Klipsch The Nines Speaker Review

  • Sunday, May 21, 2023

Foreword / YouTube Video Review

This pair of speakers was loaned to me by https://www.audioadvice.com/klipsch-the-nines-powered-speakers-pair+color-Walnut?referral=erins-audio-corner without any input into my review. All they ask for in return is for me to use their affiliate link in my review so those who want to purchase any of their A/V gear can visit their site and potentially purchase through them. If you want to support those who support the community by loaning me gear to review with no strings attached then please visit Audio Advice and show them some love. Here is the link. (Note: Per FTC rules I must let you know that using the above link may earn me a small commission at no additional cost to you)

All my reviews are done on my own time with great care to give you all the best set of data and information I can provide in order to help you make a well-informed purchase decision. I offer this for free to all who are interested. In return, if you want to support this site please see the bottom of this review for ways you can help. It is greatly appreciated.

The review on this website is a brief overview and summary of the objective performance of this speaker. It is not intended to be a deep dive. Moreso, this is information for those who prefer “just the facts” and prefer to have the data without the filler. The video below has more discussion with respect to the technical merits and subjective notes I had during my listening sessions.

CTA-2034 (SPINORAMA) and Accompanying Data

All data collected using Klippel’s Near-Field Scanner. The Near-Field-Scanner 3D (NFS) offers a fully automated acoustic measurement of direct sound radiated from the source under test. The radiated sound is determined in any desired distance and angle in the 3D space outside the scanning surface. Directivity, sound power, SPL response and many more key figures are obtained for any kind of loudspeaker and audio system in near field applications (e.g. studio monitors, mobile devices) as well as far field applications (e.g. professional audio systems). Utilizing a minimum of measurement points, a comprehensive data set is generated containing the loudspeaker’s high resolution, free field sound radiation in the near and far field. For a detailed explanation of how the NFS works and the science behind it, please watch the below discussion with designer Christian Bellmann:


The reference plane in this test is approximately 3-inches below the tweeter plane. Measurements were done without a grille.

In my listening tests I found the tweeter to be a ‘hot’. I completed a ‘baseline’ measurement of the speaker where I found the tweeter level was a bit high. I used the Klipsch Connect app and set the tweeter level to -2dB. I have conducted the measurements with this setting in place as it is how I would recommend others listen to it and is simple to adjust.

Measurements are provided in a format in accordance with the Standard Method of Measurement for In-Home Loudspeakers (ANSI/CTA-2034-A R-2020). For more information, please see this link.


The On-axis Frequency Response (0°) is the universal starting point and in many situations it is a fair representation of the first sound to arrive at a listener’s ears.

The Listening Window is a spatial average of the nine amplitude responses in the ±10º vertical and ±30º horizontal angular range. This encompasses those listeners who sit within a typical home theater audience, as well as those who disregard the normal rules when listening alone.

The Early Reflections curve is an estimate of all single-bounce, first-reflections, in a typical listening room.

Sound Power represents all of the sounds arriving at the listening position after any number of reflections from any direction. It is the weighted rms average of all 70 measurements, with individual measurements weighted according to the portion of the spherical surface that they represent.

Sound Power Directivity Index (SPDI): In this standard the SPDI is defined as the difference between the listening window curve and the sound power curve.

Early Reflections Directivity Index (EPDI): is defined as the difference between the listening window curve and the early reflections curve. In small rooms, early reflections figure prominently in what is measured and heard in the room so this curve may provide insights into potential sound quality.


Early Reflections Breakout:

Floor bounce: average of 20º, 30º, 40º down

Ceiling bounce: average of 40º, 50º, 60º up

Front wall bounce: average of 0º, ± 10º, ± 20º, ± 30º horizontal

Side wall bounces: average of ± 40º, ± 50º, ± 60º, ± 70º, ± 80º horizontal

Rear wall bounces: average of 180º, ± 90º horizontal


Estimated In-Room Response:

In theory, with complete 360-degree anechoic data on a loudspeaker and sufficient acoustical and geometrical data on the listening room and its layout it would be possible to estimate with good precision what would be measured by an omnidirectional microphone located in the listening area of that room. By making some simplifying assumptions about the listening space, the data set described above permits a usefully accurate preview of how a given loudspeaker might perform in a typical domestic listening room. Obviously, there are no guarantees, because individual rooms can be acoustically aberrant. Sometimes rooms are excessively reflective (“live”) as happens in certain hot, humid climates, with certain styles of interior décor and in under-furnished rooms. Sometimes rooms are excessively “dead” as in other styles of décor and in some custom home theaters where acoustical treatment has been used excessively. This form of post processing is offered only as an estimate of what might happen in a domestic living space with carpet on the floor and a “normal” amount of seating, drapes and cabinetry.

For these limited circumstances it has been found that a usefully accurate Predicted In-Room (PIR) amplitude response, also known as a “room curve” is obtained by a weighted average consisting of 12 % listening window, 44 % early reflections and 44 % sound power. At very high frequencies errors can creep in because of excessive absorption, microphone directivity, and room geometry. These discrepancies are not considered to be of great importance.


