Posted on 4th May, 2018


Powermove has snapped up Australian distribution rights for legacy US brand, KLH Audio.

The acquisition is seen as a deft move for a brand that’s seen as a “sleeper” by veteran audiophiles who still celebrate KLH’s mammoth contribution to audio.

While the company hasn’t had an Aussie distributor for about three decades, KLH in its heyday racked up awards for its often unique but always great sounding models.

Back in the day, KLH was a strong selling speaker brand in Australia with models ranging from the affordable to the tear-inducing price tag of its upper range of loudspeakers.

At the time, and this isn’t as well-known as it deserves to be, KLH was the largest speaker brand in the world.

Located in those days in Cambridge, Massachusetts, KLH had a workforce of more than 300 employees and shipped 30,000 speakers annually to six continents.

Henry KlossAlso now largely forgotten by many is the significant fact that Henry Kloss was one of the company’s three founders. The others were Malcolm S. Low and Josef Hofmann.

KLH’s milestones include the forerunner to the now ubiquitous Tivoli Model One radio of today. It was called the Model Eight, and it was the first-ever high sensitivity FM table radio.

This was followed by a loudspeaker regarded by many as one of the finest ever made. It was called the KLH Model Nine, and it was an electrostatic model. A speaker that The Absolute Sound’s Neil Garder, rates as one of the best dozen ever made.

KLH had many other award-winning pioneering products. Who could forget the Model Eleven, the world’s first portable solid-state radio?

Ray Dolby is now universally known for his noise reduction technology. But he can thank KLH for putting him on the global stage.

It was KLH who introduced Ray Dolby to consumers by using his technology in the Model Forty reel-to-reel tape recorder and the first ever to carry Dolby noise reduction.

KLH was no slouch in loudspeaker design. The Model Five, Six and Model Seventeen used the acoustic suspension system developed by audio luminaries, Edgar Villchur and Henry Kloss.

If the name Villchur resonates, it’s probably because he’s credited with designing the world’s first three-point suspension turntable.

But others say the schoolteacher who lived in Essendon, Melbourne and developed the Orpheus Silex three-point suspension turntable in 1940 should get the credit.

Fast forwarding to the present, KLH Audio now makes a huge range of loudspeakers including the Model Nine Electrostatic!

More traditional models in cabinets comprise bookshelf, floor standing, centre and rear speakers plus subwoofers.

But the product that along with the Model Nine speakers is sure to attract a crowd of admirers is the Model Eight Digital Radio.

Powermove Audio Product Manager, Ross Kemp, told StereoNET:

The decision to take on the re-birth of such an iconic brand in the scene was an exciting prospect. It’s not the first time we’ve successfully marketed and distributed high-end speakers and KLH’s new leadership team.

Powermove will launch KLH at the Melbourne International Hi-Fi Show, October 12-14, 2018. Tickets on sale now.

For more information visit KLH Audio.

Peter Familari's avatar

Peter Familari

One of the veterans of the Australian HiFi industry, Peter was formerly the Audio-Video Editor of the Herald Sun for over two decades. One of the most-respected audio journalists in Australia, Peter brings his unparalleled experience and a unique story-telling ability to StereoNET.

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Posted in: Hi-Fi Home Theatre Industry
Tags: klh audio  powermove