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Klipsch AW-650 Outdoor Speakers Review

Klipsch AW-650

Klipsch AW 650
Sensitivity:Power:Dimensions:Freq. Response:
95dB at 1WPeak 340W11” x 9.5” x 15”70 – 20kHz

With good reason, the Klipsch AW-650 Outdoor Speakers have been available for more than 15 years. They remain regarded as the loudest outdoor speakers in their price range. You won’t find another outdoor speaker system that sounds this big and powerful for the price; they are not a cheap option, costing about $600 for a pair. The Klipsch AW-650 is ideal for those who enjoy entertaining outside.


The Klipsch AW-650 outdoor patio speakers are weather-proof rather than waterproof, so they are intended to be mounted in a protected location like beneath your eaves. The enclosure is made of ABS plastic, one of the most durable moldable polymers available, and the front grille is rustproof. The speaker box is consequently UV resistant, remarkably tough, and long-lasting.

If you follow the basic maintenance instructions for your speakers, you won’t need to replace these speakers anytime soon, so they can be viewed as a long-term investment. The enclosure can also be painted, which is helpful if you want to change the standard color scheme, available in either black or white, to something that goes better with your exterior design.

The AW-650s are passive, requiring an external power amplifier to be driven, like most wired outdoor speakers. For this task, a spare pair of speaker outputs from a home theater receiver would be ideal, but keep the receiver indoors and out of the weather. Active speakers, like those used in recording studios, have delicate amplifier electronics inside the cabinet, making them a poor choice for long-term outdoor installations.

Klipsch AW 650 Vert

The Brand

Klipsch is a well-known brand in loudspeaker design, as evidenced by its 70-year history. Today, they produce a huge selection of outdoor, floor-standing, bookshelf, surround sound, and portable speakers. They also produce soundbars, earbuds, and headphones. Their copper-colored speaker cones make their renowned home theater and hi-fi systems easily recognizable. Their outdoor models share the same audio quality as their selection of audiophile speakers for indoor use.

The AW Series

The AW-650s are the largest in the line, and their other outdoor speakers, like the AW-525, AW-500, and AW-400, might be better suited for smaller yards or unfriendly neighbors down the street. While the AW-650s have a 6.5-inch woofer, those on the AW-400s only have a 4-inch woofer. The numbers indicate the diameter of the woofer or bass speaker.

The AW-650s have an output power rating of 85 watts RMS, the AW-500s are rated at 65 watts, and the AW-400s have a 50 watts RMS rating. Despite the fact that all models can withstand brief peaks at several times these values, respectively, their RMS or average power rating is more important because it more closely resembles actual usage. Be aware that supplying continuous power at those values could permanently damage them. Many rival manufacturers only list their peak power handling capacities.

The only ported or bass-reflex speakers in the series are the AW-650s. A port is a hole in the speaker’s enclosure that produces more volume and bass energy than a speaker with an equivalently sized sealed or infinite baffle design. A ported speaker cabinet produces sound from both the front and the back of the speaker cone, with the sound leaving through the port, which accounts for the increased output level.

A sealed enclosure, on the other hand, can only direct sound energy toward the front of the box. In a sealed unit, the vacuum behind the speaker cone limits its movement, lowering the output level in turn. The rectangular slots on either side of the tweeter housing on the AW-650s are known as the bass reflex ports, and they contribute to the speaker’s powerful sound.

Klipsch AW 650 Back


Generally speaking, the lower the extension of the bass frequencies from the speaker, the larger the woofer diameter. The Klipsch AW-650s produce sound in the 70 Hz to 20 kHz range thanks to their 6.5-inch bass driver and dual-ported enclosure. You might want to add a subwoofer for bass that shakes the neighborhood, but for the majority of partygoers, the low end will be more than sufficient. Unless you are determined to disturb the neighbors, dancing or tapping your feet to a kick drum beat at 70 Hz will still be a ton of fun. Outdoor or weather-proof subwoofers are incredibly uncommon.

Anyone who is not directly in front of a set of speakers will hear less treble because high frequencies tend to be quite directional. By enclosing the tweeter in a square waveguide that disperses high frequencies at 90-degree angles in four directions, Klipsch has largely eliminated this issue. The “Tractrix® Horn Tweeter” technology, which disperses the highs over a wider area, has been given a name. This system produces a fantastically large “sweet spot.” Everyone attending the party will hear the entire range of frequencies unless they are positioned behind the speakers.


Outdoor speakers come in a variety of sizes and shapes, and while some can connect via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, others need to be wired. Some are designed to blend in with granite or sandstone in gardens. This review will contrast the Klipsch AW-650 speakers with a few other conventional-appearing wired models.

Let’s say the AW-650 speakers’ volume is a little too loud for your regular social needs. Or maybe you like to listen to music more leisurely. In that case, there are numerous rival models available from reputable manufacturers that are more compact, simpler to mount, and, in some cases, more affordable. The majority of these rivals won’t be this loud.

The woofer diameter of the Polk Audio Atrium 6 Outdoor Speakers is only 5 14 inches as opposed to the Klipsch AW-650’s 6.5 inches, but they are significantly less expensive. Polk advertises the Atrium 6 as having a 100-watt power rating, but this is almost certainly the peak value. Less than half the peak will be the RMS value, which is significantly less than the AW-650’s RMS of 85 watts.

The Bose 251 Environmental Outdoor Speakers are gorgeously designed in the typical Bose style and are less expensive than the AW-650s. Their 100-watt power rating is comparable to the Polk Atrium 6’s 100-watt power rating, but since this is a peak value, the AW-650’s 85-watt RMS power rating will be louder.

Although more expensive than the Klipsch AW-650, the Yamaha NS-AW992WH all-weather speakers have a huge 8-inch woofer. They are still only rated for 60 watts RMS, which is again less than the AW-650s.

In Use

The Klipsch AW-650s have unexpectedly large dimensions for outdoor speakers, measuring 15 inches in height, 9.5 inches in width, and 11 inches in depth. As a result, if you don’t have enough room under your roof eave to mount them, permanent placement outside could be a problem. The sturdy, well-made, adjustable C-brackets allow positioning at different angles. Additional mounting options are provided by a 3/8 inch mic stand thread, but a sturdy stand is required to support the AW-650’s weight, which is substantial—9 lbs—and significantly heavier than that of a typical microphone.

I put the speakers to the test in direct stereo mode with a Yamaha receiver that has 100 watts per channel. The surround speakers, the sub, and any stereo output processing are not used with this setting. I listened to a variety of reference music, including rock, hip-hop, and pop. The treble range can travel a great distance for those big parties because the high frequencies are clear and crisp. The midrange is also significant and has a distinct, present quality in the lead instruments and vocals. The absence of the lowest octave is immediately noticeable when switching from a 5.1 home theater system to the AW 650 because a subwoofer typically provides these extremely low frequencies.


The only area where the Klipsch AW-650s fall short is in the sub-bass range, but this is to be expected and is a feature of outdoor speakers without a subwoofer. They stand out from the competition thanks to their massive size and powerful sound, and if you can afford them and have the room to mount them, you won’t be sorry.

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