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Crutchfield

Klipsch Reference RC-500

Center channel speaker

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  • Klipsch Reference RC-500

    Front

  • Klipsch Reference RC-500

    Angled front view without grille

  • Klipsch Reference RC-500

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  • Klipsch Reference RC-500

    Direct front view with grille

  • Klipsch Reference RC-500

    Direct front view without grille

 

Our take on the Klipsch Reference RC-500

by Dave Bar
Klipsch

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.

Turn up the realism with your movie and TV show soundtracks

Treat yourself to engaging center channel realism with the Klipsch RC-500. This Special Limited Edition Reference speaker delivers natural-sounding dialogue and robust special effects. The included feet let you tilt the RC-500 up or down, so you can aim it precisely at your listening position whether you place it above your TV or on a shelf in your TV stand below.

Horn technology for "front row" sound

The RC-500 uses 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. This horn design brings out details in all your movie soundtracks, while reducing reflections that can color the sound. The horn also improves dynamics, for crystal-clear reproduction of everything from the faintest whisper to the loudest on-screen explosion. This expanded dynamic range and the RC-500's high efficiency ensure everyone in the room enjoys powerful "front row" sound.

Klipsch RC-500 center channel speaker

High-tech driver design

The RC-500 also uses a pair of Klipsch's light-yet-rigid Cerametallic™ woofers to produce smoother mids and tighter bass. The specially treated aluminum in the cones helps 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 black woodgrain vinyl finish.

Got wire?

Most speakers don't include any. Learn about choosing and installing speaker wire at the Crutchfield Learning Center. Shop our selection of speaker wire.

Highlights:

  • frequency response: 67-23,000 Hz (±3dB)
  • impedance: 8 ohms compatible
  • sensitivity: 96 dB
  • power handling: up to 125 watts RMS (500 watts peak)
  • Tractrix® horn with 1" titanium tweeter
  • two 5-1/4" Cerametallic™ cone woofers
  • bass-reflex design with front-firing ports for greater placement flexibility
  • black ash woodgrain vinyl finish
  • 20-1/2"W x 6-1/2"H x 10-7/8"D
  • weight: 22.1 lbs.
  • warranty: 5 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
 

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

Features and Specs
Enclosure
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Bass Reflex
Tweeter
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Tractrix Horn
Midrange size (inches)
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N/A
Woofer size (inches)
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5-1/4
Connector Type
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Binding Post
Power Range
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125
Sensitivity
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96 dB
Impedance (Ohms)
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8
Frequency Response
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67-23k Hz
Height (inches)
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6-1/2
Width (inches)
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20-1/2
Depth (inches)
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10-7/8
Weight
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22.1 lbs
Parts Warranty
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5 Years
Labor Warranty
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5 Years
Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Center channel loudspeaker
  • Detachable magnetic grille
  • Rubber tipped bolt (w/ nut and washer attached)
  • 6 Self-adhesive rubber feet
  • Owner's Manual
  • Warranty Card

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.

Features

Tapered-Array Technology: The RC-500 center channel utilizes Klipsch's Tapered-Array Technology, a 2.5-way design that minimizes the acoustical interference between drivers that plagues most horizontal center-channel speakers. This technology allows both woofers to create intense bass, while only one works with the tweeter to produce the midrange. The result is a smooth, clear sound not just directly in front of the speaker, but off to the sides as well, where conventional center speakers often exaggerate or mask sounds.

  • Tractrix Horn Tweeter: The RC-500 features an exclusive Tractrix Horn which provides a more genuine, lifelike sound. In addition, behind the horn lies a 1" titanium tweeter with a powerful neodymium magnet motor structure to provide a unique combination of precision, clarity and effortless dynamics. The Tractrix Horn delivers a 90°wide by 60° high dispersion pattern for a broader sound-stage.
  • Cerametallic Woofer: The dual 5.25" woofers of the RC-500 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 5.25" woofers also employ a rubber surround for added durability.

Klipsch Horn Technology: Klipsch employs Horn Technology to deliver these four principles of great sound.

