Klipsch Reference RF-7 III
Floor-standing speaker (Black Ash)
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Our take on the Klipsch Reference RF-7 III by Crutchfield's Kramer Crane
"Two thumbs up" for Klipsch's flagship Reference tower
One of the best parts of my job is going to our speaker listening room, closing the door, and playing music to my heart's content. So when Klipsch brought their newly designed RF-7 III floor-standing speakers to our headquarters, I took full advantage of the opportunity. Read on to learn more about this remarkable hand-built tower speaker, as well as my firsthand listening impressions.
Klipsch's RF-7 III floor-standing speaker features two powerful 10" woofers and a 1-3/4" horn-loaded tweeter (shown in black ash).
An upgrade from a long-time customer favorite
The RF-7 has long been a staple in Klipsch's impressive lineup of Reference Series speakers. In fact, the previous iteration, the RF-7 II, was one of our highest-rated tower speakers in recent years.
The RF-7 III offers a number of improvements over its predecessor, including an all-new 1-3/4" Tractrix® horn-loaded tweeter, two new 10" woofers, new dual rear-firing ports, and an improved crossover network. The RF-7 III even sports a new plinth and magnetic grille, which makes it a cosmetic match with the Klipsch Reference Premiere line.
My listening takeaways
The first track I listened to on these impressive speakers was a live cut of "No Excuses" from Alice in Chains' Unplugged album.
I was immediately struck by how full and realistic the soundstage was. Granted, these are large speakers, but they effortlessly created an accurate sense of what the candle-lit stage sounded like that evening. Mike Inez' bass came through with depth and pluck. Sean Kinney's drum kit was tight and punchy. And Layne Staley's distinctive voice was clear and full of soul. If you enjoy listening to concert recordings, the RF-7 IIIs are an excellent choice for creating the "live show" feel.
Next up was "Ready or Not" from Fugee's The Score. I listened for the complex layering of Lauryn Hill's voice during the intro, along with the impact and presence of Wyclef Jean's powerful voice when he thunders in at about the 30 second mark. From the kickin' drumline to the seriously cool stereo panning that takes place on this track, I was feeling it with the RF-7 IIIs. The 10" woofers cranked out some serious bass too — as a hip-hop enthusiast I really appreciated this.
I hung around our training room for quite a while and auditioned a wide range of bluegrass, rock, and folk tunes. Across the board, the RF-7 IIIs were a joy to listen to.
Dual rear-firing ports add to the RF-7 III's impressive bass performance (shown in natural cherry).
Proudly made in the USA
So what makes the RF-7 III sound so good? Well, part of their sonic excellence is attributed to their impeccable build quality. Each speaker is designed and built in Hope, Arkansas. The back of each RF-7 III even features a plaque that's hand-signed by the speaker's craftsman.
A friendly heads-up — this speaker is huge
At just over 4 feet tall, and weighing in at nearly 100 pounds, the RF-7 III is truly a "tower speaker." Just something to keep in mind as you're planning out the logistics of your new system. You'll probably want a buddy to come over to help you move and unbox this massive floor-standing speaker.
- hand-built in Hope, Arkansas
- frequency response 32-25,000 Hz (±3dB)
- power handling: up to 250 watts RMS (1,000 watts peak)
- sensitivity 100 dB
- impedance: 8 ohms compatible
- Tractrix® horn with 1-3/4" titanium dome tweeter
- dual 10" Cerametallic woofers
- bass-reflex (ported) design with dual rear-firing Tractrix ports
- furniture-grade black ash wood veneer
- dual binding posts for bi-amping or bi-wiring
- 13-7/8"W x 49"H x 17-7/8"D
- weight: 97 lbs.
- warranty: 5 years
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
What's in the Box:
- Floorstanding loudspeaker
- 4 Spike feet
- 4 Rubber feet
- 2 Jumpers (pre-installed)
- 4 Machine screws
- Owner's Manual
Excellent speaker's! Klipsch ROCKS But Stay away from "The white glove" delivery!!! The guys that delivered mine should NEVER be allowed to handle high end audio/ video equipment!
Jim, Bayonne, NJ
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Features and Specs
|Tweeter Size (inches)||1.75|
|Midrange Size (inches)||N/A|
|Woofer Size (inches)||10|
|Built-in Powered Sub||No|
|Connector Type||Binding post|
|Parts Warranty||5 Years|
|Labor Warranty||5 Years|
|Frequency Response||32-25k Hz|
|Subwoofer Amp Power||---|
Horn Loaded Tweeter: The Klipsch RF-7 III features a newly designed 1.75-inch titanium-diaphragm compression driver inside a molded rubber square Tractrix Horn for smoother high-end response with greater extension, enhanced imaging, and more powerful dynamics. The 8.5" square Tractrix Horn delivers a 90° (w) x 90° (h) dispersion pattern for a broader sound-stage.
- Tractrix Horn Tweeter: The Klipsch RF-7 III features a professional-grade 1.75" titanium-diaphragm compression driver inside a molded rubber square Tractrix Horn. The compression driver features a new phase plug design to improve phase coherency at the throat of the horn, resulting in improved sound pressure linearity at high frequencies.
