Klipsch KMC 3 Wireless Bluetooth Audio Overview

image Who will surprise you with Hi-End audio systems with all sorts of THX, DTS and ultra-rich-deep-sound-quality features? But if you just switch to a wireless Bluetooth / AirPlay plane, the question is, what is there to look at?

In July 2013, the well-known forge of Hi-End stereo components named Paul W. Klipsch introduced to the public the premium Bluetooth 2.1 KMC 3 system , and I, being highly aware of the company's products, decided to buy this beast. Based on the results of weekly tests and comparisons with a competitor from the AirPlay camp r3s and I’m ready to answer questions, was the system worth the $ 399 spent on it, and is there anything to compete with?

Having started repairing the kitchen from scratch, I realized that it would be unfair to deprive the room with high-quality sound. The task is to find a compromise between the dimensions of the audio system and sound quality. The decision to "put a wireless system on one of the cabinets" seemed quite logical: you have high-quality sound (against desktop tweeters with cradles) and no problems with the placement of massive audio systems. It remains only to determine the device.

The choice

As an apologist for virtual shopping, I immediately went to Amazon, armed with a search query Bluetooth speaker system . Among the variety of small tweeters from Sonya, Kreativ and Chinese noimes, the device from the company known to me by Klipsch, whose in-ear S4 series headphones are rightfully considered to be leaders in the price category up to $ 100, stood apart . The farm already had the AirPlay Sony RDP700 system ( my review ), which now costs similar money on Amazon, so I strangled the toad with a habitual gesture and bought the Klipsch KMC 3.

If you delve into the Internet for competing models, you can distinguish the following devices:

As you can see, the prices of systems larger than the case from the glasses start from hundreds of dollars, or even two. And it doesn’t seem so cosmic $ 399, which I gave for KMC 3, if I wave to the dual-protocol Cambridge Audio.


It is not surprising that prices for such a niche product are often charged here: for example, for 28,000 rubles. now in Russia you can find the Klipsch G-17, which on Amazon has already fallen in price to $ 165 . The marching variant of the Jawbone Jambox . tarts at 10 tr. After waiting a week, he can be brought from Amazon for $ 200 .

From what you can listen to before buying in Moscow and St. Petersburg, and then order in the USA, you can highlight Bose Soundlink , Klipsch G-17 Air , Sony SRS-BTX500 , and small on-the-go speakers, like Jawbone Jambox .
Unfortunately, there is no way to listen to Klipsch KMC 3 in Russia now, and it is unlikely that it will appear in the near future, so I took a pig in a poke, following the positive reviews on Amazon and the ratings on Hi-Fi forums.

It was up to the choice of a mail forwarder. After testing Shopotam (ex-ebaytoday) is opening an express delivery service based on the SPSR service, and I ventured to test it with the very first batch.

Besides the desire to expand the range of my reviews of intermediaries, I was lured by a permanent 10% discount on the migration program so that the shipping cost became even more profitable. Captain paranoia immediately screams that, they say, why should these rascals login and password from my service for sending goods? As they explained to me, the operator logs in to the service and verifies that you haven’t photographed your stats, after which it approves your application and establishes a permanent discount. Of course, nobody takes away access to your personal account from you. I don’t think that you sent warheads to Syria through the last forwarder, so to calm down, change the password to a temporary one, delete the delivery addresses, there will be only information necessary for the whisper about the number of parcels sent.

But before I take the word for it, I armed myself with calculators for the parcel forwarders already well known to me , Shopfans , Polar Express and brought their results to a table . Google and the mf-habrahabr-2013 code , which is still in operation (and most likely will be active indefinitely), helped to get away from all commissions in a whisper .

Like other forwarders with SPSR support, in whispers I needed to sign an agreement with a brokerage company, as well as upload a passport scan. I checked the documents quickly and just as quickly I received the ordered photos to make sure that the column came in the color I needed.

After which it remains to wait for the parcel. An unexpected and pleasant feature was SMS-notifications that reported on the progress of delivery:

Accustomed to the speed of SPSR-Express, I was not very surprised that after 4 days after sending the parcel from the warehouse, a representative of the logistics company contacted me and agreed on the delivery time - I could get the parcel in my hands already on August 28, but put it off for more convenient for me 30 number.


Thus, the former ebaytoday in this particular case worked perfectly, delivering the package in a comfortable 5 days at a price lower than that of competitors.

Appearance and Ergonomics

Since the Americans have placed a premium label on their system, we will look down on it.

Solid weight (3.5 kg without batteries), touch control and a persistent smell of matte plastic are the first things you notice when you barely unpack the device.

On the back, modestly placed 3.5mm audio in input, USB for recharging the gadget and a connector for connecting a power supply. By the way, the power supply, despite the formidable designation "110V" on the mailbox, is quite multi-voltage, so all you need to
turn on the device is a 50p cable with the right plug.

A special platform with anti-slip coating is equipped for transmitting devices. The engineers assumed that you could put the phone on it and hit the streets of your ghetto. But if the phone for people still breaks in, then something like Note II is no longer in business.

Reverence Klipschu for the lack of cheap and ultra bright frontal diodes, all elements are located on top and do not hurt the eyes. The touch control itself behaves unmatchedly better than the analogous one for cheap microwaves: a light touch and the necessary action is done.

