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Klipsch Forte III

Floor-standing speaker (Black Ash)

17 Reviews | 1 question - 2 answers

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Item # 714FORTE3B

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Our take on the Klipsch Forte III

For over 30 years Klipsch has delighted music lovers with their popular line of Forte series floor-standing speakers. They've outfitted their latest generation, the Forte III, with key upgrades that provide even richer sound than its predecessors. Among them is a newly designed midrange driver that uses the same horn-loaded design as their award-winning tweeter. 

A fresh take on a classic Klipsch tower speaker

For over 30 years Klipsch has delighted music lovers with their popular line of Forte series floor-standing speakers. They've outfitted their latest generation, the Forte III, with key upgrades that provide even richer sound than its predecessors. Among them is a newly designed midrange driver that uses the same horn-loaded design as their award-winning tweeter. 

Klipsch Forte III Floor-standing speaker

The Klipsch Forte III features a massive rear-panel 15" passive radiator that reinforces the speaker's robust bass output.

Built to rock

The Forte III provides startlingly lifelike sound thanks to new titanium compression drivers in the midrange and tweeter sections. It's also impressively efficient, delivering terrific sound without needing a ton of power. A 12" woofer rounds out the low end with powerful, accurate bass.

Passive doesn't mean weak

On the back of the Forte III you'll find a hulking 15" passive radiator. This unpowered cone moves in tandem with the active 12" woofer to reinforce low-frequency notes. The result is tight, clean bass that fills large rooms with ease.

Proudly made in the USA

The Forte III is designed and hand-built in Hope, Arkansas. It's available in several attractive finishes including Black Ash, American Walnut, and Natural Cherry.

We are also proud to carry two super-limited finishes: Special Edition Matte Black, and Special Edition California Black Walnut. According to Klipsch, only 70 pairs each of these handsome speakers will ever be made.

Product Highlights:

  • designed and hand-built in Hope, Arkansas
  • three-way design with passive radiator
  • frequency response: 38-20,000 Hz (±3dB)
  • power handling: 100 watts (400 watts peak)
  • sensitivity: 99 dB
  • impedance: 8 ohms
  • tweeter: 1" titanium-diaphragm compression driver with horn-loaded design
  • midrange: 1-3/4" titanium-diaphragm compression driver with horn-loaded design
  • woofer: 12" fiber-composite cone
  • 15" passive bass radiator reinforces low-frequency output
  • real wood veneer finish
  • includes removable cloth grille
  • dual gold-plated speaker binding posts (bi-amp and bi-wire capable)
  • 16-1/2"W x 36"H x 13"D
  • weight: 72 lbs.
  • warranty: 5 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

What's in the Box:

  • Floorstanding loudspeaker
  • Grille
  • Owner's Manual
  • "Congratulations" letter
  • Klipsch brochure

The highs and mids on these speakers is outstanding. Crisp and clear across all music genres. My only gripe, and it's a slight one, is that there is not quite enough punch on the bottom end. Overall a very good speaker.

Mike, Eugene, OR


Klipsch Forte III Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(17 Reviews)

Great sound. Lacks slightly on bottom end.

Mike from Eugene, OR on 2/18/2019

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

The highs and mids on these speakers is outstanding. Crisp and clear across all music genres. My only gripe, and it's a slight one, is that there is not quite enough punch on the bottom end. Overall a very good speaker.

Pros: Highs and mids are crystal clear.

Cons: Lacks some bottom end punch.

Should have bought these a long time ago

Mike from St Charles, IL on 2/16/2019

These speakers are simply perfect. I play only vinyl through my system, and the upgrade to Klipsch Fortes made a tremendous difference. The low end bass tones are totally natural sounding, the mid and high tones are perfectly matched. Albums that used to sound just ok now sound fantastic. At times, it almost seems like the performer is in my music room. In this case, you certainly get as much or more than you pay for. I listen to a variety of genres, and all sound great on these. I have never heard a pair of speakers get the drum sound so perfectly. All instruments sound great, but the crash of orchestral symbols is amazing. The mellow sound of an acoustic guitar sounds exactly like the instrument live. If you have a good system, an upgrade to these speakers would be a great change. I love mine, and they also look great. (Distressed Oak). I had a few issues with my delivery folks, but Crutchfield was very helpful even though it was not their fault. The customer service at Crutchfield is remarkable, and these folks know their stuff.

