Having a proper home entertainment system is essential if you want to enjoy those movie nights with family and friends. In recent years soundbars have come up and are now competing with home theatres in sound quality, and surround sound. Plus there is no denying that soundbars make your house look more futuristic with their sleek designs. But there’s a problem here!
There are plenty of soundbars in the market all claiming to offer quality performance. Suffice to say you shouldn’t listen to everything that you hear. But that is where we come in. We sort out the real from the not so reliable to help you make the best choice.
Let’s start with how much the JBL Bar 9.1 and the Klipsch Cinema 800 cost so you know what to expect and what you are working with.
The JBL Bar 9.1 will cost you around $1200 on amazon. It is by no means the cheapest soundbar on the market so is the price worth it? We’ll find that out later on as we delve deeper into its performance.
How about the Klipsch Cinema 800? You can pick this one up for around $970 on Amazon. Sure it is a tad cheaper than the JBL Bar 9.1 but does that make it the better choice? Again we will look closer into its performance and output, later on, to find out.
If you are searching for the more affordable option then the Klipsch Cinema 800 is the one to go for. Compared to the JBL Bar 9.1 you get to save over two hundred dollars.
The Klipsch Cinema 800 features a soundbar and a subwoofer. The soundbar is made entirely of plastic. The top, front as well as a part of the bottom is covered with a piece of fabric. That said, the speaker horns that are located on the sides of the soundbar are exposed.
The Klipsch Cinema 800 subwoofer on the other hand is made out of wood and has four legs on each corner that lift it off the ground. Its power button is located at the bottom of the subwoofer.
So how does the JBL Bar 9.1 compare in terms of design? The JBL 9.1 also features a soundbar and a subwoofer. The soundbar is made of metal with the speakers covered by a metal grill. Very similar to the Klipsch Cinema 800, the JBL also comes with detachable satellite speakers.
The subwoofer is made from melamine and also features four legs that support it off the ground. But every soundbar enthusiast wants to know about the width, right? So here goes!
The Klipsch Cinema 800 is quite the wide soundbar. At 47.8 inches it’s unlikely to fit under the legs of your TV. The JBL on the other hand is not as wide at 40.63 inches.
Since the Klipsch 800 is made from plastic, it lacks that premium and top-quality feel. The JBL Bar 9.1 is made of metal and feels premium.
The JBL Bar 9.1 wins in terms of design. It has a metal housing and the speakers are covered in a fine mesh which makes it feel top quality. The Klipsch 800 is made of plastic and feels cheap.
The Sound and Output
The JBL Bar 9.1 doesn’t disappoint with the quality of sound and the output. Let’s start with the frequency response. This one sits at 34Hz to 20kHz. As a result, the JBL Bar 9.1 offers deep bass. Great news when you are in the mood for loud music or watching a movie. The standard mode is ideal for a room setting. However, if you want to adjust the settings to best suit your type of room, then you can select any one of the 3 presets.
One of the best features of the JBL is that not only does it play sound from the upward-facing speakers but it also does so from the satellite speakers. As a result, you get surround sound when it bounces off the ceiling resulting in a more immersive and enjoyable experience.
But how about the Klipsch Cinema 800? It has a frequency response range of 23.4Hz to 18kHz. It offers a balanced and neutral output that is ideal for any type of entertainment whether it’s listening to music or watching a movie. The bass is excellent and did you know you have an on-screen equalizer? Now, thats handy!
Even at high volume, you won’t worry about distortion and the sound remains clear and crisp. But when it comes to surround sound, we are afraid the Klipsch Cinema 800 doesn’t score high marks here and you will not get that immersive experience. You can tell that the sound is coming from the speakers in front of you.
The Klipsch Cinema 800 has excellent bass and produces deep thumpy sounds. However, it doesn’t have the immersive experience that you get with the JBL Bar 9.1. With the JBL you get surround sound.
The JBL offers you plenty of connectivity options that you can take advantage of to connect not just your TV but also a gaming system. It also features an HDMI port and supports Dolby Atmos format.But one of the best features is the wireless connectivity options. You can use Bluetooth or Wifi connectivity to stream media.
You must be thinking by now, all the features are done, right? Not quite! You can even use the JBL Bar 9.1 to connect between your TV and a PC. This allows you to not just stream content directly to your TV but also to do so in 4k.
The satellite speakers are connected wirelessly. While you don’t need cables to connect the subwoofer, you also need to plug it into a power source.
Turning our attention to the Klipsch Cinema 800. The soundbar will support Dolby Atmos as well as Dolby digital. It allows you to connect to your TV using the HDMI port or optical audio. But can you connect it to the network? Yup! You can use the ethernet port. Using the HDMI port you can play Dolby digital format which is the most common surround sound format.
However, unlike the JBL Bar 9.1, the Klipsch Cinema 800 doesn’t support the DTS format. But does it have wireless connectivity? Indeed it does. You can connect the Klipsch Cinema 800 to another device using Bluetooth to play media on that device. It also supports wifi connectivity. That said while the subwoofer will connect wirelessly to the soundbar, the same is not the case for the satellite speakers.
The JBL Bar 9.1 takes the lead with connectivity. It offers more connectivity options than the Klipsch Cinema 800. It also supports more formats including DTS unlike the Klipsch Cinema 800.
The Extra Features
One great feature of the JBL Bar 9.1 is the interface. It is situated behind the metal grill and provides information such as volume and subwoofer levels. There are also control buttons on the top of the soundbar.
The JBL comes with a remote. While it is simple, it does allow you to control the power as well as volume and inputs. There are no voice assistant features though.
With the Klipsch Cinema 800, you also get an interface and control buttons at the top of the soundbar. Then there’s this part. It lacks volume-assisted controls such as Amazon Alexa or Apple Siri. You also get a basic remote that is not universal but lets you control volume inputs and as well as power.
It’s a tie for the Klipsch Cinema 800 and the JBL Bar 9.1. They both lack voice-assisted controls and come with a small remote. Since nothing stands out we shall give them both equal points here.
So, here’s the thing.
The Klipsch Cinema 800 is a decent soundbar and will provide you with deep bass and clear sounds even on high volumes. However, it doesn’t offer surround sound even while it supports Dolby digital -the most common surround sound format there is. It also has a plastic build which feels cheap though.
The JBL Bar 9.1 on the other hand offers deep bass and has a great metal build. It looks and feels high quality and robust. plus it offers a wider array of features. For the price, the JBL Bar 9.1 is well worth it. And let’s not forget, it provides surround sound and a much more immersive experience.