Klipsch Heritage The One is a bi-amplified 2.1 stereo system designed with for audiophile resolution, featuring two full range drivers and a 4.5” woofer, tuned by Klipsch to have a clean transparent delivery with great bass.
In addition to Bluetooth and USB/RCA inputs, this beautiful retro design with a real wood finish includes a rechargeable battery that lasts for up to 8 hours for portable use.
Incorporating luxury materials such as real wood veneer and tactile spun copper switches and knobs, The One powered audio system blends the acoustics and classic design legacy of Paul W. Klipsch with the latest technologies available today.
Design Klipsch Heritage The One
Klipsch Heritage The One measures roughly 6.2 by 12.7 by 5.3-inches and weighs a hefty 8.5 pounds, with top and bottom panels covered in an eye-catching wood veneer (available in Ebony or Walnut). The front face is all cloth speaker grille, with the old-school Klipsch logo in the upper-right corner. The cloth grille wraps around the speaker completely, and the entire system rests on wooden stands with rubberized feet. The speaker is portable in the room-to-room sense—it’s far too large to throw in a backpack, and it certainly wouldn’t fare well in a potentially wet outdoor location.
Behind the grilles, Klipsch Heritage The One delivers audio through dual 2.3-inch full-range drivers and a single 4.5-inch woofer. The internal amp pushes out 30 watts of continuous power (and 50 watts peak power).
Up top, there’s a control panel with a copper Power switch and two knobs for Source and Volume. The volume works independently of, not in conjunction with, your mobile device’s master volume levels. Status LEDs let you know when Klipsch Heritage The One is turned on, when the battery is running low, and whether it’s connected to a Bluetooth or wired Aux input source (a 3.5mm audio cable is included). With only two possible options, it might have made more sense for the Source dial to be a switch, but who cares? It looks cool.
The Aux input is located on another copper panel on the back, along with the connection for the included AC adapter. Connecting a device via the cable and switching to the Aux input doesn’t kill the Bluetooth connection if you have a device paired, so you can switch back and forth.
Powering up Klipsch Heritage The One immediately puts it into pairing mode, or you can press the Source knob in for a few seconds to start the pairing process. Beware, though, because if you hold it down for 10 seconds the speaker resets to factory default settings and kills any current Bluetooth connection. Plenty of folks will press the Source knob, recognizing it’s a button, guessing that maybe this controls playback but only finding the pairing and reset functions. There are no playback nor track navigation buttons on The One, which is a slight annoyance. The One also lacks any speakerphone feature.
Klipsch estimates The One’s battery life to be roughly eight hours, but your results will vary with your mix of wired and wireless playback, as well as your volume levels.
The One can get exceptionally loud for a speaker this size. With an iPhone 6s at 75 percent volume, the speaker delivers impressively powerful audio. At even half volume on the iPhone 6s and full volume on the speaker, the audio is quite loud, and full of rich bass response.
On tracks with intense sub-bass content, like The Knife’s “Silent Shout,” The One delivers a palpable thump. It is possible to cause distortion here, but this is primarily because the volume level on the knob isn’t in sync with your mobile device’s volume, and thus you can end up really cranking the drivers. You can still listen to this track with no distortion whatsoever at very loud levels, so we won’t knock the distortion that much. It only appears when the volume is ear-splitting.
Bill Callahan’s “Drover,” a track with little in the way of deep bass response, gives us a better sense of the The One’s overall sound signature. The drums on this track can sound overly thunderous on heavily bass-boosted systems, but The One delivers solid bass depth without unnatural boom. Callahan’s baritone vocals benefit tremendously from the rich low-mid presence the drivers provide, as well as the clarity throughout the mids and highs. The attack of the guitar strums and higher percussive hits also enjoy a solid presence in the high-mids and highs. Overall, this is a very well-balanced sound signature with lovely bass depth and bright highs, with nothing overly sculpted or boosted.
Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “No Church in the Wild,” the kick drum loop’s attack gets the ideal amount of high-mid presence to retain a sharp edge and slice through the layers of the mix. The sub-bass synth hits are delivered with gusto, but not subwoofer-like rumbling force. It’s the drum loop that seems beefed up here, delivering more thump than usual. This, along with Callahan’s vocals, tells us that The One is boosting lows and low-mids far more than the sub-bass frequencies. The vocals on this track are delivered with clarity and no added sibilance. Again, it’s a solid balance of highs and lows that should please everyone except those looking for full-on subwoofer throttle.
Orchestral tracks, like the opening scene in John Adams’ The Gospel According to the Other Mary, sound fantastic through The One. The bass presence is perfect for pushing the lower register instrumentation forward a bit, lending the mix a little more low-end depth and push. This is never at the expense of the higher register brass, strings, and vocals, which maintain a wonderfully crisp, prominent presence in the mix. It might be a little more bass depth than total purists would prefer, but most will find the orchestral sounds The One is capable of reproducing exhilarating.