Klipsch Reference Series RB-61

Bookshelf speakers (Black)

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  • Klipsch Reference Series RB-61


  • Klipsch Reference Series RB-61


Item #: 714RB61B

Review Summary

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Original price $499.99
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Our take on the Klipsch Reference Series RB-61

by Loren Barstow

Why choose bookshelf speakers?

Bookshelf speakers may be small in size, but they can deliver surprisingly big sound. Some ultra-compact models even fit on a desktop. Most are right at home in tight spaces like shelves, so they're usually good choices for your home theater's rear channels. For the best performance, try placing bookshelf speakers on solid speaker stands to help the sound really "open up." If you want full bass impact, add a powered subwoofer and enjoy punchy sound that's as deeply satisfying as that of floor-standing speakers.

Smooth-sounding bookshelf speakers

Klipsch® Reference Series speakers receive rave reviews for their true-to-life sound quality. When Klipsch brought in a pair of their RB-61s, we were impressed with how these bookshelf speakers performed in our large training room — the impact and bass response was on par with many floor-standing models.

Horn technology for dynamic performance

Grille off

The RB-61 use a horn-loaded tweeter. A flared opening in the enclosure projects high frequencies toward your listening area and prevents sound waves from simply spilling out in all directions. It's the same principle that makes your voice easier to hear when you cup your hands around your mouth. This horn design brings out details in everything you listen to, while reducing reflections that can color the sound. The horn also improves dynamics and efficiency, for powerful, "front row" sound that remains crystal-clear at all volume levels.

Cabinet construction

High-tech construction

The RB-61's woofer dishes out smooth midrange and articulate, well-defined bass. Klipsch makes the woofer cone out of anodized aluminum, so it's strong yet lightweight. A rigid cabinet with resonance-fighting internal bracing houses both the woofer and the tweeter. It all adds up to remarkably accurate reproduction of all your music and movies.

Build a complete Klipsch system

You can build a great stereo system using the RB-61s and a subwoofer, or team them with other Reference Series speakers for high-impact home theater.

Recommended center channel speaker: Klipsch RC-52.
Recommended surround speakers: Klipsch RS-42.
Recommended subwoofer: Klipsch RW-10d.

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  • video-shielded
  • bass-reflex (ported) design
  • frequency response 43-23,000 Hz (±3dB)
  • 8-ohm impedance
  • sensitivity 95 dB
  • handles up to 100 watts
  • Tractrix® horn with 1" titanium tweeter
  • 6-1/2" Cerametallic™ woofer
  • woodgrain vinyl finish
  • 8-1/2"W x 15-3/8"H x 12-9/16"D
  • warranty: 5 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
Priced per pair

    Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

    Features and Specs
    Enclosure Bass Reflex
    Video Shielded Yes
    Tweeter Type Tractrix Horn
    Tweeter Size (inches) 1
    Midrange Size (inches) N/A
    Woofer Size (inches) 6.5
    Woofer Composition Cerametallic
    Woofer Surround Rubber
    Power Range 20-100
    Sensitivity 95 @ 2.83V dB
    Impedance (Ohms) 8
    Frequency Response 43-23k Hz
    Connector Type Binding post
    Bi-amp Inputs Yes
    Height (inches) 15-3/8
    Width (inches) 8-1/2
    Depth (inches) 12-9/16
    Weight (pounds) 22
    Mounting Bracket Included No
    Recommended Stand Height (inches) 28-31
    Parts Warranty 5 Years
    Labor Warranty 5 Years
    Product Research
    What's in the box?

    Download owner's manual

    • 2 Black two-way bookshelf loudspeakers
    • 2 Detachable magnetic grilles
    • 8 Self-adhesive rubber feet
    • Owner's Manual
    • Warranty Card
    • Klipsch Design Principles brochure

    Our Product Research Team

    At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

    Overview: The Klipsch Reference Series RB-61 is a two-way bookshelf loudspeaker which delivers high-performance sound using Klipsch's advanced technologies, world-class materials and elegant design. The RB-61 employs a single 6.5-inch woofer and a Tractrix horn-loaded 1" titanium tweeter in a bass reflex cabinet.

    Driver Technology
    Enclosure Design
    Mounting Options

    Driver Technology

    Tractrix Horn Tweeter: The Klipsch RB-61 features a 1-inch titanium-diaphragm compression driver inside a square Tractrix Horn for smoother high-end response with greater extension, enhanced imaging and more powerful dynamics. The Tractrix Horn delivers a 90-degree wide by 60-degree high dispersion pattern for a broader sound-stage.

