HDMI: 3 in/1 out (ARC)
Digital in: Optical
Network: Wi-Fi, ethernet
Wireless: DTS Play-Fi, Bluetooth (aptX)
Analogue in: 3.5 mm mini jack
W x H x D: 111.8 x 8.3 x 8.3 cm
The RSB-14 is a very comprehensive soundbar, with three HDMI inputs that support all of the video formats, including the latest copy protection on Ultra HD Blu-ray movies. The wireless subwoofer is in place and the soundbar can be connected in a wireless multi-room setup thanks to DTS Play-Fi. This can be used across brands and can be grouped with similar products from MartinLogan, McIntosh, Onkyo and Pioneer, among others. The only thing required is that they support Play-Fi. Thus, this is a kind of competitor to Google Cast.
The soundbar is connected to the network by downloading the app Klipsch Stream. The user-friendliness of Play-Fi is very good, it’s easy to group several speakers into networks, and the Tidal interface is also very good, almost like the original Tidal app.
The surround sound feature on film is quite good. Here one gets a good impression of surround sound. And this is the test’s most powerful soundbar. It can project very loudly!
But there are some important problems. First, there is an audible whizzing sound from the speakers. But more importantly, the sound quality is not particularly good. The overtone area is fairly constricted, dialogue sounds coloured, and the bass area is particularly bombastic and masks the lower vocal ranges in the dialogue. Deadpool already sounds like he is mumbling as he talks behind his mask. It gets even worse when it is rendered by the Klipsch soundbar.
For film, we still want to assert that the RSB-14 works in an emergency. The big problem arises when you want to play music. Here, the bass range takes over, and it doesn’t help to mute the subwoofer, as there is a hump in midrange that colours the sound a lot. Do we hear an electric bass or a double bass? An electric piano or a grand piano? It’s not so easy to hear. It lacks overtones. It sounds quite simply woolly. It becomes somewhat clearer with the Dialogue button enabled for clearer speech. But acoustic music sounds hard, dark and not very engaging.
The soundbar can play almost absurdly loud, but that doesn’t help much. We don’t feel like throwing a party with this. Disappointing. Especially when we know that Klipsch makes so many other good products.
The soundbar from Klipsch is easy to connect and use, and three HDMI inputs are more than what most can boast. It is also the most powerful of the test. You can play very loudly with Klipsch RSB-14, and Play-Fi is not brand-dependent to work in multi-room.
It unfortunately doesn’t help much, because the soundbar simply does not sound good enough. The dialogue in film lacks resolution and music in stereo works poorly. The sound is quite simply woolly.
Also in this test
The biggest problem with this soundbar is a huge hole in the soundscape.
Bluesound Pulse Soundbar
The most accomplished
Bluesound’s soundbar costs a bit more, but pays off in the form of a much better experiences on both film and music.
The TV's resting pad
Sonos’ new sound base PlayBase acts as a base for the TV. But did it arrive too late?
This is designed to lie flat and point towards the ceiling, but nevertheless sounds good facing forward. It works pretty good.
Samsung’s soundbar sounds just as well on music as it does for movies.
If you are looking for an affordable option with multi-room, and do not want an extra bass crate, then this one is good.
The Philips soundbar does its job, with crystal clear dialogue and a fairly balanced sound.
Bose SoundTouch 300
Not good enough
Bose has banked on user-friendliness, but has unfortunately forgotten about the sound quality.
User-friendly and tough
Heos has endowed this with user-friendliness, and here one also gets tough, rich sound for one’s money.