Reference Series performance in a small package
Despite its compact size, Klipsch's RC-42 II center channel speaker proudly carries on the Reference Series tradition. With its exceptional clarity and engaging soundstage, the RC-42 II reveals every word, every detail in your favorite movies. Use the included feet to tilt the RC-42 II up or down, so you can aim it precisely at your listening position.

Horn technology for "front row" sound
All Reference Series II speakers feature a redesigned version of Klipsch's famous horn-loaded tweeter. Because high-frequency sounds are more directional than bass frequencies, it's especially important to target them right toward your ears. Klipsch places their titanium tweeter inside a flared opening, known as a "horn," which disperses the highs evenly across your listening area in a 90°-wide, 60°-high pattern. With their Series II speakers, Klipsch has redesigned the shape and slope of their famous horn enclosure, so your movie soundtracks and music will sound more "open," with improved dynamics and efficiency. All in all, you can count on powerful, "front row" sound that's crystal-clear at all volume levels.

High-tech driver design
The RC-42 II also uses newly machined, light-yet-rigid Cerametallic woofers to produce smoother mids and tighter bass. The specially treated aluminum in the cones help to dampen unwanted vibrations and reduce distortion, while an integrated dustcap gives them a cleaner look and adds stability. And the rigid, braced cabinet comes in a handsome woodgrain vinyl finish.

Check out the rest of our Klipsch lineup to build a complete Reference Series II home theater system. And don't forget to add a Klipsch subwoofer for high-impact bass.

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Product Highlights:

  • frequency response 88-24,000 Hz (±3dB)
  • power handling: up to 75 watts RMS (300 watts peak)
  • sensitivity 95 dB
  • 8-ohm impedance
  • Tractrix® horn with 1" titanium dome tweeter
  • dual 4" Cerametallic™ woofers
  • bass-reflex design via dual front-firing ports
  • video-shielded to prevent distortion with tube TVs
  • includes feet to tilt the speaker up or down towards your listening area
  • black ash woodgrain vinyl finish
  • 16"W x 5-3/8"H x 9-15/16"D
  • warranty: 5 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

Your home theater's most important speaker

The center channel speaker is the workhorse in a home theater system. It has to reproduce clear dialogue and special effects that keep your eyes and ears glued to the movie action. A high-quality center speaker is a great investment for any surround sound setup. Try to choose one that's as closely matched as possible to your front right and left speakers, so that as sound moves across the front stage, it stays seamlessly realistic.

Hands-on research

What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Black center channel loudspeaker
  • Detachable magnetic grille
  • Rubber tipped bolt (with nut and washer attached)
  • 6 Self-adhesive rubber feet
  • Owner's Manual

Features and Specs

Enclosure Bass Reflex
Tweeter Tratrix Horn
Midrange size (inches) ---
Woofer size (inches) 4
Connector Type Binding post
Power Range 75
Sensitivity 95 dB
Impedance (Ohms) 8
Frequency Response 88-24k Hz
Height (inches) 5-3/8
Width (inches) 16
Depth (inches) 9-5/16
Weight 12.6 lbs
Parts Warranty 5 Years
Labor Warranty 5 Years

Product Research

Driver Technology
Enclosure Design
Mounting Options

Driver Technology

Highly-Efficient Design: The Klipsch RC-42 II utilizes a highly efficient design to produce more output using less power & energy for louder sound with less distortion. The RC-42 II is able to fill smaller rooms with outstanding, accurate, non-fatiguing sound that you can listen to for hours.

Tractrix Horn Tweeter: The RC-42 II features an exclusive Tractrix Horn which provides a more genuine, lifelike sound. In addition, behind each horn lies a 1.0-inch titanium tweeter with a linear travel suspension for open, natural, sound. The Tractrix Horn delivers a 90-degree wide by 60-degree high dispersion pattern for a broader sound-stage.

Cerametallic Woofer: The dual 4.0-inch woofers of the RC-42 II center channel 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 4.0-inch woofers also employ a rubber surround for added durability.

Crossover Network: The Klipsch RC-42 II'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. The speaker's enhanced crossover frequencies offer smoother on-axis and off-axis integration.