    Cerametallic Woofer: The 6.5-inch woofer of the RB-61 bookshelf loudspeaker features Klipsch's distinctive, copper-colored Cerametallic material. Made with an anodized aluminum, this cone is strong and dent resistant. The anodizing process converts its inner and outer surfaces to ceramic. The outcome is a rigid cone with superb damping characteristics that will not flex or resonate at frequencies within the woofer's operating range The 4-inch woofer also employ a rubber surround for added durability.

    Crossover Network: The Klipsch RB-61's crossover network is constructed using extremely high-quality components including top-of-the-line internal wiring, polyester film-type capacitors and an air-core inductor to ensure signal purity and proper driver integration.

    Enclosure Design

    Bass Reflex Enclosure: The 6.5-inch Cerametallic cone woofer and 1-inch titanium diaphragm compression driver are mounted in a Bass reflex enclosure which features a front-firing port. The bass reflex enclosure features a MDF cabinet finished with a Black Ash wood-grain vinyl. The enclosure uses a low-diffraction sculpted cast aluminum front baffle to improve sound dispersion and features improved internal bracing to prevent unwanted resonance.

    Magnetic Grille: The bookshelf loudspeaker features a removable magnetic grille which easily snaps into place over its cast-aluminum front baffle. The speaker can be used with or without its grille in place.


    Dual Binding Posts: The speaker has two sets of  binding posts connected by jumpers. Using the dual binding posts, you can bi-amp or bi-wire the speakers.

    Mounting Options

    Magnetically Shielded: The Klipsch RB-61 bookshelf loudspeaker is magnetically shielded to prevent video interference.

    Feet: The speakers come supplied with eight self-adhesive rubber feet so you can sit the speakers on a stand or shelf securely. The rubber feet add approximately 0.3125" to the height of the speaker.

    Note: These speakers are not equipped with a mounting bracket, keyhole slot or threaded insert.

    Placement: The Reference Series bookshelf loudspeakers are designed to perform well in a wide variety of locations but you will get the most out of the speakers by following these simple guidelines.

    • Place the front left and right speakers on shelves or stands with their tweeters at approximately ear height for a seated listener. When used surround sound speakers, they normally perform best when placed slightly higher than ear level.
    • The bookshelf loudspeakers should be equal distance from the floor and the wall behind them. It can also helps to have the left and right speakers at different distances from their nearest side walls. This sort of staggering helps smooth the bass range.

    Note: The Klipsch RB-61 bookshelf loudspeakers are packaged and sold as pairs.

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    Klipsch Reference Series RB-61 Reviews

    Average Customer Review:

    9 people say:

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    5 out of 5

    Great Speakers

    Written By Alan, Duluth, GA on Thursday, December 31, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
    Bought these site unseen from Crutchfield based on their advice. Wow. I'm replacing some old Boston Acoustic speakers that are 4 times their size and these absolutely blow them away. So far have seen no need for a sub woofer and the highs are magical. Dynamite in a black box. ALB
    7 out of 7 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Could Not Be Happier!

    Written By Russell, Winter Haven, FL on Tuesday, June 09, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
    I wanted to upgrade my 10 year old 5.1 system with a quality system. I use my system for both listening to all types of music, watching TV, and movies. I looked for months and read all of the reviews I could find. After hearing some smaller Klipsch bookshelf speakers that I liked for there size and not finding a retail outlet that had the Reference series to audition I decided to just purchase some. I would have done this sooner if most of the sites in mid to south FL listed by Klipsch as retail outlets were still opened or not really installers. I got the RB-61 for stereo / front speakers and RC-52 for the center. The sound in the whole range from bass to high sounds is exceptional. Male or Female voices, guitars, cymbals, brass, woodwinds, pianos, and string instruments all sound very near to live. These are paired with Yamaha in ceiling dual tweeter surrounds, a Polk PSW110 subwoofer, and driven by a Sony DA4400ES receiver.
    12 out of 14 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Great sound.

    Written By Dave, Galesburg, IL on Monday, May 04, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
    I ordered these speakers because I was looking to replace my Bose AM-5 speakers. The Klipsch RB-61s blow the sonic doors off the Bose units. The highs are tighter and there is enough bass that I am still debating whether I really need a subwoofer to complement them.
    If you're looking for great sound at a reasonable price, check out the Klipsch RB-61s. Even if you're not completely satisfied with them, what other company do you know that makes it easier to return a product than Crutchfield?
    4 out of 4 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Klipsch Reference Rocks!

