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

Klipsch has built excellent speakers for many years but has never ever been equipped to thoroughly translate its knowledge to soundbars. Whilst last year’s Bar 4x products were a enormous move up from preceding styles, they remained hamstrung by little subwoofers. The new Cinema four hundred retains the last series’ major speaker combined with a new subwoofer that is, rather frankly, humungous. The outcome is a single of the finest Tv set speakers in this price tag range I’ve at any time listened to.


  • Fantastic sonics for both of those movies and songs
  • Good create excellent
  • Putting appears to be like

You should not Like

  • A minimal taller than a lot of soundbars, could obscure your TV’s IR port
  • Only a single HDMI input
  • No Wi-Fi streaming

Regardless of the prodigious quantity of bass on offer you, the Klipsch Cinema four hundred doesn’t sound leaden or muffled. Its pair of horn-loaded tweeters create even bigger, much more open up sound than the JBL Bar 2.1 Deep Bass in the exact same price tag range. The Klipsch gives strong connectivity way too, though its solitary HDMI port and lack of Wi-Fi streaming are limits as opposed to some other soundbars. If you do not want these functions, having said that, the terrific sound and bombproof create of the Klipsch Cinema four hundred need to guarantee its location on your shortlist. 

Design and style and functions

Klipsch Cinema’s 400’s Tractrix horn

Ty Pendlebury/CNET

Klipsch built its title with horn-loaded speakers — technically, a driver amplified by a widening diaphragm — and the know-how is employed in both of those public tackle methods and megaphones. This layout aesthetic usually takes pride of location on the Cinema four hundred. At both finish of the soundbar is a gunmetal-colored Tractrix horn with a 1-inch tweeter within. These exclusive horns flank a pair of three-inch oval, fiber-composite cone woofers concealed driving an attractive, black tweed grill.

As opposed to most soundbars the Cinema four hundred is manufactured of wooden (MDF), and feels genuinely strong. The bar itself is rather wide at 40-inches across and rather tall at 2.8 inches higher. The peak can be an challenge with some TVs, and proved tall ample to block the remote sensor on the Sony XBR-55X950G I employed for testing. I had to increase my remote hand over the sound bar to get the Tv set to sign up instructions. By distinction the shorter JBL 2.1 Bar Deep Bass had no difficulties allowing instructions to pass to the television. Irrespective of whether the Klipsch’s peak is an challenge for you depends on your Tv set and set up, so it truly is some thing to keep in intellect.


Ty Pendlebury/CNET

The wireless subwoofer is also manufactured from wooden and actions 11.87 inches wide by 16.12 inches higher and 16.12 inches deep. It dwarfs the JBL 2.1 Deep Bass’ sub and is a single of the major I’ve viewed on any soundbar, period. The sub helps the procedure achieve a claimed 35Hz frequency response. If you crave even much more/deeper bass, the soundbar does attribute a subwoofer out to hook up a wired sub, which could be employed with or devoid of this a single.

The Cinema 400’s connections involve HDMI-ARC, Bluetooth, and three.5mm analog and optical electronic input. These need to be good for most end users but I would like to see a 2nd common HDMI input as very well. HDMI ARC, which feeds a signal from your Tv set to your outboard gear, can be a minimal finicky relying on your tools. Connecting your set-top rated box instantly to the soundbar by using a 2nd HDMI port is normally a great solution, and a single available on rivals like the JBL 2.1 Deep Bass and Polk Command Bar.

The soundbar gives a Dolby Electronic decoder, not DTS. Lack of the 2nd big surround structure is not a huge offer simply because DTS broadcasts and streams are rather unusual, and in a pinch you could normally set up your resource to output DTS as PCM in its place. The soundbar also gives a selection of sound modes which dialog, surround improvement and “night” processing.


Ty Pendlebury/CNET

The remote is welcoming minimal pointer with command around the sound modes, EQ and input. I observed I would at times want to regulate the sub based on what I was actively playing, and the remote helpfully offers you a direct subwoofer volume command.

How does it sound?

If I had to characterize Klipsch’s sound it would be “thorough and gutsy,” and it truly is no shock the brand name has been adopted by the rock establishment: both of those by enthusiasts of the style and the Rock and Roll Corridor of Fame itself. The Klipsch Cinema four hundred upholds this custom but doesn’t stray into higher-midrange unpleasantness as some other “vivid” speakers can. 

I as opposed the Klipsch to the in the same way priced JBL Bar 2.1 Deep Bass, and observed that the Klipsch sounded ethereal devoid of getting way too ahead when the JBL sounded a minimal much more boxy. This is some thing I remarked upon in my Deep Bass review — when it arrived to songs in unique, the JBL lags driving other individuals in conditions of transparency and slam.

I started out my testing with the lobby scene from the Matrix — wherein our heroes Neo and Trinity journey the lousy guys’ metallic detectors by carrying human truckloads of weaponry, and an around-the-top rated firefight ensues. The Klipsch subwoofer was equipped to go impressively deep, but it didn’t gel as very well with the major bar as the JBL combo. The bass line from this scene never ever arrived to the fore on the Klipsch in the way that it need to. It wasn’t a terrific start, but items rapidly enhanced for Klipsch.

Avatar was following, and the jungles of Pandora became lush and whole of life when listened to as a result of the Klipsch. I had 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, built this scene seem to be a minimal smaller and some specifics weren’t conveyed as very well: voices were being hollower and the click on of the device gun a lot less natural. Even so, the Bar 2.1 was capable of some quite limited bass outcomes and it available better slam as the thanator smashed versus the trees striving to get at Jake.   

I listened to a wide variety of songs on the Klipsch — from region to electronica to hardcore punk — and the soundbar didn’t waver. It was as comfortable with the Strokes’ fantastic comeback album, The New Irregular, as it was with the trippy seems of Maynard James Keenan’s Puscifer. 

Coriky consists of two previous associates of Fugazi, and the chiming guitar and guttural vocal line of Thoroughly clean Eliminate evoke reminiscences of the DC quartet’s Red Medicine document. The Klipsch pulled away from the JBL below, with better separation of the devices and much more of a perception of dynamics when I listened to the interaction involving the drums and the guitar. I could experience Joe Lally’s bass line with my feet. 

The Klipsch wasn’t all about power, although. It was equipped to express the undulating guitar finding of Dolly Parton’s typical Jolene, and the instrument’s snap seemed to occur out of a place significantly broader than actual physical speaker. Her voice sounded expressive and haunted in the finest way. The JBL was a disappointment after that and, when the lyrics were being nonetheless understandable, her voice didn’t soar rather as significantly.

Should you buy it?

In around 15 many years of testing soundbars I’ve still to occur across a design that is in my intellect “excellent.” You can find normally some sort of compromise built to suit a size, price tag or both of those. The Klipsch Cinema four hundred is not likely to suit anyone — it truly is huge, and it doesn’t have a laundry record of functions — but for the funds it does a great deal better than most rivals. If you price sound excellent, the Klipsch Cinema four hundred is very well worthy of the funds.