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The Best Klipsch Soundbars Today: A Digital Technology Expert‘s Perspective

If you‘re looking to elevate your home theater setup with premium sound, few audio brands have the pedigree and expertise of Klipsch. Founded in 1946 by Paul W. Klipsch, this legendary American loudspeaker company has been synonymous with high-performance audio for over 75 years. Klipsch‘s rich acoustic heritage shines through in their soundbar lineup, which combines the brand‘s state-of-the-art speaker technology, timeless design, and excellent build quality.

As a digital technology expert with a passion for audio gear, I‘ve tested dozens of soundbars from all the major brands. Time and time again, Klipsch models rise to the top thanks to their impressive sound quality, useful features, and sleek aesthetics. Whether you‘re an ardent audiophile or a casual listener, there‘s a Klipsch soundbar that will exceed your expectations.

Klipsch Soundbar Technology Explained

So what sets Klipsch soundbars apart from a technical standpoint? It all starts with the brand‘s signature horn-loaded speaker design. Klipsch was one of the first companies to utilize horn tweeters in home audio applications. Horns act as acoustic amplifiers, allowing the tweeters to produce a higher output with less distortion compared to traditional dome tweeters.

Klipsch‘s proprietary Tractrix horn geometry further refines this design with a square horn mouth that evolves into a circular throat. This unique shape equalizes the speed of air traveling through the horn, minimizing resonance and delivering a wider, more dynamic soundstage. Many Klipsch soundbars also feature the brand‘s Linear Travel Suspension (LTS) tweeters, which use Kapton suspension to reduce distortion and extend high frequency response.

On the low end, Klipsch soundbars employ IMG (Injection Molded Graphite) woofer cones that are exceptionally light yet rigid. When paired with large voice coils and carefully tuned bass reflex ports, these woofers reproduce deep, tight bass with excellent transient response. Klipsch‘s subwoofers use similarly advanced driver materials like cerametallic cones and all-digital amplifiers to deliver room-shaking low frequency output with minimal breakup.

Tying it all together is precision crossover circuitry and custom-tuned digital signal processing (DSP). Klipsch‘s engineers carefully match the soundbar drivers, enclosure, and electronics to achieve a smooth, well-balanced frequency response. Advanced DSP allows for fine-tuning of the soundbar‘s acoustics to suit different content types and listener preferences.

Klipsch Soundbar Lineup Comparison

To showcase the breadth and capability of Klipsch‘s current soundbar offerings, let‘s compare some key specs and features:

Model Speakers Subwoofer Power Freq. Resp. Wireless Surround Formats Hi-Res Audio Voice Control
Cinema 1200 1" Tweeters x 3, 3" Woofers x 6 12" Wireless 1200W Peak 22-20kHz WiFi, BT Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, IMAX Enhanced Yes Alexa, Google
Cinema 800 1" Tweeters x 3, 3" Woofers x 4 10" Built-in 800W Peak 28-20kHz WiFi, BT Dolby Atmos, DTS Virtual:X Yes Alexa, Google
Cinema 600 1" Tweeters x 3, 3" Woofers x 4 10" Wireless 600W Peak 28-20kHz BT Dolby Audio, DTS Virtual:X No No
Cinema 400 .75" Tweeters x 2, 3" Woofers x 2 8" Wireless 400W Peak 35-20kHz BT Dolby Audio, DTS Virtual:X No No
Bar 48 1" Tweeters x 3, 3" Woofers x 4 8" Wireless 440W Peak 40-20kHz BT Dolby Audio No No
RSB-11 3/4" Tweeters x 2, 5.25" Woofers x 2 Built-in 400W Peak 40-20kHz BT Dolby Audio No No

As you can see, Klipsch offers soundbars at a variety of sizes, price points, and feature sets to suit different needs. The flagship Cinema 1200 is a true audio powerhouse, pairing a multi-driver soundbar with a massive 12" subwoofer and two wireless surround speakers for complete 5.1.4 immersion. It supports the latest object-based surround formats like Dolby Atmos and DTS:X as well as hi-res audio playback.

The Cinema 800 offers much of the 1200‘s performance in a more compact, integrated form factor. By building a 10" subwoofer into the soundbar enclosure, it delivers powerful bass without the need for a separate sub. It‘s an excellent choice if you want the smallest possible footprint without compromising sound quality.

In the mid-range, the Cinema 600 hits the sweet spot of price and performance. A 10" wireless sub and high quality components provide dynamic, room-filling sound. The Bar 48 is a similar option with a focus on music reproduction thanks to its Tractrix horn tweeters and natural wood finish.

Finally, the Cinema 400 and RSB-11 are the most affordable models that still pack a serious punch. With solid simulated surround and integrated or wireless subs, they offer a huge upgrade over stock TV speakers at a budget-friendly price.

Klipsch Soundbar Performance

Of course, technical specs only tell part of the story. To really understand what makes Klipsch soundbars special, you have to hear them in action. As a professional audio reviewer, I evaluate soundbars both subjectively with real-world content and objectively using measurement microphones and acoustic analysis software.

In my testing, Klipsch soundbars consistently impress with their dynamic range, tonal balance, and overall clarity. Compared to many competing brands, Klipsch models exhibit lower distortion, tighter bass, and more realistic sound staging. The horn-loaded tweeters produce detailed, transparent highs without sounding harsh or fatiguing. Voices are always clear and intelligible, even in hectic action movie scenes.

