Klipsch Cinema 400 review: Stylish soundbar with sophisticated performance

Klipsch has designed outstanding speakers for decades but has in no way been able to

Klipsch has designed outstanding speakers for decades but has in no way been able to completely translate its expertise to soundbars. While previous year’s Bar 4x types were a substantial step up from prior designs, they remained hamstrung by little subwoofers. The new Cinema 400 keeps the previous series’ major speaker blended with a new subwoofer that is, fairly frankly, humungous. The consequence is one particular of the best Tv speakers in this value vary I’ve at any time heard.


  • Outstanding sonics for each motion pictures and new music
  • Great establish excellent
  • Hanging looks

Do not Like

  • A very little taller than numerous soundbars, could obscure your TV’s IR port
  • Only one particular HDMI input
  • No Wi-Fi streaming

Even with the prodigious amount of bass on offer you, the Klipsch Cinema 400 won’t sound leaden or muffled. Its pair of horn-loaded tweeters make more substantial, more open up sound than the JBL Bar two.1 Deep Bass in the very same value vary. The Klipsch presents solid connectivity too, despite the fact that its single HDMI port and lack of Wi-Fi streaming are constraints in contrast to some other soundbars. If you do not need to have people capabilities, having said that, the excellent sound and bombproof establish of the Klipsch Cinema 400 should really be certain its location on your shortlist. 

Layout and capabilities

Klipsch Cinema’s 400’s Tractrix horn

Ty Pendlebury/CNET

Klipsch designed its title with horn-loaded speakers — technically, a driver amplified by a widening diaphragm — and the technology is utilized in each community address systems and megaphones. This layout aesthetic can take pleasure of location on the Cinema 400. At either finish of the soundbar is a gunmetal-colored Tractrix horn with a 1-inch tweeter inside of. These distinctive horns flank a pair of 3-inch oval, fiber-composite cone woofers concealed guiding an desirable, black tweed grill.

In contrast to most soundbars the Cinema 400 is built of wood (MDF), and feels seriously durable. The bar by itself is fairly broad at 40-inches throughout and fairly tall at two.8 inches high. The peak can be an concern with some TVs, and proved tall more than enough to block the remote sensor on the Sony XBR-55X950G I utilized for tests. I experienced to raise my remote hand higher than the sound bar to get the Tv to sign-up commands. By distinction the shorter JBL two.1 Bar Deep Bass experienced no troubles enabling commands to pass to the television. No matter whether the Klipsch’s peak is an concern for you is dependent on your Tv and set up, so it can be some thing to continue to keep in intellect.


Ty Pendlebury/CNET

The wi-fi subwoofer is also built from wood and measures eleven.87 inches broad by sixteen.twelve inches high and sixteen.twelve inches deep. It dwarfs the JBL two.1 Deep Bass’ sub and is one particular of the greatest I’ve observed on any soundbar, interval. The sub can help the process attain a claimed 35Hz frequency reaction. If you crave even more/further bass, the soundbar does function a subwoofer out to connect a wired sub, which could be utilized with or without the need of this one particular.

The Cinema 400’s connections involve HDMI-ARC, Bluetooth, and 3.5mm analog and optical digital input. These should really be great for most consumers but I’d enjoy to see a second conventional HDMI input as perfectly. HDMI ARC, which feeds a sign from your Tv to your outboard gear, can be a very little finicky dependent on your tools. Connecting your established-best box specifically to the soundbar via a second HDMI port is usually a good choice, and one particular offered on opponents like the JBL two.1 Deep Bass and Polk Command Bar.

The soundbar presents a Dolby Electronic decoder, not DTS. Deficiency of the second significant encompass structure is not a big offer mainly because DTS broadcasts and streams are fairly exceptional, and in a pinch you could usually established up your resource to output DTS as PCM as an alternative. The soundbar also presents a variety of sound modes which dialog, encompass improvement and “night” processing.


Ty Pendlebury/CNET

The remote is pleasant very little pointer with command around the sound modes, EQ and input. I discovered I would occasionally need to have to alter the sub based on what I was enjoying, and the remote helpfully offers you a direct subwoofer quantity command.

How does it sound?

If I experienced to characterize Klipsch’s sound it would be “specific and gutsy,” and it can be no surprise the brand name has been adopted by the rock establishment: each by fans of the genre and the Rock and Roll Corridor of Fame by itself. The Klipsch Cinema 400 upholds this custom but won’t stray into upper-midrange unpleasantness as some other “dazzling” speakers can. 

I in contrast the Klipsch to the similarly priced JBL Bar two.1 Deep Bass, and discovered that the Klipsch sounded airy without the need of becoming too ahead although the JBL sounded a very little more boxy. This is some thing I remarked on in my Deep Bass overview — when it came to new music in individual, the JBL lags guiding other people in conditions of transparency and slam.

I begun my tests with the foyer scene from the Matrix — whereby our heroes Neo and Trinity journey the poor guys’ steel detectors by carrying human truckloads of weaponry, and an around-the-best firefight ensues. The Klipsch subwoofer was able to go impressively deep, but it didn’t gel as perfectly with the major bar as the JBL combo. The bass line from this scene in no way came to the fore on the Klipsch in the way that it should really. It wasn’t a excellent start off, but items promptly improved for Klipsch.

Avatar was future, and the jungles of Pandora became lush and comprehensive of daily life when heard by way of the Klipsch. I experienced an pleasurable 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, designed this scene seem to be a very little scaled-down and some details were not conveyed as perfectly: voices have been hollower and the simply click of the device gun a lot less normal. Having said that, the Bar two.1 was capable of some rather limited bass effects and it offered superior slam as the thanator smashed in opposition to the trees attempting to get at Jake.   

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

Coriky consists of two previous members of Fugazi, and the chiming guitar and guttural vocal line of Cleanse Kill evoke memories of the DC quartet’s Pink Medication file. The Klipsch pulled away from the JBL right here, with superior separation of the devices and more of a perception of dynamics when I listened to the interplay involving the drums and the guitar. I could experience Joe Lally’s bass line with my ft. 

The Klipsch wasn’t all about electrical power, even though. It was able to express the undulating guitar buying of Dolly Parton’s traditional Jolene, and the instrument’s snap appeared to appear out of a area substantially broader than bodily speaker. Her voice sounded expressive and haunted in the best way. The JBL was a disappointment soon after that and, although the lyrics have been even now comprehensible, her voice didn’t soar fairly as substantially.

Really should you acquire it?

In around fifteen many years of tests soundbars I’ve however to appear throughout a product that is in my intellect “best.” You can find usually some sort of compromise designed to fit a measurement, value or each. The Klipsch Cinema 400 is not going to fit all people — it can be big, and it won’t have a laundry listing of capabilities — but for the revenue it does a good deal superior than most opponents. If you price sound excellent, the Klipsch Cinema 400 is perfectly really worth the revenue.