  • High Efficiency: Klipsch speaker employs horn technology because the horn shape is perfect for accurate and dynamic sound transmission. Greater efficiency means lower distortion, which means maximum realism.
  • Dynamic Range: Klipsch horn technology reproduces the softest sounds with remarkable clarity and detail and the loudest sounds with no harshness or distortion.
  • Controlled Directivity: Unique Klipsch horn technology means speakers that more accurately direct sound and offer a more lifelike soundstage.
  • Flat Frequency Response: Klipsch horn technology delivers exactly the sound the artist intended, with no unnatural highs, mids, or lows.

Bass Reflex Enclosure: The dual 5.25" Cerametallic cone woofers and 1" 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 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-500'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 RC-500 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 (up to 10AWG).

Placement: The RC-500 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.

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. The center channel speaker also 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. The rubber feet add approximately 0.3125" to the height of the speaker.

 
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Klipsch Reference RC-500 Reviews

Average Customer Review:

12 people say:

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5 out of 5

Excellent Center Channel

Written By Patrick S, Tuscaloosa, AL on Monday, April 07, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
The Klipsch RC500 is an excellent center channel. Very articulate and clear. I can finally hear dialogue well in movies without having to turn the volume up to unreasonable levels. I live in an apartment so having the full 5.1 setup with movie theatre volume is not acceptable. Currently using the Sony STRDN1040. It replaced an older Denon that finally died. Not my ideal receiver but it gets the job done for now and sounds good. My front L & R are older Klipsch Reference RB81's so the RC500 works beautifully with this simple setup.
Pros:
Beautiful sound and looks
Cons:
None
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5 out of 5

Good Beginning

Written By Austin P., Bazile Mills, Nebraska on Friday, April 04, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
This speaker was the first I purchased for my Yamaha Aventage RX-A2030 receiver. It is surrounded by a hodgepodge of old speakers i had sitting around the house and it stands out. It's sound is clearer & more pleasing than the others even though it is outnumbered 4 to 1. Great buy.
Pros:
Very clear, room filling sound. Can take plenty of power.
Cons:
Large Size
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5 out of 5

klipsch rc-500

Written By John H., Chicago ILLINOIS on Monday, March 31, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
UPS delivered item 1 block down to the wrong address. The neighbor called me to pick it up because my phone number was on the box. Thank goodness for honest people.
Pros:
Highest quality and very satisfied with the center speaker.
Cons:
None
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5 out of 5

RC-500 Center Speeker

Written By Dawgfan1958, Marysville, WA. on Monday, March 17, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I had some old Klipsch 75 watt bookshelf speekers that I was using until my amp went out. I went shopping and decided to go with a Yamaha V 375 from Crutchfield. what a difference. Then I got interested in what was new sence 1987. I like my Klipch a lot so I read about how the Center speeker brings the sound to life and clears up voices ect. I decided the best center speeker for the money was the Klipcsg RC - 500. When I got it and hooked it up, I put on Avitar. What an amazing differece. I was so impressed with the clarity that I am going to change out my old back speekers with the Klipsch 400 surroundsat the end of the month. I can hardy wait to hear what the system will sound like then. As far as the RC- 500, you can't miss especially with the price. It honestly sounds better than they told me. I am so glad I ran into the Crutchfield site. I have been very happy and surprised at what I got for what I paid
Pros:
Great looks, great at soft sounds and loud, extremely clear any way you use it and a price that is unbelievable for the quality. I am so impressed I am buying suround speekers at the end of the month (Klipsch 400 from Crutchfield) of course.
Cons:
none
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5 out of 5

money well spent

Written By Bill B, Glasgow, KY on Sunday, March 16, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I am 68 years old and my hearing is not what it once was. In particular, I had difficulty hearing dialogue on our TV, especially when the background music or effects were competing. I replaced the center small array speaker in a Bose Acoustimass system with the RC 500 and the difference is amazing. Still use the Bose for the other four channels; I know my set up is not optimal, but, it sure is better than it was. I highly recommend the RC 500.
Pros:
very clear sound, plus it serves as a base for the TV
Cons:
none, wish I had tried it sooner
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5 out of 5

Great Center!