Horizontal Frequency Response (0° to ±90°): specs

Vertical Frequency Response (0° to ±40°): specs

Horizontal Contour Plot (normalized): specs

Vertical Contour Plot (normalized): specs

“Globe” Plots

Horizontal Polar (Globe) Plot:
This represents the sound field at 2 meters - above 200Hz - per the legend in the upper left. specs

Vertical Polar (Globe) Plot:
This represents the sound field at 2 meters - above 200Hz - per the legend in the upper left. specs

Additional Measurements

Response Linearity


Step Response


Group Delay


Harmonic Distortion

Harmonic Distortion at 86dB @ 1m: specs

Harmonic Distortion at 96dB @ 1m: specs



DSP Adjustment

Below is an overlay of the “flat EQ” adjustments (default) vs the DSP settings used for this review (Tweeter @ -2dB)


Dynamic Range (Instantaneous Compression Test)

The below graphic indicates just how much SPL is lost (compression) or gained (enhancement; usually due to distortion) when the speaker is played at higher output volumes instantly via a 2.7 second logarithmic sine sweep referenced to 76dB at 1 meter. The signals are played consecutively without any additional stimulus applied. Then normalized against the 76dB result.

The tests are conducted in this fashion:

  1. 76dB at 1 meter (baseline; black)
  2. 86dB at 1 meter (red)
  3. 96dB at 1 meter (blue)
  4. 102dB at 1 meter (purple)

The purpose of this test is to illustrate how much (if at all) the output changes as a speaker’s components temperature increases (i.e., voice coils, crossover components) instantaneously.


Multitone Distortion

The following tests are conducted at (4) approximate equivalent output volumes: 70/79/87/96dB @ 1 meter. The (4) voltages listed in the legend result in these SPL values.

The test was conducted in (3) manners:

  1. Full bandwidth (20Hz to 20kHz)
  2. 80Hz to 20kHz

The reason for the two measurements is to simulate running the speaker full range vs using a high-pass filter at 80Hz. However, note: the 2nd test low frequency limit at 80Hz is a “brick wall” and doesn’t quite emulate a standard filter of 12 or 24dB/octave. But… it’s close enough.

For information on how to read the below data, watch this video:

  1. Full bandwidth (20Hz to 20kHz)


  1. 80Hz to 20kHz


Parting / Random Thoughts

See video linked above for subjective and objective analysis.

I have been reviewing speakers for about three years, and during that time, I have reviewed around 10 to 12 different Klipsch speakers. While some people have labeled me as a Klipsch hater, I want to clarify that I don’t hate any particular brand, including Klipsch. However, I have found that I don’t particularly care for the way their speakers are generally voiced. That being said, the Klipsch “The Nines” is my favorite Klipsch speaker that I have heard so far.

Now, let’s go over some of the specifications of this speaker. It is a powered speaker with a one-inch titanium dome tweeter inside their Tractrix horn waveguide, and it features an 8-inch midwoofer. The speaker’s frequency response is generally flat from around 40 Hz to 10 kHz, with a rise in the treble starting at around 10 kHz.

Out of the box, I found the treble to be too high for my taste, so I adjusted it using the speaker’s app. I ended up reducing the tweeter level by about 2 or 3 dB, settling on a -2dB. This adjustment provided me with the most enjoyable listening experience, offering a neutral sound where nothing stood out.

In terms of connectivity, the speaker offers various inputs and outputs, including HDMI ARC, bluetooth, optical in, USB, auxiliary in, and phono in. While the speaker is often referred to as wireless, it actually requires a direct connection between the main speaker and the secondary speaker. This connection is established through a long cable running between the two speakers.

“The Nines” follows the typical two-way speaker design with a horn waveguide and a midwoofer. The reference plane, where the listener’s ears are supposed to line up, is typically between the tweeter and the woofer. Placing your ears directly in line with the tweeter may result in excessive treble, while going below that level may reduce treble output. The ideal placement is between those two points.

Reviewing a neutral speaker can be challenging because there are no particular aspects that stand out. However, I find it more valuable to describe the speaker’s neutrality rather than using subjective terms. In the case of “The Nines,” it maintains neutrality from 40 Hz to about 10 kHz, which is consistent with the data. Speaking of data, the frequency response measurements show that the speaker stays within plus or minus 1.5 dB tolerance until just above 10 kHz. There seems to be some breakup around 16 kHz, which is likely due to tweeter diaphragm breakup or internal waveguide diffraction. Although I did not hear this breakup during my listening tests, I wish Klipsch would provide more EQ adjustments beyond the basic bass, midrange, and treble controls in their app.

Regarding distortion, “The Nines” performed well. At 86 dB at one meter, the distortion remained below 1% THD, and at 96 dB, it stayed below 3% THD above 30 Hz. These results are impressive for an eight-inch midwoofer.

Two aspects that may not be ideal for some listeners are compression and the speaker’s horizontal radiation pattern. In terms of compression, the speaker shows good performance until around 90 dB at one meter. Beyond that, the speaker employs limiting to protect itself. However, this limitation is unlikely to be audibly noticeable during normal listening conditions. The radiation pattern is relatively narrow, with a coverage of approximately ±30 degrees. This may result in a more focused sound stage but could reduce room involvement compared to wider radiating speakers.

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