Pros: Perfect sound, well balanced, picks up so many nuances of the recording.

Cons: none

Excellent bass and crisp sound

Ishar from Hayward, Ca on 1/10/2019

i bought a pair in 1988 and just upgraded my receiver to Yamaha TBA7I50 and they sound excellent. Very good quality product. i will only buy Klipsch.

Pros: Sound is clear without distortion.

Cons: Its heavy but real wood isnt light.

Blast from the past!

Jerry from Fort Worth, TX on 12/17/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

A BLAST from the 70's! I bought these speakers for my 2-channel rig, and they took me right back to that sweet analog sound of the 70's! Could not be happier!

Pros: Clean and articulate Classic Klipsch sound

Cons: none.

Good Stuff

Donald from Sacramento, CA on 8/3/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

These speakers are very good at handling a variety of music at different listening volumes. They are clear, detailed and have great bass.

Pros: Excellent build quality, excellent and clear sound

Cons: None

Bring Live Music into your Livingroom

Elaine from Pensacola, FL on 7/4/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I've had my Forte III speakers for 6 months now...they are paired with the Yamaha A-S2100 Integrated Amp. They sound so warm, rich and just beautifully made. Fall in love with your music collection all over again!

Pros: Beautiful speakers Amazing sound Crutchfield rocks!

Cons: Should have bought them ages ago

Forte 3's

Jeff from Mcallen, TX on 5/24/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Beautiful speaker. Sound amazing. Customer service exceeded my expectations. B & H has lost a long-standing customer. Many thanks

Pros: look great and sound even better.

Cons: Nope

Klipsch Forte III

lewis from Fort Worth, TX on 5/22/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I got the Forte's to replace a pair of Heresy II's in a combination music / surround system. The added bass also allowed me to eliminate the powered sub-woofer that only played in surround mode. Fo music the Forte's are a dramatic improvement on the low end. There is obviously more bass, but more importantly the bass is clearer and cleaner, and even with music where the bass and drums are played very softly (for example Stan Getz) they remain audible and distinct. Midrange is also more clear and distinct, while the highs are about the same as the Heresy's. For surround, audio-visual modes, the bass is a huge improvement. The subwoofer emitted plenty of generic low noise, but the Forte's let you distinguish which objects on the screen are exploding at any given moment. They also allow aging ears to understand softly spoken dialogue, and the midrange again benefits here from raising the crossovers and letting the low speaker handle more of the work. There is also an advantage in using the Cambridge surround amp rather than whatever was in the subwoofer. I love my Heresy II's (I've had them for 25 years, and also have a pair of the III's), but I love these more. Appearance: Crutchfield special ordered the distressed oak veneer for me. It's beautiful. The wood is a light chocolate brown with gray in the knots. Technical: My amp provides 170 watts per channel in direct music mode, 125 in surround, more than enough. The Forte's blend well with Klipsch center and si



Klipsch Forte III + McInstosh MC302 = O.M.G.

Patricio from Santiago, Chile on 5/2/2018

I received my Forte III just a couple of days ago, in addition to a McIntosh MC302 P.A. My first impression ?: 3 words: O.M.G.! This match sent me straight to heaven! and I'm still making positioning adjustments. Amazing soundstage. Clear, sharp and precise highs, absolutely present and live mids, and a balanced lows that give the level of presence you can find in a live show !. I must admit that I am beginning to discover the true sound quality that this "couple of monsters" can offer, however my ears (and eyes) are more than happy so far. Thanks Klipsch! ... thanks McIntosh! I recommend Both 100% !

Pros: Soundstage, presence, build, rich "live" sound, nice "vintage" look, powerful sound!

Cons: None so far.

Depth and Clarity to rival Cornwalls

Gary from Mount Olive, AL on 5/2/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Bought a pair of Klipsch Forte IIIs for use as the main right and left front speakers in my home theater system. System sometimes doubles as a music system for parties upstairs (main tube hi-fi is downstairs). The Fortes are fantastic. Great depth, amazing clarity, full and honest bass. Couldn't be happier with them. The modest footprint for such a grown-up speaker makes it really convenient to fit in with other components.

