Klipsch Cinema 800 Soundbar Review

Tested using Methodology v1.0
Reviewed Oct 18, 2021 at 10:31 am
Klipsch Cinema 800 Picture
7.9
Mixed Usage
8.5
Dialogue/TV Shows
7.7
Music
7.5
Movies
Channels
3.1

The Klipsch Cinema 800 is a simple 3.1 setup. Unlike the Klipsch Cinema 600, it supports Dolby Atmos content, though it has to downmix it to stereo to play it. Its neutral, balanced sound profile makes it suitable for listening to many different types of audio content. You can also upgrade it to a 5.1 setup by purchasing a separate set of satellites from the manufacturer. However, it only offers a limited range of sound enhancement features, which might disappoint some users.

Note: The results in this review represent the third model that we purchased from the manufacturer. For the first bar we tested, the tweeter blew during our stereo dynamics sweeps, though this shouldn't affect most users since these tests are designed to stress the bar. For the second model we purchased, sound played out of the sub but not out of the bar, meaning we couldn't test it.

Update 10/19/2021: We updated the design photo for this soundbar for clarity.

Our Verdict

7.9 Mixed Usage

The Klipsch Cinema 800 is very good for mixed usage. It has a neutral, balanced sound profile well-suited to many different types of audio content, from bass-heavy music genres to dialogue-centric TV shows. There's a unique adjustable dialogue enhancement feature, but unfortunately, there aren't a lot of other sound enhancement features. Its surround and Atmos performances also aren't very impressive.

Pros
  • Subwoofer level adjustment.
  • Extended low-bass.
  • Adjustable dialogue enhancement feature.
Cons
  • No graphic EQ.
  • Poor surround and Atmos performances.
8.5 Dialogue/TV Shows

The Klipsch Cinema 800 is excellent for dialogue-heavy content like TV shows or podcasts. Its discrete center channel can accurately localize voices to a pinpoint location in the sound image, and its neutral sound profile reproduces dialogue clearly and accurately. There's even a dialogue enhancement feature, and you can choose between three different levels based on how loud you want voices to be. While it's Bluetooth-compatible, unfortunately, you can't stream podcasts via Wi-Fi, Apple AirPlay, or Chromecast built-in.

Pros
  • Adjustable dialogue enhancement feature.
  • Night mode.
  • Bluetooth support.
Cons
  • Not compatible with Wi-Fi, Apple AirPlay, or Chromecast built-in.
7.7 Music

The Klipsch Cinema 800 is good for music. This soundbar has a very neutral, balanced sound profile suitable for lots of different music genres. Thanks to its dedicated sub, it can reproduce an accurate, thumpy low-bass for fans of bass-heavy genres like EDM. Unfortunately, there aren't really a lot of options for sound customization. It also doesn't get as loud as some of the other bars we've tested.

Pros
  • Subwoofer level adjustment.
  • Extended low-bass.
Cons
  • No graphic EQ.
7.5 Movies

The Klipsch Cinema 800 is good for movies. Its neutral sound profile can reproduce clear, detailed dialogue, as well as the low thump and rumble in action-packed scenes. It can play surround and Atmos content, but unfortunately, it has to downmix it into stereo to play it. As a result, it doesn't sound as immersive, and sound seems like it's just coming from speakers placed in front of you.

Pros
  • Subwoofer level adjustment.
  • Extended low-bass.
Cons
  • Poor surround and Atmos performances.
  • 7.9 Mixed Usage
  • 8.5 Dialogue/TV Shows
  • 7.7 Music
  • 7.5 Movies
  1. Updated Oct 19, 2021: Added more information about Chromecast capabilities. Updated design photo.
  2. Updated Oct 18, 2021: Review published.
  3. Updated Oct 13, 2021: Early access published.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Market Context
Market Context
Market Context

The Klipsch Cinema 800 is a 3.1 setup released in 2020. Unlike the Klipsch Cinema 600, it supports Dolby Atmos content. You can upgrade it to a 5.1 setup by purchasing satellite speakers from Klipsch separately. Its main competitors include the Sonos Arc, the Klipsch Cinema 1200, and the Bose Smart Soundbar 700.

