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Klipsch Reference R-51M

Bookshelf speakers

38 Reviews | 3 questions - 15 answers

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Overview

Our take on the Klipsch Reference R-51M

Looking for a pair of bookshelf speakers that rock your music playlists and movie night? Then check out the Klipsch Reference R-51M. This solidly built bookshelf pair features Klipsch's famous horn-loaded tweeter, which produces clear, detailed highs. You'll also enjoy solid bass response thanks to the copper spun 5-1/4" woofer and rear-firing port. 

High-quality performance for music and movies

Looking for a pair of bookshelf speakers that rock your music playlists and movie night? Then check out the Klipsch Reference R-51M. This solidly built bookshelf pair features Klipsch's famous horn-loaded tweeter, which produces clear, detailed highs. You'll also enjoy solid bass response thanks to the copper spun 5-1/4" woofer and rear-firing port. 

Gold-plated binding posts offer easy, secure speaker wire connections. The R-51Ms perform beautifully in a two-channel music system or as the front channels of your home theater setup.

Build a complete Reference system

Add more bass to the R-51Ms with a matching subwoofer, or team them with other Klipsch Reference speakers for high-impact home theater.

Bookshelves: Klipsch R-41M
Center channel: Klipsch R-34C and Klipsch R-52C
Surround speakers: Klipsch R-14S
Floor-standing speakers: Klipsch R-610FKlipsch R-620F, and Klipsch R-820F
Powered subwoofers: Klipsch R-10SW and Klipsch R-12SW

Product Highlights:

  • frequency response: 62-21,000 Hz (±3dB)
  • impedance: 8 ohms compatible
  • sensitivity: 93 dB
  • power handling: up to 85 watts RMS (340 watts peak)
  • 90° x 90° Tractrix® horn with 1" LTS (Linear Travel Suspension) aluminum diaphragm compression tweeter
  • 5-1/4" copper spun magnetically shielded IMG woofer
  • bass-reflex design
  • rear-firing port provides fast, efficient airflow from the cabinet for clear, powerful bass
  • removable grilles offer a clean, streamlined look
  • durable wood grain vinyl finish
  • gold-plated binding post speaker terminals
  • 7"W x 13-5/16"H x 8-1/2"D
  • weight: 11 lbs. each
  • warranty: 5 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

What's in the Box:

  • 2 Bookshelf loudspeakers
  • 2 Grilles (installed)
  • 8 Self-adhesive rubber feet
  • Quick Setup Guide
  • Important Safety Instructions
  • Warranty Information

Great speaker alone. Sound amazing and very level and clear throughout range coupled with R820F. Definitely significant sound for the size. They port the enclosure to the rear, so they need room away from the wall!

Denes, Germantown, NY

Reviews

Klipsch Reference R-51M Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(38 Reviews)

Great alone of with system

Denes from Germantown, NY on 1/16/2019

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great speaker alone. Sound amazing and very level and clear throughout range coupled with R820F. Definitely significant sound for the size. They port the enclosure to the rear, so they need room away from the wall!

Pros: Great sound at this price level

Cons: I want more of them!

Great value.

Crutchfield customer from Carmel, IN on 1/13/2019

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Overall very impressed with these speakers. I am running 4 of them as part of a 5.1 setup with a Klipsch 12" subwoofer and a Denon 740 for power. Range is fantastic, and bass is respectable for the size. I have driven them hard, and have yet to hear them strain under load. I can hear some hand off between the sub and the front channels during challenging movie scenes, but I suspect that may be remedied with some crossover tweaking. I would buy these again for sure, and at the sale price, nothing comes close.

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Klipsch Reference R-51M

Kris from Anaheim, CA on 1/13/2019

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Like the crisp sound. Bought a pair in last month while on sale and it is a great addition to the home theater system.

Pros: Good sound Good price Good choice

Cons: Have not seen any cons yet.

Klipsch R-51M - Awesome

Dave from St Louis, MO on 1/12/2019

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I just bought a pair of these on sale and I'm really impressed. They're bookshelf speakers but I have them on a carpeted floor. The first thing I tried was the CD soundtrack from Isle of Dogs and the Japanese drumming sounded phenomenal. Incredible bass from these small speakers! Then played a Mozart violin concerto and the midrange and highs are equally phenomenal. Some of the best sounding speakers I've ever owned in over 50 years, and extremely impressed especially at the price.

Pros: Everything

Cons: None

Great sound!