Pros: Smaller footprint but Full-Sized Sound

Cons: Cost

Klipsch Forte III

Crutchfield customer from Ankeny, IA on 2/13/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

The best term to describe these is "balanced". I have a couple pairs of the original Forte I that have upgraded drivers and crossovers. After extensive comparison between the upgraded Forte I and the Forte III, I can say this new model will not disappoint. I do think the upgraded Forte i has a deeper bass response and slightly more articulate high end, but the Forte III gets the nudge for overall balance and sound stage presentation. If you are experienced at upgrading speakers, you can get a used pair of Forte I or Forte II fairly cheaply, upgrade the drivers and crossovers, and have a very nice set of speakers. But, none the less, the redesigned Forte III is well worth the purchase price.



audio nirvana

james from waukesha,wi on 12/18/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

just got my Forte`s last week, and a shout out to Buddy at crutchfield for all his help. thank you. I can only say one word....WOW...after upgrading from a pair of bose 901 to the forte`s I was in audio nirvana.what a great speaker, sounds good with all types of music, rock, jazz, classical....very impressed and very very happy.great soundstage, big sound....excellent last speakers I ever need to buy.....

Pros: everything

Cons: non

Klipsch Forte III BK

Terry from Nashville, AR on 12/12/2017

A set of speakers this expensive should perform superbly. They do. Was initially interested in a pair of old Heresy speakers until I discovered Mr. Klipsch initially designed the old Heresies, not the current Heresy III, as interior complementary speakers for his Klipschorns. Then I went to Crutchfield and talked to Otis, one of their very knowledgeable advisors, and he recommended the Forte III's. I couldn't be happier with the choice, plenty of bass, and midrange and treble performance is a great improvement over my old 60's-era Altec Lansing 15" Duplex speakers. For those who may be interested, I am driving these with a Dynaco PAT5 preamp and a Dynaco S416, two kits that I put together way back when (the late 70's). My computer is my music server, but with the Dynaco stuff I don't have a dedicated DAC. Have a Yamaha A-S801 (also bought from Crutchfield), which has its own supposedly superb DAC, waiting in the wings for when my Dynaco system goes belly-up....may never happen, so am going stick in the Yamaha next week and see how it does. The Dynaco's may become the standby for the Yamaha...sob, sob...feel like I would be running out on my best friend, but I expect Otis would tell me that I won't go back to the Dynaco amp/preamp units..


Cons: Only one con: No Klipsch emblem on front of speaker, only Forte III.

Finest balanced sound from works of art

Charles from Las Vegas, Nevada on 10/2/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Nowhere could I find comparison of the Forte III to Forte II. Now here it is. Amplifiers: Sansui. CD players: Oppo95 and 205, Tube Research Labs modified Sony 595. Speakers: ESS AMT 1B, 1D and Ltd Ed; Klipsch Forte I, Forte II, Forte III, Chorus, RF-7. With ESS since 1978; 20 years with Forte II, Chorus and RF7. Music: Liszt, Bach, Mozart, Beethoven - piano, string quartets, cathedral organ; Stevie Nicks, Debby Harry, Norah Jones, Hope Sandoval, Jewel, Donna Lewis, Ann Wilson, Shawn Colvin, Margo Timmins, Ani DiFranco, Roberta Flack, Alison Krauss, Miranda Lambert, Annie Lennox, Sarah McLachlan, Regina Spektor, Whitney Houston, Joni Mitchell, Neko Case, Tori Amos, Gabriella Cilmi, Nelly Furtado, Joan Jett, Lita Ford,, Gwen Stefani, Amy Winehouse, Emmy Lou Harris, Janis, Peggy Lee, Cindy Lauper, Courtney Love, Meredith Brooks, Christine McVie.... The Doors, Dylan, Duane Eddy, cathedral organ SACDs... I will never part with my ESS AMTs. Perfect highs and lows. The Fortes revealed the hole in the ESS midrange. Fortes are perfectly balanced. Fortes at one end of the room and ESS at the other is perfection. Now, Forte III. No need to A/B with the earlier Fortes. The difference is cosmic. The Forte III has it all, possibly the finest of all time. Explosive. Forte II is balanced. Forte III is balanced, sweet & ballistic. Glad I splurged on the California Black Walnut Special Ed. Works of art. Even if you don't like music you want these in your home. Forget the Monets. UPDATED 10/23/17: Just ordered two more pair. This is a follow-up to my previous review, "finest balanced sound," to share unpacking instructions. 1. Place unopened box one box length from where you want to place the speaker. 2 "Open this end" leads to the speaker base. 3. Do not remove the protective sleeve - fold the top of it out of the way around the speaker base sides. 4. Gently tip the box on its side toward speaker placement. 5. Tip the box upside down, making sure the opened flaps are splayed out of the way, so that the base sits on the floor exactly where you want it. 6. Lift the box straight up and away. 7. Keep the box!! No need to cut or open anything other than the tape securing the "open this end" flaps. No need to drag these heavy things around to where you want them, risking damage. You gotta love how Klipsch designs even the box! Klipsch should write these instructions on the box top.

Pros: Finest balanced audio in the universe from any music at any volume

Cons: black base can stain carpet, recommend lightly sanding bottom of base when you first open the box.

Klipsch Forte III

Guest from miami on 9/1/2017

Great look! It's nice to see speakers that looks like speakers and not like vacuum cleaners! The's a Klipsch!!! it's like live!



Klipsch Forte III

Andrew from Rocky Hill, CT on 8/27/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Modern speaker with a great classic sound!

Pros: Simply one of the best sounding speakers, for the money, ever!

Cons: none

Lifelike Sound that Belies their Size

John J from NC on 8/18/2017

These CA blk walnut are beautiful cosmetically. The sound is formidable in the bass, mid and high ranges. The "sound stage" if you will is immediately noticeable and deep, lifelike, no matter the volume. The bass my old Heresy IIs couldn't quite make is in these Forte IIIs. You will have to position them in conjunction with the wall or corners to get the best out of the radiators. Mine are almost a foot out now. The highly sensitive Klipsch speakers do not require triple digit wattage to fill your home (and yard) with great sound. Bi-wired to a good Cambridge amp what I'm hearing does not sound like it's reproduced!

Pros: the Sound, the Appearance, the build quality, the Sound, a Good Little Investment

Cons: not safe for your neighbors


Hands-on research

Features and Specs

Enclosure Passive Radiator
Finish MDF/Wood veneer
Color Black Ash
Tweeter Horn-loaded
Tweeter Size (inches) 1
Midrange Size (inches) 1.75
Woofer Size (inches) 12
Woofer Composition Fiber-composite cone
Woofer Surround Ruber
Built-in Powered Sub No
Video-Shielded No
Connector Type Post
Bi-amp Inputs Yes
Parts Warranty 5 Years
Labor Warranty 5 Years
Power Range 100
Frequency Response 38-20k Hz
Sensitivity 99 dB
Impedance (Ohms) 8
Subwoofer Amp Power ---
Height (inches) 36
Width (inches) 16-1/2
Depth (inches) 13
Weight 72 lbs

Product Research


The Forte III: First introduced in 1985, the Forte quickly established itself as the most popular Klipsch model. The elegant design and outstanding performance made the Forte a standout among its competitors. In 2017, Klipsch re-introduced the Forte as part of the Heritage speaker series. The new Forte III features updated cosmetics and the latest advancements in acoustic engineering, while maintaining the original charisma that made the Forte so popular.

3-Way Design: The Forte III hosts a three-way design utilizing a 12" woofer and horn-loaded midrange and tweeter. The new Forte III utilizes all new state of the art drivers including a 1.75" midrange and 1" tweeter titanium compression drivers for a smooth and powerful response. The Forte III's new midrange horn utilizes patented technology to improve coverage and control of the key mid-frequency band.

15" Passive Radiator: The Forte III's well-extended bass is found in the use of a rear-mounted passive radiator. A mammoth 15"in size, this sub-bass radiator operates on acoustic pressure generated by the woofer for greater bass output and extension.

