Klipsch R-12SW VS R-100SW – Full Comparison

When it comes to home theater sound systems, the subwoofer is an essential component that boosts the overall auditory experience ...

By Dewayne

When it comes to home theater sound systems, the subwoofer is an essential component that boosts the overall auditory experience by enriching the output with deep bass. Two leading models that offer exceptional performance in this category are the Klipsch R-12SW and Klipsch R-100SW, both of which are highly regarded for their distinctive features. This article provides an in-depth comparison of these two models, highlighting their specifications, design features, pros and cons.

The Klipsch brand, named after its founder Paul W. Klipsch, is a reputable name in the home theater industry, known for its high-quality audio equipment. Both Klipsch R-12SW and R-100SW are prime examples of the brand’s commitment to delivering powerful and dynamic sound to enhance your home theater experience. Let’s take a closer look at these two robust subwoofers.

Understanding the key aspects of each model will allow you to make an informed decision when setting up your home theater system. This guide will illuminate the strengths and weaknesses of each model, their design attributes, and performance. Read on for a comprehensive review of the Klipsch R-12SW and R-100SW.

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Klipsch R-12SW Overview: Key Specifications

Klipsch R-12SW VS R-100SW

Firstly, the Klipsch R-12SW subwoofer. Intense, powerful, and sleek, it is designed to deliver thunderous lows for a thrilling home theater experience. Its primary specifications include a sensitivity of 116.0 dB within a frequency range of 29 – 120Hz and 200 watts RMS power and 400W peak power from the inbuilt amplifier.

Another salient feature to note is its impressive 12″ driver diameter, which allows for substantial sound output. The unit is built with medium density fiber wood (MDF) and bound in a beautiful brushed polymer veneer. This material choice ensures the durability while also enhancing the aesthetic appeal.

One of the R-12SW’s most distinctive specifications is its bass reflex capability. This feature allows the subwoofer to produce deep, resonant bass that enhances your audio experience, particularly during action-packed sequences in movies or music with heavy bass lines. The dimensions of the unit are 14″ X 18.5″ X 16″.

Ultimately, the Klipsch R-12SW’s specifications point to it being a powerful, reliable, and visually appealing subwoofer. Its impressive power output, large driver diameter, and bass reflex capacity make it an excellent choice for a home theater setup that requires potent low-frequency sounds.

Design Features of Klipsch R-12SW

Moving on to design features, the Klipsch R-12SW successfully amalgamates aesthetics with functionality. A distinctive feature of the R-12SW is its copper-spun front-firing driver, designed to provide high-quality bass that is both accurate and responsive. This subwoofer, with its powerful, deep bass, is capable of filling up a large room with thrilling sound.

Its MDF cabinet has a brushed polymer veneer finish, giving it a modern and elegant appearance. This kind of finish enhances the durability of the unit and forms a scratch-resistant surface. Moreover, the low-resonance enclosure of the R-12SW reduces vibrations and distortions, ensuring a crystal-clear audio experience.

Equipped with phase control and low pass crossover, the R-12SW provides a flexible control system for the users. The phase control allows the subwoofer to match the output of the Klipsch speaker for heightened effectiveness. Simultaneously, the low pass crossover allows the subwoofer to connect to the amplifier efficiently, further enhancing the sound quality.

In terms of styling, the R-12SW stands out with its copper-spun front-firing driver enclosed by a black textured wood grain vinyl. With its aesthetically pleasing design, it not only enhances your home theater’s audio experience but also complements your decor.

Pros and Cons of Klipsch R-12SW

One of the primary advantages of the Klipsch R-12SW is its powerful performance. Its high sensitivity of 116.0 dB and impressive driver diameter can enhance your audio experience by producing deep and rich bass. It also excels in terms of design, blending aesthetics with longevity, thanks to the MDF cabinet with brushed polymer veneer finish.

Another significant advantage of the R-12SW is its bass reflex capability, allowing the subwoofer to produce lower frequency sounds and enhance the overall intensity of the audio output. Additionally, its phase control and low pass crossover features enhance the flexibility of usage and improve the subwoofer’s compatibility with amplifiers and other audio devices.

However, like any product, the R-12SW subwoofer has some limitations too. Despite its impressive power output and driver diameter, it may not be sufficient for extremely large rooms or open spaces. Additionally, the R-12SW may not provide the desired performance for music genres or media content that does not heavily rely on low-frequency sounds.

Lastly, while the R-12SW’s MDF cabinet with a brushed polymer veneer finish offers durability and adds aesthetic value, it can be susceptible to scratches and dents if not handled with care. Therefore, users need to be cautious about the subwoofer’s placement and handling.

Klipsch R-100SW Overview: Key Specifications

Klipsch R-12SW VS R-100SW

Shifting attention to the Klipsch R-100SW subwoofer, let’s delve into its specifications. This subwoofer boasts a sensitivity of 112.0 dB within a frequency range of 32 – 120Hz. Furthermore, it has a robust 300 watts RMS power from the inbuilt amplifier.

The R-100SW is equipped with a 10-inch driver, which is slightly smaller compared to the driver diameter of the R-12SW. Despite the smaller driver, the R-100SW is optimized to produce rich and deep bass, enhancing your overall audio experience.

