Big in Size, Big on Sound
Klipsch KMC 3
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.