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Bose vs. Klipsch Soundbars: Which Brand is Better for You?

If you‘re looking to upgrade your home entertainment with an immersive audio experience, a premium soundbar is an excellent investment. And two of the top names in the consumer audio market are Bose and Klipsch.

But when it comes to choosing between Bose vs Klipsch soundbars, which brand should you buy?

In this comprehensive guide, we‘ll compare Bose and Klipsch soundbar models side-by-side on critical factors like audio quality, features, specs and value. You‘ll get the knowledge you need to decide if a Bose or Klipsch soundbar is the better pick for your home theater setup.

Overview of Bose and Klipsch

First, let‘s get to know these two audio heavyweights a bit more:

Bose – Founded in 1964 by Amar Bose, an MIT professor and pioneer in psychoacoustics, the principles of how humans perceive sound. Bose has become synonymous with premium, innovative audio equipment like noise canceling headphones and compact yet powerful home speakers.

Key qualities that set Bose apart include:

  • Proprietary audio technologies to enhance sound
  • Sleek, contemporary aesthetic designs
  • Compact size without compromising performance
  • User-friendly controls and connectivity

Klipsch – Founded in 1946 by audio maverick Paul W. Klipsch, an inventor with a passion for high-efficiency loudspeakers. The Klipschorn, the first Klipsch speaker, set the standard for the company‘s commitment to acoustic purity, power and emotional connection.

What Klipsch is acclaimed for:

  • Hand-crafted cabinetry for beautiful sound
  • Use of quality materials like real wood veneers
  • Focus on speaker efficiency and dynamic range
  • Rich, detailed sound with authoritative bass
  • Timeless, classic design aesthetic

Now let‘s compare some popular models from these two premium soundbar brands…

Bose vs Klipsch Soundbars: Key Feature Comparison

Here is a head-to-head overview of how some of Bose and Klipsch‘s latest soundbars stack up:

Feature Bose Smart Soundbar 900 Klipsch Cinema 1200
Price $899 $499
Size 2.3” H x 41.7” W x 4.3” D 2.8” H x 57” W x 5.9” D
Weight 16.9 lbs 27.1 lbs
Power Output 330 watts 552 watts (peak)
Audio Channels 5.1 5.1
Audio Technologies Bose PhaseGuide, QuietPort design Dolby Atmos, DTS:X
Voice Assistant Alexa + Google Assistant built-in No
Subwoofer No (bass from Acoustimass module) 12-inch wireless
App Control Yes No

Both brands offer excellent entry-level models too. For example, the Bose Solo 5 is an affordable one-piece unit while Klipsch‘s Bar 40 is a compact 400W powerhouse.

But you can see key differences emerge for their premium home theater sound solutions:

Bose tends to be more compact, integrated, heavy on proprietary tech like PhaseGuide arrays. Voice assistant integration is excellent. But subwoofer bass is less room-shaking, sold separately.

Comparatively, Klipsch leans into raw power, Dolby Atmos-enabled expansiveness, classic build quality and style. Great for bass-lovers craving a cinema-like rumble. But less smart features. And far heavier.

Point is: each brand prioritizes different strengths that appeal to different users.

Next let‘s dig deeper on the most crucial factor when buying any soundbar – how they actually sound.

Audio Quality Comparison

Delving into sound quality reveals the biggest divergence between the Bose vs Klipsch approaches.

Bose: Psychoacoustics Meets Proprietary Tech

In the 1960s, Amar Bose pioneered psychoacoustics – understanding how our hearing works to perceive sound. He used this knowledge to tune speakers to sound "lifelike" for an immersive listening experience.

This expertise inform Bose innovations like PhaseGuide and QuietPort:

PhaseGuide – An acoustic array with angled drivers focused towards the center listener. This creates a wider, more uniform soundstage for simulated surround sound.

QuietPort – Strategically placed ports reduce distortion and boost bass response using resonance control.

Together with audio processing techs like Dialogue Isolation, Bose soundbars produce an expansive spatial soundscape that engulfs the listener, not just louder audio.

Voices sound clear, bass hits the sweet spot without muddiness, and you get convincing faux-surround even without satellite speakers placed around the room.

Klipsch: Acoustic Heritage Meets Modern Power

Klipsch has a 75+ year legacy of striving for acoustic purity reminiscent of listening to a live orchestra perform.

This means adherence to core tenets like high-efficiency speakers. The venerable Klipschorn, for example, could output an ear-splitting 106-decibels from just one watt.

Modern Klipsch soundbars maintain this tradition – using powerful amps and premium components like spun copper woofers and tractrix horns. Just less giant hand-made cabinets.

They also leverage today‘s cinema codecs like Dolby Atmos and DTS:X for true cinematic surround sound, unlike the virtual processing used by Bose.

The result? Authoritative, full-bodied audio with excellent stereo separation and sky-high clarity. Klipsch soundbars deliver the thunderous bass and sparkling high notes to immerse you in movies and music.

Soundbar Features Face-Off

Beyond audio performance, several other factors may sway your Bose vs Klipsch decision:

Voice Assistant – Many new Bose bars integrate Alexa and Google Assistant for expansive smart home control. Great if you want to play music, get news updates, control devices etc via your soundbar. Klipsch lacks this.

Subwoofers – Both support wireless sub pairing. But Klipsch subs tend to be larger and output chest-pounding bass. Bose produces smaller modules engineered for tighter, cleaner lows.

Connectivity – All HDMI, optical, Bluetooth etc options covered. But Bose has proprietary ADAPTiQ audio calibration plus customization via the Bose Music app. Klipsch relies on physical remote controls.