Design
Design
Style - Bar

The Klipsch Cinema 800 has a similar design to the Klipsch Cinema 600. It's mostly made of plastic, and the top, front, and part of the bottom of the bar are covered with fabric. At each end of the bar, there are horns made of plastic.

Design
Style - Subwoofer

The Klipsch Cinema 800's sub is mostly made of wood. It sits on four wooden pegs that keep the base off the floor. The driver and the power are located underneath.

Design
Style - Satellites

You can purchase satellites from Klipsch separately.

Design
Dimensions - Bar
Width 47.8" (121.5 cm)
Height 2.8" (7.0 cm)
Depth 3.3" (8.5 cm)

The Klipsch Cinema 800 is fairly wide, so it likely won't fit between the legs of a 55" TV. However, it isn't very tall, so it shouldn't obscure the TV screen unless your TV sits flush on the table.

Design
Dimensions - Subwoofer
Width 14.3" (36.3 cm)
Height 18.4" (46.8 cm)
Depth 14.3" (36.3 cm)

The sub is a bit large and wide, meaning it may take up some space in your setup. That said, it connects to the bar wirelessly, so you have some flexibility when placing it in your room.

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

The back of the bar has some openings for the inputs and the power cable. You can also mount the bar to the wall using the included brackets and screws.

Design
Back - Subwoofer
Enclosure
Ported

The back of the sub has the input for the power cable as well as a pairing button. However, its port is located underneath.

Design
Back - Satellites
Mounting
No
6.5
Design
Build Quality

The Klipsch Cinema 800 has a fair build quality. The bar is mostly made of plastic, though it doesn't feel very premium. The bar's fabric covering seems like it could rip or collect dust easily, too. On the right side of the bar, there's a removable panel that lets you access the USB ports for servicing the bar and connecting additional speakers. That said, the sub is mostly made of wood, which feels pretty solid.

Note: The results in this review represent the third model that we purchased from the manufacturer. For the first bar we tested, the tweeter blew during our stereo dynamics sweeps, though this shouldn't affect most users since these tests are designed to stress the bar. For the second model we purchased, sound played out of the sub, but not out of the bar.

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

  • Manual
  • 2x Soundbar side panel replacements
  • 2x Wall mount brackets with screws and 3M tape
  • Remote with batteries (2xAA)
  • 2x Power cord
  • Mounting template
  • HDMI cable

Sound
8.7
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response
Tested Preset
Direct
Slope
-0.40
Std. Err.
2.46 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
23.4 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
18.5 kHz

The Klipsch Cinema 800 has an excellent stereo frequency response. Its neutral, balanced sound profile is suitable for listening to lots of different types of audio content. It can reproduce the deep thump and rumble in the low-bass accurately. In our subjective listening tests, we noticed that it sounds pretty neutral with a touch of extra brightness. There's also a subwoofer adjustment feature to help you customize its sound.

8.7
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response With Preliminary Calibration
Suggested Preset
Direct
Suggested Bass Setting
0
Suggested Treble Setting
N/A
Slope
-0.40
Std. Err.
2.46 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
23.4 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
18.5 kHz

During our calibration tests, we found that with its subwoofer set to '-3', the overall stereo frequency performance isn't better than its default settings. Therefore, if you prefer a more neutral sound profile, we recommend putting the sub at its default setting of '0'.

7.5
Sound
Stereo Soundstage
Crosstalk Error
2.15 dB

The Klipsch Cinema 800 has a good stereo soundstage. The soundstage is perceived to be as wide as the bar itself, though it doesn't have any tricks to make it seem wider than that. However, it has good focus, so objects like voices seem to come from an accurate, pinpoint location in the sound image.

