There’s plenty to unpack after a tour of the Klipsch segment of the VOXX International booth here in Las Vegas for CES 2019. The storied audio brand had a number of new things to show off, including new Heritage series products, their foray into the true wireless audio category (which you can read about here), and more. But they also touted some of the latest and their most high tech soundbars to-date.
In all, Klipsch showcased five new soundbars that range from 40- to 54-inches wide that feature a range of power and other audio dynamics that aim to increase the line’s acoustical reproduction—more on all of that in a minute. But what truly stands out about the new Reference soundbars is the aesthetic changes the company made to them that help improve their wow-factor as well as their functionality.
For starters, the first thing that anyone will notice about these speakers is the exposed horns that bookend the soundbars. The aim here in exposing the horns, Sr. Director of Communications Jill Escol told us, is to make the speakers look more like the brand’s premium line and to perform like them too.
But one tiny cosmetic change about these speakers that stood out to me, having experienced their product in-home in the past, is the shortened height of the soundbars. Klipsch removed easily an inch of height from these soundbars—perhaps even more—which helps prevent unintended interference with the TV that’s positioned above it. For what it’s worth, not all consumers are going to be in a situation where they can (or want to) mount their TV to the wall, meaning the set is going to rest on some sort of TV stand, leaving minimal space from the base to the bottom of the display for a soundbar. It’s a minor adjustment in the grand scheme of this line, but one that will prevent all kinds of frustration for users who’ve experienced IR interference with their TV and soundbar remotes.
The line, in all, features three different sizes of soundbar in the Bar 40, the Bar 48, and the Bar 54A. Two additional models—the 40G and 48W—feature smart technology upgrades. The former offers Google Assistant support, while the latter has built-in WiFi capabilities giving the user access to Google Voice, AirPlay 2, and Amazon Alexa.
The top-of-the-line Bar 54A is an impressive piece of technology. The bar itself sits just as high as the others in the line, but it’s depth, which is nearly twice as deep, allowed Klipsch to add additional up-firing speakers into the sound bar, making it Dolby Atmos ready.
Each of the soundbars can be purchased with or without subwoofers. Prices will range from $299 up to $1,599, and they’ll be available beginning this spring, with a couple of models shipping later in the fall.