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Klipsch Cinema 600 Sound bar Review
Now the Klipsch Cinema 600 soundbar is a three dot one sound bar system. It comes complete with a 10 inch wireless subwoofer, which if that sounds large, you’re not alone because it’s rather uncommon to get a 10 inch wireless sub with a soundbar.
Now this is not an Atmos enabled sound bar though those are coming. So you’re not going to find any upward firing or side mounted speakers here. The cinema 600 bar itself features three discreet loudspeakers across the front; it utilises three one inch horn loaded tweeters, a total Klipsch staple and a very iconic look for them as well as for three inch mid range drivers.
Now, the outer tweeters are visible but the rest of the drivers fall behind the rather thick black grille cloth which is not removable, but the ends are finished in a very nice black ash wood. On the right side you’re going to find the speaker’s physical controls as well as its wireless expansion ports.
It has four connection options: the cinema 600 has an HDMI port which supports eaRC. It also has support for Bluetooth. There is an analogue input and digital audio input as well as an extra subwoofer out, you know if you need more bass. There is no mistaking the cinema 600 for anything other than a Klipsch loudspeaker.
It is rather understated not to mention incredibly narrow coming in at around three inches, but it’s not the most stylish speaker the brand has ever designed, however the look still works for me. It hasn’t enough visual interest that it stands out among the competition while not being too distracting from what it is that you’re watching or listening to.
The included subwoofer is big, it actually reminds me of some of Klipsch’s other reference series subwoofers only. It is a downward firing design and utilises a rectangular slot type port opposed to the round ones you’re probably used to seeing. The fit and finish, not to mention build quality are all excellent, though there are no manual or physical controls on the back, meaning the subwoofer is only compatible with the soundbar at least for now.
Setting up the cinema 600 is easy. Simply connect the bar to your television via the HDMI output that supports eaRC. Plug both the bar and the subwoofer into a power outlet and you are done, seriously that that’s all that’s required. You can adjust some settings via the remote or maybe using the Klipsch Connect app but for the most part, the cinema six hundreds out of the box or default settings are going to work for the vast majority of users.
And while the cinema 600 is incredibly easy to set up, it is basically a set it and forget it type system, you’re still going to want to adhere to proper hi fi and home theatre setup techniques to get the most out of it and this is true of the subwoofer. It has a 30 foot range so there shouldn’t be any obstacles to you being able to place the subwoofer in your room where it sounds best. You’re going to want to do this to make sure that the entire experience is able to shine.
A quick word on the app,it’s not finished. The Klipsch Connect app is very much a work in progress and on the website, they are showing some functionality that as of this review was not available to me. Now I have reached out to Klipsch and they have assured me that updates are coming but as of right now it is just a work in progress.
Thankfully the included remote is good. It’s motion activated, fully backlit and you can adjust the sound bar to your liking via the remote. Now there is no text readout or visual display on the sound bar itself. It uses lights and a series of dots which takes some getting used to. And you can add wireless surround speakers to the cinema 600 system but they are not included.
Now they will offer a package in the future that includes the surrounds but for now they’re all add ons and they’re gonna set you back around 250 bucks. Still, you can add them at any time and it’s pretty simple. Just don’t forget to plug in the wireless transmitter. We enjoyed the cinema 600 series with and without its surround sound speakers during our review period where we watched a lot of television and movies, not to mention listen to a ton of music.
Straight away what I can tell you about what separates the Klipsch 600 from other loudspeakers is its tone, the cinema 600 sounds like it was actually designed by human beings with ears as opposed to computers that do everything by the numbers. And as a result, it has a soul and sounds like a proper speaker.
A lot of soundbars can come off as lean or forward sounding due to their reliance on smaller drivers, not to mention the subwoofer to augment their bottom end, and as a result they have a frequency response that’s a little bit more of like a small curve. Bass is definitely hot and ripe, the mid range a little bit lean and treble is forward if not enhanced, and some of you may like this.
It actually has real palpable mid range weight and as a result, there are aspects of the cinema six hundreds performance when listening to music that sound more like you’re listening to a pair of small bookshelf loudspeakers from Klipsch rather than a soundbar, though, admittedly, I did like the sound of two channel music playback through the sound bar in its surround mode, which engages that centre speakers.
I just felt that the sound on a whole was just fuller and richer compared to using it strictly as a two channel soundbar. Now you can dial in or shall I say dial up the presence of the centre speaker in the cinema bar itself but I’m not recommending that you do this unless you’re listening late at night at low volumes, or maybe you are a bit hard of hearing because increasing the presence of the centre speaker inside the cinema 600 does skew its otherwise awesome coherence far more towards that lean side of the spectrum.
However out of the box and in its surround mode, the Klipsch cinema 600 with music sounds like a proper pair of speakers complete with a pretty decent soundstage with good delineation and spaciousness compared to the more directional sound you may find with sound bars in and around this price point.
