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DaleG

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  1. Being the OP, and having posted about my experience with my beloved Klipsch brand Nov 2019 to Jan 2020, I do not say this lightly. I fully enjoy my traditional set of 7.2 Klipsch speakers. I expected the Bar 48 with Surround 3 rear speakers to be of equal quality and enjoyment. I went through 3 Bar 48s and 3 sets of surround 3 speakers before I realized Bar 48, Surround Sound and quality do not exist in this product line despite the claims. Klipsch tech support finally admitted and confirmed this, after I told them I'd returned the product. The surround speaker volume never improved beyond a mere whisper, home theater quality of surround sound never occurred. To add insult to injury, Bluetooth failed to connect on the last 2 Bar 48s. I worked with this community. I worked with Klipsch tech support. No resolution. I returned them for a full refund and walked away. I'm now a very satisfied customer of JBL 5.1 soundbar with wireless surround speakers which I purchased from Amazon for about five hundred. If you're losing sleep over the Bar 48 product line, run, don't walk. Shop elsewhere.
  2. I hate to be the bearer of bad news about the Bar 48. I had three Bar 48 units over a period of six weeks from Nov 2019 to Jan 2020. Only the first one connected via Bluetooth to my Samsung S8 and my two Windows laptops. The two following units failed to pair with Bluetooth to any device I tried. On top of that, I had three pairs of the Surround 3 rear speakers during that time. At best, the S3 speakers produced a whisper. Klipsch support finally admitted the Bar 48 does not properly provide 5.1 surround sound and Bluetooth has problems, for which they have no date for a firmware fix (I updated to v23 of Dec 2019 on all three of the Bar 48s). Being a long-time Klipsch traditional speaker owner, it was difficult for me to realize the Bar 48 product line is poor in quality and lacking in features the competitors have in spades. I returned all the Klipsch gear for a full refund. I'm now a very happy owner of the JBL Bar 5.1 with rich sound, full surround sound, HDMI-ARC and Bluetooth right out-of-the-box and at $499, is in the same price range as the Bar 48 with Surround 3 speakers when they are on sale.
  3. I have a 32 GB thumb drive that worked OK fully format. Read step 2 again on the Klipsch / firmware page: "2. Unzip the file folder and move the “app.bin” file to an empty USB flash drive that is formatted to FAT32 and is 8GB or less in size " The wording says *formatted* to 8GB or less. It does not say total capacity of 8 GB or less. BTW, I came up with some indirect ways of telling whether the update succeeded. When the firmware update finishes successfuly, the device reboots and three white volume LEDs are on on the front, above the colored source LED in front, so before the firmware update, I changed the volume to something else, such as 2 white volume LEDs. Also, I changed the subwoofer volume to drop below the default one white LED, and you can do the same for the Surround 3 speaker volume. Also, Bluetooth pairing is lost I believe (not sure as BT didn't worked on two of three BAR 48s I had). When the firmware update finishes, all these settings go back to default.
  4. Update Monday 20 January 2020. I received the JBL Bar 5.1 soundbar and subwoofer yesterday. It works right out-of-the-box just like I expected a 5.1 sound system to work and sound in full-time, room-filling 5.1 sound from all sources, both stereo and 5.1 source. Let me repeat that: 5.1 surround sound full-time from all sources, whether stereo music sources or 5.1 video sources. Full-time 5.1 surround sound, loud enough to be heard ALL the time during two 2+ hour movies (Star Wars, The Last Jedi and The Force Awakens). The Klipsch Bar 48 5.1, in comparison, played surround sound barely loud enough for only a few seconds at a time and only during a few loud scenes during the same two 2+ hour movies. Also, Bluetooth paired with no problems to my computer and smartphone (Klipsch Bluetooth failed to connect on 2 of 3 units I tried). After trying three BAR 48s with 5.1 in the last six weeks, the result is obvious to me now: Klipsch fails to deliver 5.1 surround sound on the BAR 5.1, nor do they acknowledge the problems (including Bluetooth failure to pair), nor do they promise a date when it will fully work as well as the competition does right out-of-the-box. Competition 1, Klipsch 0. Game over for me. I'm happy with the JBL Bar 5.1 and will be returning the Klipsch BAR 48 5.1 today.
