April 14, 2021


Born to play

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

Klipsch has built superb speakers for decades but has never ever been ready to absolutely translate its abilities to soundbars. Even though very last year’s Bar 4x types were a enormous action up from prior types, they remained hamstrung by small subwoofers. The new Cinema four hundred keeps the very last series’ major speaker blended with a new subwoofer that is, rather frankly, humungous. The end result is a person of the finest Tv speakers in this price tag variety I’ve ever heard.


  • Exceptional sonics for both equally movies and music
  • Excellent make quality
  • Striking seems

You should not Like

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

Even with the prodigious volume of bass on present, the Klipsch Cinema four hundred will not seem leaden or muffled. Its pair of horn-loaded tweeters generate larger, extra open seem than the JBL Bar 2.one Deep Bass in the similar price tag variety. The Klipsch gives stable connectivity way too, whilst its single HDMI port and deficiency of Wi-Fi streaming are restrictions when compared to some other soundbars. If you never will need individuals options, having said that, the wonderful seem and bombproof make of the Klipsch Cinema four hundred really should ensure its position on your shortlist. 

Layout and options

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 technological know-how is used in both equally community address systems and megaphones. This structure aesthetic usually takes pride of position on the Cinema four hundred. At both stop of the soundbar is a gunmetal-colored Tractrix horn with a one-inch tweeter inside. These exclusive horns flank a pair of 3-inch oval, fiber-composite cone woofers hidden guiding an appealing, black tweed grill.

Not like most soundbars the Cinema four hundred is manufactured of wood (MDF), and feels definitely strong. The bar itself is somewhat vast at 40-inches across and rather tall at 2.8 inches substantial. The peak can be an issue with some TVs, and proved tall plenty of to block the distant sensor on the Sony XBR-55X950G I used for screening. I had to increase my distant hand over the seem bar to get the Tv to register commands. By contrast the shorter JBL 2.one Bar Deep Bass had no complications allowing for commands to pass to the television. Regardless of whether the Klipsch’s peak is an issue for you depends on your Tv and set up, so it is really a little something to retain in head.


Ty Pendlebury/CNET

The wi-fi subwoofer is also manufactured from wood and actions eleven.87 inches vast by 16.12 inches substantial and 16.12 inches deep. It dwarfs the JBL 2.one Deep Bass’ sub and is a person of the largest I’ve noticed on any soundbar, interval. The sub assists the technique realize a claimed 35Hz frequency response. If you crave even extra/further bass, the soundbar does characteristic a subwoofer out to link a wired sub, which could be used with or without this a person.

The Cinema 400’s connections include things like HDMI-ARC, Bluetooth, and 3.5mm analog and optical electronic enter. These really should be good for most end users but I might really like to see a next standard HDMI enter as properly. HDMI ARC, which feeds a sign from your Tv to your outboard equipment, can be a minor finicky relying on your machines. Connecting your set-prime box directly to the soundbar by means of a next HDMI port is generally a awesome alternative, and a person accessible on opponents like the JBL 2.one Deep Bass and Polk Command Bar.

The soundbar gives a Dolby Electronic decoder, not DTS. Lack of the next big encompass structure is just not a large deal mainly because DTS broadcasts and streams are somewhat exceptional, and in a pinch you could generally set up your supply to output DTS as PCM in its place. The soundbar also gives a amount of seem modes which dialog, encompass improvement and “night time” processing.


Ty Pendlebury/CNET

The distant is welcoming minor pointer with command in excess of the seem modes, EQ and enter. I identified I would often will need to regulate the sub dependent on what I was taking part in, and the distant helpfully gives you a direct subwoofer quantity command.

How does it seem?

If I had to characterize Klipsch’s seem it would be “comprehensive and gutsy,” and it is really no shock the model has been adopted by the rock institution: both equally by enthusiasts of the genre and the Rock and Roll Corridor of Fame itself. The Klipsch Cinema four hundred upholds this custom but will not stray into upper-midrange unpleasantness as some other “bright” speakers can. 

I when compared the Klipsch to the equally priced JBL Bar 2.one Deep Bass, and identified that the Klipsch sounded ethereal without staying way too ahead though the JBL sounded a minor extra boxy. This is a little something I remarked on in my Deep Bass critique — when it arrived to music in individual, the JBL lags guiding some others in terms of transparency and slam.

I began my screening with the foyer scene from the Matrix — wherein our heroes Neo and Trinity trip the undesirable guys’ metallic detectors by carrying human truckloads of weaponry, and an in excess of-the-prime firefight ensues. The Klipsch subwoofer was ready to go impressively deep, but it failed to gel as properly 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 really should. It was not a wonderful begin, but factors immediately improved for Klipsch.

Avatar was future, and the jungles of Pandora became lush and comprehensive of life when heard as a result of the Klipsch. I had an enjoyable romp along 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 minor smaller and some specifics were not conveyed as properly: voices ended up hollower and the click of the machine gun much less pure. On the other hand, the Bar 2.one was able of some fairly limited bass results and it presented better slam as the thanator smashed versus the trees trying to get at Jake.   

I listened to a vast assortment of music on the Klipsch — from region to electronica to hardcore punk — and the soundbar failed to waver. It was as comfy with the Strokes’ wonderful comeback album, The New Irregular, as it was with the trippy seems of Maynard James Keenan’s Puscifer. 

Coriky involves two former users of Fugazi, and the chiming guitar and guttural vocal line of Clear Destroy evoke memories of the DC quartet’s Pink Drugs report. The Klipsch pulled away from the JBL in this article, with better separation of the devices and extra of a sense of dynamics when I listened to the interplay involving the drums and the guitar. I could truly feel Joe Lally’s bass line with my toes. 

The Klipsch was not all about power, although. It was ready to express the undulating guitar selecting of Dolly Parton’s typical Jolene, and the instrument’s snap seemed to come out of a area considerably wider than bodily speaker. Her voice sounded expressive and haunted in the finest way. The JBL was a disappointment right after that and, though the lyrics ended up however comprehensible, her voice failed to soar rather as considerably.

Need to you purchase it?

In in excess of fifteen yrs of screening soundbars I’ve but to come across a product that is in my head “great.” You can find generally some variety of compromise built to in shape a sizing, price tag or both equally. The Klipsch Cinema four hundred is just not going to in shape all people — it is really large, and it will not have a laundry listing of options — but for the funds it does a whole lot better than most opponents. If you worth seem quality, the Klipsch Cinema four hundred is properly really worth the funds.