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Klipsch AW-650 Outdoor Speaker review

Bold sound from big wired outdoor speakers

Klipsch AW-650 outdoor speakers positioned vertically on a deck
(Image: © Tom's Guide)

Our Verdict

The Klipsch AW650 Outdoor Speakers are big in size, sound and price.

For

  • Big, durable design
  • Satisfying bass and crisp treble

Against

  • Expensive
  • Not ideal for smaller areas

Tom's Guide Verdict

The Klipsch AW650 Outdoor Speakers are big in size, sound and price.

Pros

  • + Big, durable design
  • + Satisfying bass and crisp treble

Cons

  • - Expensive
  • - Not ideal for smaller areas
Klipsch AW-650 Outdoor Speaker: Specs

Size: 15 x 11 x 9.5 inches
Speakers: 6.5-inch driver, 1.0-inch tweeter
Weather resistance: All weather; UV resistant and rustproof

For those who want to rock hard in the yard, the Klipsch AW-650 Outdoor Speakers are for you. These large wired outdoor speakers bring a big sound to your deck or patio, with more bass than most outdoor speakers. They are so big they’ll become a focal point of your outdoor decor and get loud enough that you won’t have to worry about your tunes being drowned out by a pool party. But you’ll pay a premium for the pleasure of listening to them. 

Read on for our full review of the Klipsch AW-650 Outdoor Speaker.

Klipsch AW-650 Outdoor Speaker: Price and Availability

The AW-650 have been available for a long time (since 2005, according to its Amazon listing), and have been wowing people ever since. 

The list price is a whopping $659, but you can find them as low as $349 on Amazon as of this writing (most places sell them closer to list price).

Klipsch AW-650 Outdoor Speaker review: Design

In case I haven’t been clear, the AW-650 are big speakers. At 15 x 11 x 9.5 inches, you won’t be hiding these easily. By comparison, the Polk Atrium 4 are a trim 8.6 x 6.7 x 5.7 inches. 

Klipsch AW-650 compared to Polk Atrium 4

Polk Atrium 4 (left) and Klipsch AW-650 (right) (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Available in black or white, the AW-650 have a hard plastic enclosure and a perforated metal grill lets the sound out. Inside each speaker, Klipsch put a 6.5-inch driver and 1-inch tweeter to produce a sound that matches the size of the speakers. 

Klipsch AW-650 top clamp

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The speakers come with a C-clamp to mount to a wall. Alternatively, you can use a separate mount, connecting it to the threaded insert on the back. 

Klipsch AW-650 Outdoor Speaker review: Performance

Big speakers tend to produce a bigger sound, and the AW-650 prove that point. Compared to smaller wired outdoor speakers, the AW-650 have much more bass and a wider sound. They also deliver better detail than most other outdoor speakers.

Klipsch AW-650 can positioned horizontally

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The distorted guitars on Billie Eilish’s “Happier than Ever” had a nice crunch to them, while her vocals were still easy to hear. On the Weeknd’s “Blinding Lights,” the bass pulsed strongly while the keys and snare drum sounded crisp. His vocals were clear, if slightly buried by the bass. The acoustic guitar on Tom Petty’s “Wildflowers” sounded sharp and bright, and the accent instruments were clear in the mix. 

As you would hope, the AW-650 have no problem getting very loud without distorting, though at about 94 decibels the treble started to sound too harsh. 

Klipsch AW-650 Outdoor Speaker review: Ruggedness

Klipsch says the AW-650 are “all weather,” but doesn’t provide an IP rating to support that. The enclosure is UV-resistant and the grill is rustproof. Even the zinc clamp has a weather-resistant powder coating. Given the build quality and how long the product has been on the market, we expect the speakers to withstand the elements.  

Klipsch AW-650 Outdoor Speaker review: Setup

The AW-650 aren’t powered, which means you’ll need an amplifier to drive the sound. If you have a home theater receiver with a second zone, you connect outdoor wired speakers like the AW-650 to it. You can also use a separate amp. 

You connect the speakers to the amp by way of speaker wires. The terminals on the back of the AW-650 are easy to access. However, they don’t allow banana plugs. 

Klipsch AW-650 plugs

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The included C-clamp can be used to mount the speakers. Screw the clamp to the wall and then use the knobs to attach the speaker at the top and bottom. You can mount the speaker horizontally or vertically. The mount allows you to swivel the speaker to best project the sound in your space. 

Klipsch AW-650 Outdoor Speaker review: Verdict

If you’re looking for a wired outdoor speaker that can get loud and bring the bass, the Klipsch AW-650 are the ones to get — if you have the space and budget. They are built to last and will make sure your outdoor space is filled with sound. 

For those of us who don’t have that much outdoor space and want something more affordable, the Polk Atrium 4 achieve a nice balance of price and performance. They can’t match the bass output of the AW-650, though. Plus, part of the fun of the AW-650 is the size: your friends will know where your priorities lie. 

Michael Gowan

Michael Gowan covers soundbars, TVs, portable speakers and other audio- and video-related topics for Tom’s Guide. He’s written about music and technology for more than 20 years for a raft of publications including Wired, Men’s Journal, PC World and Macworld. When he’s not reviewing speakers, he’s probably listening to one anyway.