Klipsch R-12SW vs R-120SW: In-Depth Comparison + Full Specs

When it comes to selecting the perfect subwoofer for your home entertainment setup, the choice isn’t always easy. With plenty of options available, it’s essential to find the one that best suits your needs and preferences.

Two popular models that often go head-to-head are the Klipsch R-12SW vs R-120SW. In this article, I’ll be diving into the features, performance, and differences between both models to help you make an informed decision.

It’s crucial to consider factors like power output, frequency response, and design when comparing these subwoofers. While the Klipsch R-12SW has a peak power of 400 watts and a frequency response of 29Hz to 120Hz, the R-120SW is slightly more powerful with a peak power of 400 watts and a broader frequency response of 29Hz to 125Hz. Both models have a front-firing design, making them suitable for various room layouts and configurations.

Comparing Appearance and Design: Klipsch R-12SW vs R-120SW

When examining the design and appearance of the Klipsch R-12SW and R-120SW subwoofers, there are some key differences and similarities worth noting. I’ve had the chance to experience both products first-hand, and in this section, we’ll break down these aspects to help you make an informed decision.

Comparing Appearance and Design: Klipsch R-12SW vs R-120SW

The Klipsch R-12SW measures 16 x 14 x 18.5 inches and weighs around 33 pounds. It features a textured, black wood veneer finish with a front-firing driver, giving it that classic, sleek Klipsch look. The grille is detachable, letting you showcase the spun copper woofer cone with a distinctive design element.

The Klipsch R-120SW, on the other hand, is slightly larger and heavier, measuring 16.5 x 14 x 19.2 inches and weighing around 31 pounds. This model also sports a textured, black wood veneer finish and a front-firing driver. While the grille is still detachable, the R-120SW features an updated design with more seamless integration into the cabinet for a modern, stylish appearance.

Some key similarities between the two models include:

  • Front-firing driver
  • Detachable grille
  • Textured, black wood veneer finish

Meanwhile, the main differences can be summarized as:

  • R-12SW has a slightly smaller size and is a bit lighter
  • R-120SW offers an updated design for the grille and smoother integration with the cabinet

In terms of connectivity options, both models have similar features. They have an LFE (low-frequency effect) input as well as line-level inputs, making it easy to connect them to almost any home theater system.

When it comes to appearance and design, choosing between the Klipsch R-12SW and R-120SW boils down to personal preference. If you prefer a more classic look with an emphasis on the woofer centerpiece, the R-12SW might be the better fit.

On the other hand, if you lean towards a contemporary design with seamless grille integration, the R-120SW might be more your style. Regardless of your choice, both subwoofers are a testament to Klipsch’s attention to detail and dedication to quality design.

Also Read: Vandersteen 2Ci vs 2Ce: Comparing Speakers in Detail

Breaking Down the Specifications

When comparing the Klipsch R-12SW and R-120SW subwoofers, it’s essential to dig into their specifications. Both models offer powerful performance with slight variations, making it necessary to examine these differences closely.

Klipsch R-12SW vs R-120SW

First, let’s take a look at the key specifications of both models:

SpecificationKlipsch R-12SWKlipsch R-120SW
Frequency response29Hz – 120Hz29Hz – 120Hz
Amplifier power(continuous/peak)200W / 400W200W / 400W
Woofer size12″12″
Enclosure typeBass-ReflexBass-Reflex
Phase controlYesYes
Dimensions (HxWxD)16″ x 14″ x 18.5″16.5″ x 14″ x 19.2″
Weight33 lbs (15 kg)31 lbs (14 kg)

Taking into account these specifications, let’s dive into the differences between the two models:

  • The dimensions of both subwoofers are very similar, but the R-120SW is slightly taller and deeper than the R-12SW. This might make a small difference in your room placement options, but it’s generally not significant.
  • The R-120SW is slightly lighter than the R-12SW, which could make it easier to move around if you often rearrange your speaker setup.
  • Phase control is present on both units, enabling you to match the phase of the subwoofer to the main speakers for better integration.

Now let’s examine some of the similarities shared by these two models:

  • Both subwoofers have a frequency response of 29Hz to 120Hz, ensuring they deliver a solid low-frequency foundation for your home theater or music system.
  • They both sport a 12″ woofer, providing powerful bass output and impact that you can truly feel.
  • The enclosure type is bass-reflex for both models, meaning they utilize a ported design for added efficiency and extended low-frequency response.
  • The amplifier power is identical at 200W continuous and 400W peak, offering ample power for both music and movies. This ensures both subwoofers can handle dynamic movie soundtracks and bring added realism to your music-listening experience.

The Klipsch R-12SW and R-120SW share many similarities in their specifications, with only slight variances in dimensions and weight. Regardless of the model you choose, you can expect a powerful and immersive bass experience from both of these Klipsch subwoofers.

Also Read: AKG C414 XLS vs XLII: Unveiling Key Differences

Performance and Sound Quality: Klipsch R-12SW vs R-120SW

When I tested both the Klipsch R-12SW and R-120SW subwoofers, various aspects of their performance and sound quality stood out. Let’s dive into each one:

FeatureKlipsch R-12SWKlipsch R-120SW
Woofer Size12-inch12-inch
Dynamic Power400 watts400 watts
Frequency Range29Hz – 120Hz29Hz – 120Hz

Klipsch R-12SW

The R-12SW’s 12-inch woofer delivers a powerful and balanced bass perfect for those who love movies or music. With its 400 watts of dynamic power, it’s quite impressive in producing deep bass that complements surround sound systems. Made from spun copper, the woofer is both lightweight and very rigid, which is attributed to its excellent sound output.

