Klipsch R-12SW Subwoofer Review

Best 12 Inch Home Subwoofer

Klipsch r-12sw

Nowadays everyone is listening to music with a speaker, but a good subwoofer lets you feel that music, too. A good subwoofer is the one that enriches minds, tunes out distortion, fills out the bottom end of your music, and amplifies it to all corners of the room.

Today, I’ve decided to review the premium subwoofer, Klipsch R-12SW. This Klipsch 400w subwoofer is a steal for its’ robust design, incredibly clean and deep room-filling sound, crisp and punchy bass, and the most reasonable price point.

I think the brand name – Klipsch is enough to convince any audiophile to scroll down to the bottom line of this Klipsch r-12sw review. A few lines about the Klipsch for those, who are amateurs to the world of the subwoofer.

Klipsch is an American-based company that started its journey in 1946 and has been leading the industry of audio products over the years. Their speakers, high-standard drivers, and subwoofers get used everywhere, from home entertainment systems to the sound system of public places, like – hard rock cafes, AMC theatres, etc. They get huge appreciation from all the fields.

The Klipsch R-12SW reference-powered subwoofer is not an exception. It complements your sound system and interior. It weighs only 33 pounds to let you move it around, plus, it delivers great sound from the first minute for both movies and music.

This subwoofer is highly recommended for anyone who wants hi-fi audio at home to cherish in their leisure or their office for professional audio editing works.

Look at the Klipsch R-12SW specs and tell me am I exaggerating?


AMPLIFIER: All-Digital
DRIVE COMPONENTS: 12″ high excursion, IMG, front-firing woofer
INPUTS: Line-level/LFE RCA jacks
HEIGHT: 16″ / 16.5″ with feet
WIDTH: 14″
DEPTH: 18.5″ / 19.2″ with grille
WEIGHT: 33 lbs (15 kg)
FINISH: Brushed Black Polymer Veneer
FEATURES: Gain Control Knob, Volume, and Frequency Range Control Knob,
Lowpass Filter Control, Phase switch Control, Auto Power
PHASE: Switchable 0-180 degrees
  • Aesthetically Pleasing DesignLoud and deep wall-shaking bass
  • No Distortion
  • Ready to play music in less than 5 minutes
  • Studio-grade subwoofer at an affordable price point
  • The copper-diagram driver breaks up easily when it comes to contact with high frequencies.
  • Issues of humming sound due to ground loop

Klipsch R-12SW review

9.4out of 10

Value for Money9.5

Do you need more information to finalize your purchasing decision? “Good bass doesn’t have to be expensive” – ​​that’s the best way to describe the Klipsch R-12SW subwoofer. The R-12SW’s sound quality is no exception, as it delivers earth-shattering low bass without a single issue, which easily makes it one of the best sounding 12 inch subwoofers.

Keep scrolling and have a close look at every part of this Klipsch 12-inch subwoofer. I think you’ll also start agreeing with me by the end. Let’s start with design and build quality.


The Klipsch R-120SW subwoofer retains the brand’s signature aesthetic, with the injection-molded graphite (IMG) woofer spun copper. The subwoofer’s feet are angled, the full-length grilles are magnetically mounted to the front panel, and the vinyl trim is scratch-resistant. The entire unit weighs only 33 pounds, making it extremely portable.

On the other hand, the sleek cube-shaped unit genuinely complements the expensive audio system. The removable front covering foam grill lets you decorate the sound system according to the interior of the room. Moreover, the minimal curves, subtle LED indicator, and soft light make it more aesthetically pleasing in a dark space than in a lighted area.

On the rear, you will find knobs and switches for controlling frequency response, volume, gain levels, phase, and so on. This allows you to customize the sound quality according to the content, room size, and how you place the subwoofer inside the room. The L/R line for stereo amplifiers and LFE connectors for AV amplifiers are also located at the back of the cabinet.

The rear of the Tractrix ports are more serious, improving airflow while reducing turbulence and distortion. The Large black spikes will guarantee you complete insulation from the ground. The eye-catching minimalist design will easily fit into any room with any furniture style.

That’s why I would love to recommend R-12SW to anyone who looks for crispy bass audio but doesn’t want to take the hassle of the big box cabinet like subwoofers.

Build Quality

The Klipsch R-12SW has a great combination of high-end performance and elegant style. This 12-inch subwoofer takes 400 watts of dynamic power from an all-digital amplifier. The subwoofer comes small in size but has solid build quality, making it stable, sturdy, and functional in terms of furniture arrangements inside a room. As it doesn’t take up too much space, you could place it beside the audio system.

The cabinet has a solid construction of standard medium density fiber (MDF) wood. It is wrapped with a black polymer veneer, as well. The brushed design with a touch of texture gives it a high-end classic look.

The exclusive sleek and solid-designed cabinet produces crystal clear sound, even at low frequencies, ensuring the sound reaches every corner of the room. It will allow you to increase the excursion capability to get additional headroom on frequency.

The speaker sounds better than others in a small place with lots of ambient noise, distorts less at low frequencies, and lasts longer than others. The sleek copper diaphragm minimized distortion even at low frequencies.

Being relatively outweighing others, the cabinet stands steadily as well as absorbs some sound. The four rubber-coated feet also prevent the subwoofer from vibrating too much. That means you can play loud music without being disturbed by the vibrating noise, making it preferable for use at events and parties with the DJ unit.

