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Klipsch Reference R-8SW

Compact powered subwoofer

14 Reviews | 2 questions - 2 answers

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Our take on the Klipsch Reference R-8SW

If you've been looking for hard-hitting bass without taking up much floor space, look no further than the Klipsch Reference R-8SW. Our customers have discovered that this compact sub adds lifelike punch to music and movie soundtracks. This small-but-mighty sub pumps out potent bass that's ideal for small- to medium-sized rooms.

Killer bass from a customer favorite

If you've been looking for hard-hitting bass without taking up much floor space, look no further than the Klipsch Reference R-8SW. Our customers have discovered that this compact sub adds lifelike punch to music and movie soundtracks. This small-but-mighty sub pumps out potent bass that's ideal for small- to medium-sized rooms.

"This nice jewel for a relatively small room really fills out the lower end....I can really rock this room when the house is empty and the cats are anesthetized.”

— Roger, satisfied Crutchfield customer from Santa Rosa, CA

Easy system integration

Line-level and LFE (Low-Frequency Effects) inputs let you easily connect the R-8SW to almost any home theater or stereo receiver. And its back-panel volume, crossover, and phase controls help you fine-tune the bass to your liking.

Quality craftsmanship

The R-8SW is housed in a durable MDF cabinet and is finished with a brushed black polymer veneer. A front-mounted LED power indicator makes it easy to tell when the sub is powered up and ready to rock. 

Product Highlights:

  • bass-reflex (ported) enclosure
  • 50-watt RMS (150-watts peak) amplifier
  • 8" high-excursion IMG (Injection Molded Graphite) down-firing woofer
  • frequency response: 38-120 Hz (±3dB)
  • MDF enclosure with brushed black polymer veneer finish
  • RCA line level/LFE (low frequency effects) input
  • variable low-pass crossover control
  • phase switch to acoustically match the subwoofer's output to your main speakers
  • automatically powers off when it no longer receives signal from the receiver
  • 11-3/4"W x 13-1/4"H x 11-3/4"D
  • weight: 15 lbs.
  • warranty: 5 years woofer, 2 years amplifier
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

What's in the Box:

  • Powered sub
  • 6.5' AC power cord
  • User Manual
  • Important Safety Instructions
  • Warranty Sheet

Excellent sound and great looks, looking forward to buying towers to go with it.

Steve, Kingsland, GA


Klipsch Reference R-8SW Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(14 Reviews)

Great addition

George from Cheektowaga, NY on 2/27/2019

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I purchased the R-8SW to complement a 12 inch subwoofer that I own. Let me tell you that the Klipsch subwoofer has improved my 7.2 system beautifully. The tight bass of this unit improved my movie experience, and drastically improved my music audio. A great complement to my theater system and to Klipsch.

Pros: Beautiful sound, down firing tight sub complements my 12 inch front firing sub. Perfection!!

Cons: None

good bass in a small package

Steph from San Francisco, CA on 2/26/2019

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I've been using the R-8SW for several months now and its proven to be a great purchase. I purchased it as a replacement for a much larger subwoofer and I don't regret the change. Loud and discrete-looking, I think it's perfect if you live in a relatively small space but still care about getting that low end in your music or games.

Pros: Size Looks (subjective but I like the simple look) Power

Cons: Exposed downwards firing cone (be careful when moving, etc...) Generates a rather loud punch when turned on

A good fit for a small home theater

Crutchfield customer from Greenville, PA on 10/15/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

The subwoofer was reasonably priced, came very securely packaged, and arrived when scheduled. The subwoofer is a good fit for my present small home theater, providing ample bass for the small room in which it is used. I would have given it 5 stars, but I have been "spoiled" by the 15" subwoofer with several hundred amplifier watts which I used to own in a much larger home theater and, more importantly, which had a cleaner sound. To be fair, that 15" subwoofer cost 5 times this 8" Klipsch. Although Crutchfield's price was a little higher than some others, the difference was easily made up by the superior service and reputation of Crutchfield. Of course, I would buy from Crutchfield again and would recommend them highly.



