Legendary American speaker maker Klipsch presented an astonishingly wide array of new product at CES 2017, but the moment I walked into the company's booth the Heritage Wireless The Fifteen ($3000/pair) is what caught my eye. This horn-loaded 2-way is built in Hope Arkansas and features a beautiful real wood finish.

The reason I was drawn to the pair of The Fifteens was the 15" woofer paired with an oversize horn. The horn is clearly derived from the design used in the excellent Reference Premiere line, but larger and sporting a 1.75" horn-loaded driver.


Klipsch's Heritage Wireless The Fifteen speakers have a horn-loaded 1.75" tweeter.
Mark Casavant, the senior VP of global brand and business development at the company explained to me that Paul Klipsch felt a 2-way design pairing a 15" woofer and a large horn tweeter was the optimum configuration for a speaker system, but in the past the materials and technology to produce an ideal rendition of this configuration was not there. Now, thanks to modern technology, The Fifteens deliver on that design's promise.

Unfortunately I did not get to demo a pair of The Fifteens at the show since the demo room was occupied by the relaunched Forte Mark IIIs. But, given my own experience with 2-way horn-loaded 15" PA speakers, I don't doubt Klipsch created a tremendously capable speaker speaker system.


These speakers look great with the grill on and gorgeous with the grill off.
These are active (self-powered) speakers and each gets 180 watts of amplification. Given the typical sensitivity achieved by such designs, that's bound to be enough power to achieve concert-level output without any distortion. Furthermore, this is a self-contained system with a built-in 24-bit / 192 kHz DAC, Bluetooth, USB, optical-digital, as well as analog Phono and line-level inputs.

Per Klipsch: "The Fifteens. Blending timeless elements of real wood veneer, tactile spun-copper controls, a wide-baffle cabinet and mid-century modern design, the new Heritage Wireless The Fifteens powered large-format floor standing speakers completely redefine the audiophile experience.

"Featuring 180 watts per channel built-in custom amplification with a 192kHz / 24-bit DAC, 15” woofers and 1.75” horn-loaded tweeters, The Fifteens deliver auditory ecstasy. Including a built-in phono pre-amp, plus optical digital, USB Audio, RCA and Bluetooth® inputs– you can enjoy the purity of sound from virtually any source without the hassle of a complicated setup."

If The Fifteens live up to the promise of Paul Klipsch's notion of an optimal speaker design, they surely will join the ranks of the company's all-time classics. I can't wait to hear a pair in action.