Photo by Steven Stone
KLH is an audio company founded in 1957 as KLH Research and Development Corporation in Cambridge, Massachusetts, by Henry Kloss, Malcolm S. Low, and Josef Anton Hofmann. KLH was the largest loudspeaker company in the world, employing over 500 people and shipping over 30,000 speakers a year to retailers and distributors throughout six continents. KLH has deep roots firmly planted in high-fidelity sound reproduction as a ground-breaking company of firsts, launching 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 The Absolute Sound as “one of the twelve best loudspeakers ever built”, the first portable solid state record player named the Model Eleven, and introduced Ray Dolby of Dolby Laboratories, to the consumer product market through the first reel-to-reel tape recorder featuring the Dolby noise reduction, the Model Forty. KLH also introduced some of the best-selling loudspeakers in the world over the course of many years, most notably, the Model Five, Model Six, and Model Seventeen, featuring the acoustic suspension loudspeaker design originally developed by Edgar Villchur and our founder Henry Kloss.
Some of the rich history of KLH is highlighted below. An example of special note is The Classic Speaker Pages, an excellent resource for not only the KLH brand also other manufacturers and models as well.
Henry Kloss, American audio engineer and entrepreneur, advanced high fidelity loudspeaker and radio receiver technology, starting in the 1950s. Along with Malcolm S. Low, and Josef Anton Hofmann, the trio founded KLH in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Kloss formed a working relationship with Arthur Janszen, who developed the Model Nine full-range electrostatic loudspeaker under the KLH brand. Thousands of these innovative speakers were sold in the late 1950s, and are considered by audiophiles to be one of the best performing loudspeakers of the 20th century. Henry Kloss himself was responsible for advances in acoustic suspension design, along with other innovations that earned him a place in the Consumer Electronics Hall of Fame.
In January of 2017, KLH was purchased by Kelley Global Brands, owned by CEO David Kelley, audio industry veteran and entrepreneur. KLH is now located in Noblesville, Indiana, and is launching a brand new line of high-fidelity loudspeakers. In the spring of 2021, the company will also launch a newly engineered version of the legendary Model Five loudspeaker – first introduced in 1968. Based on the famous acoustic suspension design principle that dominated the loudspeaker market at that time, the Model Five went on to become one of the best-selling loudspeakers of its era.