Klipsch Cinema 400 Soundbar Review

Tested using Methodology v1.0
Reviewed Feb 18, 2021 at 09:44 am
Klipsch Cinema 400 Picture
6.9
Mixed Usage
7.8
Dialogue/TV Shows
7.1
Music
6.2
Movies
Channels
2.1

The Klipsch Cinema 400 is a 2.1 setup from the company's 2020 lineup. It comes with a dedicated subwoofer, which helps reproduce a present and punchy bass. Out-of-the-box, it has a very neutral sound profile suitable for listening to lots of different types of audio content. Unfortunately, there aren't a lot of sound customization features available. It also has to downmix surround content into stereo, and it doesn't support Atmos content.

Our Verdict

6.9 Mixed Usage

The Klipsch Cinema 400 soundbar is fair for mixed usage. Its balanced sound profile makes it suitable for listening to lots of different audio content. Even though it lacks a dedicated center channel, dialogue in TV shows is clear and accurate. You can also use its subwoofer level adjustment to customize its sound. However, it has to downmix surround content into stereo, which doesn't sound as immersive. It also doesn't support Dolby Atmos content.

Pros
  • Subwoofer level adjustment.
  • Subwoofer level adjustment available.
  • Bluetooth-compatible.
Cons
  • Doesn't support Dolby Atmos.
  • Downmixes surround content into stereo.
  • Compression at max volume.
7.8 Dialogue/TV Shows

The Klipsch Cinema 400 soundbar is very good for dialogue-centric content like TV shows. Its balanced mid-range can reproduce clear and accurate vocals, and it even has an adjustable dialogue enhancement feature to help make voices sound even crisper. You can also stream podcasts and audiobooks from your phone to the bar wirelessly via Bluetooth. Unfortunately, while it gets pretty loud, there's some compression at max volume. It also lacks a dedicated center channel.

Pros
  • Subwoofer level adjustment.
  • Adjustable dialogue enhancement mode.
  • Bluetooth-compatible.
Cons
  • Phantom center channel.
  • Compression at max volume.
7.1 Music

The Klipsch Cinema 400 is decent for music. It has a very neutral sound profile out-of-the-box, making it suitable for listening to lots of different music genres. You can also use the subwoofer level adjustment feature to customize its sound more to your liking. Unfortunately, while it can get pretty loud, there's compression at max volume. It also lacks a full graphic EQ for greater sound customization.

Pros
  • Subwoofer level adjustment.
  • Subwoofer level adjustment available.
Cons
  • Compression at max volume.
  • Okay soundstage performance.
6.2 Movies

The Klipsch Cinema 400 is acceptable for movies. It has a very neutral, balanced sound profile that can reproduce clear dialogue, as well as the deep thumps and rumbles in action-packed scenes. It can get pretty loud, but unfortunately, there's some compression when you play it at max volume. It also has to downmix surround content into stereo, which isn't as immersive, and it doesn't support Dolby Atmos content.

Pros
  • Subwoofer level adjustment.
  • Subwoofer level adjustment available.
Cons
  • Doesn't support Dolby Atmos.
  • Downmixes surround content into stereo.
  • Compression at max volume.
  • 6.9 Mixed Usage
  • 7.8 Dialogue/TV Shows
  • 7.1 Music
  • 6.2 Movies
  1. Updated Mar 30, 2021: Changed our EQ result to make the results more clear.
  2. Updated Feb 18, 2021: Review published.
  3. Updated Feb 15, 2021: Early access published.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Market Context
Market Context
Market Context

The Klipsch Cinema 400 is a 2.1 soundbar from the company's 2020 lineup. Unlike some of the more premium models in the lineup, like the Klipsch Cinema 600, the Klipsch Cinema 800, and the Klipsch Cinema 1200, it doesn't have a dedicated center channel for clearer dialogue reproduction. It also doesn't support Dolby Atmos or 8k UHD Pass-Through. Its main competitors include the Klipsch Bar 48, the JBL Bar 2.1, and the Klipsch Bar 40.

Design
Design
Style - Bar

The Klipsch Cinema 400 soundbar looks very similar to the Klipsch Cinema 600. The bar is mostly made of plastic and has a fabric covering. At each end of the bar, there are horns made of plastic.

Design
Style - Subwoofer

The subwoofer sits on four wooden legs, which keep the base off the floor. It's mostly made of solid wood. The driver and the port are located underneath.

Design
Style - Satellites

There aren't any satellites in this setup.

Design
Dimensions - Bar
Width 39.9" (101.4 cm)
Height 3.0" (7.6 cm)
Depth 3.4" (8.6 cm)

The Klipsch Cinema 400 is a bit wide, so it may not fit between the legs of your 55" TV. However, it isn't very tall, so it shouldn't block your TV screen unless your TV sits flush on your table.

