Klipsch Bar 48 Review
The BAR 48 launched by Klipsch is their latest Soundbar system. In terms of market trends, with the popularity of 4K TVs, it is much cheaper to buy a large-size TV now than in previous years. After satisfying the improvement in the image, what is the next step? Of course, no longer use the cheap speakers built into the TV. Let Klipsch BAR 48 complement the last piece of your AV system.
Klipsch currently launches two Soundbars, one is BAR 40, and the other is BAR 48 to be introduced this time. The basic technology of the two is the same. The difference is that the monomer’s number and size in BAR 48 are more abundant than BAR 40, which is suitable for feeling the shock of movie sound effects in a larger listening space.
Klipsch Bar 48 vs Klipsch Bar 40
Klipsch currently has two Soundbar products, including BAR 40 and BAR 48. What is the difference? The model number refers to the overall length. BAR 40 is 40 inches, and BAR 48 is 48 inches. The difference between the two is 8 inches. Don’t underestimate the 8 inches, which makes BAR 48 a 3.1 channel configuration, while BAR 40 only has 2.1 channels.
In addition, the wireless subwoofer of the BAR 48 is an 8-inch single unit, and the wireless subwoofer of the BAR 40 is only 6.5 inches. Therefore, in terms of the overall sound performance, the BAR 48 should be much better.
The TweeterSpeaking of the Soundbar system launched by Klipsch in the United States, we must first mention their unique horn tweeter design. On both sides of the BAR 48 box, we can see the unique Tractrix Horn tweeter specially configured by Klipsch. The interior of the tweeter unit is made of a soft diaphragm, and the outside of the unit is equipped with Tractrix Horn technology.
The opening angle (90° x 90°) of the horn calculated by Klipsch can ensure the best sound wave diffusion angle and sound efficiency when the tweeter is sounding. This horn tweeter also has Klipsch’s own Linear Travel Suspension technology. The unique Kapton material is used as the single frame in the single body, lighter in weight, more durable, and reduces the tweeter’s vibration and noise.
BAR 48 is a 3.1-channel configuration. BAR 48 has three trebles and four midranges, two of which are located on the left and right. That is a 1-inch silk soft dome tweeter with Klipsch’s Tractrix horn. It has more excellent detail expression and energy projection than ordinary tweeters. The two horn tweeters are equipped with a 3-inch oval composite fiber midrange unit to form the left and right sound channels.
The third tweeter is located in the center and is also equipped with a Tractrix horn. An oval composite fiber midrange on the left and right sides to form an MTM-style central soundtrack. In addition, two passive radiating woofers are sandwiched between the three channels to enhance mid- and low-frequency performance.
In the critical mid-frequency part, four 76.2mm mid-bass monomers, the number of monomers is precisely twice that of the BAR 40. The four monomers also sound forward, and the diaphragm is made of composite fiber. At the same time, to match the thin box of BAR 48, Klipsch deliberately made the diaphragm into an elliptical shape, which is conducive to the limited height of the box and maintains sufficient sound area of the diaphragm.
BAR 48 also has a very intimate design, that is, the active subwoofer configured by Klipsch for it is a wireless transmission design. What are the benefits of using a wireless transmission connection? In addition to making your speaker placement more flexible, it can also help you find a place in the space where the low-frequency standing wave affects the least.
For example, suppose your listening space is too large, and you want to enhance the overall volume of the low frequency moderately. In that case, it is recommended that you try to place the wireless subwoofer in the corner of your home. These are the positioning advantages that can be obtained by using wireless connection technology for the speaker.
The size of the subwoofer diaphragm used in BAR 48 is 203mm, which is much larger than the 165mm diaphragm of its own BAR 40, and the lowest extension of the low frequency can reach 40Hz. I feel that the overall low-frequency performance of BAR 48 is more relaxed this time.
With the advantage of the subwoofer monomer facing downwards, the low-frequency diffusion is quite natural. In addition, BAR 48 itself also has a set of subwoofer output. If your space is really big enough and you want to set up a set of “dual active subwoofers” to feel the power of low frequency, BAR 48 can achieve your desire.
Convenient Wireless Connection Feature
Do you use a wireless connection? I can’t guarantee the stability of the early wireless technology. However, in recent years, wireless products are much better than previous generations regarding connection methods and stability. With BAR 48, I felt that Klipsch used wireless technology to significantly reduce the difficulty of connection to bring the integrated audio into the home.
Take this BAR 48 as an example. It is straightforward to connect the soundbar to the subwoofer. Just press the pairing button behind the subwoofer, and you will see a flashing blue light, indicating that the subwoofer is currently paired. At this time, press the pairing button of BAR 48 again to complete the connection automatically.