Constructed with either medium density fiber (MDF) or vinyl material, the R-100SW provides durability and an attractive finish. This subwoofer measures 12.52 by 16.42 by 14.49 inches and weighs 24.03 pounds, making it comparatively lighter than the R-12SW.

Essentially, the Klipsch R-100SW subwoofer packs a punch with its high sensitivity, powerful RMS wattage, and solid driver diameter. While it may appear slightly less powerful compared to the R-12SW, it still delivers potent performance for an immersive home theater experience.

Design Features of Klipsch R-100SW

The design of the Klipsch R-100SW is an elegant amalgamation of style and performance. As is traditional with Klipsch subwoofers, the R-100SW features a spun-copper IMG woofer, designed to be incredibly light and rigid, providing remarkable low-frequency response with minimal cone breakup and distortion.

The closed cabinet design of the R-100SW enhances the overall sound performance by minimizing vibration. The MDF or Vinyl build contributes to its durability and provides an appealing finish. Moreover, it allows for resonance-free bass, providing a cleaner and more accurate sound.

The R-100SW comes with a digital amplifier that produces clean, high-efficiency power, which results in true-to-source accuracy in reproduction. This feature provides enhanced flexibility for the users and ensures a more immersive listening experience.

Finally, aesthetics-wise, the R-100SW maintains a sleek black design that would blend seamlessly with modern home décor. The front panel of the subwoofer houses the black woofer behind a removable grille, which can be detached to expose the copper cone, creating an interesting contrast.

Pros and Cons of Klipsch R-100SW

Among the Klipsch R-100SW’s advantages, its key highlight is the sound output. Despite having a smaller driver than the R-12SW, it still generates impressive bass, thanks to its high-sensitivity rating and robust power output. The use of either MDF or Vinyl in construction also ensures the unit’s robustness and longevity.

The R-100SW is designed with a digital amplifier, enhancing its sound reproduction accuracy. The option to remove the grille for aesthetic contrast can be an appealing characteristic for those drawn towards unique design elements. This subwoofer is also lighter, which may appeal to users desiring mobility and easy setup.

However, the R-100SW is not devoid of shortcomings. One potential drawback is its relatively lower power compared to the R-12SW. If you have a very large room or prefer incredibly loud sound output, then the R-100SW may not meet your expectations.

Moreover, while the R-100SW offers a high-quality audio experience, it may not match up to the audiophile standards established by the R-12SW. Some users might find the bass response of the R-100SW to be less powerful and encompassing compared to the R-12SW.

Comparing the Design of Klipsch R-12SW and R-100SW

Having examined the design features of both subwoofers, it’s clear that both Klipsch models prioritize quality and performance in their design. However, there are discernable differences worth noting.

The Klipsch R-12SW is slightly larger than the R-100SW, with a bigger 12-inch driver designed for more potent sound output. Its copper-spun front-firing driver enhances bass accuracy, while the MDF cabinet with a brushed polymer veneer finish adds to its aesthetic and durability.

On the other hand, the R-100SW is crafted with a 10-inch driver and encased in either MDF or Vinyl material. Although it’s slightly smaller, the R-100SW can produce considerable bass, thanks to its high-sensitivity level and powerful RMS wattage. With its sleek black design, it offers stylish appeal to modern home décor.

Examining the Performance: Klipsch R-12SW VS R-100SW

When comparing the performance of the Klipsch R-12SW and R-100SW, both shine in their capacity to deliver intense and dynamic bass to elevate your home theater experience. With both models featuring high-sensitivity ratings and robust power output, they ensures deep bass and powerful sound.

The Klipsch R-12SW, with its 12-inch driver and 200W RMS power, is designed to produce thunderous bass that complements action-packed scenes and heavy-beat music effectively. Simultaneously, the R-100SW, with its 10-inch driver and 300W RMS power, ensures impactful bass that enhances the audio output of various media content.

However, in terms of power and driver size, the R-12SW holds a marginal advantage over the R-100SW. Therefore, if you are looking for a subwoofer that can engulf a larger room with deep, palpable bass, the R-12SW might be a more compelling choice. On the other hand, if your primary requirement is a subwoofer that delivers solid performance in a compact form, the R-100SW could be your best bet.

The Bottom Line: Which is Better?

Both Klipsch R-12SW and R-100SW are high-performing subwoofers, each with specific attributes that might appeal to different users. The choice between the two largely depends on your personal preferences and requirements.

If your goal is to achieve thunderous, room-filling bass and you value larger driver size, the R-12SW might be the better fit. However, if you prefer a more compact and lightweight design without compromising on the core performance, the R-100SW should be your choice.

Remember, both models will dramatically enhance your home theater experience, offering high-quality sound that amplifies the joy of watching movies, playing video games, or just listening to your favourite songs. Make your choice based on your specific needs, and you won’t go wrong.


Choosing a subwoofer for your home theater system isn’t always an easy task, especially considering the plethora of options available in the market. Klipsch, with its reputation for quality and performance, makes this decision a little easier.

Both the Klipsch R-12SW and R-100SW subwoofers are excellent choices, delivering impressive power, design, and durability. While the R-12SW’s might and large driver size offer a more potent sound output, the R-100SW’s compact design and equally impressive performance provides solid competition.

So, whether you choose the R-12SW for its powerful performance or the R-100SW for its compact design and potent output, one thing is certain – with a Klipsch subwoofer, your home theater experience will be anything but ordinary.

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