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KingJames

Klipsch Bar 48 - Subwoofer underwhelming... ideas?

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Hi - I have just purchased a Klipsch Bar 48. I have enjoyed a lot of Klipsch products throughout the last 15 years and still enjoying most of them, so when I was looking for a soundbar for our living room (wife wanted something clean and simple as opposed to our 7.2 Klipsch system in the basement (), Klipsch was the first place I looked. I saw pretty mixed reviews, but mostly based on some folks experiencing connection issues with the early production models. I summed up that Klipsch had corrected the issues with the newer models, and I decided to take the plunge. We've had it now for about a week, and I have to say, I am pretty underwhelmed. It does get loud, but just seems to be really lacking bass and a good punch. Does anyone else feel this way?

 

Now, for my connection, I am using with an Apple TV connected to a 70 inch Samsung 4K LED via HDMI. A Bluray player connected via HDMI. And a Nintendo Switch connected via HDMI. I am using the optical output on the TV to connect to the soundbar. I have not tried using a direct HDMI connection from the TV, but I suppose that could affect audio quality. However, I experience the same underwhelming subwoofer performance when connected directly via bluetooth. 

 

I have the subwoofer dialed up maybe just over half way, since cranking all the way seems to get boomy, but doesn't sound good. I should also say, I have not installed the newest firmware - but I just bought it about a week ago, so figured it theoretically have the most recent firmware? Anyway, just thought I would post and get other's thoughts. And yes, I do know the Bar 48 has a sub out, so I suppose I could get another and hardwire. But I do like the wireless functionality in our living room for a cleaner appearance. 

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@KingJames

 

I'd like to offer a few words of wisdom but there is far too much to say. 😞

 

Search this forum for "BAR 48". There are about ten threads that pretty much sum up everyone's experience with this product.

 

The first thing you must do is update the firmware.

 

I have my BAR 48 connected to my Samsung Q70 TV via the HDMI ARC connection. Almost immediately I began to experience issues.

 

Over the past two months I have reported about a dozen issues to Klipsch. All they will say is that they are working on them. When I asked what options I had I was told.

  • Klipsch cannot provide refunds.
  • I should return the product where I purchased it for a replacement or a refund.
  • Under the Klipsch warranty Klipsch will replace the product but, since most of the issues everyone is experiencing are design defects that are yet to be resolved, any warranty replacement is likely to experience the same issues.

My best advice at this point in time is to return the soundbar for a different brand. Consumers Reports has a good review of current soundbars including a few Klipsch models. I would start there.

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The more I read about these, the happier I am I didn't buy one and just went with a pair of ads L400c's, a Chromecast Audio, and a receiver of which all I already had.  Sad, though, and definitely a pain for all who bought them.

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Well this might sound a little crazy - but I did the firmware update, and it actually sounds much better now. The subwoofer is definitely audible, and sounds much more balanced now. I can see why the reviews are so mixed. It's weird because some sources it sounds good, and others, not so much. In my own testing, bluetooth streaming sounds the best, and any audio from the TV sounds OK. The dialogue is great, but as far as punch in loud scenes, it's mediocre. I think I might try an ARC connection and see if it sounds better. I just really wanted to avoid having to get an HDMI switch since I have three HDMI inputs on my TV, and three HDMI sources.

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Just keep up with the update versions as they appear...

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14 minutes ago, KingJames said:

I did the firmware update, and it actually sounds much better now.

@KingJames

 

I'm glad that helped. 

 

Did you purchase the SURROUND 3 SPEAKERS - SOUND BAR SURROUND SOUND SPEAKERS with your BAR 48?

 

You mentioned you have an Apple TV. You can download this app to your Apple TV. It's a great way to test your speakers.

Surround Speaker Check

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1 hour ago, KingJames said:

I just really wanted to avoid having to get an HDMI switch since I have three HDMI inputs on my TV, and three HDMI sources.

@KingJames

 

According to the firmware notes this update added a new mode:

Quote

External Player Mode Added

 

There is absolutely no information about what this does. Klipsch tech support told me that at some point their website would be updated with the details.

 

The BAR 48 receives TV audio input from the HDMI ARC channel. Perhaps this new mode allows an external player to be connected the the BAR 48 via a standard HDMI connection? If course, this is just speculation but you may want to experiment.

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