Klipsch R-12SW Features


For any music lover, the importance of a well-detailed and elaborate bass is obviously very important. The subwoofer won’t let the bass get muddy, or overpowering at any time. It creates a good balanced and optimal mix, where every sound is represented proportionally.

The 400W power-enabled digital amplifier is one of the best features of this subwoofer. The 200W RMS and 400W dynamic energy are common enough for 12-inch subwoofers. But most of those digital amplifiers compromise the audio quality while increasing the volume.

It doesn’t matter what setup you look at, but the Klipsch r 12sw subwoofer setup assures you that you’ll never have any trouble when you get your house rock. The rest produces plenty of sounds but doesn’t deliver equal satisfaction for all sorts of songs.

The digital amplifier of the Klipsch R-12SW delivers crystal clear sounds for all frequencies, be it extremely high-end or low range.

Gain Control

The gain control knob is basically a dial that allows you to control the bass volume and the audio signal sent from your receiver. It is just a blessing for an audio system that helps achieve optimum sound quality.

You can adjust and perfectly blend the bass level to the output of other speakers in your home theatre. When other speakers are connected to the receiver, the knob stays at the same level with no input. With this feature, you can add more bass in an area of interest if you want.

Suppose you’re watching movies, and you want a deeper sound than the sound the speakers are delivering. Here, you’ve to turn up the subwoofer and customize the volume by adjusting this control knob.

The phase switch control

The phase control knob allows you to add electrical delay to the incoming signal, synchronizing the subwoofer to the loudspeakers. Sit at the center of the room and slowly rotate the phase control knob clockwise from 0 degrees to 180 degrees, notice how the bass significantly drops off and begins to rise.

The manual knob for phase control makes the phase-shifting process easy, ensures all frequencies are in phase and improves frequency response. You can get louder bass output with less amplifier power.

The low-pass filter control

The low-pass filter control knob is another feature for added clean and crisp bass that helps you determine how much of the lower frequencies will pass through the subwoofer. You can adjust the cut-off frequency, as well.

Suppose you set the subwoofer at a 60 Hz cut-off frequency. That means any sound below 60 Hz will be filtered out before the speaker system reproduces sound. Likewise, any disturbing instrumental or vocals in that range might not be clearly heard.

The Klipsch R-12SW offers an impressive low-frequency filter range from 29 to 120 Hertz, with which you can emphasize any frequencies. The frequency between 29 and 120 hertz decreases at different rates depending on what setting you want. Anything lower than 29 Hz and higher than 120 Hz gets passed on untouched.

When you turn the knob entirely to the right, it will set the subwoofer into LFE mode. It’ll enhance the total bass content of the sound. This feature comes in handy while connecting multiple speakers for added impressive surround sound or configuring a receiver or amplifier.

Remember that your speaker will not provide good clarity sound if you place too much bass in one speaker. The distorted, fuzzy music will come from the music system if you do so. You can still get clear and balanced distortion-free sound with such settings by turning on the LFE mode. Hereafter, you’ll want to thank the low-pass filter settings for such amazing bass sound.


The Klipsch R-12SW subwoofer has a set of inputs at the back panel of the cabinet that help connects it with the various audio systems. The Line/LFE input options enhance compatibility with most receivers. The Klipsch R-12SW doesn’t directly support wireless connection, but you can make it wireless using the Klipsch WA-2 wireless kit.

Sound performance

The Klipsch R-12SW subwoofer lets you feel the blissful world of music, especially the intense and rich bass sound, without sacrificing accuracy. It produces room-filling sound plus allows you to emphasize some frequencies, like – powerful tones and clear vocals, making it a good choice for movie watching.

Believe me! An exclusive high-end speaker only delivers such profound bass, but the Klipsch R-12SW offers the same at an affordable price range. The copper-built diagram driver reproduces the highest quality bass without distortion.

Unfortunately, the advantage of copper construction plays against its durability. Copper is a softer material than steel or aluminum. That’s why it easily breaks up when you go louder for a longer time and cause distortion at high frequencies.

The subwoofer has already been alleged for creating a bit of humming noise after a certain period of use. There’s nothing serious in it, as it’s just an issue of ground looping in the power supply. You can fix the issue by using better cables or grounding it, or moving it to a news outlet.

Otherwise, the near-perfect precision, balance, and clarity the Klipsch 12-inch powered subwoofer offers will amaze you. You’ll be immersed in the movies and music, for sure.


Besides looking great on any shelf or desk, the Klipsch R-12SW subwoofer will impress you with its build and sound quality. The deep and distortion-free bass it offers at an affordable price is beyond our expectations.

The other competitor brands offer a limited warranty of 3 years, whereas the Klipsch subwoofers come with 5-years of full coverage. They will replace the damaged product without asking a single question within the warranty period.

Likewise, the subwoofer doesn’t even give you a single reason not to give it a try. The Klipsch R-12SW subwoofer is a must-buy option for those music enthusiasts who want nothing less than mesmerizing sound.

Liam Richards

Author & Founder

Liam Richards is a musician. He graduated from Berklee College of Music. He has an experience of over 15 years in the music industry. He loves to write reviews on several music gadgets that he uses on day to day basis. Liam is quite generous to share his music expertise with the world via the Primal Music Blog.

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