Soundbars are by far the easiest way to get better audio from your TV, whether it’s for movies, TV shows, or the big game. And even though there are more soundbars available than ever before, it’s great to see a brand like Klipsch, known for its top-quality speakers, give us some new premium options at very accessible prices. Klipsch’s new $299 Bar 40, and $499 Bar 48 soundbars each come with their own wireless subwoofer and have enclosures made of real wood, which Klipsch claims helps them deliver better sound quality.
Though there are differences between the two models, they share a few features in common:
- Bluetooth connections for streaming from a mobile device
- Included wall-mount templates
- A dedicated remote control for adjusting the volume of the soundbar and the subwoofer independently, plus access to various surround modes like dialog enhancement and night mode. On the Bar 48, it’s a backlit unit
- The ability to add a second subwoofer, and/or replace the existing wireless unit with another Klipsch wireless sub
- A short, 2.8-inch height for the main soundbar, which makes placement below a TV much easier, whether it’s wall-mounted or sitting atop a surface
- HDMI-ARC, 3.5mm analog, and optical connections that should work with a majority of TVs on the market
The Bar 40 is a 2.1 system measuring 40 inches wide, with a 6.5-inch subwoofer. The soundbar has twin tweeters and woofers, which should deliver decent if not heart-stopping sound, even without the included subwoofer. It’s Dolby Digital and Dolby Digital Plus ready.
The Bar 48 is a bigger, more capable system. It’s 48-inches wide and packs a 3.1 setup in its soundbar cabinet, using three tweeters and four woofers, along with a dedicated center channel. The Bar 48’s wireless subwoofer is larger too, at 8-inches, which should give this system a lot more low-end thump for those movies that have really dynamic soundtracks.
It’s also expandable — in addition to the optional second subwoofer, you can add a pair of powered, wireless Surround 3 rear channel speakers ($249/pair) for a true 5.1 setup. The Bar 48 is compatible with Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS, and DTS-HD formats, some of which really benefit from the optional rear channel speakers. Intriguingly, it’s also DTS Virtual:X-ready, with the ability to add height to the surround experience via a USB firmware update.
How will these new soundbars compare to the models we’ve already selected as our top picks? You’ll have to check back with us once we’ve had a chance to put them through their paces. But if you can’t wait, you can buy both the Bar 40 and Bar 48 right now from Best Buy.
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