Klipsch Cinema 600 vs Samsung HW-Q900T which is better?

Having just finished digging into the comparisons between the Klipsch Cinema 1200 vs Samsung HW-Q950T, I was almost feeling a bit let down as I dug into this one but, a challenge is a challenge and I’m happy I took this one on. The comparison of the Klipsch Cinema 600 vs Samsung HW-Q900T was much more fun than I expected.

In part, this was because of the way these two are packaged. In their primary configuration, neither of these comes with satellite speakers. It is just the soundbar and subwoofer. However, and this is where the fun comes in, both will link with two of their branded wireless satellites so you can easily create a more robust surround sound experience with either one.

Unlike the previous review, the Klipsch Cinema 600 doesn’t support Dolby Atmos. The Samsung HW-Q900T does and that presents the first real difference between the two. That’s only if you add satellite speakers. Without them, the Dolby Atmos experience with the Q900T is unimpressive. The Cinema 600 also has no support for DTS:X while the Q900T does and this makes a noticeable difference with Blu-ray and other similar media.

Before we dig deeper you need to understand how Dolby Atmos moves the ball forward when compared to Surround Sound 5.1.

Both applications separate sound across the channels in the system. These are represented as a number, 3.1 with the base Klipsch Cinema 600 and 7.1.2 with the HW-Q900T. The channels represent the left, right, and center in the first number, followed by the subwoofer in the second number, and finally, the upward-firing channels are represented by the last number. Each of these channels will often have multiple speaker drivers.

A surround sound 5.1 approach treats all of the speakers in a channel as one so for example, all of the speakers in the center channel fire as one, as do all of the left and right channel speakers. This provides separation and that does result in the sense of sound movement. However, compared to Dolby Atmos, it’s a seriously unrefined approach to delivering an immersive viewing experience.

Dolby Atmos refines the surround sound experience by treating each speaker driver in each channel separately so you get both movements across the channels and the individual speakers in each channel. This is also where the real value of the upward-firing speakers comes into play.

They can bounce sound off the ceiling at an angle creating a dome of sound. The result is a 180° soundscape that is nuanced so you feel like you’re in the middle of things. Compare that to the surround 5.1 approach that feels more like listening to a tennis match inside a flat box, with sound hitting you, left, right, and center. Now compare that to the Atmos experience and Dolby Atmos is all you’ll want to listen to.

Digital Trends did an excellent in-depth presentation on how Dolby Atmos works and why most home entertainment systems come up short on the Atmos promise. With this review, you’ll understand how important the satellite speakers become and why I am reviewing these two soundbar systems with and without these additions.

Why a Soundbar rather than a dedicated Home Entertainment system?

Soundbars are the alternative to traditional stereo component systems that deliver a separate amplifier, along with some number of wired and wireless speakers. These systems are more akin to what you’ll find in most cinemas and most serious audiophiles will argue that these are the only real way to enjoy both music and movies.

That is arguably untrue when compared to some of the best soundbar systems and when you consider that prices for components are typically much higher, they can be difficult to justify. This is especially true for those of us that don’t have the refined ear of a true audiophile. It’s kind of like the difference between a $20 and a $200 bottle of wine. Most of us will be very happy with the $20 bottle and would probably have a hard time differentiating between these two in a blind taste test. Most folks would be equally unable to differentiate between soundbar and component systems.

If you’re an audiophile, I’m probably pushing your blood pressure up. Your best option is to jump ship now. For the rest of us that are looking for a great home entertainment experience, soundbars do everything you could hope for and then some.

Performance Specs:

Klipsch Cinema 600 Samsung HW-Q900T
3.1 Channels (5.1 Channels with Satellites) 7.1.2 Channels
10” Subwoofer 8” Subwoofer
Wireless Subwoofer Wireless Subwoofer
600w Output 400w Output
No WiFi Support WiFi Support
Dolby Digital 5.1 Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby True HD, Dolby Dual Mono, DTS, DTS HD High-Resolution Audio, DTS HD Master Audio, DTS ES, DTS 96/24, DTS: X, Dolby Atmos
1 HDMI in 1 HDMI in
1 HDMI Out 1 HDMI Out
Optical digital I/O Optical digital I/O
3.5mm Analog  
1 USB 2.0 port 1 USB 2.0 port
Bluetooth, Smart Connect App Bluetooth,, SmartThings App Compatible
No built-in assistant Alexa support included
Bluetooth streaming only Streaming with Spotify

The most obvious difference between the Cinema 600 and Q900T soundbars is the WiFi and Dolby Atmos support. There’s also a significant difference in the power of these two soundbars. What’s odd though is that the only difference that has any real impact is the Atmos support. The power difference is immaterial in most rooms. Wifi support does prove valuable when it comes to streaming content to your soundbar but with Bluetooth, you still have decent options available.

Pro of the Klipsch Cinema 600 vs Samsung HW-Q900T:

Klipsch Cinema 600 Pros

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  • All by itself, the Klipsch Cinema 600 fills almost any room with rich sound and that is true for both movie soundtracks and music.
  • Its unique horn-designed speakers have a distinct impact on the range of detail you can hear. Both music and movies soundtracks gain depth and clarity.
  • With the addition of a pair of Klipsch Surround Sound 3 speakers, the depth of the surround sound experience is measurably improved.
  • A single HDMI ARC connection makes it easy to set this soundbar system up.
  • The power this produces is more than enough to fill even large living rooms with great sound.
  • The build on the Cinema 600 is premium, with solid wood and polished trim.

