“Let our rigorous testing and reviews be your guidelines to A/V equipment – not marketing slogans”
Facebook Youtube Twitter instagram pinterest

Klipsch RB-51 Bookshelf Speakers Preview

Klipsch RB-51 Bookshelf Speakers

Klipsch RB-51 Bookshelf Speakers


  • Product Name: RB-51 Bookshelf Speakers
  • Manufacturer: Klipsch
  • Review Date: October 13, 2010 07:25
  • MSRP: $389/pair
  • First Impression: Pretty Cool

Executive Overview

Around late Spring of 2010, Audioholics did a Floorstanding Speaker Face-Off which included the Klipsch RF-62s. Participants in the speaker shootout seemed to rank the Klipsch very well, enjoying its clarity and high frequency definition as well as its deep bass response. Recently we were personally introduced to its "little brother", as it were, the RB-51 Bookshelf speakers. This speaker shares the same 3.5" x 2.5" Tractrix Horn and have a "deep throat" from which the high frequency, natural sound emanates and spreads into the listening area. Behind this horn lies a 1-inch titanium tweeter with a powerful neodymium motor structure that keeps it cool, and thus efficient, delivering excellent dynamics and highs that don't suffer from compression or lack of definition - even at loud volumes.

Klipsch RB-51 Bookshelf Speaker YouTube Review

The RB-51 also includes a 5-1/4 inch woofer for solid bass reproduction that dips down to 50Hz. That's not subwoofer frequency, but it's low enough to provide plenty of punch. The woofer is "Cerametallic" which is to say it is a hybrid ceramic and metal composition with an inverted copper dust cap. It's stiff, and that translates into accurate sound reproduction and less breakup distortion which ruins sound quality.

Klipsch matches its excellent drivers with equally impressive crossover components, and what we found on the RB-51 Reference Bookshelf Speakers was no exception. The crossover on the RB-51 is set at 2kHz, which is about right and ensures that the midrange driver doesn't have to overextend itself to produce the full frequency response this speaker is capable of. Klipsch even has custom internal wiring to make sure everything is up to its highest standards.

This bookshelf speaker is what's known as a bass-reflex design, which is to say it has a port on the back. Because of that, you won't want to place this speaker, ironically, on a bookshelf. The rear port will fire into the bookshelf and muddy up the sound. These speakers are meant to be placed on a stand or, if that's impossible, wall-mounted. Each speaker weighs 12 lbs, hefty and substantial and they are approximately 11-1/2 x 6-1/2 x 11 inches in size.

The Klipsch RB-51 Reference Bookshelf Speakers are priced at $389/pair and are available in a black woodgrain vinyl finish. They come with a low-diffraction, magnetically-attached grille. Honestly, though, these speakers are so beautiful we'd recommend leaving them off.


Unless otherwise indicated, this is a preview article for the featured product. A formal review may or may not follow in the future.

About the author:
author portrait

Clint Deboer was terminated from Audioholics for misconduct on April 4th, 2014. He no longer represents Audioholics in any fashion.

View full profile

Confused about what AV Gear to buy or how to set it up? Join our Exclusive Audioholics E-Book Membership Program!