7.8
Sound
Stereo Dynamics
SPL @ Max Volume
92.6 dB SPL
DRC @ Max Volume
1.44 dB

The Klipsch Cinema 800 has a very good stereo dynamics performance. It gets fairly loud, but not as loud as the Klipsch Cinema 600. That said, there isn't a lot of compression when you push it to max volume, which is good.

7.7
Sound
Stereo Total Harmonic Distortion
Weighted THD @ 80dB
0.45
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
1.49

The Klipsch Cinema 800 has a good stereo THD performance. At a normal listening volume, distortion falls within good limits, resulting in clean and pure audio reproduction. While there's a slight jump in THD at max volume, this shouldn't be too noticeable with real-life content.

8.4
Sound
Center
Localization
Discrete
Slope
-0.10
Std. Err.
2.78 dB
SPL @ Max Volume
91.6 dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
0.42
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
1.74

The Klipsch Cinema 800 has an impressive center channel performance. Its discrete center helps to more accurately localize voices to a pinpoint location in the sound image. Also, its frequency response is neutral in the mid-range, where most vocals are reproduced. As a result, dialogue is clear and detailed, though higher frequencies can also be alternately harsh or dull due to the uneven treble.

4.5
Sound
Surround 5.1
Localization
Stereo (Downmix)
Slope
-0.41
Std. Err.
2.60 dB
SPL @ Max Volume
94.9 dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
0.58
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
1.61
7.1 Rears
No

The Klipsch Cinema 800 has a poor surround performance. This 3.1 setup has to downmix surround content into stereo to play it, which doesn't sound as immersive. Sound seems like it's coming from in front of you rather than from speakers placed all around you.

3.7
Sound
Height (Atmos)
Localization
Stereo (Downmix)
Slope
-0.89
Std. Err.
3.60 dB
SPL @ Max Volume
82.7 dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
0.69
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
0.44

The Klipsch Cinema 800 has a poor Atmos performance. It has to downmix Atmos content into stereo to play it, which isn't very immersive-sounding. In our subjective listening tests, we noticed that the soundstage was wide, but its height didn't extend overhead.

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
Presets
Surround Level Adjustment
No
Rear Level Adjustment
No
Height Level Adjustment
No
Virtual Surround
No

The Klipsch Cinema 800 has a very basic selection of sound enhancement features. There's a dialogue enhancement feature, which lets you adjust between three different levels based on how loud you want the dialogue to be. There's also a night mode that disables the subwoofer and reduces the dynamic range when watching TV at night. While it has a subwoofer level adjustment, it lacks premium sound enhancement features like an EQ or bass and treble adjustments.

Connectivity
Connectivity
Physical Inputs - Bar
Optical Audio In
1
HDMI ARC
1 (shared)
HDMI Out
1 (shared)
Full HDMI In
2
Analog Audio In 3.5mm (Aux)
1
RCA In
No
USB for Files
No
Ethernet
1

The Klipsch Cinema 800 has some physical inputs. You can connect it to your TV via HDMI ARC and Optical Audio In, and there are even two Full HDMI In ports if you want to use it as a hub between different devices. There's also an Ethernet port to connect it to your network, as well as a Sub Out port.

8.8
Connectivity
Audio Format Support - ARC
eARC
Yes
Dolby Atmos
Yes
Dolby Digital
Yes
Dolby Digital Plus
Yes
DTS
No
DTS:X (eARC only)
No
Dolby TrueHD (eARC only)
Yes
DTS-HD MA (eARC only)
No
5.1 PCM (eARC only)
Yes

The Klipsch Cinema 800 has amazing audio format support via ARC. It supports Dolby Digital, which is the most common surround sound format. It can also play some lossless and object-based surround sound formats like Dolby Atmos, and it has eARC support. However, it doesn't support DTS content.

