Klipsch Unveils Reference Wireless WiSA Speakers – Best of CES 2019

Could it be that the surround sound system of the future won’t have an AV receiver connected to it at all? With WiSA, that future could arrive soon.

Will your TV or PC or perhaps even your gaming console (Xbox One) become your next AV receiver? WiSA is coming, and soon we’ll know. Well, actually WiSA has been here for a while, but the technology about to enjoy a breakout moment. The wireless system that debuted in 2012 promising reliable, low-latency multi-channel hi-res audio has finally hit its stride with LG’s decision to include it in its 2019 TVs. More devices will gain WiSA capability soon, and with it an installed base of sources. But of course WiSA is all about speakers, and that’s where Klipsch Reference Wireless comes in.

Klipsch was among the first companies to sign on to WiSA and fielded a complete series, the Reference Premiere HD. But with a relatively high price point and the requirement that you use a hub, it didn’t catch on as a mainstream product. But now, with WiSA certified LG TVs, soon enough there will be plenty of households that can add a proper multichannel surround system by simply plugging a few speakers into the wall (these speakers are not cordless, just wireless).

This series of WiSA speakers is available as a kit or as individual pieces. There’s the RW-51M bookshelf (130 W peak power) that’s $699 for a pair, the RW-14C center (200 W peak power) for $499 and a “true” subwoofer (500 W peak power) with a 10″ driver—the R-1090WSW—that runs $599. If you want to buy it as a 5.1 package the cost is $2696. Moreover, the system can be configured as anything from a simple 2-channel rig up to 7.2 channels.

The key to making this work is to have the platform in place; that’s why building into TVs makes a ton of sense. Now, if you don’t want to just settle for soundbar, the option exists to add a proper multi-speaker sound system without the hassle of running speaker wires all over your living room or finding a place for an AV receiver.

For this effort to make WiSA into a mainstream surround-sound solution, I’m giving it a “Best of CES 2019” award.

Klipsch expects to ship this new WiSA system in June of 2019.