With respect to movies, with or without the optional surrounds, the cinema 600 system has all of the dynamic punchy lifelike sound that Klipsch is known for and while this is a smaller soundbar system, it sounds huge, and the subwoofer is incredible. It’s not just a good subwoofer for like a soundbar system, no it’s a good subwoofer period. It has all of the depth, detailed texture and attack that you could want everything from kick drums to car explosions sound lifelike and organic as opposed to recreating dialogue.
Even amidst chaotic scenes like in Michael Bay’s six underground, it is clear and present, but more than that, it has a real weight to it, especially in comparison to other sound bars in and around this price point. And the high frequencies are extended and airy; they’re not at all digital or brittle, the way they can sound through other sound bars. And while this isn’t a true five dot one or Atmos surround sound system on its own, it still manages to surround you.
Now you can easily add the optional surround sound speakers to complete the effect, but you should know that as a three dot one system, it is huge fun. And if you are in a smaller space or just don’t like the idea of a lot of equipment or speakers surrounding you, you should know that the cinema 600 on its own, gets the job done.
When you consider its asking price, this really is the first sub $500 soundbar that I absolutely love for both music and movies full stop. That being said, there are a few things that I took notice of and its day to day livability, but because the subwoofer has such great output, you may be tempted to turn it up too loud or if you place it in the wrong spot in your room, it may be overpowering.
So if you notice that the bass is bloated or overwhelming, know that a setting may need adjusting or you may need to place the subwoofers somewhere else in your room. I can’t wait for the app to be finished as I just do not like the user interface on the cinema 600 soundbar. That dock based system just doesn’t work for me.
Thankfully, once you set up the system, the only thing you’re really going to be adjusting is volume. Just know that your user experience is probably going to improve dramatically when the app is fully completed. The input output panel on the Klipsch soundbar is very deeply recessed and all of the inputs are on one side of that recessed panel and so not all cables are going to fit or you may find that the fit becomes tight.
This soundbar has all the necessary cables to get up and running and this includes an HDMI cable, all of which do fit and work. But if you have cables existing in your system like I do, you may find that those cables become a little bit tight with respect to fit. Also I wish Klipsch would have offered another finish for the 600 cinema soundbar than just black on black a walnut and grey Heather grill cloth like what they do on the fives would have been awesome.
As far as comparisons go let’s just get into it should you get the fives or the cinema 600 system. Now the fives are more expensive but you do get a few more connection options as a result, specifically, you get a built in phono preamp which doesn’t suck. You still get HDMI with eaRC not to mention a whole other finish option, but my criticisms of the five still stand. And then in some rooms, you may not need a subwoofer but on a whole, this is a speaker that is more bass heavy and as a result sounds darker in direct comparison to the cinema 600 speaker.
So let me address the problem, this way. If you are a music first enthusiast, maybe you already have an extensive vinyl collection, you’re looking for a speaker to just augment your television or movie watching experience, then I say go with the fives. But if you are a home theatre enthusiast, or a gamer that also wants to be able to enjoy music at a high level from time to time, then get the Klipsch cinema 600 soundbar system.
In truth, I actually liked the tonality of this system compared to the fives performance out of the box. And I also liked the flexibility of this sound bar especially if I added the optional surrounds as it enabled me to have a full Dolby Surround Sound experience. In fact, the only thing that this won’t do in direct comparison to the fives is give you that true stereo experience that compared to other sound bars in its class like the definitive technology slim bar three dot one system.
I actually prefer the 600 system to that one as I found that the daf tech had more of that smile curve where it was very rich in the bass, incredibly lean in the mid range and very hot on the top end and I just preferred the more linear response of the Klipsch here.
KLIPSCH CINEMA 600 VS LG SN11RG SOUND BAR
Compared to our other soundbar; the. LG SN11RG, the LG does a better job at throwing a full surround sound experience especially with Atmos soundtracks and when you use it’s wireless surrounds, but on a whole once again, I preferred the voicing of the Klipsch to that of the LG.
KLIPSCH CINEMA 600 VS SENNHEISER AMBEO SOUND BAR
Without question the ambeo is the better sound bar, it just is, it’s better in every way. However, I think I actually prefer the tonality of the cinema 600 system and that it just feels or sounds a little bit more organic and real to me, compared to the crystalline quality of the ambeo and I know that some of you disagree with me on this because you think the ambeo is the greatest soundbar ever made, or that we’ve heard today and I’m not arguing that fact. It’s just tonally, there’s something about the cinema 600, that feels right.
It really is one of the better soundbar solutions for both music and movies at its price or really any price. It comes across sounding a lot more like a traditional pair of loudspeakers than it does a soundbar and I am including its two channel performance in that statement. I especially love its natural and full bodied mid range and the included wireless sub is just exceptional. So for a sub $500 system, the Klipsch cinema 600 is a system that is really hard not to fall in love with.
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