Design
Dimensions - Subwoofer
Width 12.0" (30.5 cm)
Height 16.3" (41.5 cm)
Depth 12.0" (30.5 cm)

The sub is wide, so it may take up some space in your existing setup. On the upside, it connects wirelessly to the bar, so you have some more flexibility about where to place it.

Design
Dimensions - Satellites
Width N/A
Height N/A
Depth N/A
Design
Back - Bar
Bar Mounting
Proprietary

On the back of the bar, there's an opening for the inputs and the power cable. There are also proprietary holes for mounting the bar on the wall. The mounting brackets and screws are included when you buy the bar, which is convenient.

Design
Back - Subwoofer
Enclosure
Ported

There's a power cable jack on the back of the sub. The port is located underneath, just like the sub for the Klipsch Cinema 600.

Design
Back - Satellites
Mounting
N/A
6.5
Design
Build Quality

The Klipsch Cinema 400 has a fair build quality. The bar is mostly made of plastic, which doesn't feel very premium. Also, the fabric covering the bar seems like it could rip or get dirty easily. The subwoofer is mostly made of solid wood.

Design
In The Box
HDMI Cable Length
1.5 m (4.9 ft)
Digital Optical Cable Length
N/A

  • Manual
  • Mounting template
  • 2x wall mount brackets with screws and 3M tape
  • Remote with batteries (2xAAA)
  • HDMI cable
  • 2x Power cables

Sound
8.4
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response
Tested Preset
Natural
Slope
-0.32
Std. Err.
3.38 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
24.1 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
19.9 kHz

The Klipsch Cinema 400 has an impressive stereo frequency response. When set to its default 'Natural' preset, it has a very neutral, balanced sound profile suitable for listening to lots of different audio content. It has a present, punchy mid and high-bass, but you don't really feel the deep rumbles from the low low-bass. You can use the subwoofer level adjustment to customize its sound more to your liking.

8.4
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response With Preliminary Calibration
Suggested Preset
Natural
Suggested Bass Setting
-3
Suggested Treble Setting
N/A
Slope
0.05
Std. Err.
3.45 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
24.5 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
19.9 kHz

With calibration, this soundbar offers a great stereo frequency response. When set to its 'Natural' preset and with the bass setting set to '-3' using the subwoofer level adjustment, it reproduces a very neutral, balanced sound profile. You really feel the deep thumps and rumbles in the low-bass, which is ideal for fans of action-packed movies and bass-heavy music.

6.5
Sound
Stereo Soundstage
Crosstalk Error
1.88 dB

The Klipsch Cinema 400 has a reasonable stereo soundstage performance. The soundstage is perceived to be about as wide as the bar itself, but it doesn't have any tricks to make it seem wider than that. Also, it has good focus, so objects like voices and footsteps seem to be coming from an accurate, pinpoint location instead of a more general area.

6.4
Sound
Stereo Dynamics
SPL @ Max Volume
91.1 dB SPL
DRC @ Max Volume
3.77 dB

The Klipsch Cinema 400 has adequate stereo dynamics. It can get pretty loud, but other soundbars we've tested, like the Klipsch Cinema 600, can get louder. There's also some compression when you play it at max volume, which is disappointing.

7.2
Sound
Stereo Total Harmonic Distortion
Weighted THD @ 80dB
0.52
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
3.52

The Klipsch Cinema 400 has a decent stereo THD performance. At normal listening volumes, you get clean and pure audio reproduction. However, at max volume, there's a jump in THD, but it may not be audible with real-life content.

5.4
Sound
Center
Localization
Phantom
Slope
-1.60
Std. Err.
6.49 dB
SPL @ Max Volume
89.6 dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
0.44
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
1.54

The Klipsch Cinema 400 has a disappointing center channel performance. Since it's a 2.1 setup, it doesn't have a dedicated center channel. Instead, it uses its left and right channels to create a phantom-localized center, but this doesn't sound as clear or real as a discrete center. Though it has a bass-heavy sound profile, there isn't a lot of bass reproduced on this channel, so it shouldn't be too much of an issue with real-life content.

2.8
Sound
Surround 5.1
Localization
Stereo (Downmix)
Slope
-1.68
Std. Err.
6.75 dB
SPL @ Max Volume
88.4 dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
0.55
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
1.59
7.1 Rears
No

The Klipsch Cinema 400 has awful surrounds performance. It has to downmix surround sound into stereo, which doesn't sound as real as a bar with discrete localization. Sound seems like it's coming from in front of you rather than all around you.

