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Klipsch Reference R-12SW

Powered subwoofer

109 Reviews | 6 questions - 9 answers

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Item # 714R12SW

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Our take on the Klipsch Reference R-12SW

It's impossible not to get swept up in the emotion of your music and the action in your favorite movies when Klipsch's R-12SW Reference is kicking out the bass. It delivers powerful, extended bass response thanks to the beefy 200-watt amplifier that effortlessly drives the 12" woofer. With the R-12SW in your system, you'll hear and feel your movies, music, and video games come roaring to life in your living room.

Deep bass for any system

Klipsch R-12SW powered subwoofer

It's impossible not to get swept up in the emotion of your music and the action in your favorite movies when Klipsch's R-12SW Reference is kicking out the bass. It delivers powerful, extended bass response thanks to the beefy 200-watt amplifier that effortlessly drives the 12" woofer. With the R-12SW in your system, you'll hear and feel your movies, music, and video games come roaring to life in your living room.

Easy system integration

Line-level and LFE (Low-Frequency Effects) inputs let you easily connect the R-12SW to almost any home theater or stereo receiver. Its back-panel volume, crossover, and phase controls help you fine-tune the bass to your liking, and blend its sound into your system. The sub comes housed in a durable MDF cabinet and 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
  • 200-watt RMS (400-watts peak) amplifier
  • 12" high-excursion IMG (Injection Molded Graphite) front-firing woofer
  • frequency response 29-120 Hz (±3dB)
  • MDF enclosure with brushed black polymer veneer finish
  • variable crossover control
  • phase switch to acoustically match the subwoofer's output to your main speakers
  • auto on/off
  • line level/LFE (low frequency effects) input
  • 14"W x 16-1/2"H x 19-1/4"D
  • weight: 33 lbs.
  • warranty: 5 years woofer, 2 years amplifier
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

What's in the Box:

  • Powered sub
  • Grille (installed)
  • User Manual
  • Important Safety Instructions
  • Warranty Sheet

Klipsch Reference R-12SW Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(109 Reviews)
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Hands-on research

Features and Specs

Enclosure Bass Reflex
Video Shielded No
Woofer Size (inches) 12
Woofer Composition Copper IMG
Firing Direction Front
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) 200
Frequency Response 29-120 Hz
Height (inches) 16-5/8
Width (inches) 14
Depth (inches) 19-15/16
Weight 33 lbs
Speaker Parts Warranty 5 Years
Speaker Labor Warranty 5 Years
Amplifier Parts Warranty 2 Years
Amplifier Labor Warranty 2 Years

Product Research


12" Woofer: The Klipsch Reference series R-12SW powered sub is fitted with a powerful 12" copper-spun IMG (injected molded graphite) front-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 front-firing woofer gives you greater placement flexibility than a down-firing woofer.

200 Watt Amp: The Klipsch R-12SW powered sub employs an all-digital 200 watt RMS (400 watt Peak) amplifier for high efficiency and dynamic bass performance.

MDF Cabinet: The R-12SW 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.

Rear Firing Port: The R-12SW's enclosure uses a bass reflex design with a rear-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-12SW 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?