  5. As for Klipsch failure in both quality control (Bluetooth pairing failure on the last 2 of 3 units, and 1 of 3 pairs of Surround 3 speakers produced static) and lack of features (lacking immersive stereo) and unfamiliar tech support staff, Klipsch marketing, engineering, manufacturing and customer support managers should make a serious review of this product line. I've had three BAR 48 units and three sets of Surround 3 speakers in the last 6 weeks because of these issues. The last two BAR 48s won't pair with Bluetooth and I now realize Klipsch does not include stereo immersion with the Surround 3 speakers. I've given up on the Klipsch BAR 48 5.1 and will be returning them for refund.
  6. Thank you, CA Andy. I hope you enjoy your LG soundbar! I've been reviewing a number of alternative brands and soundbars this passed month. I just ordered the JBL Bar 5.1 soundbar from Amazon and should receive it in a day or two. I recently setup the JBL Bar 2.1 soundbar for a friend, has very good sound quality, worked right out of the box, using HDMI-ARC with the TVs remote volume control and Bluetooth paired seamlessy to my smartphone.
  7. I listen to stereo music (CDs, MP3s, streaming, cable TV music) a lot more than I watch 5.1 surround videos, and I watch normal cable TV channels which presumably are stereo. I fully expected the BAR 48 5.1, at the very least, to play stereo music on all of it's 5.1 speakers, given that competitive 5.1 brands offer this, as well as just about all low cost home receivers and low cost car stereos do exactly that. Klipsch Surround 3 speakers do not include this feature of immersive 5.1 sound for stereo sources like competitive brands do. Big disappointment to me.
  8. I updated the original post. Update 15 January 2020. Where to start? Klipsch has really dropped the ball with the BAR 48, in lack of features and poor quality control. 1) Out of 3 BAR 48s I’ve had in two months, two fail to pair with Bluetooth, including the latest unit. This is a show-stopper for me. I haven’t decided whether to seek a 4th replacement or get a refund and go with a competitor which I know works well and sounds nearly as good. 2) Out of 3 sets of Surround 3 speakers I’ve had, one pair produced static, none are loud enough while playing 5.1 surround videos (such as Star Wars Last Jedi), and none play stereo sources on the S3 speakers louder than a whisper, which I fully expected to enjoy (given that simple car audio and home theater receives plays stereo sources on all speakers using ‘Balance’ for left-right and ‘Fade’ for front-back balance). I may just return them for a refund, since 5.1 is an option for me, as I’m fine with 3.1. 3) I’ve an online support request. The tech said he has forwarded a bug report to engineering. I replied I hope he forwards these concerns to marketing, engineering and manufacturing so they can decide on a competitive feature set and improving product quality. 4) Kudos to Amazon for their extended return/exchange dates during the annual holiday period starting at Thanksgiving (extending normal 30-day returns to January 31).
  9. KevinB, thank you for the update. If "many Klipsch staff were [are] preoccupied with CES", then they obviously have ample staff and opportunity for an in-depth understanding of the features offered by competitors, opportunities for marketing and engineering to agree to Klipsch features to offer the discerning consumers that meet and go beyond the competition. They also have ample opportunity to listen and participate in their own Klipch customer community to find out the likes, dislikes and desires of existing customers.
