The Klipsch Synergy Series Quintet III Microsystem is the aptly named successor to the Quintet II system, the company's best-selling surround-sound speaker package of all time. In addition to its ability to play louder than its predecessor, the 5.0 surround-sound speaker system incorporates an upgraded tweeter and a slew of design improvements. The speakers are much too small to produce sufficient bass, so Klipsch recommends pairing the $500 system with its Synergy Series Sub-10 ($400) or Sub-12 ($500) subwoofers--adding the all-important .1 to your home theater.
The Quintet III includes four 8.3-inch-tall satellites and a 12-inch-wide center-channel speaker. The satellite speakers come premounted on a swiveling metal pedestal base that serves as a wall mount or as a stand for tabletop placement. Each satellite weighs 3.5 pounds, and their construction feels first rate. The matching center speaker isn't pedestal-mounted; you just plop it on or underneath your TV. The speakers' plastic cabinets have a dark-gray finish with medium-gray accents. The optional Sub-10 and Sub-12 subwoofers (sold separately) feature black vinyl finishes with titanium accents that complement the Quintet III both visual and sonically. Curiously, Klipsch doesn't sell extra satellite speakers for buyers with 6.1- or 7.1-channel systems; the Quintet III is sold only as a five-speaker package.
Each magnetically shielded satellite employs a 0.75-inch aluminum diaphragm tweeter fitted to a MicroTractrix Horn that dramatically increases the tweeter's efficiency. That design feature allows the speakers to produce more volume per watt than conventional direct-radiating tweeters. It also controls the tweeter's dispersion, minimizing floor and ceiling reflections so that imaging is sharper and clearer. The 3.5-inch woofer's bass output is enhanced by the satellite's rear port. The center speaker features two 3.5-inch woofers and two ports.
With speakers as small as the Quintets, most manufacturers use inexpensive spring-clip speaker-wire connectors, so we were pleased to see the Quintets sporting burly binding posts. They more securely accept banana jacks, spades, or bare wire connections.
For this review, we used the Klipsch Quintet III with a Sub-12, and while it's a superb subwoofer, we had to invest an hour or so fine-tuning the sound to get the satellite and subwoofer to blend just right. Our Denon AVR-2807's bass management had to be set to a rather high crossover point (150Hz) to minimize the bass gap between the teensy sats and the humongous sub. Positioning the sub within a few feet of the front satellites also helped in that regard. In the end, we were reasonably happy with the matchup, but it wasn't perfect; as we played CDs and DVDs, there were times when the subwoofer or the satellites had too much or too little bass. In those cases, we adjusted the subwoofer volume to sound right with the disc.