Great, stylish affordable

Garnet from Harlingen, TX on 6/11/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great, stylish affordable sub-woofer. I would highly recommend it. You plug it in and there is a deep quick "boom" for testing. Turns on and off automatically when connected equipment turns on or off. Has a deep rich sound with the "positive" plug for a single RCA output for the subwoofer connection. This output is often labeled LFE. It sends bass information to a powered subwoofer. It also accepts the two RCA left/right connections.

Pros: Everything

Cons: None that I can detect.

Klipsch Reference R-8SW

John from Hudson, WI on 5/18/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Having fallen into the trap of earbud listening, I decided last year to acquire a pair of Klipsch bookshelf speakers to try to expand the aural experience from a singularity to the broader spectrum experience it as meant to be. But still something was missing...of course! The sensible, visceral feeling of the music! The R-8SW Filled that part of the frequency domain perfectly in the listening space of my home office. Even at a very modest gain setting, it balances and complements the bookshelf speakers and restores many of the deeper bass elements that I missed from the old days when floor standing tower speakers ruled the earth...or at least my part of it. Maybe other subwoofer brands would do the same, but I appreciate the solid quality and look of the Klipsch product.

Pros: Excellent for small to medium listening spaces.

Cons: None to speak of...

Klipsch Reference R-8SW

Guest from Berkeley,ca on 4/18/2018

I just bought this unit and man this subwoofer really rocks. I have it inside my wherehouse that is 8000 sq and it rocks the building. Music never sounded good!!



Great Subwoofer for the Price

Wayne from Saint Augustine, FL on 2/27/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

After our den was remodeled, we were able to replace our awful in-ceiling speakers with a pair of Klipsch RP-160M bookshelf speakers. We already had a Klipsch SW-110 to round out the bottom end. However, with the subwoofer placed in the left-rear side of the room, the sound was somewhat left-side biased. To counter that issue we purchased the Klipsch Reference R-8SW to place in the right-rear side of the room. We didn't need a more powerful sub and wanted something with a small footprint. The R-8SW filled the bill. The sound is now balanced and the soundstage is incredible. Crutchfield is our go-to place for electronics. Great products and customer service that can be relied up when needed.

Pros: Small footprint, great price, tight bass, nice volume and low-pass filter controls

Cons: None

Klipsch Reference R-8SW

Steve from Kingsland, GA on 11/17/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Excellent sound and great looks, looking forward to buying towers to go with it.



Klipsch Reference R-8SW

Crutchfield customer from Grand Rapids, MI on 9/10/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great sound in a small package. Works well with The Sixes. Thanks Crutchfield for outstanding tech support.



Great Sub, very pleased.

Charles from Raleigh, NC on 9/3/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Long story short, this Klipsch R-8SW is replacing a Polk Audio 8" powered sub-woofer which was part of the TL-1600 surround sound package I purchased in Jan 2017 from a local retailer. The Polk failed on me within 3 months, just inside the warranty date. I had to pay to ship it back for the warranty work. It was returned four weeks later with a new problem and still did not work. Granted the Klipsch and Polk are probably peers based on their size, that is where the comparisons end. In my medium size family room, 13.5' x 15.5' the Klipsch is more than adequate. In fact, I have to have be careful with the gain and the volume because I will rattle the house or annoy my 16 yr old daughter in her room directly above. Remember, this is down firing sub, and my family room is carpeted. The Klipsch is nicely sized and sits under an end table near the sectional. If you are looking for a 8" powered subwoofer in the Klipsch price range, I would highly recommend it.

Pros: I got it when it was on sale, but now that I have it, it is worth the regular price.


