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BAR 48 Surround volume at max but can barely hear them


DaleG
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On 1/5/2020 at 10:03 PM, DaleG said:

 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.

@DaleG

 

I got a call this morning from a gentleman at Klipsch Product Support in the US. I responded with a lengthy email pointing out the issues we have raised here and provided links to specific threads. In my email I identified the issue with the sound level from the Surround 3 speakers as the number one issue impacting BAR 48 owners. He is presently reviewing these issues with his management and will get back to me shortly. 

 

I will keep Community members informed about what I learn.

Edited by KevinB
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On 1/7/2020 at 2:53 PM, KevinB said:

@DaleG

 

I got a call this morning from a gentleman at Klipsch Product Support in the US. I responded with a lengthy email pointing out the issues we have raised here and provided links to specific threads. In my email I identified the issue with the sound level from the Surround 3 speakers as the number one issue impacting BAR 48 owners. He is presently reviewing these issues with his management and will get back to me shortly. 

 

I will keep Community members informed about what I learn.

 

 

 

Thank you KevinB that is great that someone phoned you!   I've been in touch with Gentec in Markham Ontario who does the warranty for Klipsch here and he suggested I return my Surround 3 to Bestbuy for a new pair as they may be 'defective'.   I'll give that a shot over the weekend and let you all know how the sound is.  

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On 1/10/2020 at 11:27 AM, CanadianAndy said:

Thank you KevinB that is great that someone phoned you!   I've been in touch with Gentec in Markham Ontario who does the warranty for Klipsch here and he suggested I return my Surround 3 to Bestbuy for a new pair as they may be 'defective'.   I'll give that a shot over the weekend and let you all know how the sound is.  

@CanadianAndy

 

When I bought my BAR 48 and encountered all these issues I contacted Gentec. They told me they didn't have specific procedures for dealing with firmware defects and suggested I raise my issues in these forums. :-(

 

I'm still waiting to hear back from Klipsch. I gave them a lot to look into...

Edited by KevinB
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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).

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On 1/10/2020 at 6:02 PM, DaleG said:

KevinB, what is the name of the Klipsch person you're working with?

@DaleG

 

For the time being I will withhold that information for a number of reasons:

  • I have provided Klipsch details similar to what you have but I have not yet heard back so I can't say whether or not I will have any more success than you have had.
  • Many support organizations have a process for assigning cases so knowing the names of other support staff does not mean we will have access to them.
  • Klipsch does a very good job of restricting public access to internal staff. One example is that we have only been given first names. If we are relying on them to resolve our issues there is no point in possibly antagonizing them by making that information public.

 

According to the specs, the Surround 3 speakers should be capable of producing more than sufficient sound levels but those sound levels are determined by the BAR 48. If there are issues affecting the sound levels or sound quality the source of those issues could be:

  • The Surround 3 speakers themselves.
  • The wireless dongle.
  • The BAR 48 itself.

 

When troubleshooting, a best practice is to make one change at a time and assess the results. I realize this is difficult for those of us experiencing these issues if one product must be returned before receiving a replacement and especially when the replacement experiences more issues than the product that was returned. 😩

 

There are additional issues when dealing with a large online retailer:

  • They may have a large quantity of old stock, all of which may experience the same issues.
  • There is no way to check out a replacement before accepting it.

 

In your case, you may be better off trying to get a warranty replacement directly from Klipsch.

 

I have some comments about the issues you reported to Zach:

  1. I agree.
  2. I don't have this issue. Since it affects both speakers I suspect the issue lies with a component common to both: Perhaps the wireless dongle or the BAR 48 itself.
  3. I agree. Where does it state the volume adjustment is only +/- 9dB? I know there are 8 volume level adjustments up and down from neutral but I don't remember seeing anything stating what they are or should be.
  4. If your previous BAR 48 didn't have this issue then it is quite possible that this replacement has other issues, perhaps even contributing to #2.
  5. I too see the same behavior with my unit but with only one TV and one soundbar I had no way to determine whether the issue lay with the TV or the soundbar.

 

I will reach out to Klipsch once again to see if they have made any progress.

Edited by KevinB
typo
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On 1/11/2020 at 11:11 AM, KevinB said:

Where does it state the volume adjustment is only +/- 9dB? I know there are 8 volume level adjustments up and down from neutral but I don't remember seeing anything stating what they are or should be.

 

According to the Klipsch website:

Surround 3: Adjusting the Volume

 

Quote

By default, the volume will start at 0 dB and you can adjust the volume up or down by 8 dB

 

But that raises another question. Each time you press the remote ((SUR)) button for 3 seconds to adjust the surround 3 speaker volume, is it possible that it gets reset to 0 dB?

Edited by KevinB
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On 1/7/2020 at 12:53 PM, KevinB said:

I got a call this morning from a gentleman at Klipsch Product Support in the US. I responded with a lengthy email pointing out the issues we have raised here and provided links to specific threads. In my email I identified the issue with the sound level from the Surround 3 speakers as the number one issue impacting BAR 48 owners. He is presently reviewing these issues with his management and will get back to me shortly. 