to match my other sub [ steve  Oct 05, 2018 ]
I am a big fan of Polk Audio. Their speakers sound right to me. There is no "struggle" with them, you hook them up, set them up, and listen to your music or movies in high fidelity. It was a no-brainer for me to 1) go with Polk for my subwoofer and 2) buy it from Crutchfield! [ Warren  Sep 22, 2018 ]
Cody's recommendation [ Karen M.  Sep 21, 2018 ]
Decided to upgrade my sound system and I have always wanted to on some Klipsch corner horns or Heresys. Just never had the time to get around to it. Now I have the time. So starting off with a sub and working my way up to bigger and better things. Would also like to Thanks Crutchfield Advisor Francis for the wise advice. [ DAVID  Sep 21, 2018 ]
On sale [ V  Sep 19, 2018 ]
My old sub a Klipsch Synergy Sub-10 purchased in 2006 stopped working. The sale price of the R-12sw made it more attractive then the R-120sw and newer R-112sw [ Gregory  Sep 17, 2018 ]
I have been looking for a good subwoofer for my klip speakers, reading the reviews it seems like what I am looking for to complement my current system [ Robert Lee  Sep 17, 2018 ]
for this price it better knock my socks off [ Dominic Del  Sep 15, 2018 ]
unbelievable response and ratings [ CHARLES  Sep 14, 2018 ]
Based on reviews and recommendation from sales rep, Buzz [ Mark  Sep 12, 2018 ]
to replace a sub that was taken out by lightning!! [ Deborah  Sep 11, 2018 ]
I own Klipsch in speaker aw650 and now I want the subwoofer [ Ferdinand  Sep 05, 2018 ]
good reviews along with the fact it matches my existing reference floor standing speakers [ Brock  Aug 30, 2018 ]
Price, Features, Brand Klipsch [ K  Aug 29, 2018 ]
I chose this subwoofer because of your in-depth review and awesome price [ AARON L  Aug 25, 2018 ]
Great quality and price [ Terry  Aug 24, 2018 ]
I'm running a dual subwoofer set-up in my system and just purchased one of these a few weeks ago. The sound from that one is amazing, and this new one will replace a many years old sub that I feel just isn't up to par anymore. [ George  Aug 23, 2018 ]
Klipsch has a good name. [ ROBERT P  Aug 23, 2018 ]
Good price, great name, great reviews [ John  Aug 22, 2018 ]
Price point and quality [ ALPHONSO  Aug 22, 2018 ]
Powered subwoofer, on sale, and it's Klipsch - have 5 Klipsch speakers in AV setup now. [ William  Aug 22, 2018 ]
Good reviews and in my price range [ Dale  Aug 15, 2018 ]
I need a good subwoofer to compliment my Klipsch R-15PM's [ Jessi Velazquez  Aug 11, 2018 ]
price and name brand / and my old one quit working. [ James  Aug 11, 2018 ]
My subwoofer went out and was looking for a replacement. The reference went on sale to a price I could live with and the reviews sounded promising. [ William  Aug 09, 2018 ]
my old subwoofer died [ Allen  Aug 02, 2018 ]
sound quality [ A  Jul 20, 2018 ]
to pair with my other sub cause I can have 2 w my stereo [ Mike  Jul 18, 2018 ]
I have Klipsch tower speakers and need more punch and kick when I listen to my music. [ Tom  Jul 17, 2018 ]
Friend recommendation [ Kevin  Jul 07, 2018 ]
I own Klipsch speakers and the price was right. [ Martin  Jul 05, 2018 ]
my old Polk sub just died, I have been waiting to pull the trigger on the kilpch RP-280's and this was the perfect time [ David  Jul 01, 2018 ]
Seemed like the most bang for the buck. Also love the brand. [ Matt  Jul 01, 2018 ]
Needed a new sub and Klispch subs hit hard [ Larry  May 22, 2018 ]
I have Klipsch speakers to enhance my audio. [ SUSAN  May 18, 2018 ]
Price vs quality [ Derek  May 06, 2018 ]
Klipsch brand and experience [ STEVE  May 06, 2018 ]
I love Klipsch products and I know this subwoofer will be fantastic! [ DAN  Apr 23, 2018 ]
Price per size/wattage [ Thomas  Apr 20, 2018 ]
Liked it [ John  Apr 20, 2018 ]
Great product at a great price. All of my home theater speakers are Klipsch and I love them. I highly recommend these speakers for anyone interested in building an awesome home theater system. [ Jack  Apr 19, 2018 ]
Deal [ ROBERT  Apr 16, 2018 ]
Recommended by my son. This speaker with go well with the other Klipsch speakers recently purchased. [ David  Apr 16, 2018 ]
This purchase is a gift and i already have thr same speaker and its amazing!! [ Robert  Apr 15, 2018 ]
Reputation of manufacturer and comments here and elsewhere. [ Robert  Apr 01, 2018 ]
Why I choose the Klipsch Reference R-12SW. 1) To replace a 12" Infinity sub that died. 2) High review ratings from customers who have this speaker. Glowing remarks. 3) On sale [ David  Mar 25, 2018 ]
Clarity and power [ John  Mar 11, 2018 ]
Brand and price! [ Jared  Mar 08, 2018 ]
Already have Klipsch floor, center and 4 ceiling speakers. This will make this system outstanding. [ MICHAEL W  Mar 04, 2018 ]
Great reviews - great brand [ Scott  Feb 25, 2018 ]
Very high praise from other buyers and liked the specs. Have been pleased with previous Kilpsch products. [ Gregg  Feb 24, 2018 ]
Replace a PSB Subsonic 5i that died. [ Jeff  Feb 24, 2018 ]
Looking to upgrade from my 10 inch that I got last year for better bass. Plus it was on sale for $100 off. [ CRAIG W  Feb 22, 2018 ]