Written By ClarkK, Seattle, WA on Monday, February 24, 2014
 
If you're looking for this, you already know how important a center is. I've tried a few, from JBL to Polk, and none even get close to Klipsch Reference series speakers. This center is amazing, I can hear things I haven't heard before in movies. If you're always struggling to hear dialogue in movies, you NEED a quality center, and this IS a quality center. This is the RC52 (1st generation), but rebadged for the Canadian market. It still retains all warranty and everything, but it's cheaper. The 1st generation RC52 had 2 crossovers instead of one. This was done to prevent the 2 woofers from interfering with each other, and so they each have a smaller range to produce. For some reason the RC52-II only has 1 crossover, a low and high frequency split. These are pricier than other centers you could get, but you get what you pay for in a center. And the center and sub are the 2 most important speakers in your home theater system!
Pros:
Great Sound RC52 for cheaper
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Perfect sound

Written By Hixenberg, Buckingham, PA on Thursday, February 06, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Perfect sound quality! Loud effects, great with music, and crystal clear voice! Couldn't be happier with the purchase
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Klipsch RC-500

Written By RobB, Cedar Rapids, IA on Sunday, January 19, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Great sound. Good details.
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Incredible Sound Details

Written By Mario O, Manati,P.R. on Saturday, December 14, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
First, we need to recognize the Crutchfield Custumer Service !!! This Center channel speaker really rock, every dialog details, awesome clarity and punchy bass reproduction, took not only my attention, my neighbors also left to rest. I like the appearance, the solid construction and the beautiful sound from this speaker.
Pros:
Power,Sound Quality, Solid performance
Cons:
not yet !!!
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Exceptional Clarity

Written By bbarker1982, Cleveland, OH on Saturday, December 14, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Outstanding sound through a more well balanced then traditional center speaker. Drivers are more balanced to a 3way speaker setup that clears up voices in both music and movies. I paired these up in a 5.1 Klipsh setup with RB6II and SW12 subwoofer. Set the cutoff frequency on the center channel at 70hz and the sound by far puts out of the box systems to shame. This speaker uses a different horn then the other Reference Series speakers which allowed for a very focused center channel, and the RB6II's to blend in the room.
Pros:
Excellent sound production, good price, easy setup, matches most room décor.
Cons:
Wish it was offered in cherry finish.
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Awesome center speaker

Written By EP, Hampton, VA on Monday, December 09, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
A very high quality speaker. You can hear every detail! A definite upgrade from my Bose surround system.
Pros:
You hear every detail.
Cons:
None
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Klipsch Reference RC-500

Written By James, Cortland, Il on Sunday, November 17, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Wow, my home theater can be heard. No matter if I have the volume on 2 or 52 the clarity is the same. I can hear every single piece of dialogue now. Watching the world series I heard each call the ump made as if he was sitting next to me.
Pros:
Perfect clarity!
Cons:
Makes me want to update my TV...is this a con?
3 out of 3 people found this helpful
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2 questions already asked

How do this compare to the RC-52 II. I already have the RF-52 II towers and want to match to those. Would I be better off pairing this speaker (500) with them or the RC-52 II. Will it make a difference? [ Lance  Dec 15, 2013 ]
1 answer
  • The two sound very similar. However, they do feature slightly different tweeters, which creates a minor change in tonal quality. For the best voice matching it would be ideal to stick with the same line. [ Jeff Staff  Dec 16, 2013 ]
Which Klipsch Center Speaker should I purchase to go with my RF 62 Speakers? The RC-500 or RC-62 II? Why would I choose one over the other? Thanks, Royce [ Samuel  Dec 10, 2013 ]
2 answers
  • How do this compare to the RC-52 II. I already have the RF-52 II towers and want to match to those. Would I be better off pairing this speaker (500) with them or the RC-52 II. Will it make a difference? [ Lance   Dec 15, 2013 ]
  • This will depend slightly on whether you have the RF-62 or the RF-62II speakers. These speakers feature slightly different tweeters. The difference does create a minor change in tonal quality. For the best voice matching you would want to match the RC-500 with the RF62 and the RC-62II wth the RF-62II [ Jeff Staff  Dec 10, 2013 ]

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For a more in-depth review and enhanced detailed information on the Klipsch Reference RC-500, please visit the Crutchfield website product page (/ISEO-rccbcspd/p_714RC500B/Klipsch-Reference-RC-500.html ).

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