 

I will keep Community members informed about what I learn.

 

This morning I received an email from Klipsch Product Support. There was not much progress to report as many Klipsch staff were preoccupied with CES

  1. The information I provided has been forwarded to Management and Tech teams.
  2. The email acknowledged the sound levels from the Surround 3 speakers were still low when listening to a source that was not Dolby Digital and when the Bar 48 was simulating surround sound.
  3. According to reports received, the surround volume is good with the latest update especially when tested with true 5.1 source with a modernly produced movie. 
  4. Steps and details on the Installer mode and external player are coming soon and will be posted on the product page.
  5. Most sub / satellite speaker connectivity issues have been addressed with the latest FW update. 

Regarding #3, I told them the levels were better but still not adequate.

 

I expect to hear more during the week...

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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.

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On 1/10/2020 at 2:03 PM, KevinB said:

@CanadianAndy

 

When I bought my BAR 48 and encountered all these issues I contacted Gentek. They told me they didn't have specific procedures for dealing with firmware defects and suggested I raise my issues in these forums. :-(

 

I'm still waiting to hear back from Klipsch. I gave them a lot to look into...

 

 

I returned the Surround 3 speakers and didn't want a new replacement as I don't think a new pair would of solved the problem.   Now the Bluetooth connection is not working properly....almost like it is skipping or slowing down my music either from downloaded tunes from my phone, or when I use Radioplayer app on Q107...this just started today and I'm starting to get very annoyed.   The Bricks' return policy is 7 days!  Can you believe that....Now I am going to have to get back in touch with Gentech and request a replacement for my unit.  This is crazy. Anyone else have Bluetooth issues?

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2 hours ago, CanadianAndy said:

The Bricks' return policy is 7 days!  Can you believe that....Now I am going to have to get back in touch with Gentech and request a replacement for my unit.

@CanadianAndy

 

As I mentioned in an earlier post, some retailers may have a lot of old stock so you may be better off trying to get a warranty replacement from Klipsch/Gentec.

 

If you got a refund for your Surround 3 speakers perhaps you should wait and see what becomes of these issues then consider whether you would like to purchase another set.

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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).

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14 hours ago, DaleG said:

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).

 

 

Hi DaleG,  the past few days my Bar 48's subwoofer was dis-connecting from the bar and the Bluetooth was crackly and not playing properly.   After returning the Surround 3 speakers for a refund....I decided to box up the Bar 48 and take it back.   I got an LG SL6Y soundbar instead of getting a Klipsch replacement.   So far so good!  I'd say the LG soundbar has better sound compared to the Klipsch but the subwoofer that comes with it, is a bit weenie....It's a 6" sub but much smaller enclosure compared to the Klipsch.  I can still control the volume for the sub, and the LG bar seems to have more audio settings, and even an equalizer to fine tune the highs and lows.   Also LG has surround speakers available similar to the Klipsch ones however I can't seem to find them anywhere just yet....everyone is sold out!  I was really hoping the Klipsch would work out but seems you and lots of other Klipsch owners are having the same issues. 

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On 1/15/2020 at 6:37 PM, KevinB said:

@CanadianAndy

 

As I mentioned in an earlier post, some retailers may have a lot of old stock so you may be better off trying to get a warranty replacement from Klipsch/Gentec.

 

If you got a refund for your Surround 3 speakers perhaps you should wait and see what becomes of these issues then consider whether you would like to purchase another set.

 

 

Hi KevinB,  See my response to DaleG's earlier post...I decided to return my Bar48 and get an LG system instead.  

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7 minutes ago, CanadianAndy said:

Hi KevinB,  See my response to DaleG's earlier post...I decided to return my Bar48 and get an LG system instead.  

@CanadianAndy

 

Congratulations! I hope you are happier with the LG system. 

 

Should your new system not be all you expected, please update this thread so readers do not mistakenly believe that it is an ideal replacement for the BAR 48.

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1 hour ago, CanadianAndy said:

Why the sarcastic comment ?  The Klipsch Bar 48 is a failure. 

@CanadianAndy

 

My comment was not meant to be sarcastic. My sentiment is genuine.

 

The Klipsch  BAR 48 definitely has its issues but I’m not prepared to say that it’s a failure. That will depend to what extent Klipsch is prepared to get these issues resolved.

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I really believe you are wanting your system to do something it's not meant to do. The majority of the time the surround speakers will play nothing, and this is normal. When there is no content sent to them they will be silent or close to it. Unless you're listening in all channel stereo or another similar setting

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5 minutes ago, nitrofan said:

I really believe you are wanting your system to do something it's not meant to do. The majority of the time the surround speakers will play nothing, and this is normal. When there is no content sent to them they will be silent or close to it. Unless you're listening in all channel stereo or another similar setting

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.

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