0
Sound
Height (Atmos)
Localization
Not Supported
Slope
N/A
Std. Err.
N/A
SPL @ Max Volume
N/A
Weighted THD @ 80dB
N/A
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
N/A

The Klipsch Cinema 400 doesn't have any height channels, and it doesn't support Dolby Atmos content.

5.4
Sound
Sound Enhancement Features
Room Correction
No
Dialogue Enhancement
Yes
Auto-Volume/Night Mode
Yes
Subwoofer Level Adjustment
Yes
Bass Adjustment
No
Treble Adjustment
No
EQ
No
Surround Level Adjustment
No
Rear Level Adjustment
No
Height Level Adjustment
No
Virtual Surround
Yes

Update 03/30/2021: For consistency across our reviews, we updated the result for EQ from 'Presets' to 'No'. The 'Voice' preset is a dialogue enhancement feature, and the 'Night' feature is an auto-volume mode, so both of these features are already taken into account in our results.

This soundbar has a middling selection of sound enhancement features. Its 'Night' feature disables the subwoofer and reduces the dynamic range, which is convenient if you prefer a lower volume while maintaining all the sounds of your audio. You can also cycle between three different levels of its 'Voice' dialogue enhancement feature, so you can make the dialogue louder or quieter depending on your preferences. That said, this soundbar lacks more premium sound enhancement features like room correction or a full graphic EQ.

Connectivity
Connectivity
Physical Inputs - Bar
Optical Audio In
1
HDMI ARC
1 (shared)
HDMI Out
1 (shared)
Full HDMI In
No
Analog Audio In 3.5mm (Aux)
1
RCA In
No
USB for Files
No
Ethernet
No

The Klipsch Cinema 400 has a few input options. There's a 3.5mm AUX port, so you can wire your phone directly to the bar to play audio. There's also a shared HDMI ARC and HDMI Out port, and well as an Optical In port. However, there isn't a Full HDMI In port, so you can't use the bar as a hub between different devices.

6.1
Connectivity
Audio Format Support - ARC
eARC
No
Dolby Atmos
No
Dolby Digital
Yes
Dolby Digital Plus
No
DTS
No
DTS:X (eARC only)
No
Dolby TrueHD (eARC only)
No
DTS-HD MA (eARC only)
No
5.1 PCM (eARC only)
No

This soundbar supports Dolby Digital content over its ARC port, which is commonly found on Blu-ray discs and streaming platforms. However, it can't play Atmos content, which can be disappointing if you love to watch movies.

0
Connectivity
Audio Format Support - Full HDMI In
Dolby Atmos
No
DTS:X
No
Dolby Digital
No
Dolby Digital Plus
No
DTS
No
Dolby TrueHD
No
DTS-HD MA
No
5.1 PCM
No

The Klipsch Cinema 400 doesn't have a Full HDMI In port.

6.0
Connectivity
Audio Format Support - Optical
Dolby Digital
Yes
DTS
No

The Klipsch Cinema 400 supports Dolby Digital content via its Optical port. While it's advertised to play DTS content, it actually plays the file in PCM 2.0, which doesn't sound as immersive.

9.9
Connectivity
Latency
ARC
-8 ms
Optical
0 ms
Full HDMI In
N/A

The Klipsch Cinema 400 has an incredible latency performance. It has very low latency over its ARC and Optical ports, making it suitable for watching videos and movies. However, some apps and some TVs can compensate for latency differently, so your real-world experience may vary.

6.0
Connectivity
Wireless Playback
Bluetooth
Yes
Wi-Fi
No
Chromecast built-in
No
Apple AirPlay
No

The Klipsch Cinema 400 only supports wireless playback over a Bluetooth connection, which means that you can stream audio from your phone or tablet wirelessly via Bluetooth. However, you won't be able to wirelessly playback audio over Wi-Fi, Apple AirPlay, or Chromecast connections.

Connectivity
Other Input Specifications
4k @ 60 Hz Passthrough
No
4k @ 60 Hz @ 10 bit Passthrough
No
4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4 Passthrough
No
HDR10 Passthrough
No

This soundbar doesn't have a Full HDMI In port, so it doesn't support 4k passthrough.

Connectivity
Connectivity - Subwoofer
Sub Wireless
Yes

The sub connects to the soundbar wirelessly, so you just need to use a power cord.

Connectivity
Connectivity - Satellites
Sat Wireless
No
Additional Features
Additional Features
Interface
Display
Yes

There's a small display on the top right side of the bar that shows the input, the volume level, and power status. There's also a set of vertical lights that act as a volume indicator and light up different colors depending on the input.

Additional Features
Bar Controls

The controls are on the top right of the bar. There are physical buttons that you can use to power the bar on/off, change the input, and adjust the volume.