I have their regular tower speakers and like them. [ GEORGE  Dec 31, 2017 ]
After much research, and remembering how satisfied I've been with klipsch speakers in the past, I finally chose this model to best fit my music listening desires. [ Kurt  Dec 16, 2017 ]
Great Reviews at an even better price. [ Jose  Nov 23, 2017 ]
It was free with purchase of floor speakers [ Robert  Oct 10, 2017 ]
Klipsch reputation for quality, Crutchfield reputation for customer service and great prices. [ PAUL  Sep 30, 2017 ]
Price was withing my range and what I was looking for regarding specs. [ S  Sep 29, 2017 ]
It fits perfect with my other Klipsch speakers. [ Marcus  Aug 12, 2017 ]
I think they sound great [ Mark  Aug 11, 2017 ]
Good reviews [ Duane  Aug 06, 2017 ]
Excellent woofer. [ GEORGE  Jul 05, 2017 ]
Sound quality [ Bobby  Jun 13, 2017 ]
Chose this to match my Klipsch Floor standing and center channel speakers. [ Paul  Jun 13, 2017 ]
Researched and found this Klipsch R-12SW was MADE in the USA and also Klipsch appears to be a highly reputable name in electronics. [ DONNAMARIA  Jun 06, 2017 ]
more bass [ Mark  May 20, 2017 ]
Your adviser, Andy, helped understand my needs and budget and then suggested. I did some independent research (price and reviews etc. before purchasing) [ Yvonne  May 20, 2017 ]
Love brand [ Linda  May 15, 2017 ]
A quality sub woofer that blows away the competition. Very pleased with my decision. [ M  May 05, 2017 ]
My Infinity PS12 failed and I wanted something similar (albeit less in amp power) to replace it. [ WILLIAM B  Apr 13, 2017 ]
I bought this because Klipsch is Elite sound at an excellent price... [ zac  Apr 02, 2017 ]
Because my other Home Theater speakers are Klipsch. And this completes the system. [ Robin  Mar 17, 2017 ]
I have other Klipsh speakers and am very happy with them. I listened to this sub in a store and seemed to be a good sub for the price.Crutchfield wins the purchase with a good sale price, Thanks. [ Michael David  Mar 13, 2017 ]
The R-12SW was a replacement to a Klipsch sub I purchased 10 years ago. Very pleased with the unit and the consistent quality of service from Crutchfield. [ Joseph  Mar 07, 2017 ]
Just ordered the Klipsch RF-82II speakers and from what I heard in reviews although the speakers have a great spectrum they tend to not have that low end thump mainly because of the dual 8" woofers. So just to keep in a matched family chose this sub to fill in that empty void. Again chose mainly on reputation and reviews. [ Frank  Feb 20, 2017 ]
Wanted to up grade and they were 50 percent off although good for home theator would not recommend for music only application if should go on sale again at 50 off would buy another. [ Mark  Feb 10, 2017 ]
Great smooth sub. Great price. [ John  Jan 15, 2017 ]
wanted to keep it all in the family with my surround speakers, and was looking for forward firing [ Aman  Jan 04, 2017 ]
Price and product quality [ John  Nov 29, 2016 ]
This product is great! Sound is very accurate. I have two of these subwoofers and can't say anything negative about them. Extremely satisfied and happy. [ Pratik  Nov 28, 2016 ]
Great great black friday deal. [ mark  Nov 28, 2016 ]
Reviews and price, wanted the JBL equivalent but the longevity of the current and previous JBL models at this price point are very suspect. [ Brian  Nov 25, 2016 ]
I have been wanting a Klipsch subwoofer to complete my surround sound for my tv. The local stores has this subwoofer on sale, but none of the stores in my area had it in stock. So I ordered one through Crutchfield for the same sale price as the stores were advertising. I would recommend the Klipsch brand audio speakers, they are very high quality & have the very best sound. [ Michelle  Nov 25, 2016 ]
They're the best and my husband loves them. [ Angie  Nov 25, 2016 ]
Have been a dedicated Klipsch owner for 40 years, LaScala's, Cornwall's and a complete 5.1 home system. This is a Christmas present for my son. His first Klipsch. Also got a pair of bookshelf so for him. [ Joseph  Nov 25, 2016 ]
Meets my son's speaker requirements. [ David  Nov 25, 2016 ]
Been looking for an great sub at a great price and this hit the mark. Cant wait to see how it sounds.. [ Algernon  Nov 24, 2016 ]
Great Sale and I needed a Home Subwooofer.... [ Dathan  Nov 24, 2016 ]
On sale. [ Rob  Oct 25, 2016 ]
Capabilities and reviews. [ Jon  Aug 13, 2016 ]
Reviews [ darin  Aug 03, 2016 ]
I heard good things about this subwoofer. [ John  Aug 02, 2016 ]
Awesome service and customer experience with Crutchfield. This is my first Klipsch purchase, had awesome reviews so I decided to take the next step up in audio perfection! Hope I won't be disappointed. [ James  Jul 24, 2016 ]
2 year warranty [ Marc  Apr 10, 2016 ]
I did my research both online and in person and found that this unit sounded the best. I am very happy with the tech support that have received. They (tech support) is the best in the business. Really!! [ Peter  Mar 19, 2016 ]

