The Good: The Klipsch R-10B has terrific sound quality. Its well built and beefy subwoofer provides lots of punch. The 3 inch drivers and horn tweeters deliver great mid-range and fine detail.

 

The Bad: Only two input options. The R-10B doesn’t support Dolby Digital HD or DTS-HD Master audio.

 

Summary: With an MSRP of $599 you expect to get more features with the 10B, but it’s excellent sound quality overshadows any deficiencies.

 

 

Klipsch R-10B Soundbar Review

KLipsch Reference R-10B Soundbar

Design and Appearance

The Klipsch R-10B Soundbar is a tale of two cities. The 7 lb soundbar has a solid feel to it, although it’s satin plastic finish doesn’t necessarily exude high-quality. The subwoofer is a different story. The sub is made of solid MDF board and weighs a hefty 25 lbs. Compared to the subwoofers that come packaged with most soundbars, it’s refreshing to see that Klipsch went the extra mile.

 

The front of the R-10B has a flat face with a metal grill. The middle of the grill pinches in on the top and bottom creating an “X” like shape with the Klipsch logo emblazoned on the top and several buttons underneath. The back of the 10B curves outward just a bit. At a little over 4 inches tall, the Klipsch R-10B is probably better suited for wall hanging via the keyhole mounts on the back. It also comes equipped with removable feet so you can set the soundbar in front of your TV if you choose to, however at this height it could block your IR signal to the TV or part of your image.

 

Lengthwise, the 10B is roughly 40 inches long which makes it ideal for TVs 40 inches and up. The subwoofer isn’t “bulky” by subwoofer standards. Even though it’s 25 lbs, it’s still a svelte 8.3 inches wide by 16 inches deep by 13.2 inches high. The sub’s small size makes it relatively easy to place in your room. The remote that comes bundled with the Klipsch R-10B is a thin credit card style remote. It’s a far cry from the remote that comes bundled with the Sony HT-XT1 that we reviewed not too long ago. The remote left us longing for something more substantial. One thing we questioned was the lack of a subwoofer volume control on the remote. In order to adjust the volume of the subwoofer you have to manually adjust the dial on the back of the sub.

 

Features & Setup

The Klipsch Reference 10B uses a two-way design . Peeking behind the grill you’ll see dual 3/4 inch horn loaded textile dome tweeters with 90° x 90° Tractrix® horns. The tweeters are combined with two 3 inch polypropylene woofers. The sub uses an 8 inch side firing driver to generate low frequencies.

 

Feature wise, there are some hits and misses. The 10B features bluetooth with aptX support. AptX promises “CD like” quality via bluetooth. It’s arguable that bluetooth with aptX can deliver such standards, however it’s still a good feature to have included. The Klipsch R-10B has a built-in Dolby Digital Decoder, but it doesn’t decode DTS.

 

The 10B is insanely simple to set up since you don’t have a lot of connectivity options to choose from. On the back of the soundbar is a cut-out slot that contains two input options: an optical digital and a RCA analog. You won’t find any HDMI connections on the 10B. On a soundbar this isn’t a deal breaker,  however I do wish Klipsch included at least one more analog or digital input. After connecting the soundbar to our TV via the optical digital cable we were up and running in a matter of minutes. The process of pairing the subwoofer with the 10B was pain-free and near instantaneous.

 

Performance

What the Klipsch R-10B lacks in features, it makes up for with audio prowess. When you first turn  the 10B on, it becomes clear where Klipsch’s research and development went to. Instead of weighing the soundbar down with features that most people won’t use, Klipsch opted to focus their efforts on sound quality.

 

We stated earlier that the subwoofer has a sturdy and solid build quality. The result of this solid construction is on full display when the 10B is in action. The rumbling subwoofer adds a level of depth to movies that’s similar to being in an actual cinema. The 2014 remake of Godzilla gave the subwoofer plenty of opportunities to perform and it didn’t disappoint.

 

For a comparison we watched the movie with our Sony Bravia’s native speakers and again with the Klipsch R-10B taking the wheel. The difference was immediately noticeable. When the cocooned MUTO first begins emanating electro-magnetic pulses, our TV speakers had little to no punch. Switching to the 10B we promptly noticed the amount of low-frequency goodness that was neglected by our TV speakers. The 10B pushed and dispersed the pulses around the room with force and punch. When Godzilla first steps foot on land, his colossal foot steps were given the weight and power they deserve. The subwoofer wasn’t the only shining star with the Klipsch R-10B. The sub blended seamlessly with the soundbar which conveyed a meaty mid-range while also giving dialogue a new level of clarity and precision.

 

When switching to X-Men Days of Future Past, the glass shattering scene where Quicksilver busts Magneto out of his cage gives any speaker an opportunity to shine. As the shards of glass came crashing down, the 10B delivered a wide and detailed sound field.

 

If there’s anything we could gripe about with the Klipsch R-10B, is that at times it can sound overly bright. This isn’t uncommon with horn tweeters and this is something that some people may or may not like. We will note, that after our initial break-in period the 10B’s sound did start to soften-up a bit.

 

Conclusion

The bottom line is that the Klipsch R-10B one of the more complete soundbars on the market, making it a definite upgrade over any television speaker. Priced at $599 Klipsch has appeared to forgo a few features in an effort to focus on sound quality. In an age where many manufacturers do the opposite, Klipsch’s approach is refreshing and very much appreciated.

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