The new Klipsch The Three is a self contained wireless speaker system featuring Google Assistant built-in. This speaker system features a retro aesthetic that is in sync with other entries the company’s Heritage offerings and has real wood veneer and aluminum knobs. It is a premium offering with an MSRP pegged at $499 (and the street price is less).
This speaker taps into the Chromecast ecosystem for easy streaming, with Google Assistant offering voice control. That means it is able to serve as part of a multiroom wireless speaker system, and you are in no way locked into one brand.
While it’s hard to imagine a situation where hi-res sound is a necessity for speaker such as this, The Three is able to decode 24-bit/192 kHz audio from streaming services and devices that provide it, unlike similar products from Sonos.
If you don’t feel like streaming over Wi-Fi, or you simply don’t have access to a Wi-Fi network, The Three offers Bluetooth input.
Getting into the specifications, this device offers 106 dB of output, measured in the nonstandard “0.5M near field” which is 20″ away, which is not how anybody I know listens. Measured from 1 meter like most everyone else does, that number drops to 100 dB. (this is just math and I prefer apples-to-apples measurements).
This system features a pair of 2.25 inch full-range drivers, As well as a 5.25″ woofer for the base, that’s paired with twin 5.25″ passive radiators, mounted in a dual opposed alignment. This driver array is good for a listed frequency response of 45 Hz to 20 kHz (-3 DB), which is as good as many bookshelf speaker systems.
This is a speaker system does not have any outputs, so you won’t be able to use it as a source, or listen to headphones with it. Perhaps more radically, this speaker does not have any physical inputs, either. You must use Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.
Physical measurements are 13.7” (34.82cm) x 7” (17.78cm) x 8” (20.3cm) and The Three weighs in at 10.32 pounds.
Mark Henninger, Senior Editor at AVS Forum