Klipsch makes big speakers: In the early days of hi-fi, the company was known for its refrigerator-sized models that, like movie theater sound systems, used horns to generate the maximum output of tube amps. of vacuum common at that time. Flash forward to the present, and the brand is still using horn speakers, but now to deliver distinctive Klipsch sound on Dolby Atmos soundbars.
Few people who have heard a Klipsch-based system would be disappointed in its performance. But there's no escaping the reality that the company's speakers and soundbars take up a good chunk of living room real estate.
A new partnership aims to change that, with a press release Klipsch published this week announcing "a strategic partnership to develop a new line of Klipsch home audio solutions incorporating technologies from Resonado Labs."
The partnership with Klipsch Resonado Labs was announced at a joint press conference. (Image credit: Klipsch)
Who are these Resonado Labs and what do they contribute? "Identifying an opportunity to deliver full-frequency sound in small form factor speakers led to the development and patenting of our core technology," Brian Cho, founder and CEO of Resonado Labs, said in the Klipsch press release. This technology is called the Res-Core Engine, and it's the driving force behind the Klipsch-Resonado Labs alliance's plan to "define the next era of audio by developing a line of products designed to deliver the highest possible performance in an elegant way." and compact. factors.”
In other words, Klipsch speakers and soundbars are about to get really, really small.
A quick check of the Resonado Labs website reveals that the Res-Core is a "precision motor design with a flat voice coil suspended between two parallel bar magnets." In addition, the motor "is controlled by a high-performance suspension system that allows the speaker transducer to maximize piston movement to push a large amount of air for the deepest, cleanest bass."
A cutaway view of Resonado Labs' patented Res-Core compact loudspeaker driver. (Image credit: Resonado Laboratories)
Breaking this down, the Res-Core voice coil (the speaker component that takes an amplifier's electrical output and converts it into driver vibration to move air) was designed to save maximum space, while the speaker's suspension system motor allows for compact drivers that can deliver the kind of bass you normally expect from much larger speakers.
There was no discussion of an actual product at a virtual press conference where Klipsch announced the new partnership, though a "Cinema One" was mentioned. This leads us to assume that Klipsch-Resonado Labs' initial offering will be a Dolby Atmos soundbar. Additionally, a Klipsch executive's statement at the event that they "want people to experience Klipsch sound but in a compact, nearly invisible form factor," leads us to believe that the next soundbar will still use speaker, though it will be considerably smaller than the company's existing offerings.
Analysis: 'Almost invisible' speakers and sound bars are a welcome development
Unlike the best 4K TVs, which have gotten thinner and thinner over the years even as screens have grown in size, the best speakers and sound bars for the most part remain tall and boxy. . There are exceptions like Samsung's HW-S800B and the new Sonos Ray, but these require a separate subwoofer to get satisfying deep bass, which is especially important for watching movies.
If the new Klipsch-Resonado Labs partnership produces soundbars and speakers that defy the laws of physics and deliver full sound with punchy bass in a compact one-piece form factor, it won't just be a technical feat, it will be a big step forward for audio. People who would otherwise be hesitant to add a soundbar, and especially a subwoofer, to their TV will be more accepting of additional audio components.
We can't wait to hear "Cinema One", or whatever comes out of this project. And if Resonado Labs can work the same magic to improve the built-in audio capabilities of TVs, it will be even more amazing.