Additional Features
Remote
Universal Remote
No

The remote lets you control all of the features. You can adjust the subwoofer level and change between the different EQ presets.

Additional Features
Voice Assistants Support
Amazon Alexa
No
Google Assistant
No
Apple Siri
No

This soundbar doesn't support voice assistants, and it doesn't have a microphone.

Additional Features
App
App Name No App
iOS No
Android No
Acts As A Remote
No
Controls Soundbar's Settings
No
Casts Device Files
No
Additional Features
Other Features
Power Saving
Auto-off
HDMI CEC (TV Remote Control)
Yes

The Klipsch Cinema 400 automatically turns off after some time without activity. Also, it supports HDMI CEC, so you can control some of the bar's basic features using your TV remote.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Klipsch Cinema 400 comes in 'Black', and you can see the label for the model we tested here.

If you come across another version, let us know in the discussions so we can update our review.

Compared To Other Soundbars

The Klipsch Cinema 400 is a 2.1 setup with a very neutral, balanced sound profile out-of-the-box that makes it suitable for listening to lots of different types of audio content. Unlike the Klipsch Cinema 600, it doesn't have a dedicated center channel, so dialogue-centric content doesn't sound as real or clear. That said, it comes with an auto-volume mode and an adjustable dialogue enhancement feature. See also our recommendations for the best soundbars under $300, the best soundbars for dialogue, and the best soundbars.

Klipsch Bar 48

The Klipsch Cinema 400 is a better soundbar than the Klipsch Bar 48. The Cinema 400 has a more neutral, balanced sound profile, so it's suitable for lots of different types of audio content. However, the Bar 48 is better-built, and it has a better center channel performance thanks to its 3.1 setup.

Sonos Beam

The Sonos Beam is better than the Klipsch Cinema 400. The Sonos is a 3.0 setup that's better-built and gets louder. It has better soundstage, center, and surround performances. Unlike the Klipsch, it has room correction and built-in voice assistant support. That said, the 2.1 Klipsch comes with a dedicated sub that helps reproduce a more extended low-bass.

Klipsch Cinema 600

The Klipsch Cinema 600 is a better soundbar than the Klipsch Cinema 400. The 600 is a 3.1 setup, so it has a dedicated center channel that can reproduce dialogue-centric content more accurately. It also has a better soundstage performance, and it gets louder. That said, the 400 has a more balanced sound profile out-of-the-box.

Sonos Arc

The Sonos Arc is better than the Klipsch Cinema 400. The Sonos is a 5.0.2 setup that's better-built and supports Dolby Atmos content. It has better soundstage, center, and surround performances, and it has room correction. Unlike the Klipsch, it has built-in voice assistant support. That said, the 2.1 Klipsch has a dedicated sub that helps reproduce a more extended low-bass.

Samsung HW-Q600A

The Samsung HW-Q600A is better than the Klipsch Cinema 400. The Samsung is a 3.1.2 setup that's better-built and gets louder. It has better soundstage, center, and surround performances. Unlike the Klipsch, it supports Atmos content, comes with a graphic EQ, and has a Full HDMI In port that supports high quality passthrough. That said, the 2.1 Klipsch reproduces a more extended low-bass.

Yamaha YAS-209

The Yamaha YAS-209 and the Klipsch Cinema 400 are both very similarly performing 2.1 setups, but depending on your listening habits, you may prefer one over the other. The Klipsch has a better-balanced sound profile out-of-the-box, and it also comes with more sound enhancement features, including an auto-volume mode. However, the Yamaha is better-built, and it has a better soundstage performance. Unlike the Klipsch, it also comes with a Full HDMI In port.

Samsung HW-Q700A

The Samsung HW-Q700A is better than the Klipsch Cinema 400. The Samsung is a 3.1.2 setup that's better-built and supports Dolby Atmos content. It has better soundstage, center, and surround performances, and it supports more wireless playback options. There are also more sound enhancement features, like a graphic EQ and presets. That said, the 2.1 Klipsch reproduces a more extended low-bass, so you feel more thump and rumble in bass-heavy audio.

Samsung HW-T550

The Samsung HW-T550 is a better soundbar than the Klipsch Cinema 400. The Samsung is better-built, it gets louder, and it has more sound enhancement features, including a graphic EQ. It also has a better soundstage performance. However, the Klipsch has a more neutral sound profile out-of-the-box.

Bose Smart Soundbar 700

The Bose Smart Soundbar 700 is a better soundbar than the Klipsch Cinema 400. The Bose is better-built, and since it's a 3.0 setup, it has a discrete center channel that offers a better center performance. It has a wider soundstage and gets louder, too. However, the Klipsch has a more balanced sound profile and can produce a more extended bass.

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