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Klipsch WF-34 5.1-Channel Speaker System - Klipsch WF-34 5.1-Channel Speaker System

By Danny Phillips



  • Recommended by TR
Klipsch WF-34 5.1-Channel Speaker System


Our Score:


The WC-24 centre speaker (available separately for £429) is similarly stylish and well-built, using the traditional horizontal arrangement. It tackles those tricky vocal tones with the same premium titanium diaphragm compression driver, Tractrix tweeter and 4.5in fibreglass cone woofers found in the fronts to ensure tonal matching across the front of the stage. The centre achieves a frequency response from 85Hz up to 23kHz.

Similar components can be found inside the WS-24 rears, except they add Klipsch’s exclusive Wide Dispersion Surround Technology (WDST) into the mix, which as the name suggests is designed to extend their reach to cater for rooms with a less-than-ideal layout. These can be bought separately for £299 each. Klipsch has opted for a distinctive semi-circle shape for these rear speakers, which makes them ideal for wall mounting – dual keyhole brackets are provided on the rear for this purpose.

The subwoofer of choice for the WS-34 system is the XW-300d - £639 separately. This smart-looking unit features black aluminium side panels and a gloss-black top section that make it one of the more stylish subs we’ve encountered. It’s much smaller than we expected for a system at this price, but with a 300W Bridged Amplifier Switching Hybrid (BASH) digital amplifier and 8in fibreglass cone driver on board, its compact size shouldn’t be an issue performance-wise.

It also features Klipsch’s Digitally Controlled Subwoofer (DCS) technology, which includes three equalization modes (Flat, Depth, and Punch). To select these, there’s a control panel embedded in the top section, with a cluster of buttons and a backlit dot matrix display panel. You can also set the volume, crossover and phase and save your settings under three presets (Music, Movie, and Night). With everything being controlled digitally on the top panel, there are no dials or switches on the back, just line inputs.

Klipsch’s mantra is ‘Power. Detail. Emotion.’ and sure enough this system offers all three in spades. Its potent, pin-sharp sound really lets you feel the excitement and drama of movie soundtracks.

Hans Gruber

March 5, 2010, 6:49 am

Well, you can't put those in your ears!


March 5, 2010, 6:42 pm

Once again, please can you run a tutorial on home cinema surround sound? Whilst I enjoyed reading the review, as an uninitiated, I was left wondering:

1. What does "tonal match" mean?

2. What do those "frequency response" figures mean? Are they good? Should we know?

3. Why is "no brightness" a good thing? I would have thought "bright" to be a good quality to have. It says to me "easily seen" or "giving out a lot of light". What does "brightness" even mean in this context?

4. What does "taut bass" mean? Again, what do you mean by this in the context? Does this mean that it's easy to pick out the bass notes against more mid frequency sound? Or does it mean there's no excess reverb on the bass? Or something else that I haven't thought of?


March 5, 2010, 7:31 pm

@ Bluepork - second

p.s. please revamp your login system so it is not so laborious to leave a comment


March 5, 2010, 7:31 pm

I don't know whose living room is pictured on page 3 but a sound system like this should have a large TV or projector to match. Putting a TV that high up is almost as big a sin as mounting it above an even larger fireplace!

@bluepork > I'm sure TR will put together some sort of guide one day but until there are numerous websites including the notorious dolby.com that have guides to cinema sound. My limited understanding is:

Tonal Match - all speakers (especially the front three) come from the same manufacturer/range so that sounds sweeping across the soundstage blend naturally and don't sound different across each speaker.

Frequency response - range of frequencies each speaker can emit. The wider the better but obviously subs only need to go up to around 120Hz or often much less.

Brightness - Think of it like excessive dynamic mode on TV screens. Sure its vibrant and colourful but more likely excessively harsh and blinding to the eyes or in this case, ears. Some speakers just emphasise the treble at the expense of even mid to high frequencies.

Taut Bass - The can be very subjective but essentially means a punchy and tight low frequency sound. If it booms and all you hear is the rattling of the speaker then it isn't taut. Movies may not always tell you this so listen to some music with a good beat (house / trance etc.) and each beat should come in and out quickly and distinctly, not mushing into each other.

TR... over to you to fill in the gaps and clarify.


March 5, 2010, 9:29 pm

@bluepork, as per @orinj's comments - TR is a 'Reviews' site, not a tech education site. You will find lot's of other sites on the net that will fill you in on the intricacy's of Home Cinema, just have a search.


March 5, 2010, 11:08 pm

@Orinj - If there was a way to leave thanks for comments, I would leave them for yours above. Thanks for the clear explanations.


March 6, 2010, 6:35 pm

Maybe as a community we can put a guide together...there are PLENTY of people who post on TR that know shed loads about this kind of thing!

If you want to test your own, try playing your favourite action movie (my preferences are Batman Begins, LOTR, Saving Private Ryan), some of your favourite music (I use Hip Hop for bass, Jazz for overall balance) and playing games if you're into that sort of thin (I tried with COD to pick where footsteps/bullet noises etc were in relation to me by ear). This also works well when you're trying to get the sound balance like you want it, just have a play around with the settings until you reach the one that makes you enjoy your favourite movie/album/game the most. After all, there is no point having an amazing system if you don't enjoy the sound yourself...no matter how well balanced it may seem to the reviewer!

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