components.
We look forward to hearing “Cinema One”, or whatever comes out of this project. And if Resonado Labs can work the same magic to improve the built-in audio capabilities of TVs, that will be even more remarkable.