8.7
Connectivity
Audio Format Support - Full HDMI In
Dolby Atmos
Yes
DTS:X
No
Dolby Digital
Yes
Dolby Digital Plus
Yes
DTS
No
Dolby TrueHD
Yes
DTS-HD MA
No
5.1 PCM
Yes

The Klipsch Cinema 800 has excellent audio format support via Full HDMI In. It can playback common surround sound formats like Dolby Digital as well as some lossless and object-based formats like Dolby Atmos. That said, it doesn't support DTS.

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

Via Optical, this soundbar supports Dolby Digital content. You can find this surround sound format on many Blu-rays and streaming platforms.

8.7
Connectivity
Latency
ARC
33 ms
Optical
5 ms
Full HDMI In
91 ms

The Klipsch Cinema 800 soundbar has an excellent latency performance. It has fairly low latency via ARC and Optical, so the audio you hear should sync with the video you see. That said, over Full HDMI In, you may notice that the visuals seem to come before the sound. That said, some apps and TVs compensate for latency differently, so your real-world experience can vary.

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

Update 10/19/2021:Added more information about the bar's Chromecast capabilities.

You can only playback audio from your mobile device wirelessly to the bar via Bluetooth. The bar doesn't have a mic built-in, and it requires a third-party device like a cellphone to sync the bar to Google Home and cast via Chromecast. Since the support isn't built into the bar, we list the result as 'No'.

Connectivity
Other Input Specifications
4k @ 60 Hz Passthrough
Yes
4k @ 60 Hz @ 10 bit Passthrough
Yes
4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4 Passthrough
Yes
HDR10 Passthrough
Yes

The Klipsch Cinema 800 can passthrough some of the highest bandwidth signals. However, it doesn't support Dolby Vision Passthrough.

Connectivity
Connectivity - Subwoofer
Sub Wireless
Yes

The sub connects to the bar wirelessly using the pairing button. You just need to plug it into a power outlet to get it to work.

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

The interface is fairly simple. It shows you the input you're on as well as the volume level. You can also hold down the LED button on the remote to see which audio format is playing.

Additional Features
Bar Controls

On top of the bar, there are some buttons. You can use them to power the bar on/off, change the input, and adjust the volume.

Additional Features
Remote
Universal Remote
No

The remote has a similar design to that of the Klipsch Cinema 600. It lets you control all the bar's features, including the volume and the inputs.

Additional Features
Voice Assistants Support
Amazon Alexa
No
Google Assistant
No
Apple Siri
No
Additional Features
App
App Name Klipsch Connect
iOS Yes
Android Yes
Acts As A Remote
No
Controls Soundbar's Settings
No
Casts Device Files
No

The Klipsch Connect app is fairly basic. You can use it to update the firmware, view product info, and look at the manual. There are also some how-to videos available. However, if you want to control the bar's features, you need to use its remote.

Additional Features
Other Features
Power Saving
No
HDMI CEC (TV Remote Control)
Yes

The Klipsch Cinema 800 supports HDMI CEC, so you can control its volume using your TV remote. However, there's no power-saving feature to help you conserve energy if you forget to turn it off manually.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Klipsch 800 is available in Black, and you can see the label for the model we tested here.

If you come across another version of this soundbar, let us know in the discussions, and we'll update our review.

Compared To Other Soundbars

The Klipsch Cinema 800 is a simple 3.1 setup. Its build quality isn't the most impressive, and it doesn't offer many sound enhancement features. However, out-of-the-box, it offers a neutral sound profile suitable for many different types of audio content. Unlike many other 3.1 setups, it can even play Atmos content.

See our recommendations for the best soundbars, the best Dolby Atmos soundbars, and the best soundbars with a subwoofer.

Sonos Arc

Depending on your listening habits, you may prefer either the Sonos Arc or the Klipsch Cinema 800. The Sonos is a 5.0.2 setup that's better built. It has better soundstage, surround, and Atmos performances. There's even a room correction feature and built-in voice assistant support, which the Klipsch lacks. However, the Klipsch comes with a dedicated sub that can reproduce a thumpier low-bass out-of-the-box. It also has two Full HDMI In ports, meaning you can use it for high-quality passthrough.