Wall Mounting – If flush wall mounting is important, slimmer Bose bars have the edge. Klipsch‘s deeper soundbars often require brackets.

Aesthetics – Bose has that modern, minimalist appeal. Klipsch oozes retro charm with classic wood casings and vintage design cues.

So besides sound, factor features that align with your exact home cinema plans.

Behind the Brands: Origin Stories

Interestingly, both companies were founded by inventor-innovator visionaries:

Amar Bose – An MIT professor whose passion for concert hall-quality sound led him to apply the principles of psychoacoustics to deliver better home audio experiences.

Bose broke new ground in noise-cancelling, adaptive audio and miniaturization of technology without diluting performance. He ensured the company nurtured a strong culture of intellectual curiosity that still thrives today.

Fun fact – the Bose logo symbolizes a mountain, signifying lifelong learning and constant improvement. Fitting for a brand built on R&D.

Paul W. Klipsch – An Arkansas engineer known for burning the midnight oil in his basement workshop designing some of the world‘s most efficient loudspeakers loved by audiophiles.

The Klipschorn he painstakingly built by hand in 1946 using mathematically-calculated cabs and patented horns redefined power and purity of sound reproduction. It arguably sparked the high-fidelity audio revolution.

70 years later, Klipsch speakers are still crafted with pride in Hope, Arkansas using Paul‘s revered acoustic formulas. The brand retains its vintage Americana appeal.

So both founders built audio empires by questioning norms and seeking better solutions. Their creative DNA imbues the superior sound we now get from Bose and Klipsch home audio gear.

Pros and Cons of Bose vs Klipsch Soundbars

To summarize the Bose vs Klipsch matchup, here are key advantages of each soundbar brand:

Bose Soundbars


  • Compact, sleeker aesthetics
  • Proprietary audio advancements
  • Dialogue clarity and voice enhancement tech
  • Seamless smart assistant and app integration
  • ADAPTiQ room tuning


  • Less bass output without subwoofer
  • Higher costs for add-ons
  • Processes over raw acoustic power

Klipsch Soundbars


  • Acclaimed speaker heritage
  • High power and efficiency
  • Dolby Atmos and DTS:X decoding
  • Authoritative bass and dynamics
  • Classic retro design


  • Larger, heavier physical footprint
  • No smart assistants or room correction
  • Add-ons also pricey
  • Old-school remote controls

Overall, Bose soundbars appeal most to those wanting smarter, compact audio with convincing surround effects. While Klipsch is perfect for bass-loving cinephiles.

But the good news? You‘ll enjoy elevated immersive sound no matter which premium brand you invest in.

Recommendations: Best Bose and Klipsch Buys

Based on the comparison, here are my recommendations if choosing between Bose vs Klipsch soundbars:

Best Bose Soundbar – The Bose Smart Soundbar 900. A near-perfect blend of performance, features and future-proof design. Stunning lifelike audio powered by Bose innovations like PhaseGuide and QuietPort. Seamlessly stream music via WiFi, Bluetooth, AirPlay and Spotify Connect. Alexa and Google Assistant built-in for expansive voice control. Add surround speakers and bass modules for a complete 5.1.2 Dolby Atmos system down the line.

Best Klipsch Soundbar – The Klipsch Cinema 1200. Equipped with side- and up-firing drivers plus a beastly 12" subwoofer for thunderous DTS:X and Dolby Atmos immersion. A serious home theater upgrade with reference-level 56Hz-24KHz frequency response. Crafted MDF wood cabinet looks and sounds amazing. The pinnacle of Klipsch‘s no-compromise acoustic heritage.

Both are heavy-hitters that deliver sensational, cinema-grade audio for movies, games, music and more. You can confidently build an outstanding home entertainment system around either.

I hope this guide helps make the Bose vs Klipsch decision easier! Let me know if you have any other questions.

Now grab some popcorn and enjoy the show with your awesome new soundbar!

Frequently Asked Soundbar Questions

Here are answers to some common soundbar-related questions to further help in your buying research:

Should you leave a soundbar on all the time?

Like any electronic device, extended use risks overheating issues over time. Soundbars are designed for occasional home entertainment use. Overheating could degrade internal amplifier chips and speaker components. We recommend powering off your soundbar completely when not in use. Modern units boot quickly anyway.

Where to place a soundbar?

Ideally just under your TV seated on its own stand or surface to avoid any vibrations affecting screen visibility. Or if wall mounting, position it just below your mounted TV. For best audio performance, ensure at least 2-3 inches of clearance space both above and around the soundbar sides/back.

What’s the optimal distance from a TV?

Mount your soundbar 3-4 inches below the bottom edge of your TV screen. This prevents audio and video drifting out of sync while ensuring the soundstage feels expansive. Place any rear speakers at ear level around your seating for an enveloping surround sound effect.

What is a soundbar subwoofer?

The subwoofer is a specialized speaker dedicated solely to reproducing ultra low bass frequencies down to around 25-35hz. This allows your soundbar to focus on mids and highs. Subwoofers use oversized drivers, powerful amps and ported cabinet designs to create that room-shaking deep bass punch for home theater immersion.

How many audio channels in a soundbar?

Basic soundbars feature two channels (left and right) while higher-end models support up to 5 or even 7 channels. More channels allows discrete left, right and center front channels (for dialog), stereo rear surround channels and ceilings channels for Dolby Atmos/DTS:X height effects. Start with a 3.1 (left, right, center + subwoofer) for an impactful upgrade.

Have more soundbar questions? Let me know below!