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

Klipsch has manufactured outstanding speakers for decades but has in no way been able to fully translate its experience to soundbars. Even though past year’s Bar 4x types were a big step up from preceding models, they remained hamstrung by small subwoofers. The new Cinema four hundred retains the past series’ major speaker combined with a new subwoofer that is, fairly frankly, humungous. The consequence is a person of the best Television set speakers in this price tag array I’ve at any time heard.


  • Exceptional sonics for the two videos and new music
  • Terrific develop excellent
  • Putting appears

You should not Like

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

Even with the prodigious quantity of bass on provide, the Klipsch Cinema four hundred does not sound leaden or muffled. Its pair of horn-loaded tweeters create greater, far more open sound than the JBL Bar 2.one Deep Bass in the identical price tag array. The Klipsch features stable connectivity far too, even though its single HDMI port and absence of Wi-Fi streaming are constraints when compared to some other soundbars. If you will not want those people characteristics, on the other hand, the good sound and bombproof develop of the Klipsch Cinema four hundred should really guarantee its area on your shortlist. 

Design and characteristics


Klipsch Cinema’s 400’s Tractrix horn

Ty Pendlebury/CNET

Klipsch manufactured its title with horn-loaded speakers — technically, a driver amplified by a widening diaphragm — and the technology is applied in the two community tackle units and megaphones. This design and style aesthetic normally takes pride of area on the Cinema four hundred. At both finish of the soundbar is a gunmetal-coloured Tractrix horn with a one-inch tweeter inside. These distinct horns flank a pair of three-inch oval, fiber-composite cone woofers hidden driving an desirable, black tweed grill.

Not like most soundbars the Cinema four hundred is manufactured of wood (MDF), and feels definitely durable. The bar by itself is relatively broad at 40-inches throughout and fairly tall at 2.8 inches superior. The height can be an issue with some TVs, and proved tall sufficient to block the remote sensor on the Sony XBR-55X950G I applied for tests. I experienced to increase my remote hand earlier mentioned the sound bar to get the Television set to register commands. By contrast the shorter JBL 2.one Bar Deep Bass experienced no difficulties letting commands to go to the television. Regardless of whether the Klipsch’s height is an issue for you relies upon on your Television set and installation, so it really is anything to retain in brain.


Ty Pendlebury/CNET

The wi-fi subwoofer is also manufactured from wood and steps eleven.87 inches broad by sixteen.twelve inches superior and sixteen.twelve inches deep. It dwarfs the JBL 2.one Deep Bass’ sub and is a person of the major I’ve noticed on any soundbar, period. The sub aids the program achieve a claimed 35Hz frequency response. If you crave even far more/further bass, the soundbar does aspect a subwoofer out to link a wired sub, which could be applied with or without the need of this a person.

The Cinema 400’s connections contain HDMI-ARC, Bluetooth, and three.5mm analog and optical digital enter. These should really be fantastic for most customers but I would love to see a next conventional HDMI enter as nicely. HDMI ARC, which feeds a signal from your Television set to your outboard equipment, can be a tiny finicky relying on your products. Connecting your set-prime box specifically to the soundbar by using a next HDMI port is always a good selection, and a person readily available on competition like the JBL 2.one Deep Bass and Polk Command Bar.

The soundbar features a Dolby Electronic decoder, not DTS. Deficiency of the next big encompass structure is not a huge deal because DTS broadcasts and streams are relatively scarce, and in a pinch you could always set up your source to output DTS as PCM in its place. The soundbar also features a number of sound modes which dialog, encompass improvement and “night” processing.


Ty Pendlebury/CNET

The remote is welcoming tiny pointer with manage about the sound modes, EQ and enter. I uncovered I would from time to time want to change the sub based on what I was playing, and the remote helpfully offers you a immediate subwoofer quantity manage.

How does it sound?

If I experienced to characterize Klipsch’s sound it would be “specific and gutsy,” and it really is no shock the brand has been adopted by the rock establishment: the two by followers of the style and the Rock and Roll Corridor of Fame by itself. The Klipsch Cinema four hundred upholds this tradition but does not stray into upper-midrange unpleasantness as some other “brilliant” speakers can. 

I when compared the Klipsch to the equally priced JBL Bar 2.one Deep Bass, and uncovered that the Klipsch sounded ethereal without the need of becoming far too forward when the JBL sounded a tiny far more boxy. This is anything I remarked on in my Deep Bass evaluation — when it arrived to new music in certain, the JBL lags driving some others in conditions of transparency and slam.

I started off my tests with the foyer scene from the Matrix — whereby our heroes Neo and Trinity vacation the lousy guys’ steel detectors by carrying human truckloads of weaponry, and an about-the-prime firefight ensues. The Klipsch subwoofer was able to go impressively deep, but it didn’t gel as nicely with the major bar as the JBL combo. The bass line from this scene in no way arrived to the fore on the Klipsch in the way that it should really. It wasn’t a good start off, but things speedily improved for Klipsch.

Avatar was up coming, and the jungles of Pandora became lush and whole of everyday living when heard via the Klipsch. I experienced an pleasing romp alongside 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, manufactured this scene seem a tiny scaled-down and some aspects weren’t conveyed as nicely: voices were being hollower and the click on of the machine gun a lot less organic. Having said that, the Bar 2.one was capable of some rather limited bass results and it offered improved slam as the thanator smashed towards the trees trying to get at Jake.   

I listened to a broad variety of new music on the Klipsch — from place to electronica to hardcore punk — and the soundbar didn’t waver. It was as snug with the Strokes’ great comeback album, The New Abnormal, as it was with the trippy sounds of Maynard James Keenan’s Puscifer. 

Coriky features two previous members of Fugazi, and the chiming guitar and guttural vocal line of Thoroughly clean Destroy evoke memories of the DC quartet’s Crimson Medication file. The Klipsch pulled away from the JBL here, with improved separation of the devices and far more of a sense of dynamics when I listened to the interaction involving the drums and the guitar. I could feel Joe Lally’s bass line with my ft. 

The Klipsch wasn’t all about ability, although. It was able to express the undulating guitar selecting of Dolly Parton’s traditional Jolene, and the instrument’s snap seemed to come out of a house much wider than bodily speaker. Her voice sounded expressive and haunted in the best way. The JBL was a disappointment soon after that and, when the lyrics were being still comprehensible, her voice didn’t soar fairly as much.

Ought to you invest in it?

In about 15 decades of tests soundbars I’ve nevertheless to come throughout a product that is in my brain “perfect.” There is always some sort of compromise manufactured to match a measurement, price tag or the two. The Klipsch Cinema four hundred is not going to match every person — it really is huge, and it does not have a laundry listing of characteristics — but for the funds it does a great deal improved than most competition. If you benefit sound excellent, the Klipsch Cinema four hundred is nicely worth the funds.