  10. KevinB, what is the name of the Klipsch person you're working with? I've an online support request on klipschgroupinc dot com. After a month, I finally got routed to a person named Zach a couple of days ago who at least is familiar with using the BAR 48 5.1 at home. He suggested I replace the BAR 48 and Surround 3 speakers for the third time. Here is the list of problems I wrote to him. Items 1-3 are my main issue - if the BAR 48 5.1 is designed for and meant to use only for Surround Sound during movies, then it is worthless as I enjoy listening to 5.1 from stereo music sources far more often (which I have on my other home theater system). https://support.klipschgroupinc.com/hc/en-us/requests/46437 Zach, 1. The Surround 3 speakers are too quiet, making them useless when listening to Dolby channels and stereo music. My expectation when purchasing the BAR 48 5.1 was to be able to be immersed in sound from all sources, including stereo music CDs/MP3s. Your competitors do not have this problem (Example: my main home theater system is a Denon receiver with 7.2 Klipsch speakers, with which I enjoy being immersed in all sources of videos and music). Klipsch BAR 48 5.1 utterly fails here. 2. When watching 5.1 surround sources (such as Star Wars The Last Jedi on Amazon Prime Video) the Surround 3 speakers produce static on both channels (especially when the bass is booming), again making them annoyingly useless. Again, Klipsch fails. 3. When watching 5.1 surround sources, I have the S3 volume all the way up, but it is still too quiet. I expect "all the way up" to be too loud and I expect I should be able to set the S3 volume to my taste somewhere between the highest and lowest. Klipsch allows on +/- 9dB volume adjustment while the default is far too quiet. Default should be the current max or higher and the volume should be adjustable by at least +/- 20dB. Again, Klipsch fails. 4. The BLUETOOTH on the BAR 48 does NOT connect to any of my sources. The first BAR 48 did not have this problem. I will have to exchange it a third time in hopes of fixing this. Another Klipsch failure. Why do I bother? Klipsch speakers are the best, IMHO, and I would like your powered and electronic systems to be in that category one day. I have a home theater (Denon receiver with 7.2 Klipsch speakers) which I enjoy. I hope one day to enjoy Klipsch powered and electronic systems as much. And another thing. 5. When using HDMI and the TVs volume control, the BAR 48 volume doesn't increase/decrease in small increments like the BAR 48 buttons and BAR 48 remote control do, but by large increments, which means the volume jumps too high or low, which means I then have to use the BAR 48 remote to adjust volume. (As a comparison, I have tried another brand of soundbar and the volume control on my TV remote works exactly the same as the soundbar remote).
  11. Just yesterday, there is a new firmware update procedure posted on the klipsch/firmware page. I followed it with no problems.
  12. Klipsch / firmware lists new instructions for updating v23 firmware. I followed them with no problems. Rear sound remains too low to hear.
  13. Good hunting with the phone call the tech support. I opened a web support request almost a month ago. A few days ago, I received a response to update the firmware. Gee, why didn't I think of that. I wrote a lengthy reply (see above). If you would, really push for the fact that the rear speaker channels need at least another 20+ db upward or more to equalize sound during normal stereo playback in ((SUR)) surround mode.
  14. KevinB, OK, so I found and I am playing The Expanse, Season 4, Episode 1 now on my LG 4KTV through Amazon Prime Video app. The only time I hear the rear speakers is during action scenes such space battle scenes where things are flying back to front and booming from behind me. The rear speaker loudness is underwhelming, as though the rear sounds are an afterthought tossed in every so often. If the S3 speakers could be adjusted another 20+ dB upward to be as loud or louder than the front 3.1 speakers all the time, I might enjoy it. My expectation is equal to what I have with my Denon/Klipsch 7.2 home theater where I can listen to all sources in fully volume-balanced surround mode 100% of time, including listening to stereo sources like music CDs and mp3. My rating on the Surround 3 speakers for the BAR 48: Klipsch failed. It may be beyond their technical expertise to date, they may need to hire new experts in the field of digital sound technologies (although I admire and am dedicated to the sound quality of their traditional speaker technology), but I hope they can fix it with a firmware update before January 31, or these speakers are being returned for a full refund. PS - KevinB, thanks for the suggestion of a good 5.1 surround video to play to see what the BAR 48 5.1 does and does not do.
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