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I tried a few soundbars from Vizio, Yamaha, Bose, Sonos Samsung, and LG before deciding to roll the dice on the Klipsch based on reviews rather than experiencing the actual sound. I had heard that the Klipsch Cinema 400 has great bass for the price since it uses the largest (8") subwoofer in its price class and Klipsch is generally known for good clarity in the upper midrange. I am glad I did, because the many of the other brands I tried in the same price all had severely underwhelming bass and much muddier upper mids and treble.
Vizio V and M series 2.1 and 5.1 are the closest to this in price and are actual a lot cheaper, so they're the main comparison. The Klipsch Cinema 400 blows the Vizios out of the water. Bass on the Vizios were just nonexistent. I'm not really a basshead myself and can live with weak bass, but the mids on both the Vizio M and V series just sounded so muddy and tight, like cheap $10 kids over-head headphones. Yes you can get the Vizio V51 cheaper than this and it will have surround and a center channel, but the clarity and soundstage makes these way more enjoyable for music and will likely sound better with movies despite only being stereo.
Compared to the Yamaha ATS-2090, this still had better clarity in the mids and uppers and much better bass due to the larger subwoofer. The Bose Solo Soundbar came close to the Klipsch in mids and uppers but couldn't match the bass without the separate subwoofer. Same with the Sonos Arc, LG SN7R 35" 5.1.2, and Samsung HWQ67CT 7.1. However, the surround systems did have much better soundstage due to having 5 or 7 speakers and Dolby Atmos support.
In conclusion, I would recommend this over everything else in its price range (under $200). The sound is much better than Vizio sets even though Vizio might include surround speakers. The Klipsch has much better sound for listening to music. The only downside is that it doesn't have surround, but the better sound quality is the tradeoff you get vs a Vizio 5.1.
I have quite a bit of white noise in my room (around 60db avg) so I've tended to struggle with hearing dialogue in movies even with a Vizio 5.1 surround sound system. The music and sound effects would always come through though but I'd have to increase the volume to hear dialog. This resulted in me using subtitles for all media so as to not wake my family from increasing the volume to 75% or so just to hear the characters talking.
Having said that I recently decided to replace my old Vizio system and go for this new Klipsch 400 soundbar w/ subwoofer and I'm genuinely glad that I did.
The end of my bed is around 10ft from the Klipsch soundbar which is placed directly below my 70" tv. I placed the wireless subwoofer in the corner of the room about 15 ft away from the soundbar. The installation process was straightforward. I didn't even have to pair the subwoofer with the soundbar. For audio input I used hdmi arc.
My tv recognized the soundbar instantly and started playing audio through the soundbar. There's minimal lag from pressing the volume change button on my fire stick or tv remote and the resulting audio increase/decrease on the soundbar. The sound wasn't tinny at all and after listening to an NPR tiny desk recording I was impressed with the warm vocals which were pronounced with the dialogue mode. I then watched Total Recall and the immersion from the subwoofer provided an excellent viewing and listening experience. I can only turn the subwoofer up to the mid-level as it's too strong at the higher levels in my 300sq ft bedroom.
The simulated surround mode is just ok as I didn't really notice a difference in various spots around the room.
One minor annoyance is that you cannot see whether the dialog or surround is enabled as it's displayed on the top of the soundbar.
Overall I'm enjoying this soundbar. Will update the review if it stops working.
So I purchased this bar and the Cinema 600. Maybe it's me but I couldn't justify the price difference and sent the 600 back. This bar sounds great, the sub-woofer is small, visually appealing and powerful. When connected with HDMI ARC the bar integrates flawlessly with the TV. Of course don't expect this bar to be a direct replacement of a full HT system but it will greatly increase your sound experience with your TV, even to listen some music. Overall a great Sound Bar.
I got this Klipsch 400 on sale at nearly half price. At that price it's a decent value. After experiencing it, I would not pay full price for it.
I got this Klipsch 400 to replace a VIZIO S4251W-B4B that died on me. I got the Vizio 5 years ago in refurbished condition. This Klipsch is not nearly as good unfortunately. I have yet to find a better or equal soundbar for any amount of money tbh. If you can find one of those Vizios, nab it. They clarity of the high frequencies and the stereo image it produces are unmatched.
On to the Klipsch.
For an 8-inch subwoofer, it's pretty muddy and imprecise. The subwoofer level is also not mixed well with the sound bar, it's default level is far too loud.
The stereo image is very poor without using the surround sound setting, but the surround setting has its own caveats that I'll get too. You get a lot of directionality from the speakers in the sound bar. Like I can tell the sound is coming from those speakers and they are dare I say, a bit tinny at first listen. The surround setting helps with this but does not eliminate it.
Getting good sound.
For listening to music I found that the sub needs to be near the lowest volume and surround needs to be on to get and appropriate stereo image and representation of high frequencies.
Pick a song you are very familiar with and start with the above settings and a reasonable volume. Then turn the sub all the way down and mix it back in to your ears taste.
For dialogue, surround cannot be on. The way surround setting seems to work is by compressing/boosting the wider areas of the stereo image. When listening to dialogue this has the effect of also boosting up the background noise. I guess this is why they add a separate dialogue setting. I found the dialogue setting unnecessary with the appropriate subwoofer level and a bit unatural sounding tbh.
Also for dialogue I found that the lower subwoofer setting for music was not appropriate and I had to to turn it up a bit.
In the end it seems like I'll have to flip settings back and forth quite a bit between music, games and TV but it's workable, and for half price a decent value.
The gymnastics I had to go through to get this thing to sound good were troubling.
It is hard to know where to start, this system is " SECOND TO NONE " I have now tried (5) different soundbar systems, and there is NOTHING on the market as good as this... DO NOT BOTHER buying anything else. The sound is OUTRAGEOUS, BEYOND BELIEF !!! Thank You so much, and why did I bother buying all the others ??? Happy Holidays all. Jan H. Calabasas, Calif. U.S.A.
Only using it for a few weeks now but so far its great for it being their entry level model. Sounds fantastic, surround sound works good for just a single bar and real wood looks so much better than plastic.
** update 10-06-21, i've had this almost a year now and i'm even more impressed with it now. The biggest thing is it just works, and it works perfectly every time. Just like how AirPods are a better experience than most other earbuds (with iphones) . ITs the pefect sound bar for under $300
** update 12-2-21, This thing has been rock solid, 4 stars to 5