Best Budget Soundbar Review- Under $200, $300

Klipsch Audio Technologies is an American sound surround system manufacturing company which offers premium products at affordable price with latest built-in audio technologies for a better entertainment experience. We will compare various sound bar products with pros and cons and creating a wholesome buyer guide.

Best Budget Soundbar Reviews 2021

To begin with, lets first differentiate between soundbar and home theatre system. We see televisions get slimmer to give more vivid visual experience at a cost of cutting quality built-in speakers. Sound bars are a compact and simple solution to enhance the audio experience.

Klipsch Soundbar Reviews 2021- 20.

Here we will elaborate pros and cons of three sound bars by Klipsch.

 

Klipsch Reference RSB-11 Soundbar + Wireless Subwoofers

Kiipsch-RSB-11 soundbar review

This sound bar is an upgrade to the RSB-6 in which Klipsch has tried to enhance the sound experience outputs which was flawed in the RSB-6. The RSB-11 is 44 inches wide sound bar which makes it a perfect match for TVs 50 inches or higher. The sound bar promises to deliver crisp high sounds and a more dynamic bass through its 8-inch subwoofers with side-firing drivers.

The sound bar delivers Dolby Digital sound but lacks DTS, Dolby Atoms and DTS:X.  The virtual sound provided in the product is not 3D surround sound but Klipsch Optimized Sound drivers. Unlike the RSB-6 which had only 1 HDMI input port, the RSB-11 comes with 3 HDMI input ports for easy connection to cable/DSS box, Blu Ray device and gaming systems. The products support wireless remote control but no voice control.

The RSB-11 is an upgrade to the RSB-6 with better Bluetooth drivers, increased size of sound bar, improved subwoofers and additional HDMI input ports. The sound experience of this product is good for a satisfactory home entertainment experience but still lacks the top-notch surround sound systems for a premium feel. The hardware is well built and one can trust the branding. I would say that the RSB-11 moderately high-quality sound experience but lacks the premium quality. Klipsch Reference RSB-11

Pros:

  1. 3 HDMI ports
  2. Better drivers so the sound quality is improved
  3. Bigger subwoofers hence the base is improved
  4. Dimensions are perfect to be used with 50 inches TVs or bigger

Cons:

  1. Action sounds are not crisp thus giving less immersive experience
  2. Bluetooth connectivity is poor hence music streamed becomes flat and distorted

Klipsch Reference RSB-14 Soundbar + Wireless Subwoofers

Klipsch-Reference-RSB-14 soundbar review

This sound bar by Klipsch is an upgrade to the RSB-6 and RSB-11 sound system. Klipsch was added some premium technology in the RSB-14 model which were lacking in both RSB-6 and RSB-11. The hardware design is very similar to the RSB-11 sound bar with a 44 inch sound bar and a 8 inch wireless subwoofer. The RSB-14 stands out different from other Klipsch sound bar systems as it has the DTS Pay-Fi technology build-in the sound bar. A user can download the Klipsch app and use it to connect the RSB-14 sound bar to the Wi-Fi network and stream music wirelessly from anywhere in the house through streaming services like Pandora, Amazon music, Apple music, Spotify etc. Moreover, it includes all other upgraded features of the RSB-11. It should be noticed that though some technological advancements are made in the RSB-14, the Klipsch sound bars still seems to deliver average rated audio experience. The sounds are wholly and not the premium and so they lose the immersive impact of vivid sound experience. Nevertheless, one can trust the brand and the products if one is comfortable with moderately high-quality hardware and software producing above average sound experience. Klipsch Reference RSB-14

Pros:

  1. DTS Play-Fi for Wi-Fi connectivity which enables the user to stream music across devices and from anywhere in the house
  2. Bluetooth with aptX audio decoding technology giving better connectivity and sound output
  3. Better quality remote control
  4. 3 HDMI ports
  5. Better drivers so the sound quality is improved
  6. Bigger subwoofers hence the base is improved
  7. Dimensions are perfect to be used with 50 inches TVs or bigger

Cons:

  1. Costlier than the RSB-6 and RSB-11
  2. Lacks premium sound experience which is expected from a branded product at this price

Klipsch Reference RSB-6 Soundbar + Wireless Subwoofers

Klipsch-Reference-RSB-6-Soundbar

This is a true 2-way sound bar which comes with a 6.5” wireless subwoofers out of the box. The premium features offered in this soundbar. The sound bar is of a very compact dimension of 40 inch which makes it a perfect match for small TVs of below 50 inches. The subwoofers are also of a compact size of 7.3 inches which delivers better audio experience that the weak speakers of TVs but less immersive sounds that say other sound bar or a home theatre.

The sound bar only offers 1 HDMI 2.0 input with HDCP 2.2 compatibility, which can be an issue for users who wish to keep multiple sources like TVs, gaming systems, computer connected. This product comes at a budget price with good quality features yet not the best. The sound bar lacks a display and so would need to come close in order to see the input and sound modes.

The sound quality seems to be of a poor quality which offers flat sounds predominantly. This can give unsatisfactory experience of sound in dynamics visual scenes like fight scene etc. Though the sound bar comes with a built-in Bluetooth connectivity, it seems to lack the essential quality to make it a premium product. The sounds from wireless Bluetooth streaming of music are also very flat and unsatisfactory. The small subwoofers also offer a flat bass which just seems to little better than TV speakers.