In this test, I also used Surround 3 active surround speakers as a match. Surround 3 is a set of two-channel wireless speakers. Because it is specially used with BAR 48, it can only accept wireless signals, so there are no other input terminals except for power input. The primary function of Surround 3 is to allow BAR 48, which was initially 3.1-channel, to be easily expanded to 5.1-channel without connecting additional speaker cables, eliminating the trouble of wiring.
Also adopts a wireless design, Surround 3 includes a USB wireless receiver. Also, press the pairing button to complete the connection. Surround 3 surround speakers also have a left and right channel switching function on the back. It does not take up space in use, and the surround effect is also very significant. If you like a more substantial sound field experience, you can purchase Surround 3, which can indeed be used as a future upgrade.
BAR 48 comes with a remote control, which can turn on/off the power, switch the source, adjust the overall volume, adjust the subwoofer’s volume, switch the listening mode, and turn on/off the SUR function at any time. It is pretty convenient to use.
SUR is the surround function of BAR 48. When SUR is turned on, the Surround 3 surround speakers at the rear will sound, and the sound effect is 5.1 channels. If you turn off SUR, Surround 3 will be turned off, and the sound effect will automatically change to 3.1 channels.
After properly adjusting the volume of the surround speakers, I found that the sound field will extend backward when the SUR is turned on. Although the surround and movement of the sound effects are not very obvious compared to the general multi-piece theater speakers, the sense of space will be more open. , It sounds more relaxed. It can be seen that Surround 3 is still helpful to the overall sense of hearing.
Connections and Other Features
BAR 48 mainly provides three connection methods. The first one is through the ARC channel return technology, which is connected with the HDMI of the TV, which must also support the ARC function. At this time, as long as the ARC function in the TV is turned on, the sound from the TV can be sent back to BAR 48 for decoding. That is very convenient when used with the online video streaming platform that most people currently use.
If your TV does not have an HDMI output, you can pass the primary optical digital output to BAR 48 for decoding.
The third is the Bluetooth wireless transmission function, which can work after pairing with a mobile phone or tablet.
BAR 48 supports two mainstream audio effects, Dolby Digital and Dolby Digital Plus. These two formats are also currently available on Netflix. Klipsch also provides various listening modes through BAR 48’s internal DSP computing technology, including “night mode” and “dialogure mode.”
There is also the “Surround Mode,” which is calculated by the DSP algorithm and simulation. When this mode is turned on, it can show a more realistic sense of space, including the relatively complex “sound field height”, which can be reproduced wonderfully through this mode.
In terms of sound performance, I thought that the BAR 48, which uses the same single technology as the BAR 40, would look similar in terms of auditory performance. But in a listening space of the same size and playing the same source, I must say that with the number and size of the monomers being significantly upgraded, the BAR 48 can show the openness of the sound field, the sound density, and, The degree of slack in the low and mid frequencies is much better than I thought.
I found that the advantages of BAR 48 are thick enough and one of its advantages. As long as the scenes are not too complicated, or the bursting fragments with sudden sound pressure, I can hear the clear and organized sound effects through BAR 48, making the movie atmosphere richer.
Through BAR 48, I heard many tiny sound details matched with the picture so that the plot and atmosphere that the director wants to express can be conveyed more clearly, and it also makes the viewer more enjoyable. I think if it were not for the excellent projection ability of the Tractrix horn, the details would not be so rich, the thickness would not be so ideal, and the viewing pleasure would not be so intense.
In terms of low-frequency performance, BAR 48 also gave me a feeling of exceptional balance and sufficient volume. This time Klipsch has made a complete upgrade for BAR 48 in terms of the woofer size. But the low frequency also has excellent speed and control. , The whole still maintains a good connection with the upper mid-low frequency.
Even with a large-size TV, BAR 48 is still very good at creating large-scale sound field details, making the movie’s shocking sound effects fully worthy of large-size TVs, visually presenting an enormous sense of scale. This time with a more significant subwoofer blessing, the ability to shape the sense of space has been further improved.
In addition, it is equipped with a surround speaker (Surround 3). Compared with the last time listening to BAR 40 alone, the sound field can be fully extended backward, creating a tighter sound field surrounding the listener. I can clearly hear the relatively continuous movement of the sound field before and after. At the same time, the sound field emits intense environmental sound effects. With the help of surround speakers, both the sound positioning and the details are much better than the previous simulation by soundbar alone.
In summary, Klipsch’s newly launched BAR 48 is a work that has improved its sound performance after its own BAR 40. If you always feel that the soundbar on the market is too subtle in the sound processing and prefer to be straightforward, you might also try BAR 48 next time to re-experience the shock of movie sound effects through the sound field created by it.