For younger readers it may be the greatest loudspeaker company you’re not aware of, but KLH will be no stranger to lovers of classic hi-fi.
It was originally founded in 1957 as KLH Research and Development Corporation, with Henry Kloss, Malcolm S. Low, and Josef Anton Hofmann joining together to deliver high-fidelity sound reproduction in a ground-breaking company.
KLH brought many ‘firsts’ to market. It launched the first-ever high-selectivity FM table radio, the Model Eight, and the first full-range electrostatic loudspeaker, the Model Nine, highly regarded by the audiophile community and picked by Neil Gader of TAS as “one of the 12 best loudspeakers ever built”. The KLH Model Forty was the first consumer product featuring Dolby Noise Reduction, while the KLH Model Eleven was the first portable phonograph with stereo speakers.
KLH grew quickly to become the largest loudspeaker company in the world at the time, employing over 500 people and shipping over 30,000 speakers a year across six continents.
Henry Kloss himself was responsible for NovaBeam, the world’s first projection television, and for advances in acoustic suspension design which, along with other innovations, earned him a place in the Consumer Electronics Hall of Fame. KLH was then sold to Singer Corp. in 1964, and later Electro Audio Dynamics Inc., and then to Kyocera.
In 2017, former executives from Klipsch saw an opportunity to restore KLH to its former position as an innovative, high-quality speaker brand.
As David Kelley, President and CEO of KLH, and former President of Global Sales and board member for Klipsch/VOXX, says, “When the opportunity to purchase the KLH brand was presented to me, I could not believe my good fortune. KLH is one of the most storied and revered audio brands in the world, founded by one of the most iconic engineers in the history of consumer electronics. I have taken the brand back to its roots, to Henry’s original mission, to build world-class loudspeakers and radios at affordable prices. I am proud to be the new owner of KLH, and will honour Henry and his many contributions to the audio industry through the introduction of our extraordinary new KLH products.”
KLH Audio is now located in Indiana, and has begun launching a brand new line of high-fidelity loudspeakers, which will also feature a newly engineered version of the famous Model Nine loudspeaker; an early version was shown at CES 2018 in Las Vegas. And it was in Vegas that Powermove were approached about taking the brand.
Powermove’s Audio Product Manager, Ross Kemp, says “The decision to take on the re-birth of such an iconic brand in the scene was an exciting prospect.”
KLH and the Powermove team will be showing off the range to hard launch the rebirth of this classic brand at the Australian Hi-Fi & AV Show at The Como Melbourne from October 19-21st.