- Molded Rubber Square Tractrix Horn: The redesigned Tractrix Horn utilizes a circular horn throat paired to a square horn mouth to further improve high-frequency response and extension, while enhancing imaging and dynamics. The compressed molded rubber construction adds high frequency damping to reduce harshness and improve detail. This creates the cleanest, most natural sound possible.
Dual Cerametallic Woofers: The dual 10" woofers of the RF-7 III feature Klipsch's distinctive, copper-spun Cerametallic cones. Made with an anodized aluminum, these cones are strong and dent resistant. The anodizing process converts their inner and outer surfaces to ceramic. Each 10" woofer feature a heavy-duty cast aluminum frame for resonant-free operation. In addition, each woofer incorporates a dual shorting-ring magnet structure design to eliminate modulation of the magnetic flux resulting in improved linearity of cone movement. The 10" woofers also employ a rubber surround for added durability. The outcome is a rigid cone with superb damping characteristics that will not flex or resonate at frequencies within the woofer's operating range.
Dual Chamber + Tractrix Port Enclosure: The RF-7 III's new bifurcated enclosure allows each 10" woofer and port to work independently from the other. This improves the linearity of both drive systems, and minimizes standing wave problems inside the cabinet that can cause frequency anomalies in the sensitive midrange frequencies. Utilizing Tractrix geometry, the new RF-7 III ports allow for the most efficient air transfer from the cabinet for a clean, powerful low frequency response. The enclosure features a MDF construction with a beautiful furniture-grade wood veneer, plus improved internal cross-bracing to minimize panel vibrations that can color sound.
Note: Available in a Black Ash, Natural Cherry, or Walnut finish.
Dual Binding Posts: The speaker has two sets of binding posts connected by jumpers. Using the dual binding posts, you can bi-amp or bi-wire the speakers (make sure to remove the jumpers in this scenario). The binding post terminals will accept banana plugs (single only), pin-connectors, spade-connectors, and bare wire (16AWG - 10AWG).
- Bi-Wiring: Bi-wiring can provide noticeable improvements in the overall transparency of your loudspeakers. Run separate speaker wires to the low & high frequency drivers from a single amplifier (the upper set of binding posts are for the high frequency drivers; the lower set of binding posts are for the low frequency drivers).
- Bi-Amping: Bi-amping allows you to use separate amplifiers for the high & low frequency sections of your loudspeaker for greater dynamic range & lower distortion. We recommend that your separate amplifiers have identical gain to preserve the speaker's voicing balance.
Magnetic Grille: The RF-7 III floor-standing 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.
Plinth w/ Spike or Rubber Feet: The Klipsch RF-7 III floor-standing loudspeaker is supplied with a plinth which acts as the speaker's base (four screws are included to mount the plinth to the bottom of the speaker). Self-adhesive rubber feet are included to prevent surface damage on hardwood, vinyl, laminate, ceramic, and tile flooring (these rubber feet stick to the bottom of the plinth). Spike feet are also included to enhance performance and stability on carpeted floors (the spike feet screw into the bottom of the plinth).
- Speaker Dimensions w/ Plinth Only: 13.9375" (w) x 49.0625" (h) x 17.9375" (d)
- Speaker Dimensions w/ Plinth & Rubber Feet: 13.9375" (w) x 49.25" (h) x 17.9375" (d)
- Speaker Dimensions w/ Plinth & Spike Feet: 13.9375" (w) x 50.0625" (h) x 17.9375" (d)
Note: The Klipsch RF-7 III should not be used without the plinth for stability and sonic reasons.
Placement: The Reference III Series floor-standing loudspeaker is designed to perform well in a wide variety of locations, but you will get the most out of the speaker by following these simple guidelines.
- Place on a common wall 6' to 15' apart.
- Position them equidistant from the back wall.
- Angle speakers toward the listener and even with or forward of any adjacent obstructions.
- Placing them near a corner or wall provides the greatest amount of bass, while moving the speakers away from room boundaries reduces bass response.
- Asymmetrical placement of a pair of speakers from adjacent side walls can smooth room-induced bass unevenness.
USA Made: The Klipsch Reference III loudspeaker is built to order and handmade in the USA at Klipsch's manufacturing facility in Arkansas.
Our Product Research Team
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Why did you buy this?
Without question "THE BAD BOYS" of the Klipsch tower speaker line! So excited to crank the Hi Fi High!! [ JIM Jul 27, 2018 ]
Within price point. [ Michael May 05, 2018 ]
best speaker for the price, or so it seems given the time i've just spent reading about it. My father in law had Klipsch and I used to be vaguely familiar with their concert speakers when I'd run audio for raves in college - we couldn't afford them. [ Craig Dec 31, 2017 ]
looking to complete my home theater with a deeper fuller sound than the rf-280fa. Bought one to test it out. loved it so bought second [ jason Dec 26, 2017 ]
Was looking for the RF-7 II but heard a III was coming out so waited and bought. Wanted fuller sound out of my system than the RP-280 that I had. My RC-64 III provided that center fulfillment and am hoping this will provide the front sound I need. [ jason Dec 02, 2017 ]
klipsch always sound great [ David Sep 20, 2018 ]
Experience with Klipsch Reference Series products, logical upgrade for my present RF83 speakers [ Robert Jun 01, 2018 ]
To replace my original 2005 RF-7s. [ Craig Jul 09, 2018 ]