    Written By tom, Peoria IL on Sunday, April 12, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
    I replaced some 10 year old stolen Klipsch with the Reference series and couldn't be happier. They look good, but sound even better. I was told years ago that if you want speakers more for music than theater, go Klipsch, but I now believe that I'd amend that to say just go Klipsch no matter what!
    7 out of 8 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Dream System

    Written By Steve, Virginia Beach, VA on Saturday, April 11, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
    I upgraded my small front (L & R) Polk Audio RM6700 speakers to these medium sized Klipsch RB-61 book shelf speakers, and upgraded the Polk center speaker (2650) to the Klipsch RC-62 and the difference in audio quality is nothing short of dramatic. The RB-61's (& RC-62) have a much fuller sound and inherent larger bass quality. I also added the Klipsch RW-12d sub-woofer buddied with a Polk Audio PSW404 sub-woofer and the result is my "dream team" home theater speaker set up. The speakers are driven by an Onkyo TX-SR806 head unit.
    1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Klipsch Reference Series RB-61

    Written By Richard, Freehold, NJ on Monday, April 06, 2009
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
    Great speakers. Clean, crisp and powerful.
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    5 out of 5

    I convinced my wife that SPEAKER is not equal to other SPEAKER...

    Written By Robert, Houston, TX on Thursday, February 05, 2009
    I recommend these speakers to all! I have not even fought that speakers I had before were so bad until I bought these. Even my wife agreed with me and approved the purchase.
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    5 out of 5

    A better bookshelf will be hard to find

    Written By Clint, Okinawa, Japan on Thursday, October 09, 2008
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
    I had been wanting to upgrade my old Bose Accoustimass 5 speakers to a home theater setup for while but wasn't sure what to get. Most HTIB options seemed to be made cheap and didn't sound that great. I have heard most of the Klipsch line-up of speakers, and they all sounded awesome, but most are too heavy to ship overseas to where I'm stationed.

    Then I looked at the Klipsch reference bookshelf series that are available from Crutchfield. I never heard them in person before, but I trusted the Klipsch reputation for excellent speakers. So I ordered a pair of the RB-61s on-line and crossed my fingers that Crutchfield shipped to an APO address(most companies won't) and they do! Suprisingly they arrived in a week. I immediately hooked them up and I have to say I was not disappointed. They blew my old Bose away! The bass was unbelievable for a bookshelf, the highs are incredibly clear and true at all volume levels (I have a 12' x 20' living room, no problem with sound coverage), and they look great as well. I also ordered the RW-10d, RC-52, RS-42s from Crutchfield to round out my system so I'll do a review of those separately.

    Thanks again Klipsch for making a great product and Crutchfield for outstanding customer service. I'll definitely be a repeat customer for both companies.

    21 out of 21 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Be careful

    Written By cuznsteve, Oakland Gardens NY on Wednesday, September 10, 2008
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
    Yes, I made the jump to Klipsch ! I had been wanting a pair of Klipsch Speakers, ever since I heard a pair of my cousin Richs in 1984, although highly amplified, I was still impressed and wondered what they could do for me .

    I was used to Acoustic Suspension speakers, and these are Bass Reflex. My first impression is a lasting one . You can get fuller ,richer bass and treble , at lower volumes. In fact , I find that higher volumes are discouraged , as , at the very highest , that of 75 % of my Recievers Amps output, the speakers of Bass Reflex design are boomy and overly sparkly. I therefore have settled to listen at a restrained volume, at which I get quite a satisfactory level of detail , and loud enough to fill the room with solid performance. And I have only begun . So far, its been only radio. Soon I will put the CD's on ! All in all, glad I did it , I'd do it again . Well worth the wait . But , I wish they came in Acoustic Suspension. When I contacted Klipsch about this , they informed me there is only one discontinued version who can be specially built for you , me, at prohibitive priceing though, The Heresy .So , I still have a wish , but feel fulfilled anyway , and grateful Crutchfield decided to offer Klipsch Speakers. My dream come true .
    22 out of 37 people found this helpful
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    Add accessories for the Klipsch Reference Series RB-61

    You'll need speaker wire to connect your speakers to your amp or receiver. No wire is included with this speaker. See all categories & accessories

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    For a more in-depth review and enhanced detailed information on the Klipsch Reference Series RB-61, please visit the Crutchfield website product page (/ISEO-rccbcspd/p_714RB61B/Klipsch-Reference-Series-RB-61-Black.html ).