In this review, we will be comparing R-41M and R-51M, two Passive Bookshelf speakers by Klipsch. Let's have a brief look at the main features of Klipsch R-41M and Klipsch R-51M first before getting into our more detailed comparison.
In the following sections, we will get into details in order to better understand how Klipsch R-41M and Klipsch R-51M compares and hopefully end up with enough arguments to decide which one of these loudspeakers is the better choice for you.
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Both R-41M and R-51M are 2-way speakers. R-41M features a 1" Tractrix Horn Tweeter and 1 x 4" Copper-spun IMG Woofer with a Crossover frequency at 1730Hz. On the other hand, R-51M features a 1" Tractrix Horn Tweeter and 1 x 5.25" Copper-spun IMG Woofer with a Crossover frequency at 1660Hz.
R-41M has a frequency range of 68-21k Hz whereas R-51M has a frequency range of 62-21k Hz. With a minimum frequency of 62Hz, the R-51M can go significantly deeper on the low side and provide stronger bass compared to the R-41M's min frequency of 68Hz.
Below graphs depict how these two speakers compare with the max, min and average values of the Min and Max Frequencies of other speakers under Bookshelf class in our database.
Impedance and Sensitivity
R-41M and R-51M has the same Impedance of 8 ohms but where they differ is the sensitivity levels. R-41M sensitivity is rated at 90 dB and R-51M's is at 93 dB. This 3 dB difference makes Klipsch R-51M a more sensitive speaker compared to Klipsch R-41M, hence will play louder with the same amount of watts.
is the range of input power in watts RMS that a loudspeaker is designed to handle. While using an amplifier within this range ensures the nominal performance , inputting a power that is higher than the max wattage can result in a damaged speaker.
R-41M can handle a max power of 85 watts RMS from the amp the whereas R-41M has a max power handling value of 50 watts RMS , 35 watts less than the R-51M.
Keep in mind that higher max power handling value doesn't necesssarily make that a louder speaker compared to a lower max handling speaker. Loudness or the sound level is also impacted by parameters such as Impededance, sensitivity and system efficiencies.
Input Type and Bi-Amping / Bi-Wiring
R-41M features Single Gold Plated Binding Posts - 5-way type posts and R-51M has a Single Gold Plated Binding Posts - 5-way type posts. None of these speakers feature bi-amping/bi-wiring.
Cabinet Type and Port Position
Both R-41M and R-51M have rear firing ports. Rear ported speakers generlly need more room between the backside of the speaker and the wall compared to sealed and front/bottom ported speakers. Placing too close to the walls may cause the bass to sound boomy.
Size of a speaker can sometimes become an important decision factor due to space constraints or in some cases purely for esthetic reasons. In this section, we are going to compare Klipsch R-41M's and Klipsch R-51M's external dimensions. Klipsch R-41M has external dimensions of 287.0 x 146.0 x 200.0mm ( 11.2 x 5.7 x 7.8inch) whereas Klipsch R-51M has external dimensions of 338.0 x 178.0 x 215.0mm ( 13.3 x 7.0 x 8.4inch) .
Klipsch R-51M is clearly the larger of the two speakers. Its body is 32mm wider, 51mm taller and 15mm deeper than Klipsch R-41M.
Below you can see the front view size comparison of Klipsch R-41M and Klipsch R-51M in scale.
Base Surface Area Comparison
Base surface area of a loudspeaker may become a determining factor when the space in your room or desk is limited.
The base surface area of the Klipsch R-41M is approximately 292.0cm2 / 45.3inch2 and base area of the Klipsch R-51M is approximately 382.7cm2 / 59.3inch2. The R-41M requires 24% less surface area than the R-51M which gives it a small advantage on placement in tight spaces.
Here is an another comparison that shows both speakers on a BDI Octave Media Cabinet, next to a standard size amplifier and turntable in scale: