After opening the beautifully printed outer box, which at 23 kilos remains just below the permitted occupational weight, it immediately becomes clear that Klipsch takes things seriously. A perfectly fitting inner box contains all the necessary accessories. The removable fronts are also packed separately. The relatively small speakers, 41.6 x 20.7 x 27.7 centimeters, weigh no less than 10 kilograms each. Not surprising when you consider that The Sevens are active speakers equipped with a 100-watt amplifier. The speaker is available in real walnut veneer or a black finish. Looking at the front immediately makes it clear that it is a Klipsch speaker. Half of the front is taken up by the patented Tractrix horn with a 1” titanium tweeter bent into it. The horn must provide a wide and high beam pattern, creating a large and vibrant stereo image. A bass reflex port on the back supports the 6.5” fiber composite woofer. Looking at the top and back of The Seven, you learn more about the extra options. Klipsch calls The Sevens, like the smaller The Fives and larger The Nines, ‘The most versatile speakers on the planet.’ Let’s look at the options to see if this claim holds up.
|What||Active speakers 2 x 100 Watt|
|inputs||HDMI-ARC, line-in (with phono mode), optical, USB, 3.5mm jack|
|Bluetooth||Bluetooth 5.2 (SBC, AAC, aptX, and aptX HD)|
|Extras||App control and remote|
|Dimensions||41.5 x 20.6 x 27.2 cm|
|Weight||10 kg (per speaker)|
A closer look
First, a set of The Sevens consists of a master and a slave speaker. The master is equipped with all connections and is connected to the slave with only one dedicated cable. Klipsch supplies a special 4-pin cable with a length of four meters for this purpose. If this length is insufficient, an extension cable of two meters is in the box with accessories. The advantage of this cable is that only the master unit needs to be connected to the mains; the slave receives power from the built-in amplifier via this dedicated cable. This makes places in the room less dependent on a socket near the speaker. To upgrade the sound of your television, The Sevens have an HDMI ARC input. These Klipsch speakers could therefore be a great alternative to a soundbar. An HDMI cable is included as standard. A 3.5 mm analog mini-jack input, USB, and optical digital inputs also exist.
What makes The Sevens extra special is the switchable analog line input. The speaker has a phono preamplifier to connect a turntable with an MM cartridge. A switch above the input lets you choose to use the preamplifier. For the ever-growing group of vinyl enthusiasts, a valuable addition that you don’t often encounter with active speakers. Bluetooth 5.0 with aptX and aptX HD allows you to play music wirelessly. An Ethernet or WiFi option is missing, a conscious choice by Klipsch. Connecting an affordable streamer or laptop is possible to use various streaming services. There is also a line output for connecting a subwoofer if you want to support the bass reproduction of the speakers even more. The box also contains a USB cable and a remote control. Klipsch does not say much about the amplifier technology except that the built-in amplifiers have been specially developed for this speaker, and the tweeter and woofer are controlled separately. The Sevens have a 192 kHz / 24-bit DAC to convert digital signals to analog. By downloading the Klipsch Connect App on a tablet or mobile phone, you can connect to the speakers via Bluetooth to, for example, adjust the equalizer presets or bass reproduction to the room. The App can also be a remote control for selecting a source or adjusting the volume. The master speaker has two metal rotary knobs at the top for choosing a source and volume.
To do justice to The Sevens, I place them on my sixty-centimeter high Sound Organization stands. This brings the tweeter nicely to ear level, although it is less critical due to the Tractrix horn’s good horizontal and vertical dispersion. That Klipsch has an eye for detail is evident from the fact that the underside of the cabinet has a thin layer of cork. This ensures that the speaker does not shift or damage the speaker and the surface. After the speakers have warmed up in the attic for a few days, they move to the living room for serious work. There they find a spot to the left and right of the television. About three meters apart and about fifty centimeters from the back wall. I connect the master speaker with the analog outputs of my Bluesound Vault 2 with an Inakustik Rhodes interlink. I connect our Ziggo Next box with an optical cable so the speakers can be used with the television. It remains to connect both speakers and connect the power cord. After installing the Klipsch Connect App on my phone, the setup of The Sevens can begin. After bringing the speakers to life with the on/off switch on the back,
After waking up, connecting to my phone via Bluetooth is quickly done. The speakers become visible in the app, and various settings can be made. For example, you can give the speakers a different name or assign them to a room. It is also possible to indicate where the speakers are in the room. Depending on the place in the room, the layer reproduction is subtly adjusted. With Dynamic Bass EQ, the bass reproduction is adjusted to the listening volume, which ensures that powerful bass reproduction is always guaranteed regardless of the volume. In addition to a custom equalizer option where high, middle, and low can be adjusted, three presets are available. Namely: ‘Vocal,’ ‘Bass,’ and ‘Rock.’ By default, the equalizer is set to ‘Flat.’
