Klipsch Cinema 400 review: Great sound, eye-popping looks

Klipsch has made exceptional speakers for decades but has by no means been ready to entirely translate its skills to soundbars. Even though past year’s Bar 4x designs were a large stage up from former models, they remained hamstrung by tiny subwoofers. The new Cinema four hundred retains the past series’ most important speaker blended with a new subwoofer that is, quite frankly, humungous. The final result is a person of the most effective Television set speakers in this cost vary I’ve ever heard.

Like

  • Exceptional sonics for both of those movies and tunes
  • Excellent build top quality
  • Putting appears to be like

Really don’t Like

  • A minor taller than lots of soundbars, could obscure your TV’s IR port
  • Only a person HDMI enter
  • No Wi-Fi streaming

Regardless of the prodigious amount of bass on offer, the Klipsch Cinema four hundred isn’t going to seem leaden or muffled. Its pair of horn-loaded tweeters generate greater, much more open seem than the JBL Bar 2.one Deep Bass in the similar cost vary. The Klipsch presents strong connectivity much too, although its single HDMI port and deficiency of Wi-Fi streaming are restrictions in comparison to some other soundbars. If you don’t need people features, even so, the good seem and bombproof build of the Klipsch Cinema four hundred should really be certain its spot on your shortlist. 

Design and features

Klipsch Cinema’s 400’s Tractrix horn


Ty Pendlebury/CNET

Klipsch made its title with horn-loaded speakers — technically, a driver amplified by a widening diaphragm — and the technological know-how is employed in both of those public handle methods and megaphones. This structure aesthetic normally takes pride of spot on the Cinema four hundred. At either conclude of the soundbar is a gunmetal-coloured Tractrix horn with a one-inch tweeter inside of. These distinct horns flank a pair of 3-inch oval, fiber-composite cone woofers hidden behind an beautiful, black tweed grill.

Compared with most soundbars the Cinema four hundred is built of wooden (MDF), and feels really sturdy. The bar alone is somewhat vast at forty-inches throughout and quite tall at 2.8 inches substantial. The top can be an concern with some TVs, and proved tall plenty of to block the distant sensor on the Sony XBR-55X950G I employed for screening. I experienced to raise my distant hand higher than the seem bar to get the Television set to sign up commands. By distinction the shorter JBL 2.one Bar Deep Bass experienced no issues allowing for commands to pass to the tv. Regardless of whether the Klipsch’s top is an concern for you relies upon on your Television set and installation, so it truly is one thing to hold in brain.

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Ty Pendlebury/CNET

The wireless subwoofer is also built from wooden and steps eleven.87 inches vast by sixteen.12 inches substantial and sixteen.12 inches deep. It dwarfs the JBL 2.one Deep Bass’ sub and is a person of the premier I’ve viewed on any soundbar, period. The sub will help the method accomplish a claimed 35Hz frequency reaction. If you crave even much more/further bass, the soundbar does aspect a subwoofer out to connect a wired sub, which could be employed with or without the need of this a person.

The Cinema 400’s connections incorporate HDMI-ARC, Bluetooth, and 3.5mm analog and optical electronic enter. These should really be great for most users but I might adore to see a 2nd normal HDMI enter as very well. HDMI ARC, which feeds a signal from your Television set to your outboard equipment, can be a minor finicky dependent on your devices. Connecting your set-top rated box straight to the soundbar by using a 2nd HDMI port is usually a nice selection, and a person out there on competition like the JBL 2.one Deep Bass and Polk Command Bar.

The soundbar presents a Dolby Electronic decoder, not DTS. Deficiency of the 2nd big surround format just isn’t a large offer because DTS broadcasts and streams are somewhat exceptional, and in a pinch you could usually set up your supply to output DTS as PCM as a substitute. The soundbar also presents a number of seem modes which dialog, surround enhancement and “evening” processing.

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Ty Pendlebury/CNET

The distant is pleasant minor pointer with control about the seem modes, EQ and enter. I identified I would often need to modify the sub dependent on what I was enjoying, and the distant helpfully gives you a direct subwoofer volume control.

How does it seem?

If I experienced to characterize Klipsch’s seem it would be “comprehensive and gutsy,” and it truly is no shock the manufacturer has been adopted by the rock establishment: both of those by admirers of the style and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame alone. The Klipsch Cinema four hundred upholds this tradition but isn’t going to stray into upper-midrange unpleasantness as some other “vibrant” speakers can. 

I in comparison the Klipsch to the likewise priced JBL Bar 2.one Deep Bass, and identified that the Klipsch sounded ethereal without the need of becoming much too forward though the JBL sounded a minor much more boxy. This is one thing I remarked on in my Deep Bass evaluate — when it came to tunes in individual, the JBL lags behind others in conditions of transparency and slam.

I began my screening with the foyer scene from the Matrix — whereby our heroes Neo and Trinity excursion the lousy guys’ metallic detectors by carrying human truckloads of weaponry, and an about-the-top rated firefight ensues. The Klipsch subwoofer was ready to go impressively deep, but it did not gel as very well with the most important bar as the JBL combo. The bass line from this scene by no means came to the fore on the Klipsch in the way that it should really. It was not a good begin, but things rapidly enhanced for Klipsch.

Avatar was upcoming, and the jungles of Pandora grew to become lush and full of life when heard by means of the Klipsch. I experienced an pleasurable romp together with Jake’s catlike avatar as he escaped the cutches of the rampaging thanator ending with a dunk in a waterfall. The JBL, on the other hand, made this scene look a minor smaller sized and some aspects weren’t conveyed as very well: voices had been hollower and the simply click of the device gun fewer natural. On the other hand, the Bar 2.one was able of some quite restricted bass consequences and it presented far better slam as the thanator smashed versus the trees attempting to get at Jake.   

I listened to a vast range of tunes on the Klipsch — from nation to electronica to hardcore punk — and the soundbar did not waver. It was as snug with the Strokes’ great comeback album, The New Irregular, as it was with the trippy sounds of Maynard James Keenan’s Puscifer. 

Coriky features two previous customers of Fugazi, and the chiming guitar and guttural vocal line of Clean Eliminate evoke recollections of the DC quartet’s Pink Medication document. The Klipsch pulled absent from the JBL listed here, with far better separation of the instruments and much more of a feeling of dynamics when I listened to the interplay concerning the drums and the guitar. I could come to feel Joe Lally’s bass line with my toes. 

The Klipsch was not all about electricity, nevertheless. It was ready to convey the undulating guitar finding of Dolly Parton’s typical Jolene, and the instrument’s snap appeared to appear out of a house considerably broader than physical speaker. Her voice sounded expressive and haunted in the most effective way. The JBL was a disappointment just after that and, though the lyrics had been still easy to understand, her voice did not soar quite as considerably.

Ought to you buy it?

In about 15 years of screening soundbars I’ve nevertheless to appear throughout a product that is in my brain “great.” You can find usually some type of compromise made to healthy a size, cost or both of those. The Klipsch Cinema four hundred just isn’t likely to healthy all people — it truly is large, and it isn’t going to have a laundry listing of features — but for the income it does a whole lot far better than most competition. If you value seem top quality, the Klipsch Cinema four hundred is very well worth the income.