Top positive review
3 people found this helpful
Klipsch is a hit at my house!
on June 8, 2015
Good solid speaker bar for the price. The Klipsch Powerbar is a big step up from TV speakers. I am a professional mixer and sound designer for TV and film. So what follows is what my trained ears hear, and how I control and compensate the Powerbar settings to match different programs and movies.
TV mixing as an art, and it's not always well done. The same is true for film mixing. Most films are mixed for big theaters with surround sound. When a DVD is listened to in stereo, it is all the theatrical sound folded down into a stereo image. In many cases it's done without much attention paid to the folded mix, and in many cases the dialog is unintelligible unless EQ'd. If you've got a big flat screen, then you know how little and awful sounding most TV speakers are, bad TV or film mixing just makes the TV Speakers sound worse. The Klipsch Powerbar is definitely better than those, by a wide margin.
The 3D setting on the Klipsch is not actually 3D, but rather lower frequency and a wider stereo image. It sounds rather nice on most TV material, for example, on something big… like Game of Thrones. For this, add the Sub setting. The Sub setting is not actually a Subwoofer, but it adds a slight amount of low end to the 3D setting. It's not big. But its a nice addition when you use the 3D setting.
These changes that I make to the Klipsch Powerbar are usually in response to how the program I'm watching sounds. If I turn off the Sub, and the 3D, and go to the normal setting. It's because I can't hear the dialog. Same goes for the other settings mentioned here.
The normal speaker setting, (3D and Sub off) is a narrowing of the wider stereo image of the 3D mode. The normal setting gives you a rather flat high frequency, center image. This is a useful setting whenever the 3D mode sounds awful. This is usually not the fault of the Klipsch, but rather, is caused by bad mixing on the part of TV engineers. When you have to turn the 3D mode off, it is usually because the background recording, gunfire, car chase scenes, and music are mixed so loud, that you can't hear the dialog. Normal mode with the Sub setting off is great for clarifying dialog. But it does sound a bit pinched, but audible.
One other thing to take note of with flat screen TV's You'll notice that some of these TV's have almost no border around the screen. Where are the speakers? The answer is, they are behind the TV pointing toward your wall. This is the worst way to hear sound. It's reflected back off the wall. If you have the tv with curtains behind it, then most of the sound is absorbed by curtains. Your sound will be muffled.
This is why a Speaker Bar System is so important to add to your tv. The sound is out in front, and fairly controllable.
I looked at, and listened to quite a few Speaker Bar, Subwoofer setups in a big box store. Most bargain kits were not worth the investment. I found that if you are willing to spend over $1200.00 for a system, you will get that "blow you away" theatrical experience. But even of the expensive system, I only heard a couple the blew me away. The one that made the biggest impression on me awl a huge 7 speaker system. all the speakers were in the speaker bar except the standalone sub. Pretty pricey! But those for us less with not so deep pockets, the Klipsch Powerbar is a very nice alternative.