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Klipsch Prepares Home Speaker, Multimedia Speaker Launches

Klipsch is preparing multiple home-speaker launches, including a new step-up series and in-wall speakers, to follow its entry into the multimedia speaker market.

In the meantime, Klipsch aims to crack down on unauthorized sales of its home products over the web.

About a dozen web sites, none operated by Klipsch dealers, are selling Klipsch home products, sometimes at or below dealer cost, and they’re getting their supplies from Klipsch home dealers, said executive VP T. Paul Jacobs.

By June 30, Klipsch will send out letters to dealers giving them 30 days to stop, Jacobs said. The letter will reiterate existing prohibitions on net sales and transshipping, which are grounds for immediate dismissal.

Also the firm will send letters to web sites requesting they stop selling Klipsch products because they are not authorized dealers. The company is also posting a warning to consumers on its web site to avoid buying Klipsch products via the web because the warranties won’t be honored and because the products could be counterfeits.

The company, which has begun shipping its second-generation entry-level Synergy home line, will follow in the fall with the step-up Reference series, which will replace the current Synergy Premier line. Klipsch also plans to introduce new in-wall and in-ceiling speakers at the CEDIA Expo, and in January, new Synergy bookshelf speakers.

The Synergy and Reference products will be slimmer than their predecessors and feature improved cosmetics, said Mark Casavant, director of marketing development.

The Synergy series consists of two passive towers at $500/pair and $650/pair, a powered tower with built-in powered sub at $1,100/pair, matching center channel at $280, and dedicated $400/pair surrounds with forward-firing woofer and offset horns to deliver a mix of diffuse and direct-radiated sound.

The Reference line due in the fall is a new family that will replace Synergy Premier speakers. The new line, featuring towers and bookshelf models, will start at about $800/pair for bookshelf models and run to about $2,000/pair for one of two powered tower pairs with side-firing subwoofers. The main exception is a $3,500/pair powered tower, under the Synergy Premier brand. Reference will also include a $250 center channel and a $500/pair surround package designed to create a diffuse sound field.

In multimedia, Klipsch developed a $249 suggested-retail package of four two-way satellites and a subwoofer for sale exclusively through Compaq build-to-buy kiosks in major chains and through Compaq’s web site (see related story).