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Klipsch Reference Cinema System 5.1.4 With Dolby Atmos Review: Great Sounding Instant Cinema



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A soundbar may get extraordinarily near emulating cinema sound at residence, however there actually is not any substitute for a devoted encompass sound system. The Klipsch Reference Cinema System 5.1.4 with Dolby Atmos paired with an AV receiver, for instance, is an on the spot improve to your home theater. And you will discover it at an outrageously low worth.

The comparatively compact system provides glorious residence cinema sound. It is also one among solely two way of life Dolby Atmos packages I’ve seen up to now six years — shocking contemplating how lengthy the spatial audio format has been round. The opposite Atmos system, the Focal Sib Evo, is costlier and has fewer channels, making Klipsch’s setup extra recommendable. It even sounds nice with music. Its solely potential disadvantage is its fiddly setup.


  • Punchy residence cinema sound
  • Easy management and encompass steering
  • Sounds nice with music too

Whereas residence theater obsessives may pooh-pooh a “cinema in a field” answer, there are some actual advantages. The primary is integration. Since the entire satellites are the identical measurement, it signifies that encompass results can transfer seamlessly from one speaker to a different. The result’s higher immersion as a result of sound high quality would not dip distractingly when the motion strikes to the (smaller) rears, for instance. Secondly, these petite audio system may be positioned in an unobtrusive manner, and so they provide a sleeker look than most soundbars. Most individuals do not have room for 4 or extra equivalent audio system of their dwelling area, and the Klipsch’s compactness solves this.

What it’s


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The Klipsch Reference Cinema System 5.1.4 — that is 10 channels in all — is a Dolby Atmos speaker set that provides a “simply add receiver” answer. The system consists of three fundamental parts: 4 Dolby Atmos-capable satellites, a middle dialogue channel and an lively 10-inch subwoofer.

The satellites embrace the proprietary 5.25-inch spun-copper driver paired with a 1-inch aluminum LTS tweeter within the firm’s Tractrix Horn. For Dolby Atmos duties, the highest of the cupboard encompasses a 4-inch polyfiber driver designed to bounce peak results off the ceiling and again down at you. Every of the audio system is 3.5 inches excessive and 6.5 inches vast. The middle channel options twin 4-inch copper spun drivers and a 1-inch tweeter in a 17.6-inch vast cupboard.

The subwoofer boasts a 10-inch driver in a roughly 15-inch sq. field. It provides the standard controls, together with quantity, section and a low go filter. The sub would not characteristic any of the flowery inputs or outputs of costlier fashions with solely a single set of RCA-in jacks, although what’s there may be loads for most individuals. The sub is rated at 150 watts and is able to a frequency response of 32Hz-120Hz (+/- 3dB). Evaluate this to Klipsch’s new $750 sub, which works as deep as a claimed 22Hz!


The package deal consists of sufficient wires for the entire audio system, which is a pleasant contact, although it’s fairly crucial because the speaker “binding posts” will solely settle for skinny, naked wires and never banana plugs. I discovered it’s very easy to attach the wires securely and for them to not work. The connection inside is troublesome to see, and it is simple to push the wire too far in. This leads to the publish contacting the insulation as an alternative of the naked wire and in the end no sound. If the catch on the finish of the publish was steel as an alternative of plastic, this would not be a difficulty.


Ty Pendlebury/CNET

Moreover, when connecting the models, I discovered you must be methodical about which wires you plug in as they aren’t labeled. (I marked Atmos Heights with a inexperienced piece of tape, for instance). Remember that there are 10 units of wires — and each Dolby speaker has two units every — so put aside no less than an hour to get all the things connected.

I linked the system to an Onkyo TX-RZ50, which provides Klipsch presets for well-liked audio system — and although it would not have one for the Reference set particularly, it does provide the “Klipsch>Different” catch-all. I used a decibel meter app to set levels, after which I used to be able to rock!

The way it sounds

Among the finest residence cinema take a look at scenes I’ve but encountered is the Thanator Assault scene from the unique Avatar. From whispered dialog to expansive jungle soundscapes to pummeling dynamics, this scene has all the things. When fed via the Klipsch Reference Cinema system, the sound was cohesive, clear and simply understandable. It was plenty of enjoyable, too! Encompass steering was flawless, and there was even a way of peak because the Thanator approached — although it isn’t an Atmos soundtrack.

Switching to the Dolby Atmos soundtrack of Mad Max, although, I had goosebumps from the opening seconds. I beloved it. Encompass results swirled effortlessly between the audio system — together with heights — and the dialogue was crystal clear. When Rockatansky fired up his Charger’s engine, it had the full-throated roar you’d count on — due to the deft dealing with of the 10-inch sub.

With music, the Atmos mixture of Nick Cave’s Purple Proper Hand on Apple Music was initially somewhat lopsided. The underside observe of the bass riff sounded “floopy,” to cite a technical time period. To place it one other manner, the deepest observe distorted, and I discovered I needed to alter the bass to combine it higher. 

After that, a succession of tunes flew by: Grand Salvo’s Subject of Flowers was dynamic and intimate; Beta Band’s Life was impressively deep; and Okkervil River’s For Actual sounded punchy and enjoyable. Finally, I needed to go away, however I wished to remain and hear extra.

Must you purchase it?

Other than some setup quirks — one thing the Klipsch has in frequent with its Focal Sib Evo competitor — the Klipsch Reference Cinema System 5.1.4 with Dolby Atmos is an entirely pleasant speaker set. It is dynamic with motion pictures and may sound nice with music, too. 

Whereas it isn’t unfair to ask individuals to pay the total $1,400 retail worth, it’s best to make sure to get this technique whereas it is on sale. If there was ever a product accessible for the widest worth spectrum, that is it. I’ve seen this set for anyplace between $400 and $1,400. Clearly, it’s best to attempt to get it for as little as you possibly can, and at as much as $1,000 off, that is fairly a steal.