Enclosure Design

Bass Reflex Enclosure: The dual 4.0-inch Cerametallic cone woofers and 1-inch titanium diaphragm compression driver are mounted in a bass reflex enclosure which features two front-firing ports. The twin front-firing ports eliminate turbulence noise, while increased baffle ribbing around the horn mouth and woofers dramatically improves acoustics across the sonic range. The bass reflex enclosure features a MDF cabinet finished with a Black Ash wood-grain vinyl and an aluminum front baffle. The RC-42 II's rigid cabinet offers improved internal cross-bracing to minimize panel vibrations that can color sound.

Magnetic Grille: The center channel 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.


Binding Posts: The Klipsch Reference Series RC-42 II is equipped with sturdy binding posts to ensure a secure connection to many types of cable and connectors. The binding post terminals will accept banana plugs (single only), pin-connectors, spade-connectors, and bare wire.

Mounting Options

Magnetically Shielded: The Klipsch RC-42 II center channel loudspeaker is magnetically shielded to prevent video interference.

Placement: The RC-42 II should be centered directly above or below your video screen. If necessary, you can place the speaker on an optional floor stand in front of and below the screen that elevates it to the correct height. Ideally, however, the speaker's front baffle should be flush with the front of the screen.

Rubber Feet: The center channel speaker comes with six self-adhesive rubber feet to secure the speaker in place and prevent any damage to your stand's or shelf's surface.

Note: The rubber feet add approximately 0.3125" to the height of each speaker.

Adjustable Angle: If the center speaker is well above or below the ear height of seated listeners, you can improve performance by angling the center channel slightly to compensate. Included with the speaker is an adjustable foot that you can screw into one of the two threaded inserts on the bottom of the cabinet. To tilt the speaker down, install the foot in the insert near the back of the cabinet; to tilt the speaker up, install the foot in the insert near the front of the cabinet.

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 verify what’s in the box, 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.

Klipsch Reference RC-42 II Reviews

Average Customer Review:

30 reviews
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Great value

Written By BryanB, Cheney, KS on Sunday, December 28, 2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Very happy. Great sound, look and price.

Perfect Center Speaker...

Written By RonS, Delaware on Sunday, November 09, 2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

The Klipsch RC-42II is the perfect match for my Klipsch RF-600 floor speakers. Great detail from TV and movies. Looks good with or without the grills. Recommended.

Pros: Looks good, provides great sound and details. Delivered in less than two days.

Cons: None.

Very good, not great

Written By Jonathan, Climax on Monday, September 29, 2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I bought this center channel speaker because it paired with the satellites I already had, which I love. This center speaker has typical excellent Klipsch quality and the sound is clean and clear. However, it doesn't wow me. My room is quite large and perhaps I am just asking too much of the 4" speakers. If I were to do it over again, I think I would go with the next size up, RC-52. But if you have a small room, you should be very happy with this speaker.

Pros: Very nice looking, compact size, well made, crisp and clean sound.

Cons: Lacks the emphasis I was expecting.


Written By Gary R, Helmetta NJ on Thursday, August 21, 2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Bought klipsch tower speakers and bookshelf speakers for a new yamaha reciever. Had a yamaha center speaker figured i would replace it with this klipsch the differance is incredible the klipsch is so clear sounding great buy

Very Pleased

Written By tommky, KY on Sunday, August 03, 2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

All the previous reviewer were correct. This center channel is so much more that my old AR. I am very pleased with this purchase.

Pros: Clear vocals

Cons: non

Nice center channel

Written By Payton, Charlotte, NC on Monday, June 23, 2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I bought this to replace an old Harmon Kardon center speaker. Night and day difference than what I was using. I chose this model due to the size of my cabinet.

Pros: Crisp and clear

Cons: None

Klipsch Center Channel RC-42 II

Written By Jerry K., Mesa, AZ on Friday, May 16, 2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This 'new' Center Channel (although, not the top of The Klipsch Line) is a vast improvement to the low-end original speaker that was a part of my original Klipsch Home Theater Speaker System. I am MORE than pleased, especially when watching a Program / DVD / Movie etc. and the dialogue eminates from that center channel...I can now clearly hear and understand ALL of the sounds (especially talking) coming from that channel. I am MORE than pleased with this unit AND the efficient service of Crutchfield.