Klipsch Cinema 600 Cons

  • The absence of Dolby Atmos and DTS:X is seriously disappointing.
  • Without Wifi support, this soundbar system is limited when it comes to streaming content and expanding this into a whole-house sound system.

Samsung HW-Q900T Pros

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  • Support for Dolby Atmos is fantastic, especially when you add the optional satellite speakers.
  • WiFi support allows the subwoofer and satellites to be connected quickly and with excellent stability.
  • With the built-in support for Alexa, you also get the ability to automatically tune this soundbar to your listening space.
  • Streaming is easy with WiFi support, combined with Alexa and Spotify.
  • The eARC port allows the soundbar and TV to be driven directly from the TV. The soundbar remote becomes obsolete.
  • Q-Symphony adds to the Dolby Atmos experience and is especially helpful when the movie you’re watching isn’t Dolby Atmos enhanced.

Samsung HW-Q900T Cons

  • The subwoofer seems a bit underwhelming with some music genres. Overall music quality is good but not outstanding.
  • The material this soundbar is covered with also covers the speaker on the subwoofer and the face of the satellite speakers and while it initially looks good, it attracts dust. If you have cats, it attracts their claws too.
  • I had intermittent problems with the satellites losing their connection, especially after binge-watching. They are easily reconnected but it can be a bit annoying.

Comparing Sizes – Klipsch Cinema 600 vs Samsung HW-Q900T

  Klipsch Cinema 600 Samsung HW-Q900T
  Soundbar Soundbar
Width 45.1 inches  – 114.5 cm 48.4 inches – 123.0 cm
Height 2.9 inches – 7.3 cm 2.8 inches – 7.0 cm
Depth 3.3 inches – 8.5 cm 5.4 inches – 13.8 cm
  Subwoofer Subwoofer
Width 14.3 inches – 36.3 cm 8.2 inches – 20.9 cm
Height 18.4 inches – 46.8 cm 15.8 inches – 40.2 cm
Depth 14.3 inches – 36.3 cm 15.9 inches – 40.3 cm
  Satellites (Surround 3) Satellites (SWA-9500S)
Width 4.2 inches – 10.8 cm 3.4 inches – 8.6 cm
Height 6.5 inches – 16.5 cm 5.4 inches – 13.7 cm
Depth 4.2 inches – 10.8 cm 3.4 inches – 8.6 cm

First, the Klipsch Cinema 600 and Samsung HW-Q900T are the same sizes. Both will look good sitting below a TV that is 55” or more. They may both look a bit out of place with smaller TVs. The Samsung subwoofer can be discreetly placed almost anywhere in your room. The Klipsch subwoofer is much boxier so it will stand out. Plus, with a downward-firing speaker, it will have to be placed on a hard floor rather than a carpeted surface.

The HW-Q900T soundbar and rear satellite speaker include upward-firing drivers so both will want a clear line of sight to the ceiling so the sound can bounce off of it. If you are setting the bar on a counter below the TV you’ll want to push it forward just a bit. If mounting it to the wall, leave a bit of space between it and the TV. Try to avoid placing the satellite speakers on a covered bookshelf or at least push them forward so they can reach the ceiling.

You can find the Samsung HW-Q900T on Amazon for $729.99. The SWA-9500S satellite speakers are also available on Amazon and add $269.99 to the total cost. This brings the total cost to just under $1,000.

The Klipsch Cinema 600 is available on Amazon at $500 and as a set that includes two satellite speakers for $848. This is also available on eBay both as a set and just the soundbar with the subwoofer at the same prices.

That means you will be paying a clear premium for Atmos and WiFi support to the tune of about $150.

The Verdict

If the Cinema 600 has Atmos support this would be a no-brainer. The quality of the build, coupled with the outstanding performance of the Klipsch Horns and large subwoofer would put this soundbar system way up top.

Unfortunately, neither of these key features are offered so on the performance front I have to give a clear nod to the Samsung HW-Q900T. Especially when matched with the Satellite speakers, it offers a far more immersive viewing experience. It does a better job with music as well.

It gets even better if you are matching this up with a late model Samsung TV with Q-Symphony. This allows the TV’s built-in speaker to be added to the sound mix and while not dramatic, it improves the overall listening experience.

Ultimately, the $150 price difference could tip the scales in favor of the Klipsch Cinema 600 but if you have the budget, the Samsung HW-Q600T is my clear choice. If the extra cost is an issue I’d recommend waiting and either waiting for the price to drop a bit or saving the additional cash for the Samsung kit. You will be happier in the end.

If you are in a position to spend a bit more have a look at my review of the Klipsch Cinema 1200 vs Samsung HW-Q950T. Oddly, the Q950T may cost you a bit less than the Q-900T with the pair of satellites, and for just a bit more than that you can experience the Cinema 1200.

Spoiler Alert – The Klipsch comes out on top of that match-up.

There are some great alternatives as well. Consider the Bose Smart Soundbar 300 that stands up well against the Q900T and the Klipsch Cinema 1200. It doesn’t have a separate subwoofer but still, it seems to play well against these two.

We’ve also compared the Klipsch against Yamaha –  Yamaha Yas-209 Vs Klipsch Cinema 600, among others.  Take some time to read through it as well. It will expand your range of choices and might just convince you to invest a bit more in your surround sound system.

Stay tuned for more soundbar comparisons.

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