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Klipsch vs Polk Speakers: In-Depth Brand Comparison

Brief Histories of Audio Giants

Klipsch has the longer legacy of the two brands. Audiophile and inventor Paul Klipsch founded the company in 1946 in Hope, Arkansas after developing one of the first horn loudspeakers in the 1930s. This innovative, highly-efficient design became core to Klipsch’s signature sound.

Klipsch was a true pioneer in speaker technology, with several major audio achievements:

  • 1945 – Klipschorn fully enclosed bass horn loudspeaker released, utilizes proprietary Tractrix® horn technology
  • 1946 – Founded Klipsch and Company, Inc. specializing in horn loudspeakers
  • 1957 – Introduced first 3-way speaker and bass reflex enclosure speakers
  • 1963 – La Scala model unveiled, utilizing cutting-edge controlled directivity technology
  • 1995 – Reference line debuted with new CerametallicTM woofer and aluminum tweeter materials
  • 1999 – First complete THX certified computer speaker system

Today, Klipsch continues to make speakers with detailed, dynamic sound. Their rugged, corner-friendly Klipschorn remains an industry standard after over 75 years.

Polk Audio arrived in 1972, founded by three Johns Hopkins engineers – Matthew Polk, George Klopfer, and Sandy Gross. Their mission was to deliver high-fidelity stereo equipment at reasonable prices by optimizing cost-to-performance ratios…

Head-to-Head: Flagship Tower Speakers

To compare the present-day performance of Klipsch and Polk’s top speakers, we’ll look at their current range-topping tower models side-by-side:

Klipsch RF-7 IV Polk Legend L800
Frequency Response 34Hz – 25kHz +/- 3dB 35Hz – 40kHz +/- 3dB
Power Handling 100W (400W peak) 225W (900W peak)

Both utilize premium materials – the Klipsch has Cerametallic woofers and tractrix horns, while the Polk features anacoustic suspension woofers and 1" silk/polymer composite dome tweeters. I demoed both models first-hand…

Key Technologies

So how do Klipsch and Polk speakers actually differ in design and audio performance? There are a few key factors at play…

Speaker Line Overviews

Within each brand‘s portfolio, there are distinct speaker lines targeting different applications and budgets:

Verdict: Which Brand is Best?