George from Homewood, IL on 1/8/2019

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Got two pairs, one for front L/R, one for surround. Together with a Klipsch R-120SW Subwoofer and an Onkyo TX-NR585 I have an awesome sound!

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Klipsch Reference R-51M

Crutchfield customer from Rosharon, TX on 1/7/2019

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I bought 2 pairs of these speakers for my system. One set is for surround, the other for rear surround. Sound great and like the others Klipsch speakers, they are very well made and solid construction. They were packaged very well for protection.

Pros: Sound great, really complete the system.

Cons: No cons

Klipsch Reference R-51M

Clarinda from Salinas, CA on 1/2/2019

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I'm really happy with my Klipsch R-51M. Great sound for the money. I can recommend this to anyone who wants a good sounding bookshelf speaker but on a budget. I also want to thank Crutchfield for the fast shipping.

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Klipsch Reference R-51M

Crutchfield customer from Memphis, TN on 12/30/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great sound! Wonderful price for the quality.

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Impressive little devils!

Jim from Suffern, NY on 12/27/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Moving to a much smaller house meant we no longer had room for our heritage Wharfedale corner enclosures. We didn't expect the Klipsch bookshelf speakers to match the effect of the Wharfedales, but they came close, except for the bass of course. We will add the matching Klipsch sub-woofer to get back that 16-inch bass.

Pros: Great sound for their size

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Klipsch Reference R-51M

Ramon Rivera from Toa Baja, PR on 12/25/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Excellent speakers and very good sound quality.

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Klipsch Reference R-51M

Crutchfield customer from Exeter, NH on 12/25/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Sound great

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Klipsch Reference R-51M

Crutchfield customer from Miami, FL on 12/24/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Amazing sound! Absolutely love it, got them on time

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Klipsch Reference R-51M

Eugene from Mechanicsburg, PA on 12/24/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

The speakers are of good quality and sound. The sale on these speakers along with the 5 to complete the set was incredible.

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Klipsch Reference R-51M

Crutchfield customer from Seffner, FL on 12/20/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Look and sounds awesome.

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Klipsch Reference R-51M

Crutchfield customer from Corpus Christi, TX on 12/19/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great over all speakers.

Pros: Great for price. Sounds awesome

Cons: None

Klipsch Reference R-51M

JEFFREY from Fullerton, CA on 12/19/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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Klipsch Reference R-51M

Crutchfield customer from Carrollton, TX on 12/16/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Awesome speakers at a great price

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Great rear speakers

David from Creedmoor, NC on 12/14/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I use these for surround sound. The perform very well doing that.

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Klipsch Reference R-51M

Darrel from Bronx, NY on 12/13/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Love them

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Klipsch Reference R-51M

Scott from Ann Arbor, MI on 12/9/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great sound. Compact size.

Pros: Nice responsive to the tuner.

Cons: Only handles 85 watts of power.

Detailed and "In-your face"

Michael from Woodacre, CA on 12/9/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

At the sale price these speakers are a no-brainer- solid built, attractive and distinctive design, great sound- if not near-field, which they are not meant for.. The highs are detailed and prominent, the bass sufficient, especially when supported by a subwoofer. I tried them out near-field by my desktop to replace Pioneers BS22s,and while I appreciated the detail and clarity of the highs, I found them a bit overwhelming after a while and switched back to the Pioneers (which are available for $ 80-100 these days) and am using the Klipsch in my 2.1 living room set-up. Many reviewers comment on the in-your-face impact of Klipsch speakers, so folks who prefer a smoother sound may need to look elsewhere.

Pros: Detail, clarity, built quality, sensitivity

Cons: may be too overwhelming near-field

Klipsch Reference R-51M

Crutchfield customer from Bloomington, IL on 12/8/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

The speakers sound great. This is the second set of them that I have purchased.

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Klipsch Reference R-51M

Stephen from Cambridge, NY on 12/8/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great small speakers for my sons place. Driving them with a Sansui G-2000. Room filling sound with only 14 watts.

Pros: Klipsch sound at a great price.

Cons: none

Worth the money

Derek from Blanchard, OK on 12/7/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Big upgrade from the infinity system i had. Needed a few tweaks after setup with mic but sounds great out of the box. Only downside is at 11# I needed different wall mounts to set up as satellites bought through amazon.

Pros: Great sound bought 4 at 50 off sale.

Cons: None if used as bookshelf, but klipsch doesnt make a wall mount for these.