Center Channel speaker upgrade

Written By Dave L, Middleburg PA on Saturday, April 12, 2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I needed to replace an inferior center channel speaker in my surround system because my wife and I were not hearing the center sounds as well as we thought we should. What a difference this jewel made; even before any break-in period. It brought the music to life, giving us notes and sounds we'd missed before. Now I'm considering replacing my front surrounds with a pair of Klipsch Reference RF-52 II (cherry) speakers and moving the present front to the back.

Pros: Clear sounds, both instrumental and vocal. Better surround effects with the added clarity. No apparent distortion when we crank it up.

Cons: None.

Fantastic set up

Written By Jon, Minnesota on Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I finally pulled the trigger and upgraded from my "Home theater in a box"

After some extensive research I went with this combo:

Onkyo TX-NR626

Klipsch r 1800-C Klipsch rc 42 II Klipsch rf 42 II Klipsch rw 12 II I have nothing but good things about this set up. I have a smaller theater room (13x16) from casual TV watching to high volume action movies the quality of sound is truly fantastic. Setup was a breeze including mounting the R-1800-C's in the ceiling, I think it took me longer to get in and out of the attic than it did to actually install the speakers.

VerY Pleased

Written By Darin, Cincinnati, Ohio on Sunday, March 30, 2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Purchased Klipsch speakers to replace an old theater in a box system. There is no comparison and sound is nothing short of amazing. After also comparing Bose and Polk - Klipsch won out on sound quality and value. They brought our movie viewing experience to a whole new level. Very pleased with this purchase.

Pros: True rich sound Quality made product

Cons: None

Klipsch center channel

Written By Mike G, Indianapolis, IN on Monday, March 10, 2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Klipsch reference RC-42 II speaker added to 2nd home theatre set up. Great sound, crisp & clear. Paired with new RB-61 II front channels for an awesome set up. '84 Heresy's make up rear speakers. Great system!

Pros: Looked sharp, crisp & clear.

Cons: None.

very nice speaker!

Written By Giankarlo, San Juan, PR on Monday, February 17, 2014

es una bocina lo que se le llama "entry level" pero suena exelente para su tamano, no es muy grande. lo mas que me encanta de ella es la calidad de sonido que tiene, bien "crisp" puedes escuchar a la persona de fondo habriendo un dulce ocea el papel de el dulce. waw tremenda. Se la recomiendo a cualquiera, las combine con 2 floor stanting RF-42 y creanme BRUTAL!! yo tenia unas Infinity Beta 50 con un center channel Infinity C360. Se que las infinity eran mas grandes pero la claridad que tienen las Klipsch en sonido es brutal y realmente no me molesta que sean mas pequenas, estoy bien contento con las Klipsch!!

This speaker is labeled as entry level but it sounds excellent for its size, it's not too big and what I like the most about it is the sound quality, it's very crisp you can hear someone in the background opening a candy wrapper. Wow tremendous. I recommend them to anyone, I combined them with the RF-42 floor standing speakers and believe me it is brutal. I had some Infinity Beta 50 with an Infinity C360 center channel, I know that the Infinity's are big but the clarity of sound that the Klipsch have is brutal and it doesn't bother me that they are small, I am very happy with these Klipsch.

Pros: extream crisp sound, sexy speaker when take off the cover and LOUD for it size

Cons: nothing really!

Crutchfield response on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 Translation provided by Crutchfield's Spanish Sales & Support team. Visit our new Spanish-language site at

A Definite Upgrade

Written By Finnabair, Seattle on Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

The Klipsch center channel paired with our Klipsch bookshelf speakers has been a definite upgrade to our home entertainment experience. Paired with a Polk Audio subwoofer with wireless kit, we now feel the movies like never before.

Pros: Dialog is clear and crisp

Cons: None so far

Klipsch Reference RC-42 II

Written By Jeremy, Lusby, MD on Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great center channel speaker for a small to mid-size room; if you have a really large space get the larger center channel speakers. Have not had any issues with this speaker. A good match for my other Klipsch Reference speakers.

Pros: Build quality Clarity of the sound

Cons: None.

Klipsch Center Channel Speaker

Written By VetDawg, Atlanta, Ga. on Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Klipsch is the best name in speakers no doubt! This one is so dang clear and loud! Don't waste time with the others. This one is well worth the price!

Pros: Loud, clear, good looking!