Dimensions of the device (LxDxH): 43.2 cm x 14 cm x 18.3 cm, while wearing it on the streets of the ghetto is supposed to hold on to a recess in the case, which turned out to be a very convenient alternative to the good old pen. True, there are nuances: you can accidentally turn off the device by trying to take it, the controls are too close.

The remote control for some reason is made in gloss and immediately turns into a place of accumulation of fingerprints. With it, you can pause playing tracks, rewind and break the wireless connection - in general, everything for which it could be useful. In addition to the remote control, the Americans decided to save on the power supply. Instead of a premium power supply matching the color of the case and / or reduced dimensions, you are greeted by a Chinese unit for a dozen bucks - not good.

Yes, the constant presence in the press release of the portable music center mantra suggests that you can take all the power of the system with you by equipping the lower compartment with eight D-type batteries.

Instead of conveniently attaching the bottom cover to some type of fastening sharpened by the fingers, the engineers decided to accustom us to take a screwdriver (well, or a coin of 50 kopecks), otherwise the cover cannot be opened. Eight batteries will allow you to enjoy music for 20 hours at medium volume and up to 8 hours at full maximum, adding another 700 grams to the weight of the device.
As a result, the premium turned out to be not really premium. Build quality, on the one hand, is very decent, but the lower compartment could be more humane. Matte plastic will not turn the speaker into a terrible sight, but the remote control is deprived of it. Thanks for the anti-slip coating, but the shovel phones look at him with dumb reproach.


Okay, we figured out the appearance, we turn to the most interesting thing - the sound. I cannot attribute myself to audiophiles, before each listening to warm a cable with a sheath made of whale penis skin, therefore I will only analyze my own feelings and compare them with reviews on the Internet.

The availability of information about a separate 13cm subwoofer and two five-centimeter mid / hi drivers in dry TTX coupled with 130W RMS promised an interesting acquaintance. I managed to marvel at the striking difference in sound quality between handheld bluetooth / dock speakers and large-sized systems during the AirPlay review of the Sony RDPX500iP speaker, so I expected even more impressive results from Klipsha and, as it turned out, not in vain.

Everything is understood by comparison, and the excellent sound of Sony at once became not so beautiful after listening to KMC 3. The detail and lack of porridge in the overall sound picture - those key qualities for which I loved the S4i in-ear headphones - are fully inherent in KMC 3.
The subwoofer is definitely not in vain eating its 13 centimeters, a dense and deep bass was noted by everyone who managed to listen to the system at the time of its testing. At the same time, low ones do not so critically stoke the middle and high frequencies, as it happens in relatively cheap models.

If you turn the volume on the device to the maximum, then a miracle will not happen and distortion in the form of hiss will immediately fill your room, as some noted in their reviews on Amazon . But to call the neighbors I had enough and 70% of the volume in the eighteen-meter room. At this level, it is already difficult to distinguish a person’s speech two meters from himself. Another sound artifact can be attributed to the acoustic effect that occurs in phase inverters when playing low frequencies at a volume close to maximum: you can hear extraneous sound (vibration) arising from the air stream.

R3S Colleague noted excessive "zadrannost" high, for me their sound seemed very adequate. I would even say that on my instrumental tracks a distinct audibility of the drum set cymbals is thereby achieved. But this, however, is already flavoring.

There are no questions to the Bluetooth part, immediately after turning on the speaker is ready for pairing with any sound source. Such zeal is like a balm for the soul after a 30-second launch of AirPlay devices. We could not hear any audible distortions during wireless transmission, no matter how much we connected the system via the supplied 3.5mm audio cable. But at the same time, rare clicks can be heard when obstacles in the form of living human flesh and other things meet on the path of the “blue tooth”. In particular, the sound was literally "choked" if you broadcast music from a laptop while sitting with your back to the audio system and leaning over the computer in a typical pose of a worker of a new formation.

Finishing the description of the sound part, we can only agree with Mashable in that in its price range the system really stands out among competitors.

Was it worth it?

I often had to answer the question “why is it in the house?”, After purchasing the first AirPlay system. It would seem, indeed, that a serious approach requires shelf / floor acoustics, a receiver, gold wires and, in some cases, a bag of money. I won’t argue with this, because these devices are not marked in your living room, but rather in those rooms where you definitely won’t put the receiver, but you’d like to listen to music. Kitchens, bathrooms, balconies, summer terraces - these spaces can accommodate both AirPlay speakers and bluetooth systems. The ability of the latter to organize p2p connections and the presence of batteries (or built-in batteries) will allow you to take speakers with you to picnics, summer cottages and so on.


If you assume that you didn’t have enough money or desire to organize the “correct” wireless audio ( Sonos ) system throughout the house, then the bluetooth / AirPlay speakers will be the logical option for sounding “hard-to-reach zones”.

Making a discount on the voiced minor flaws, we agreed that KMC 3 can be safely recommended for acquiring listeners demanding on sound quality for installation in small rooms and outdoor operation. Да, ценник кусачий, но, к сожалению, весьма себе среднерыночный, а анализ отзывов показывает, что в <$400 диапазоне лучше варианта, пожалуй, и не найти.