Frequency response ranges from 29Hz to 120Hz, providing a noteworthy reach in the lower frequencies. Besides, its low pass crossover and phase control allow me to precisely tailor the bass output according to my preference. Additionally, the R-12SW’s front-firing ports work well to reduce distortion and improve overall linearity.

Klipsch R-120SW

On the other hand, the R-120SW wields a similar 12-inch spun copper woofer as the R-12SW. However, it boasts slightly higher dynamic power. Clocking 400 watts, the R-120SW ensures even greater depths in the bass performance.

It has a frequency response of 29Hz to 120Hz, matching the R-12SW in terms of low-end reach. The subwoofer also features low pass crossover and phase control, offering customization to my liking. Notably, its rear-firing ports maintain a sense of balance when positioning the subwoofer in my room without compromising sound clarity.

As I listened to both subwoofers, these are some aspects that caught my attention:

  • The Klipsch R-12SW has a slightly warmer bass tone compared to the R-120SW – ideal for those who prefer a soft and mellow bass
  • The Klipsch R-120SW generates crisper, punchier, and more articulate bass, which can work great in music genres like rock or electronic

In terms of movies, both subwoofers produce immersive and well-balanced bass. However, the R-120SW’s edge in power might be favorable for dedicated home theaters.

It’s important to consider individual preferences and room setup when choosing between the two excellent options. Overall, Klipsch continues to impress me in terms of subwoofer performance and sound quality.

Also Read: Polk HTS 10 vs HTS 12: A Detailed Comparison

Setting Up: Ease of Installation

When it comes to setting up the Klipsch R-12SW and R-120SW, I’m glad to say that neither of them posed a challenge during the installation process. Both models prioritize user-friendliness and include features that make the setup process as smooth as possible.

Firstly, let’s take a look at the unboxing experience. After taking both subwoofers out of the box, it’s immediately noticeable that each subwoofer has a robust and high-quality build. The Klipsch R-12SW measures roughly 14(H) x 14(W) x 18.5(D) inches, while the R-120SW is slightly smaller at 16.5(H) x 14(W) x 19.2(D) inches. Despite the difference in their dimensions, the subwoofers are quite manageable to handle and maneuver during setup.

Both units come with a detailed and straightforward user manual, which covers:

  • Important safety instructions
  • Plugging in the power cable
  • Connecting the subwoofer to an audio source
  • Gain, low pass filter, and phase controls

During installation, I found the controls and input ports on both subwoofers to be easily accessible, without any confusion. Here are the connectivity options for the Klipsch R-12SW and R-120SW:

SubwooferLine InLFE InHigh-Level In

As seen in the table above, both subwoofers provide Line In and LFE input options, but neither has High-Level In. Most users will likely take advantage of the LFE input, as it’s the most common way to connect a subwoofer to an AV receiver or a soundbar.

During the setup process, users can easily adjust the gain, low-pass filter, and phase controls to tailor the sound to their preferences. It’s worth mentioning that the R-12SW has a phase control switch (0/180 degrees), while the R-120SW offers a more versatile phase control knob (0-180 degrees), granting better fine-tuning options.

Lastly, I had no issues placing and positioning either subwoofer in my testing area. Both subwoofers are designed for optimal performance in a variety of room sizes and layouts.

Price and Value for Money

When it comes to the Klipsch R-12SW and R-120SW subwoofers, it’s essential to evaluate their price and value for money. As an owner of these fantastic products, I have firsthand experience with these subwoofers and can provide insights into their worth.

Comparing prices reveals that the R-12SW typically falls within the range of $300 to $400, while the newer R-120SW tends to be slightly more expensive, averaging around $350 to $500. Keep in mind that prices can vary depending on the retailer and any ongoing promotional offers. Here’s a breakdown of the price range for each subwoofer:

SubwooferPrice Range
R-12SW$300 – $400
R-120SW$350 – $500

Considering product features is essential when evaluating which subwoofer offers better value for money. For example:

  • Both models showcase the Klipsch signature copper-spun front-firing woofer that maximizes bass response and minimizes distortion.
  • They have similar power handling capabilities, with the R-12SW at 400 watts and the R-120SW at 400 watts as well.
  • The R-120SW touts an updated digital amplifier and a more modern design for those who prioritize aesthetics.

Notably, both subwoofers have unique features that may appeal to different users:

  • For the R-12SW, its strong, lightweight MDF cabinet stands out, ensuring durability and ideal sound reproduction.
  • On the other hand, the R-120SW boasts Klipsch Tractrix ports, which provide fast, efficient airflow and help reduce port noise.

When comparing product warranties, the R-120SW offers additional peace of mind with its 5-year warranty for both the woofer and electronics, while the R-12SW offers a 5-year warranty for the woofer and a 2-year warranty for the electronics.

By reflecting on the price ranges, unique features, and warranty differences, it becomes clear that the Klipsch R-12SW and R-120SW have their unique strengths.

The choice ultimately boils down to personal preferences and budget constraints. Keep in mind that whichever option you go for, you’ll be investing in a subwoofer built by a reputable company with a proven track record of excellence in audio equipment.


In conclusion, the comparison between the Klipsch R-12SW and R-120SW subwoofers highlights their impressive performance and deep bass capabilities. The R-12SW delivers a solid low-frequency response, making it a great choice for smaller rooms or those on a tighter budget.

On the other hand, the R-120SW offers even more power and depth, ideal for larger spaces or audiophiles seeking a truly immersive audio experience. Both models showcase Klipsch’s commitment to exceptional sound quality and durability.

Ultimately, the decision comes down to your specific needs and preferences, ensuring you find the perfect subwoofer to enhance your listening pleasure.

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