Great Sub! Perfect for mid-small room

ROGER from Santa Rosa, CA on 8/6/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I purchased this to accompany my "den" audio system--a Marantz HD-AMP1 with some older Boston Acoustics CR6 Bookshelf Speakers. I use this to listen to music and to provide background for jazz-improv practice--an application that requires a very nice bass. I really like the BA CR6's and their bass response is impressive given their size. But this nice jewel for a relatively small room really fills out the lower end. Marantz does a great job of designing the crossover setting as well as the volume. The automatic-off/on feature works perfectly and in spite of its small size, I can really rock this room when the house is empty and the cats are anesthetized.

Pros: - Nice looks--very nice looks. - Auto Off/On - Adjustable crossover


Great Subwoofer

Angel from Miami, FL on 6/5/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Love the speaker



Just what I wanted!

Richard from Pensacola, FL on 4/27/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I wanted a subwoofer that would complement my entertainment system. If I am listening to Andrea Bocelli or watching Rogue One I don't want it to dominate, only enhance. I tried a 10" front firing sub and could not take it back fast enough. The Klipsch R-8sw 8" down fire is absolutely perfect for my medium sized room. Its just what I wanted!

Pros: Big quality bass, small space.

Cons: Not a thing!

Perfect for my needs

John from Smithtown, NY on 4/3/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great match for the Klipsch R-24F speakers. More than enough power handling capacity - mine is set below the midpoint just to the level where it matches the volume of my speakers - and is perfect@ This Sub can rock the house if you like but I just use it to fill in the bass at a medium to low level and it is solid. Right sized to fit in a number of places in a room and not appear obtrusive. Looks good and constructed well. Price is at the top of my limit for a Sub of this size and power - but am very happy with my purchase due to size, sound and construction quality. A few bucks less would be even more attractive however. I do recommend the Sub - it does more than it's job and sounds and looks great - fills in the bass naturally - tight. Easy set-up.

Pros: Sound, size, looks and construction quality.

Cons: Price could be a little lower - price is at my max for a unit of this size and power level.


Hands-on research

Features and Specs

Enclosure Bass Reflex
Video Shielded No
Woofer Size (inches) 8
Woofer Composition Copper IMG
Firing Direction Down
Wireless No
Preamp-Level Inputs Yes
Speaker-Level Inputs No
Speaker-Level Outputs No
Low-Pass Crossover Freq 40-120Hz
High-Pass Crossover Freq N/A
Phase Switch Yes
Amplifier Output (watts) 50
Frequency Response 38-120 Hz
Height (inches) 13-3/16
Width (inches) 11-3/4
Depth (inches) 13-9/16
Weight 15 lbs
Speaker Parts Warranty 5 Years
Speaker Labor Warranty 5 Years
Amplifier Parts Warranty 2 Years
Amplifier Labor Warranty 2 Years

Product Research


8" Woofer: The Klipsch Reference series R-8SW powered sub is fitted with a powerful 8" copper-spun IMG (injected molded graphite) down-firing woofer for deep bass. The copper-spun IMG woofer is exceptionally light while being extremely rigid, providing remarkable low frequency response with minimal cone breakup and distortion. The down-firing woofer gives you greater placement flexibility than a front-firing woofer.

50 Watt Amp: The Klipsch R-8SW powered sub employs an all-digital 50 watt RMS (150 watt Peak) amplifier for high efficiency and dynamic bass performance.

MDF Cabinet: The R-8SW is housed in a durable MDF cabinet and finished with a brushed black polymer veneer. The MDF enclosure is rigid and protects against unwanted vibration and distortion.

Down Firing Port: The R-8SW's enclosure uses a bass reflex design with a down-firing port for greater efficiency and bigger bass.

Controls: The level control, low pass crossover, and phase control allow you to blend the powered subwoofer's low-frequency tones with your system's other speakers, as well as establish the ideal level of bass.

