Klipsch The Nines Speaker Review (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:

IMPORTANT SETUP INFO:

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.

CTA-2034 / SPINORAMA:

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.

Klipsch The Nines Speaker Review (1)

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

Klipsch The Nines Speaker Review (2)

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.

Klipsch The Nines Speaker Review (3)

Horizontal Frequency Response (0° to ±90°):Klipsch The Nines Speaker Review (4)

Vertical Frequency Response (0° to ±40°):Klipsch The Nines Speaker Review (5)

Horizontal Contour Plot (normalized):Klipsch The Nines Speaker Review (6)

Vertical Contour Plot (normalized):Klipsch The Nines Speaker Review (7)

“Globe” Plots

Horizontal Polar (Globe) Plot:
This represents the sound field at 2 meters - above 200Hz - per the legend in the upper left.Klipsch The Nines Speaker Review (8)

Vertical Polar (Globe) Plot:
This represents the sound field at 2 meters - above 200Hz - per the legend in the upper left.Klipsch The Nines Speaker Review (9)

Additional Measurements

Response Linearity


Klipsch The Nines Speaker Review (10)

Step Response

Klipsch The Nines Speaker Review (11)


Group Delay

Klipsch The Nines Speaker Review (12)


Harmonic Distortion

Harmonic Distortion at 86dB @ 1m:Klipsch The Nines Speaker Review (13)

Harmonic Distortion at 96dB @ 1m:Klipsch The Nines Speaker Review (14)


Components

Klipsch The Nines Speaker Review (15)


DSP Adjustment

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

Klipsch The Nines Speaker Review (16)


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.

Klipsch The Nines Speaker Review (17)


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)

Klipsch The Nines Speaker Review (18)


  1. 80Hz to 20kHz

Klipsch The Nines Speaker Review (19)

Parting / Random Thoughts

See video linked above for subjective and objective analysis. But just a couple notes:

Unexpectedly linear (based on my own previous measurements of many Klipsch speakers). Solid extension to 40Hz in-room without issue. Low distortion.

Only “con” is the narrow radiation at about ±30-40° whereas I prefer something closer to ±70° on average.

Limiter doesn’t like extreme output (102dB @ 1m) but volume and input voltage combinations may mitigate this. Even if not, I had no issues getting these to a level that was way louder than anyone would listen to on a typical basis.

Favorite Klipsch speaker thus far. Easy recommend.

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