Klipsch’s First Dolby Atmos Soundbar Is A 1,200-Watt Beast

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Klipsch may have taken its time to join the Dolby Atmos soundbar race, but it’s here now, and it brought along a fire-breathing monster. The $1,699 Cinema 1200 Dolby Atmos Sound Bar, which can be ordered today through Klipsch.com, is a 1,200-watt 5.1.4 system that comes with a wireless subwoofer and two wireless surround speakers for a fully immersive home theater setup. Klipsch has also released the less expensive $879 Cinema 800 Dolby Atmos Sound Bar. Here’s what we know about these two new models in the Klipsch soundbar lineup.

Klipsch Cinema 1200 Dolby Atmos Sound Bar

Klipsch

It might be tough to tell from the photo above, but the Cinema 1200 is a beast both in power and size. The main soundbar measures 54-inches in width — wider than many TVs. It’s deep too, at just over six inches, but Klipsch has managed to limit the height to just a hair under three inches, which should keep it from obscuring the bottom of most TVs.

The 12-inch wireless subwoofer is also beefy at 15-inches per side and over 20 inches tall. The soundbar, subwoofer, and wireless surround speakers all use handmade wood cabinetry, which Klipsch claims is part of the reason why its speakers sound the way they do.

The presence of the circular up-firing drivers on the ends of the soundbar, combined with the surround speakers, which also have their own up-firing drivers, gives you four discrete height channels, which should create a very immersive 3D sound field for Dolby Atmos content.

The soundbar also packs three one-inch Tractrix horn-loaded tweeters and six three-inch oval midrange drivers. These nine drivers are responsible for the center, front-left, and front-right channels.

The Cinema 1200 isn’t shy on inputs. It boasts two HDMI inputs, both with 8K/Dolby Vision passthrough, an HDMI eARC port for connecting to a TV, a 3.5mm analog jack, and an optical port. There’s also a wired subwoofer output for those who want to run a second, wired sub with their system.

When it comes to wireless connections, you get Bluetooth 5.0 and Wi-Fi, too. With Wi-Fi, the Cinema 1200 is compatible with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa and will also work with Spotify Connect. There’s no AirPlay 2 or Chromecast support, and Klipsch hasn’t indicated how folks will stream non-Spotify music services — it may require using Google or Amazon’s smart home platforms.

The system has onboard decoding for a 7.1.4 Dolby Atmos signal, as well as Dolby Digital and Dolby Digital Plus. Curiously, Klipsch doesn’t seem to support the higher resolution, lossless Dolby TrueHD format, which means that audio tracks from Blu-ray discs may be down-converted.

Klipsch Cinema 800 Dolby Atmos Sound Bar

Klipsch Cinema 800 Dolby Atmos Sound Bar in a viewing room.
Klipsch

The Cinema 800 Dolby Atmos Sound Bar is probably better suited to someone who wants immersive Atmos sound but in a much smaller, simpler, and more affordable package, but it still packs a lot of punch, with 800 watts of power.

As with the Cinema 1200, both the soundbar and wireless subwoofer have wooden cabinets. At 48 inches wide and only 3.5 inches deep, the soundbar is smaller, but still pretty big as bars go. The wireless sub uses a 10-inch driver.

You’ll find the same set of inputs and outputs on the back of the bar: Two HDMI inputs and one HDMI eARC output, plus analog and optical inputs with a wired subwoofer output. And 8K/HDR passthrough is supported on both HDMI inputs.

Where the Cinema 800 is significantly different from its larger sibling is in how it renders Dolby Atmos. It doesn’t have discrete up-firing drivers in the soundbar, and there are no surround speakers included. So even though it has 7.1.4 Dolby Atmos decoding just like the Cinema 1200, it must virtualize this content through just a 3.1 channel speaker system.

Some virtual Dolby Atmos speakers can do a surprisingly good job at simulating both the overhead height channels, as well as the left/right surround channels — we’ll have to wait and see if the Cinema 800 belongs to this club.

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