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Klipsch LightSpeaker System Architectural Speaker First Look

Klipsch LightSpeaker System Architectural Speaker

Klipsch LightSpeaker System Architectural Speaker


  • Product Name: LightSpeaker System Architectural Speaker
  • Manufacturer: Klipsch
  • Review Date: January 13, 2010 07:55
  • MSRP: $599/ system with two speakers
  • First Impression: Gotta Have It!
SYSTEM COMPONENTS Two LightSpeakers, wireless transmitter, RF remote control, 2 AAA batteriers, 1 transmitter power supply, 1 - 3.5 mm mini jack to stereo RCA cable, 2 lenses, 4 trim rings (2 small / 2 large), owner's manual, and quick set-up guide
DRIVE COMPONENTS 2.5" Micro Cellulose Polymer cone with integrated high frequency disperser
AMPLIFIER 20 watt digital amplifier with Digital Signal Processing
Transmitter 2.4 GHz wireless transmission of 2 sources to 2 independent zones
Transmitter Controls Zone 1, Zone 2, Source 1, Source 2, Volume up/down, Mute, Light Dimming up/down, Light on/off, Power on/off
Transmitter Inputs 1 right/left line level or 3.5 mm stereo line level for each source DC input
LED Light 10 watt long life LED, 40,000 hours rated (replace up to a 65 watt incandescent), fully dimmable and controlled from either the remote or the light buttons on the transmitter
overall width 5.1” (130.0 mm) diameter - without flange
DEPTH 7.1” (181.0 mm) - with socket and lens
DIMENSIONS Transmitter 5.9” (151.0 mm) W x 7.0” (177.0 mm) L x 2.4” (60.0 mm) H
Remote: 2” (52.0 mm) W x 5.1” (130.0 mm) L x 1.2” (30.0mm)
WEIGHT 2.51 lbs (1.14 kg)

When explaining HD to someone, it's often hard to convey how cool it is. Same thing with surround sound. Until you've experienced it, it's often impossible to understand what you are missing. The same thing is true about distributed audio. Sure, you think it is no big deal but when you can fill you home with music, even if it is not up to a true Audioholic's exacting standards, you realize what you've been missing.

There are a lot of ways to distribute audio. The least high tech is to just run wires and install speakers. People tend to think this is a lot harder than it is, and it does take a bit of work. On top of that, if you are living in a rented space or just don't want to cut holes in your walls, you may not be able to accommodate traditional solutions. Running speaker wire to terminals and using freestanding speakers is another option, but then you are stuck with freestanding speakers you have to find a space for in your kitchen, living room, or bedroom. Not a very attractive prospect no matter how you look at it. Lastly, using a wireless speaker option is a good one (we've used the Soundcast OutCast as well as others) but you need to keep them charged and again you are dealing with a freestanding speaker. For the most high-end of looks, installed speakers are the way to go but can be the most intimidating.

Not any more.

light-speakers-nakedKlipsch has introduced the LightSpeaker System Architectural Speakers at this year's CES. This speaker system consists of two LightSpeakers, a transmitter, and a remote. The installation is as brainless as it is brilliant - just screw the speakers in to existing 5- and 6-inch recessed light fixtures, plug in the transmitter, and enjoy the music! The speakers consist of a 2.5" Micro Cellulose Polymer cone with integrated high frequency disperser, a 20 watt amplifier, and a digital EQ. They are rated down to 90Hz and have 2 lenses and 4 trim rings (2 small / 2 large). The cool part though is that they also include a 2.4GHz wireless receiver and a 10 watt long life LED rated at 40,000 hours (replaces up to a 65 watt incandescent) which is fully dimmable and controlled from either the remote or the light buttons on the transmitter. This means that you can not only have your music but your light too!

The transmitter will accept two inputs (either stereo RCA or 3.5mm) and can transmit up to two zones. According to Klipsch, the transmitter will work with up to 8 speakers at up to 50 feet. Each speaker has a left or right (mono would have been nice as well) and a Zone 1 or 2 selector switch. These are located at the bottom of the speaker where it connects to the Edison-type socket. You will have to uninstall the speaker to make changes. You can control what source goes to which Zone from the transmitter or the remote as well as lighting on and off plus dimming.


Here is where we run into the one criticism of the LightSpeaker System. Your existing dimmer wall switch is now unusable. Instead you'll need to use the remote or transmitter controls for just those lights that have been replaced with LightSpeakers. In the same vein, the trim rings may or may not match your existing lighting.


Frankly, we think the Klipsch LightSpeaker System is brilliant. When we first saw the product, we thought you just replaced the light with a speaker but the fact that you still get light (equivalent of 65 watt bulb) that will last 15 years or more AND uses less electricity... well, it seems like a win win. The LightSpeaker system isn't cheap. At $600 for the initial system and $250 for each additional speaker, you're looking at a heavy investment. But frankly, the ease of installation, the ease of un-installation, and the non-impact (at least to your walls) nature of the kit may make that price well worth it to some. Add to that the cost of replacing light bulbs and the savings on paying for installation and repair (when you move out) and you can quickly see how these speakers might just pay for themselves. While this system isn't for everyone, it surely will have many out there drooling.

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

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As Associate Editor at Audioholics, Tom promises to the best of his ability to give each review the same amount of attention, consideration, and thoughtfulness as possible and keep his writings free from undue bias and preconceptions. Any indication, either internally or from another, that bias has entered into his review will be immediately investigated. Substantiation of mistakes or bias will be immediately corrected regardless of personal stake, feelings, or ego.

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