Klipsch Reference R-51M

Jason from New Braunfels, TX on 12/7/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I have 2 Polk Rti A7's & 1 Kilpsch 12" sub. I added the R-51's & the speakers really added another dimension to my system. I had a feeling they would be good but they turned out Great.

Pros: Good bass & mid from this small package

Cons: Can not find one.

Klipsch Reference R-51M

Crutchfield customer from Huntingburg, IN on 12/6/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great product. Reaches the high peaks as well as the lows easy set up.

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Klipsch Reference R-51M

Crutchfield customer from Mason, OH on 12/5/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great speakers! Great service!

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Most Improved Award

James from Northbridge, MA on 12/3/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Although the specifications of this speaker appear very similar, it sounds much more engaging than last year's equivalent (or at least, my recollection of last year's). Last year's seemed rather lifeless; this year's is anything but. Not the last word in terms of detail, but a speaker I find myself drawn to. Although these are too small for home theater (at least without a subwoofer), I would expect the tower equivalents would be gangbusters.

Pros: * Lively and engaging sound * Looks good with either the grille off or on (retro cloth grille is a nice touch) * Great at any price but a stupendous value on sale

Cons: * Midrange maybe a tad thin * Black vinyl wrap is unexciting

Lively!!

david from Wilmington, NC on 12/3/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Very lively, dynamic, and enjoyable to listen to. Impressive bottom end for a bookshelf this size. A bargain at the regular price and an absolute steal at the sale price!!!

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Klipsch Reference R-51M

Crutchfield customer from Las Vegas, NV on 12/2/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

great sounding speaker. the price was good too.

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Klipsch Reference R-51M

Adan from Brentwood, NY on 12/2/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Very good speaker, sound & price great value tank crusthfield

Pros: Nathing

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Klipsch Reference R-51M

Crutchfield customer from Alplaus, NY on 12/2/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

big sound in a small unit. typical klipsch type clarity.

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Great bookshelf speaker at a great price (assuming the sale is still o

Crutchfield customer from Richmond, VA on 11/28/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great, entry level bookshelf speakers. Has the classic Klipsch clarity in the mids and highes, but needs a helping hand with the low end. Pair these with a decent sub and you will be happy. I bought these A.) Because I was looking for an inexpensive way to raise the ceiling space that my Elac B6s were lacking. B.) Because they were "half price"! ?? Now I have these R-51Ms, a pair of Elac B6s, and an old Infinity sub. My "Budget Wall-0-Sound" has far exceeded my expectations and these R-51Ms are a big part of the improvement. Extremely pleased with the purchase.

Pros: Clarity in mids and highes

Cons: Little lacking in the low end.

Great Value!

Darren from Branson, MO on 11/28/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great performance for a small price. I am using them for surround speakers and they added a pleasant dimension to the sound.

Pros: Outstanding clarity.

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Does not disappoint!!!

phillip from Chenoa, IL on 11/28/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I went from a 5.1 3 and 1/2" JBL system to these. These Klipsch sound awesome. My wife complained they are to big (compared to the JBL's ) but eventually she even agreed they sound great. They sound great with music and also movies. Great highs and bass. These are the absolute best deal when they are on sale. I almost went with a Polk setup, I am so glad I didn't.

Pros: Great bang for the buck.

Cons: none

Clean and Simple

John Adams from Easton, MD on 10/21/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Very nice of set of bookshelf speakers at a great price. I Purchased them for my bedroom system and they work perfectly. These are not as bright sounding as the Reference Premier series speakers from Klipsch but still have loads of clarity. They do sound a bit hollow at certain lower frequencies due to the simple box design. Some simple EQ adjustments and they sound perfect.

Pros: Clarity Small Footprint Great Price

Cons: A little boomy without EQ adjustments

clear sounds

Crutchfield customer from Waipahu, HI on 10/7/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great sound, great looks, and quick shipping. Living in Hawaii shipping sucks but Crutchfield came in clutch with free shipping.

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Awesome speakers

Crutchfield customer from Arlington, TX on 9/3/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great pair of bookshelf speakers awesome sound.

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Details

Hands-on research

Product Research

Features

1" Horn-Loaded Tweeter: The R-51M bookshelf loudspeaker features Klipsch's proprietary Tractrix Horn technology mated with a 1" aluminum LTS tweeter, for impressive high-end response and greater extension, enhanced imaging and powerful dynamics.