Cons: None

Klipsch RC-42II

Written By KeithL, Atlanta,Ga on Saturday, October 19, 2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I replaced an old JBL center speaker with the Klipsch and couldn't believe what I've been missing. Voices are clear and crisp. I now don't have to blast the volume to hear the words.

Pros: Clear crisp sound.

Cons: None

Center Channel Sweetness

Written By mike d, Salt Lake City on Friday, October 11, 2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I wanted to replace an older / cheaper Polk center channel with a higher quality unit. I have upgraded all the other parts of my system with Polk Towers (55Ts and 60s) and a Polk Pro 660wi Sub. I love the sound of Polk equipment, and would have purchased one to upgrade the center channel too, but they were all too wide to fit in my entertainment center. The Klipsch RC-42 II fits perfectly and blends very well sonically with my other gear. The RC-42 is very smooth sounding, with surprisingly good lower mids, and the excellent crisp clear highs that Klipsch is renowned for. Perfect for a center channel.

Pros: Nice clear mids and highs. Smaller foot print than most competitors. Great price.

Cons: Don't expect much bass (but that isn't what they were designed for).

RC-42 ll

Written By warcry, Independence MO. on Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Mind blowing little center,most impressed!

Pros: Fantastic and clear dialog,great for music

Cons: None at all


Written By DerekP, Charleston, WV on Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Never knew what I was missing in a center channel until i had this Klipsch, I can hear all the dialog i was missing in my movies and video games. I would recommend this center channel for anyone that wants good quality home audio.

Pros: Small size, but great powerful sound

Cons: Cant decide if i like the grill on or off


Written By Klipsch Reference RC-42II, Austin, TX on Monday, July 08, 2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Clear and crisp! very happy with the sound qualty delivered by this speaker.

Pros: Excellent sound quality for the price.

Cons: I wish it was a bit thinner.

Klipsch Reference RC-42 II

Written By Mike 300, Virginia Beach on Saturday, March 09, 2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I was originally going to order the 52 II but then I thought, "I'm chiefly using this for movies." So I went with the 42 II with the thought that I can always exchange it for the 52 II if I was not happy. I built a home theater room with an Epson 3020, Elite 92 inch screen, Denon 1909 (this receiver is powerful) and this Center Channel 42 II with some old Sony speakers and coupled with a powerful Polk PW-505 Sub-woofer. When I played King Kong (blueray) I was floored with the dialogue this center speaker was able to produce. I heard every detailed. I can hear the actors speak in the background clearly without straining to hear what they were saying. In conclusion, this speaker commands well. The dialogue is crisp. The 42 II seems like it can handle a lot of power not to mention it is handsome without the cover. So if you are looking for a center channel that can produce astounding vocals with clarity and without breaking the bank this is for you. (By the way I did hear the 62 II before and although it is much more powerful I think the 42 II still commands well)

Pros: Dialogue is powerful and crisp.

Cons: None

Klipsch RC-42 II

Written By Max, Jacksonville, FL on Sunday, February 03, 2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

The RC-42 is a relatively small center channel, but offers surprisingly good detail and depth. I have a larger discontinued Klipsch center in my primary theater room that offers everything someone could hope for. If you are expecting large sound from a center channel, do not stop at the RC-42. Klipsch technical reps suggested I go with the RC52 for my secondary needs, but size constraints forced me to the 42. I am happy with it and think it is a great deal and would recommend it to everyone. I have it paired with Legacy Klipsch speakers I bought 24 years ago, and am delighted every time I play my video games, or watch movies.

Pros: Small size. Great Detail. Good Bass Extension. Quality Construction.

Cons: Made in China

Great !

Written By DaveB, Wyoming on Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Perfect size and sound!

Pros: Great in every way!

Cons: None


Written By chris, pa on Friday, December 07, 2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

These speakers are great! I have them paired with the klipsch reference 6.1 bookshelf speakers and they absolutely destroy the yamaha and dayton audio speakers I had. Sound great for home theater and music.

Pros: High detail, doesn't need much power to get loud.

Cons: none

outstanding center speaker

Written By George, Simpsonville, SC on Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great speaker at a great price

Pros: Big, clear sound with balanced dynamics from a compact box

Cons: None I can find.

Great Addition!

Written By Bob, Carbondale, IL on Monday, February 13, 2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This is a perfect addition to my Klipsch system w/sub & RF 42 towers & Denon AVR 1910....alll from Crutchfield and a superb Sony Blue-ray. Videos are fantastic! Crutchfield service and knowledge rocks!