6 questions already asked

I believe it's about 5 feet [ Josh  Sep 28, 2018 ]
Less than 6 feet [ Bhargavi  Sep 28, 2018 ]
Thanks for your question. For information on comparing two or more models I would recommend reaching out to an Advisor by phone (1-800-324-9695) or online chat. They will be able to help determine the differences and help you make the best choice for your system and your budget. [ Krissy  May 25, 2018 ]  Staff
Not sure, my Marantz receiver has the ONE jack connection. But I have to say, this is a BOOMING sub. I have it all the way down. On 1/3 power, my whole house was rumbling. VERY low end. Good [ CHRIS  Apr 23, 2018 ]
No problem. This sub has a standard RCA L/R input. Any low pass or full range preamp output will work. Just use a standard stereo RCA cable with male plugs on both ends. [ KEVIN  Apr 23, 2018 ]
In the absence of a subwoofer (LFE) output on your receiver, you can connect Left & Right channel pre-amp outputs from your receiver to both the "Left/LFE" and "Right" inputs on the powered subwoofer via a stereo RCA cable. If you would like to discuss further, feel free to contact an Advisor directly by phone (1-800-324-9695) or online chat. I hope that helps! [ Larry  Oct 05, 2016 ]  Staff
There is a way with a few different components that can work together. I recommend calling an advisor on 1-800-324-9695 to see what we have available now to make this work wirelessly with your receiver. HTH! My Bio: [ Paul  Oct 03, 2016 ]  Staff
On/auto/off there is no green light [ HUNG V.  Feb 10, 2016 ]
Green light is on when sub is on the ON position. If you set to auto ,light comes on when sound comes into sub. Switch has 3 stages on/auto/off. Hope that helps. [ JAVIER  Feb 09, 2016 ]

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