  • 90°x90° Tractrix Horn: The square Tractrix Horn delivers a 90° (w) x 90° (h) dispersion pattern for a broader sound-stage. Klipsch exclusive Tractrix horn technology ensures that the speaker's high frequency energy is aimed at the listener and reduces artificial reverb or filtering caused by indirect sound bouncing off of walls. Using this proprietary focused technology provides clarity, dynamics, and detail for your movies and music
  • LTS (Linear Travel Suspension): Behind each horn lies a 1.0" tweeter with a linear travel suspension. Klipsch exclusive Linear Travel Suspension (LTS) minimizes distortion for enhanced, detailed performances. In addition, Using Kapton (an extremely light and rigid material) in the tweeter suspension provides high efficiency and improve resolution and detail.

5.25" Copper-Spun IMG Woofer: The Klipsch R-51M bookshelf speaker houses a single 5.25" Copper-Spun IMG woofer. The Copper-Spun IMG (Injection Molded Graphite) woofer is exceptionally light while being extremely rigid - providing remarkable low frequency response, with minimal cone breakup and distortion.

Flared Port: The Klipsch Reference series bookshelf speaker features a rear-firing port that is perfectly matched to the cabinet and drivers. The port is precisely flared to minimize turbulence even at the lowest frequencies.

MDF Cabinet: The Klipsch R-51M bookshelf speaker features a MDF cabinet with a scratch-resistant, textured wood grain vinyl that seamlessly integrates into almost any room or decor. The enclosure's reinforced MDF construction reduces cabinet vibration for less audible coloration and improved sonic accuracy.

Acoustically Transparent Grille: The Klipsch R-51M bookshelf speaker comes with a removable, black cloth grille that is magnetic and acoustically transparent.

5-Way Binding Posts: The Klipsch Reference series bookshelf speaker is fitted with sturdy 5-way binding posts to ensure a secure connection to many types of cable and connectors. The 5-way binding post terminals will accept banana plugs (single or dual), pin-connectors, spade-lugs and bare wire (up to 10AWG). Two plastic caps will need to be removed to use banana plugs.

Mounting Options: The Klipsch R-51M can be placed on a speaker stand, bookshelf, table, or other flat surface. The bookshelf loudspeaker comes with 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 overall height of the speaker.

Note: There is no included bracket, keyhole slot, or threaded insert to wall-mount the speaker.

Application & Placement: The Klipsch R-51M bookshelf loudspeaker can be used in a dedicated stereo application or in a home theater application as front and/or rear speakers.

  • Front Placement: For optimum performance in a stereo application or as front speakers in a home theater application, Klipsch suggests placing the loudspeakers 6' to 15' apart. They may also be toed-in slightly for better stereo imaging. The listening position should be about 1 to 1.5x the distance separating the speakers.
  • Rear Placement: When used as surround speakers in a home theater setup, the loudspeakers should be placed approximately 2' above the listening position. Typically this will be approximately 5' to 7' above the floor. The surrounds should be placed on the walls directly adjacent to the listening position. Another option would be on the wall behind the listening position.

Reference Series: The Klipsch Reference series consists of four floorstanding speakers (R-610F/R-620F/R-820F/R-625FA), two bookshelf speakers (R-41/R-51M), two center channel speakers (R-34C/R-52C), and one Dolby Atmos speaker (R-41SA) - all sold separately. The Klipsch Reference series line-up of loudspeakers sound great in stereo and home theater applications.

Optional Powered Sub: For bigger & deeper bass response, pair the Klipsch Reference series loudspeaker with one of Klipsch's powered subwoofers (sold separately).

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.

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Q & A

Customer Q&A

Crutchfield asked  
Why did you buy this?

