Big in Size, Big on Sound

Klip­sch KMC 3

HWM (Singapore) - - Lab Test - TEXT // HUR­RAIRAH BIN SO­HAIL

Do we re­ally need another por­ta­ble, Blue­tooth wire­less speaker? Klip­sch seems to think so, which is why they have the KMC 3 speak­ers, join­ing a glut of sim­i­lar prod­ucts vy­ing to be the play­back de­vice of choice for con­sumers to pair with their smart­phones and other Blue­tooth-en­abled de­vices.

The first thing you no­tice about the KMC 3 is its mas­sive size. The speaker weighs a whop­ping 3.5kg and is eas­ily larger than the ma­jor­ity of Blue­tooth wire­less speak­ers found on the mar­ket at present. When not plugged in, the speak­ers can be pow­ered by eight D-cells for a to­tal of eight hours at max­i­mum vol­ume ac­cord­ing to Klip­sch. While the speak­ers do meet the tech­ni­cal re­quire­ments to be deemed por­ta­ble, the lack of an on-board recharge­able bat­tery and the large size means that this isn’t some­thing you just stuff into your back­pack when you feel like it. Rather, this feels like some­thing you bring to a beach party.

As is stan­dard for Blue­tooth wire­less speak­ers, the KMC 3 can be paired up with any A2DP­com­pat­i­ble prod­uct. If you want wired play­back, a 3.5mm port is also pro­vided. At the back you will also find a USB port. Do note that this is for charg­ing ex­ter­nal de­vices only and does not sup­port au­dio play­back.

The large size of the KMC 3 al­lows Klip­sch to fit the speak­ers with some se­ri­ous hard­ware. Housed in the body of the KMC3 are two full-range, alu­minum di­aphragm, 2-inch driv­ers, as well as a 5.25-inch longth­row sub-woofer. An over­all bi-am­pli­fied power out­put of 130W means that the speak­ers should be able to pro­vide enough vol­ume to fill large spa­ces. DSP equal­iza­tion and Apt-X tech­nol­ogy are also in­cluded to en­sure top qual­ity au­dio.

In ac­tion the KMC 3 de­liv­ers truly bone-shak­ing vol­umes. It is ev­i­dent that the speaker are per­fect for the great out­doors and larger, more open in­door en­vi­ron­ments. With re­gards to sound, the KMC 3 ex­hibits the char­ac­ter­is­tics we have come to ex­pect from Klip­sch au­dio prod­ucts. The tone of the speak­ers is warm and full. This made the KMC 3’s re­pro­duc­tion of Melt My Heart To Stone soul­ful with the emo­tion of the track be­ing con­veyed. On the flip­side though, the mids lacked the bright­ness re­quired to prop­erly ren­der the acous­tic gui­tars on the live ver­sion of Ho­tel Cal­i­for­nia.

Bassheads should love the KMC 3 due to its 5.25-inch sub­woofer which de­liv­ers deep lows. But while the Klip­sch speak­ers have the raw power to pump out au­dio that grabs your at­ten­tion, they lack a cer­tain de­gree of re­fine­ment. The tran­sient re­sponse was sub-par and a lot of the in­stru­ments on or­ches­tral tracks lacked their tim­bre. Mids and bass also had a ten­dency to over­power the mix lead­ing to sub­tle in­stru­men­ta­tion on the tracks be­ing drowned out.

The KMC 3 de­liv­ers on vol­ume, a lush warm tone and deep lows. As men­tioned ear­lier, the speak­ers seem to be ideal to take out­doors in or­der pro­vide mu­sic on a pic­nic for ex­am­ple. But at a price of $549, we feel the KMC 3’s sound is not re­fined enough to pa­per over the fact that the prod­uct does not have an on-board recharge­able bat­tery or unique fea­tures such as NFC com­pat­i­bil­ity.

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