  • Level Control: The level control adjusts the subwoofer's volume relative to the rest of your home audio system. After the sub's level control has been set, the volume control of your AV receiver will be the volume control for both the Klipsch powered subwoofer and your connected loudspeakers.
  • Low Pass Crossover: The variable lowpass crossover is adjustable from 40-120Hz. The crossover point chosen determines where low bass frequencies are "handed-off" from your AV system's loudspeakers to the Klipsch powered subwoofer. Set the crossover point based on the size of your systems' main left/right speakers.
  • Phase Control: This control is used to acoustically match the subwoofer's output to your main speakers. Select the position either 0˚ or 180˚ in which your subwoofer has more output at the listening position.

LFE/RCA Inputs: The Klipsch R-8SW powered subwoofer is equipped with a pair of line-level RCA-type inputs to connect the sub to your receiver or integrated amplifier.

  • LFE Input: Most of today's AV receivers have a line-level subwoofer output (LFE). If your receiver has an LFE output, connect one end of a subwoofer cable (sold separately) to this output and connect the other end of the cable into the powered subwoofer's line-level input labeled "LEFT/LFE". Set the powered sub's built-in crossover to "LFE" with this type of connection.
  • Stereo Input: In absence of a subwoofer (LFE) output on your receiver, as an alternative hookup, you can connect Left & Right channel pre-amp outputs from the receiver to both the "Left/LFE" and "Right" inputs on the powered subwoofer.

LED Indicator: The front-mounted LED power indicator lets you know when the sub is powered on or off. The LED will light green when the powered subwoofer is on and receiving a signal. If the LED is dark and not lit, the powered sub is off.

Auto Power On/Off: The powered subwoofer will automatically turn On when it senses an audio signal. It will automatically go into "Standby mode" after 15-20 minutes with no audio signal. You can also choose to turn the powered sub On or Off manually from the rear-switch on the back.

Placement: Klipsch powered subwoofers are designed to reproduce deep bass and deliver the impact that makes your movies and music come alive. For optimum performance, place your subwoofer in a corner of the room on the same wall as your front channel speakers. Please note that room placement can have a dramatic effect on the performance of your powered subwoofer. Corner placement, as suggested above, will increase the amount of bass output, while placing the subwoofer along the middle of a wall, or out in the room will decrease the amount of bass output.

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?

My living room is small, so physical size was very important. That and the Klipsch reputation were the deciding factors for me. [ B  Sep 16, 2018 ]
Because of Kristina's awesome advice [ Todd  May 22, 2018 ]
Adding this subwoofer to my Klipsch 150M bookshelf speakers. I've been very satisfied with the Klipsch speakers without it, but I did notice some lack of depth to certain recordings in the lower frequency range. I chose this model to match my current speakers, and I don't believe I need any more than a 50W unit in the medium sized room that I use. [ John  Apr 28, 2018 ]
great comments about it from people I know. [ JAMES  Mar 25, 2018 ]
I needed a second sub to round out the sound. With only one sub, the sound was sort of lop-sided. [ W  Feb 14, 2018 ]
I wanted a smaller than ten inch sub, and I feet the Klipsch products are far superior in quality than the Polk products. [ Henry  Feb 08, 2018 ]
I chose this particular item on advice of the one helping me. I ASKED For Guidance, in this instance, since I was unfamiliar with the Product and (Big Deal, Here) I couldn't listen to the set-up myself.Hopefully, all compliment each other well. [ Robert M.  Dec 28, 2017 ]
size [ Stephen  Dec 10, 2017 ]
This sub will work better in my home hospital room. Already have the RS12 model in my theater room. [ GERARD  Aug 26, 2017 ]
I already have a Klipsch 12" subwoofer in my house and works great. This one is to pair with some Klipsch R-15pm that I have in my office [ Angel  May 11, 2017 ]
Brand, was convenient for my space [ Francisco  May 07, 2017 ]

2 questions already asked

If your receiver/amplifier does not offer a pair of RCA pre-amp outputs or a dedicated subwoofer (mono RCA) output, you'll want to consider using a different powered subwoofer model that does offer the "Speaker Level" inputs and outputs:|YCSpeaker@Level_Outputs [ Ryan  Sep 27, 2017 ]  Staff