Pros: Price, looks good without speaker cover, nice bass, good power handling
Cons: Midrange dips, muffled sound, poor instrument separation, clip-type connectors
There are several things to like about KLH 9912 speakers. They are big. They look impressive without cover, showing 3 drivers and a port. They dont cost much. The specs look good on paper.
The KLH 9912 is a 3-way ported design with a 12-inch woofer capable of producing deep bass. The specs state that the speakers feature frequency response of 28Hz-20kHz, 3-way crossover and have power handling of up to 250 W. The 5-year warranty looks good too.
Unfortunately, when it comes to speakers, specs can be quite deceiving. I auditioned these speakers with several types of music: classical, jazz and rock. The problem with these speakers is pretty much the same as with KLH L853B I had to return to BestBuy, although to a lesser extent.
The 9912 produce very good deep bass and perform well with some rock music. They can play loud without distortion. Music that does not involve many instruments sounds decent, with the exception of slightly "fuzzy" treble. It is easy to notice, however, that the midrange is lacking and the speakers get overwhelmed with overemphasized bass and, to a lesser extent, treble.
While listening to classical music, it is immediately apparent that the sound gets muffled and all instruments get bunched together. The clarity of sound is lacking as is the frequency response curves flatness.
I wonder if this is an issue with many KLH speakers, because the L853B speakers had the same issues, but to a higher degree. Equalization can improve things somewhat in terms of frequency response, but other issues remain.
The speakers use wire clip connectors instead of the binding posts, which is strange, since the lower-priced L853B use sturdy binding posts. The speakers are large, but since they dont produce balanced clean sound, having such large speakers does not make much sense. Except if one intends to play bass-heavy music really loud and is more interested in sheer volume and bass impact rather than in musics accuracy.
These are large impressive looking speakers with good bass and power handling capabilities, but with muffled sound and midrange dips. Good for loud bass-heavy music when instrument separation is not important. Definitely not for classical music.