Surround Sound Speaker Systems

Klipsch Icon W 5.1 Speaker System

ARTICLE INDEX

Setup

I have always liked Klipsch subwoofers and the XW-500d is no exception. This sweet little unit features a 10" woven fiber driver in a sealed enclosure and driven by a 500 watt BASH amplifier. It only comes in one color: gloss black. The grille was a little workmanlike in appearance, with its plastic lattice frame which is covered by acoustically transparent fabric. The woofer does look real nice without the grille, though. The rear panel is a striking deviation from the norm. There is a power toggle, an IR sensor and stereo RCA ins. That's it. I wasn't expecting that . . . and it made me stare in amazement briefly, until I saw the control panel on the top of the sub's cabinet. This panel had a rubbery arrow keypad and a nice little backlit LCD. This is how you control the beast! Pressing the Up/Down arrows lets you scroll through the menu which includes Volume, Recall Settings (presets), EQ Mode (preset contours), Lowpass Frequency, Phase (0° or 180°), Save Settings, Display Brightness, Power (Auto or On) and Keypad Lock. The display backlight times out after 10 seconds of inactivity. The infrared sensor can be controlled after downloading and installing the remote codes to a third-party IR remote.

The Klipsch WB-14 satellite speakers are pretty compact and I crossed over all the satellites at 100 Hz. This crossover was selected on the advice of the Klipsch engineers. I did experiment with other crossover frequencies, but wound up leaving it at 100 Hz for all my serious listening.