I have one set already, just adding to it. [ Monty  Jan 15, 2019 ]
I generally like the sound, especially the brightness, of Klipsch speakers. These speakers will also fit nicely on the bookshelves in my office. [ Stan  Jan 09, 2019 ]
best deal, older model 5.25" [ Emmanuel  Jan 08, 2019 ]
matches my subwoofer [ denes  Jan 05, 2019 ]
I choose this based on my previous experience with Klipsch and the online reviews. [ Todd  Jan 03, 2019 ]
I like Klipsch [ Gary  Dec 22, 2018 ]
referral [ Gladys  Dec 07, 2018 ]
Love the speaker [ J  Dec 07, 2018 ]
Great Reviews. Recommended by to audiophile friends. [ Thomas  Dec 06, 2018 ]
I needed a complimentary set to match a previously purchased set of the same. Just for the mancave...! [ Timothy  Dec 06, 2018 ]
on sale for less than the R-41m [ Marc  Nov 24, 2018 ]
great deal, good product [ Frank  Nov 23, 2018 ]
I miss the old school speaker that has wires [ David  Nov 23, 2018 ]
home theater surround spkrs [ Srinivas  Nov 23, 2018 ]
Replacing due to someone knocked my speaker over and broke it. [ Wil  Nov 23, 2018 ]
Eliteness [ Daniel  Nov 22, 2018 ]
Klipsch black Friday sale. I thought they would be a good choice for small area front channel. [ Edward  Nov 22, 2018 ]
I like Klipsch because there the most efficient speakers on the market. [ James  Nov 21, 2018 ]
Black Friday price. [ Ken  Nov 20, 2018 ]
Price and quality for small setup [ JOHN  Nov 20, 2018 ]
Recommended by Friend. [ Wayne  Nov 20, 2018 ]
Choose Quality products [ S  Nov 19, 2018 ]
good frequency range low price [ none  Nov 18, 2018 ]
To match other speakers in a home theater system [ LATHROP  Nov 17, 2018 ]
Great value [ MARK  Nov 17, 2018 ]
Good reviews. I have to hear it myself. [ Alejandro  Nov 15, 2018 ]
Recently saw a video by Steve Guttenberg who was talking about this very speaker, so clearly the speaker gods wanted me to have them..."right?". Plus, I've never had a set of Klipsch speakers and for "half price", it was worth the gamble. [ M  Nov 15, 2018 ]

3 questions already asked

it depends more on price. at the price i paid for the R-51's (124.99), it's worth picking them up on their own! the sound is terrific! [ brian  Dec 03, 2018 ]
Not familiar with the R-15M, but I'm very pleased with the R-51M speakers. My only suggestion would be if you are going to get the R-51Ms, make sure you have a decent subwoofer or pair them with another set of speakers with a substantial low end. I have my R-51Ms paired with a set of Elac B6s "and" an old Infinity sub. My goal with buying the R-51Ms was to raise the ceiling of the highs and enrich the mids that my Elacs were lacking. Adding the sub just rounded out the bottom end and really added some extra bass punch. I read somewhere that a great way to get better performance from your speakers without spending a fortune was to pair two sets of speakers that have different strengths. I can verify that my "Budget Wall-0-Sound" kicks ass and it didn't have to sell any of the kids to do it. (Though I've been tempted) If the half price sale is still going on, take advantage and pick up a pair of these. Hell, you can always send them back if you don't like them. But I think you will want to keep them. Cheers! [ M  Dec 03, 2018 ]
I Think the 51 IS JUST A NEWER MODEL THE 15 THE LOOK ALMOST THE SAME WITH SOME MINOR DIFFERENCES THE SOUND ON THE 51 SEEMS A LITTLE BETTER BUT OVER ALL IF YOU HAVE THE 15'S SAVE YOUR MONEY FOR NOW. [ LATHROP  Dec 03, 2018 ]
Well if your referring to the R-15pm. I'm not sure the R-15pm are powered speakers. The R51m are not. I haven't heard the 15pm's so I can't give you an honest answer. But I'm using four 51m's as my surround and surround backs, and I'm using an Emotiva power amplifier with a Marantz pre amp and they sound amazing. For both movies and music. You won't be disappointed. [ Jorge  Dec 03, 2018 ]
Never heard R-15M so don't know [ DSE  Dec 03, 2018 ]
The R-51M seems to be the same speaker as the R-15M judging by the speaker specs. [ Darren  Dec 03, 2018 ]
I can't answer this question as these are a Xmas present for somebody else. [ Steve  Dec 03, 2018 ]
Sorry, I've never heard the 15's. [ Gregory Scott  Dec 03, 2018 ]
I don't have an answer for that. Sorry. I plan to have them eventually on pedestals for better sound production. [ Howard V.  Nov 24, 2018 ]
Yes with just a single nail or screw, but these guys are big. I'd recommend keeping them on shelf or at the very least hang them on a stud. [ William  Nov 22, 2018 ]
Yes.....They might be a little tight.Connect carefully. Jazz on!! [ LUIS A  Nov 02, 2018 ]
i believe it is possible. my receiver does not accept banana plugs so i do not have them on my setup but there are holes in the posts [ Rylan  Nov 02, 2018 ]
Yes the terminals have the removable caps where banana plugs would go. [ John  Nov 02, 2018 ]
Yes you can [ Jorge  Nov 02, 2018 ]
Yes. [ Nathan  Nov 01, 2018 ]
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