Klipsch Reference RC-42 11

Written By James R. Helms, Kannapolis, NC on Monday, January 30, 2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Real Please with this Center Channel Speaker.Replace a klh I had for about ten years.The Klipsch Speaker is so much better. Thanks Crutchfield for having the Klipsch Brand Speakers.

The little speaker that could

Written By JT, Northern NJ on Friday, January 20, 2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Purchaced this center channel speaker to match my Klipsch RB61II that I have for my front Left and Right channels and it sounds great. Size was an issue in my cabnet and this fit perfectly without compromising on sound quality. I highly recommend this speaker.

Pros: quality sound and build

Cons: None at this time

Klipsch RC-42 II

Written By Barry, Brookville, OH on Thursday, January 19, 2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I wanted a center channel speaker for my television entertainment unit to complement the Klipsch RB-51 speakers I had previously brought about a year ago. I had limited shelf space width and could not find a center channel speaker under 19 inches. The RC-42 was perfect.

Pros: Sound quality is excellent and the color and style is the same as the RB-51 speakers I already had. The entire set-up provides me with outstanding televison sound.

Cons: None

Morte great sound

Written By Brenda's husband, Southside, Va. on Monday, March 07, 2011

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This CC speaker replaced an older JBL.
Having three horn tweeters across the front really sounds super!
Continue to be amazed by these Klipsch products!

Get everything you’ll need to enjoy your new Klipsch Reference RC-42 II

You'll need wire to connect your center channel speaker to your amp or receiver.Cut your speaker wire to the exact length you need with a spool of bulk speaker wire. No wire is included with this speaker.
Add connectors to your bulk speaker wire for a neater, easier, and more reliable installation.
Have your new speakers installed by qualified professionals.
Connect your new center channel speaker simply and securely to your home theater receiver.
You'll want to position your center channel speaker for the best possible sound. Stands give you an attractive alternative.
Add a bracket and wall-mount your center speaker.
AudioQuest X2 Speaker Cable

AudioQuest X2 Speaker Cable

14-gauge cable, connectors optional (30 feet, Gray)

Item #: 703X230G


Add to Cart
AudioQuest G2 Speaker Cable

AudioQuest G2 Speaker Cable

16-gauge cable, connectors optional (30 feet, Gray)

Item #: 703G230G


Add to Cart
Monster XPHP™ MKII

Monster XPHP™ MKII

Speaker cable with clear jacket (100 feet)

Item #: 119XPHP100


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Monster XP®

Monster XP®

Speaker cable with clear jacket, connectors optional (100 feet)

Item #: 119XPMS1H


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Monster crimp-on mini bananas

Monster crimp-on mini bananas

1 pair, 16-gauge

Item #: 119MTMB


Monster crimp-on banana connectors

Monster crimp-on banana connectors

1 pair, 12-gauge

Item #: 119MTRB


Monster Cable Twist-on Angled Gold Pins

Monster Cable Twist-on Angled Gold Pins

4 pair, 12-gauge

Item #: 119AGPTRH2


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On-Q Banana Plugs

On-Q Banana Plugs

1 pair

Item #: 717WP34831


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Original Monster Cable

Original Monster Cable

With gold pin connectors (15-foot pair)

Item #: 119OMC1515


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Monster Cable SuperFlat™ Mini

Monster Cable SuperFlat™ Mini

Decor-friendly speaker cable with gold pin connectors (50-foot spool)

Item #: 119SFLM50


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AudioQuest Type 4

AudioQuest Type 4

Speaker cables with pre-attached banana connectors (10-foot pair)

Item #: 703T410BFS


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AudioQuest Type 4

AudioQuest Type 4

Single center speaker cable with pre-attached banana connectors (10 feet)

Item #: 703T410CTR


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Sanus NFC18

Sanus NFC18

Single 18" center channel speaker stand (Black)

Item #: 051NFC18B


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Pinpoint AM15

Pinpoint AM15

Center channel speaker wall mount

Item #: 121AM15B


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IsoAcoustics ISO-L8R130 Monitor Stands

IsoAcoustics ISO-L8R130 Monitor Stands

Supports small speakers

Item #: 892L8R130

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