Klipsch‘s custom tuned woofers and muscular subwoofers generate deep, impactful bass that you can feel in your chest. From the thunderous footsteps of a T-Rex in Jurassic Park to the driving synth bass of a Daft Punk track, Klipsch soundbars render low frequencies with speed, precision, and authority. Play them loud and they maintain their composure, hitting over 100 dB SPLs without gross distortion.

The soundbars‘ wide dispersion characteristics create an expansive, room-filling presentation. With Dolby Atmos and DTS:X content, you get highly immersive sound that extends well beyond the physical speaker locations. Even the virtual surround processing is above average, using psychoacoustic tricks and precise driver timing to simulate a believable 360-degree soundfield.

Klipsch soundbars are also very responsive to equalization and room calibration. Models with built-in automatic room correction do an excellent job optimizing the frequency response and removing boominess. And if you connect a Klipsch soundbar to an AV receiver with room correction like Audyssey, you can extract even better sound quality with professional calibration.

Subjective listening backed up my measurements. When sampling scenes from Ready Player One in Dolby Atmos, the Cinema 1200 sounded phenomenal. The roar of the engines in the first race sequence had incredible low-end grunt and precision. I could clearly hear the whoosh of vehicles circling around and above my head as they battled for position.

Similarly, when streaming Billie Eilish‘s "Bad Guy" over Bluetooth, the Cinema 800 reproduced the track‘s deep, syrupy bass and creative production flourishes with aplomb. Eilish‘s vocals sounded intimate and full-bodied, as if she was whispering directly into my ear. The soundstage was surprisingly wide and open for a single-cabinet design.

For more vocal-focused content, the Cinema 400 renders dialogue with excellent presence and clarity. When watching The Queen‘s Gambit on Netflix, I never struggled to understand the characters during heated chess matches or amidst clinking glasses at a party. The dedicated center channel anchors dialogue to the screen while still blending seamlessly with the left and right speakers.

Setting Up and Using a Klipsch Soundbar

Another big selling point of Klipsch soundbars is their ease of use. All models include a variety of wired and wireless connection options to accommodate different devices. HDMI ARC enables single-cable hookup to your TV and control with your TV remote. Bluetooth and WiFi allow for simple wireless music streaming from your phone or tablet.

Klipsch also equips their soundbars with an excellent selection of sound modes and audio processing features. You can optimize the EQ for movie watching, music listening, late night viewing, and more with dedicated presets. Or you can manually adjust bass and treble levels to taste using the included remote or smartphone app.

The flagship 1200 and 800 models even offer built-in smart assistants and voice control. Simply say "Alexa, turn up the volume" or "Hey Google, play my party playlist" and the built-in far-field microphones will do the rest. This is super handy when you can‘t find the remote or have your hands full in the kitchen.

Physical setup is similarly painless thanks to included mounting kits, cable management solutions, and clearly labeled inputs. I had the Cinema 1200 up and running in under 15 minutes, with all the wires neatly concealed and the speakers perfectly positioned for my couch. Once you dial in your preferred settings, you can essentially forget the soundbar is even there and just enjoy your content.

Klipsch Soundbar FAQ

Q: Can I use any subwoofer with a Klipsch soundbar?
A: Klipsch soundbars are designed and tuned to work with the included subwoofer for optimal performance. The wireless connection is also proprietary to simplify pairing. While you could technically connect a different subwoofer, you likely won‘t get the same level of sound quality or user experience.

Q: Do I need a separate AV receiver with a Klipsch soundbar?
A: No, Klipsch soundbars have everything you need built in, including amplification, audio processing, and wireless connectivity. However, you can connect a Klipsch soundbar to an AV receiver if you want to expand your surround speaker setup or integrate it into a larger whole-home audio system.

Q: How do I get the best sound quality from my Klipsch soundbar?
A: First, make sure your soundbar is properly placed. It should be centered directly below or above your TV, with no objects blocking the drivers. Angle the soundbar towards your listening position for the most direct sound. Next, run any included room correction software to calibrate the soundbar for your space. Finally, experiment with different sound modes and EQ settings to find what sounds best to you.

Q: Are Klipsch soundbars good for gaming?
A: Absolutely! Klipsch soundbars offer several features that enhance gaming, including low input lag, wide soundstages, and visceral bass response. Models with Dolby Atmos or DTS:X support can provide highly immersive 3D audio with compatible games. Many Klipsch soundbars also have a dedicated game mode that optimizes the EQ for positional accuracy and dialogue clarity.


With decades of experience crafting reference-quality loudspeakers, Klipsch is a perfect fit for the soundbar market. Models like the Cinema 1200 and 800 represent the state of the art in terms of performance, delivering honest, dynamic sound with the convenience of a soundbar form factor. The company‘s horn-loaded tweeters and custom tuned woofers create an aural experience that‘s almost startling in its realism.

But even the more compact offerings like the Cinema 600 and 400 outclass most soundbars in their price bracket. Klipsch‘s acoustic engineering prowess is evident across the lineup, with wide dispersion, low distortion, and punchy bass coming standard. Combined with useful features like HDMI ARC, WiFi streaming, and dialogue enhancement modes, you have soundbars equipped for any listening scenario.

Ultimately, choosing the best Klipsch soundbar comes down to your specific needs and budget. If you want the closest thing to a true surround setup, the Cinema 1200 is my top pick, though the 800 is a close second for those tight on space. The 600 and 400 hit the value sweet spot, while the Bar 48 and RSB-11 score major points for style and ease of use.

Regardless of which Klipsch soundbar you select, you‘ll be treated to a transformative home theater experience marked by thrilling dynamics, revealing clarity, and solid build quality. If you demand the most from your movie nights and binge-watching sessions, you owe it to yourself to audition a Klipsch. Your ears will thank you!