JBL Bar 9.1

Depending on your listening habits, you may prefer either the JBL Bar 9.1 or the Klipsch Cinema 800. If you mostly listen to dialogue-centric content like TV shows, the Klipsch is a solid choice. It comes with a dialogue enhancement feature, unlike the JBL, and it also reproduces a more extended low-bass. However, the JBL is a bit more versatile. It's better built with discrete satellites, and it has better soundstage, surround, and Atmos performances. Unlike the Klipsch, it supports DTS content, too.

Samsung HW-Q950A

The Samsung HW-Q950A is better than the Klipsch Cinema 800. The Samsung is a better built 11.1.4 setup with discrete satellites. It gets louder, and it has better surround and Atmos performances. It even comes with more sound enhancement features, such as room correction. Unlike the Klipsch, it has DTS support and built-in voice assistant capabilities. It also offers more wireless playback options.

Bose Smart Soundbar 900

Depending on your listening habits, you may prefer either the Klipsch Cinema 800 or the standalone Bose Smart Soundbar 900. The Klipsch is a 3.1 setup that comes with a dedicated subwoofer. It can reproduce a more extended low-bass, and unlike the Bose, it has a Full HDMI In port for high-quality passthrough. That said, the 5.0.2 Bose is better built with better soundstage, surround, and Atmos performances. It also has built-in voice assistant capabilities, and you can even upgrade it with a sub and satellites.

Klipsch Cinema 600

The Klipsch Cinema 800 is better than the Klipsch Cinema 600. The 800 is a 3.1 setup that supports Dolby Atmos content. Unlike the 600, it also comes with two Full HDMI In ports, which you can use for high-quality passthrough.

Samsung HW-Q950T

The Samsung HW-Q950T is better than the Klipsch Cinema 800. The Samsung is a better built 9.1.4 setup with discrete satellites. It has better surround and Atmos performances, and it gets louder. Unlike the Klipsch, it supports DTS content and built-in voice assistant capabilities. There are even a few more sound enhancement features available, such as a graphic EQ to customize its sound. However, the 3.1 Klipsch is still a solid choice for dialogue-centric content like TV shows.

Bose Smart Soundbar 700 with Speakers + Bass Module

Depending on your listening habits, you may prefer either the Bose Smart Soundbar 700 with Speakers + Bass Module or the Klipsch Cinema 800. The Bose is a 5.1 setup that's better built. It comes with discrete satellites, and it has better soundstage and surround performances. Unlike the Klipsch, it also has built-in voice assistant support. However, only the Klipsch supports Dolby Atmos content. It also has a Full HDMI In port for high-quality passthrough, unlike the Bose.

Samsung HW-Q900A

The Samsung HW-Q900A is better than the Klipsch Cinema 800. The Samsung is a 7.1.2 setup that's better built. It has better surround and Atmos performances, and it gets louder. Unlike the Klipsch, it supports DTS content and built-in voice assistant capabilities. It even has some more sound enhancement features, like room correction and a graphic EQ. However, the 3.1 Klipsch is still a solid choice for dialogue-centric content like TV shows.

Bose Smart Soundbar 700

The Klipsch Cinema 800 is better than the standalone Bose Smart Soundbar 700. The Klipsch comes with a dedicated sub, meaning it can reproduce a more extended low-bass. It also supports Atmos content, unlike the Bose. However, the Bose is better built with a better soundstage. It even has built-in voice assistant support. You can also upgrade it to the Bose Smart Soundbar 700 with Speakers + Bass Module for better performance.

Klipsch Bar 48

The Klipsch Cinema 800 is better than the Klipsch Bar 48. The Cinema 800 supports Dolby Atmos content, unlike the Bar 48. The Cinema 800 also has a better soundstage and a more neutral sound profile out-of-the-box. However, the Bar 48 is better built.

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