Book-Matched Wood Veneers: Klipsch only uses book-matched wood veneers for the Heritage series. Each pair of Forte III loudspeakers is grain-matched using wood veneer panels that come from the same timber. The veneer leaves are kept in order as they are delicately sliced from the timber and precisely arranged to provide a mirror image at the splice joint - like turning the pages of a book. This gives each speaker a more aesthetically appealing and consistent appearance that is treasured more than any other cut of wood veneer. Each cabinet is carefully matched so that each speaker in the pair is practically indistinguishable from the other. The speakers move seamlessly together through the factory. Each finished product is inspected and labeled with sequential serial numbers, ensuring that each pair of speakers leave the factory as a meticulously crafted set.

Note: The Forte III real-wood veneer comes in four distinct finishes including Natural Cherry, Black Ash, and American Walnut - all designed to blend into your home's décor.

Dual Binding Post Speaker Terminals: The Klipsch Forte III loudspeaker has two sets of binding posts connected by jumpers. Using the dual binding posts, you can bi-amp or bi-wire the speakers. The binding post terminals will accept banana plugs (single only), pin-connectors, spade-connectors, and bare wire.

Placement: The Forte III has excellent bass extension and therefore offers a good degree of toe-in and placement options. However, the Forte features a rear-firing 15" passive radiator that requires the loudspeaker to be placed at least 1" away from the back wall. For optimal low-bass performance, it is recommended the loudspeaker be placed within 2"-10" of the back wall. This will provide the best low bass loading and enhance the low frequency extension of the loudspeaker.

Heritage Series (Made in the USA): The Klipsch Heritage Series is built and handmade in the USA at Klipsch's manufacturing facility in Hope Arkansas. They are meticulously handcrafted and assembled using the finest quality materials, even down to the highest-grade adhesives and fasteners (no detail goes unnoticed). Each Heritage Series loudspeaker utilizes Klipsch proprietary horn-loaded technology to bring a live music listening experience into the home. All Heritage Series loudspeakers are available in a variety high-quality wood veneers. Klipsch Heritage loudspeakers are built to rock the house and stand the test of time.  This is a speaker that will be handed down for generations to come,

Note: The Heritage Series consists of the La Scala II, Cornwall III, Heresy III, and Forte (all sold separately).

4 Principles of Klipsch Sound: Paul W. Klipsch believed four principles to be the foundation for great sound. They continue to drive the design of every new Klipsch speaker, today and tomorrow.

  • High Efficiency & Low Distortion: Klipsch horn technology is highly efficient, providing more accurate sound with less power and less distortion - resulting in louder, cleaner audio. Klipsch's Law: Efficiency is inversely proportional to distortion.
  • Controlled Directivity: Klipsch horn technology accurately directs sound to the proper locations, which, in turn, creates a more lifelike soundstage without wasting acoustic energy where sound is not needed or desired.
  • Wide Dynamic Range: The softest sounds are reproduced with remarkable clarity and the loudest sounds are delivered without harshness or distortion - with the greatest possible range between the softest and loudest sounds.
  • Flat Frequency Response: Audio is delivered without frequency bias - no unnatural highs, mids or lows - reproducing recorded sound as accurately as possible without colorization.

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.

Q & A

Customer Q&A

Crutchfield asked  
Why did you buy this?

I am partial to Klipsch. I have a pair of heresys that are 35 years old and still work great. [ scott e.  Dec 18, 2018 ]
Long time Klipsch owner. Chose these as an upgrade to the front speakers for my A/V home theater system, [ G  Apr 12, 2018 ]

1 question already asked

I see no problem matching up the Forte III with your Sony. I know nothing about AV receivers, but 8 ohms and 100 watts per channel, 20-20k is all you need. Everything I have is vintage Sansui or McIntosh, from 100 to 180 per channel, but you should have no problem. I have had a variety of high-end speakers, including Forte I and Forte II. The Forte III is just about the best you will ever find. So good, you might some day want to dump the Sony to get the best from them. Sony has always made some of the best audio electronics - solid and reliable. Klipsch speakers are easily the most efficient. But the Forte IIIs are in a very special class and will match up with the absolutely best amplifier you can dream of. I don't know the specs on the Sony and specs don't tell the whole story, but I speculate that the Forte IIIs way outmatch your amplifier - and most amplifiers. They will be the best you have ever heard with your Sony, but even better with a better amp. [ Charles  Nov 27, 2017 ]
That is plenty of power for those speakers. They are very large but don't require a huge amount of power to drive. [ andrew  Nov 26, 2017 ]