After connecting everything, I make minor adjustments to some well-known music via the app and turn the speakers slightly to get a nice wide and deep stereo image at the listening position. The speakers had already played for a few hours at my home office and were nice and loose. I start playing music via Bluetooth from my phone. Several tracks downloaded from Tidal’s streaming service already give a very good result. Voices by Joe Jackson and Eva Cassidy, among others, are very recognizable with character and nuance. When the music gets a bit busier, you run into some limits regarding reproduction, but it always remains easy to listen to. Music from my Vault2 to the analog input of The Sevens is a big leap forward. ‘Miss Sarajevo’ performed by George Michael, lets his voice be heard without the s and t sounds being turned on too much. The bass reproduction is fine, nicely solid, and nuanced with the equalizer preset on ‘Flat’. Quite clever when you consider that the speakers play in a room of approximately forty square meters. What is also striking in a positive sense is the deep stereo image. The harp in ‘I Remember You’ sounds realistic, in which the individual strings are audible. George’s voice is right in the middle separate from the various instruments, and sounds very emotional and fragile. It is a pity that the supplied remote control responds poorly; you must aim very well at the receiver in the master speaker. Of course you can also use the volume control in the app, but unfortunately it does not work with small steps.
Fast forward to music, One in Johnny Cash’s version always hits me. The Sevens do not disappoint; his voice’s warmth is just as it should be, and the vulnerability is dripping with it. The two acoustic guitars on the left and right in the stereo image are very distinguishable, even when they play simultaneously. The high, middle, and low are neatly balanced, and no extra attention is drawn to anything. Curious if The Sevens can give the same live experience as the great Klipsch horns, I choose Bruce Springsteen’s live performance of ‘Hungry Heart’. The intro, in which only the massive audience sings, is great. Considering the relatively modest size of the speaker, very good. The sound extends far beyond the cabinets left and right and is quite deep. When the band goes wild, the instruments, such as the piano, Hammond organ, and even triangles, can be followed separately, and they all have their own place in the sound image. Bruce’s voice sounds raw and full of character, just like I’ve heard him live many times. When Clarence Clemons starts the saxophone solo, it sounds nice, bright, and dynamic. Another live track I can’t get enough of is ‘Gravity’ by John Mayer. The ambiance of the hall is audible, and the audience present does not sound like a mess, but you hear separate voices. Again, the stereo image is very deep, which makes the live experience realistic. The bass drum is powerful and detailed, not thin or small. The cymbals sound subtle and quite detailed for a speaker in this price range. John’s guitar playing is punchy and clearly shows the individual strings. The midrange is good, resulting in a nice reproduction of John’s voice. Of course, a track by the recently deceased Tina Turner should not be missed. ‘Undercover Agent for the Blues’ is a track with a lot in it. No problem for The Sevens, who know what to do with this. The atmosphere is captured well, with the solid and tight low reproduction contributing. The horns have punch without becoming unpleasantly sharp, and it sounds nice and dynamic. Tina’s voice goes from high to low, and the delicious raw edge is fully present. The speakers have enough power to increase the volume and make it a party. Resulting in a beautiful reproduction of John’s voice.
With this, The Sevens, Klipsch shows and hears that staying true to the original lively and live sound can be perfectly combined with contemporary technology. The retro appearance is a plus for many people, and the finish is fine. The connection options are extensive, and the built-in phono preamplifier is a real addition. The combination with my Pro-Ject T1 turntable gave excellent results. Watching television with The Sevens is a significant improvement compared to the speaker’s built-in flat screens. The intelligibility of voices is better, and the low reproduction provides a more enjoyable film experience. Overall, a set of The Sevens is a relatively affordable all-in-one solution that will last you for years!
- User friendly
- Sound quality
- Volume control via the app lacks nuance