The product on the whole is reviewed poorly by users who seek to experience a more immersive sound. The build-in hardware quality of the sound bar is good giving it a tough matte look which seems attractive. But if one wishes to have a more immersive and impactful sound experience at this price, this Klipsch RSB 6 would be a disappointment. Klipsch Reference RSB-6

Pros:

  1. Compact Dimension, which makes it easier to mount/place in a small room
  2. Cost effective

Cons:

  1. Low quality sound being more flat
  2. Only 1 HDMI port available
  3. Small subwoofer therefore the bass is less impactful
  4. Bluetooth connectivity is poor hence music streamed becomes flat and distorted

Comparison Chart

Particulars Klipsch RSB-6 Klipsch RSB-11 Klipsch RSB-14
Sound bar      
Channel Configuration 2.1 Channel 2.1 Channel 2.1 Chanel
Midrange Drivers 2 X 2.5”/63.5mm core 4 X 2.5”/63.5mm core 4 X 2.75” / 69.9mm core
High-Frequency Drivers 2 X 0.75”/ 19 mm Dome 2 X 0.75”/ 19 mm Dome 2 X 0.75” / 19 mm Dome
Amplifier Output 120W Peak, 60W RMS 200W Peak, 135W RMS 200W Peak, 135W RMS
Crossover 2 way 2 way 2 way
Frequency Response 30 Hz to 15 kHz 28 Hz to 20kHz 28 Hz to 20kHz
Maximum SPL 106 dB 110 dB 110 dB
Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) <0.5% <0.5% <0.5%
Subwoofer      
Enclosure Type Bass Reflex Bass Reflex Bass Reflex
Drivers 1 X 6.5” / 165.1mm 1 X 8” / 203mm 1 X 8” / 203mm
Connectivity      
Inputs 1 X HDMI 2.0 1 X Optical TOSLINK 1 X 1/8” / 3.5mm 3 X HDMI 2.0 1 X Optical TOSLINK 1 X 1/8” / 3.5mm 3 X HDMI 2.0 1 X Optical TOSLINK 1 X 1/8” / 3.5mm
Outputs 1 X HDMI 2.0 1 X HDMI 2.0 1 X HDMI 2.0 Wi – Fi (for DTS Play)
Video 4K Video Pass Through 4K Video Pass Through 4K Video Pass Through
USB Ports Not Applicable Not Applicable Not Applicable
Bluetooth 2.0 2.0 2.0
Bluetooth Codec Support NA NA Apt – X audio decoding
HDCP Compliance HDCP 2.2 HDCP 2.2 HDCP 2.2
Power      
AC Input Power 120 VAC, 60 Hz 120 VAC, 60 Hz 120 VAC / 110 Hz
Physical      
Dimensions 40 x 3.8 x 3.8” / 101.6 x 9.5 x 9.5cm (Sound bar) 7.4 x 10.5 x 13.5” / 18.7 x 26.7 x 34.3cm (Subwoofer) 44 x 3.3 x 3.3” / 111.8 x 8.3 x 8.3 cm (Sound bar) 7 x 16 x 13.1” / 17.8 x 40.6 x 33.3cm (Subwoofer) 44 x 3.3 x 3.3” / 111.8 x 8.3 x 8.3 cm (Sound bar) 7 x 16 x 13.1” / 17.8 x 40.6 x 33.3cm (Subwoofer)
Weight 6.5 lbs / 2.9 kg (Sound bar) 9.6 lbs / 4.4 kg (Subwoofer) 10 lbs / 4.5 kg (Sound bar) 24 lbs / 10.9 kg (Subwoofer) 10 lbs / 4.5 kg (Sound bar) 24 lbs / 10.9 kg (Subwoofer)

 

Conclusion: The Klipsch Reference RSB-14 Soundbar appears to the best option beating the RSB-6 and the RSB-11. Klipsch has tried to used high quality technology to upgrade each model but somehow the difference is very nominal. The RSB-6 has the comparatively poor sound quality of the sound bar and low-quality bass. Both the RSB-6 and RSB-14 have bigger driver which deliver better sound. The premium feature found in the RSB-14 is its DTS Play-Fi feature which enables a user to connect to the sound bar via Wi-Fi network and streaming music from anywhere in the house. Another improved feature is the Bluetooth connectivity with aptX audio decoding which makes music streamed via Bluetooth smoother. These two premium features are absent in RSB-6 and RSB-14 thus making the RSB-14 a better option than the other two. The RSB-14 is also priced not very significantly high than RSB-6 and RSB-11 and so it seems a more rational and justified option to invest little more amount and get the RSB-14 if one is keen to buy a Klipsch. Klipsch is a premium brand and one can trust on its build-in quality. Those who want to be very much cost effective and also ready to compromise on sound quality and other features, then they can go for RSB-6 or RSB-11. But surely, the Klipsch RSB-14 is the most justified option to buy.

We have three variants of sound bar by Klipsch and after assessing all the upgrades and pros and cons above, one can conclude by saying that these products serve as above average home experience of sound entertainment. But if one wants more immersive sound system then these sound bar would not serve maximum satisfaction. Moreover, it is also not suitable for a premium experience by music production teams or sound engineers. Klipsch sound bars (RSB-6, RSB-11 and RSB-14) are fit for satisfactory average sound experience at home at affordable prices.  

for more information check soundbar wiki 

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