The American horn specialist Klipsch presents us with the Klipsch SB 120 TV Sound System. Thanks to the integrated 3-way system including potent subwoofers, this sound bar intends to brings quality TV sound back on track.
To improve the usually very poor sound of modern TVs, the simplest way is to install a front surround system in the form of a sound bar. These systems are available in different widths and depths and are often easy to match with the size of the TV. The SB 120 from Klipsch is more of a "sound base" than a sound bar because of the 13.2 inches deep cabinet, and can easily be added to a TV stand and can hold up to a total weight of 100lbs (45 kilograms). Visually it goes very well with TVs in the 40- to 46-inch class.
Features and Technology
For over 65 years Klipsch has been making speakers and music lovers enjoy the brand mainly because of their legendary horn speakers with unparalleled dynamism and excellent reputation. No wonder then that Klipsch is also incorporating this technique in the SB 120 to allow for a dynamic sound with movies and music.
Inside the 32.7" wide sound bar, the manufacturer is hiding a couple of full-fledged three-way systems that include subwoofers to handle the bass frequencies. On a metal grill covered baffle sit at the outer ends two .75" tweeters in aluminum. In front of these Klipsch uses their famous "Tractrix horns" which are also used in other speakers made by the manufacturer. The 90° x 90° horns provide for an 'adjustment' of the frequency response and increased dynamic of the tweeter. In addition, each tweeter is paired with a 3" midrange driver with polypropylene cones.
Handling the low-frequency response are two oval drivers. The two drivers benefit from the large volume of the cabinet and provide an extended bass response thanks to the support of a reflex port. Unfortunately, Klipsch does not offers a subwoofer pre-out, which means that the sound bar can not be hooked up to an external powered subwoofer if even more depth and pressure should be desired.
The bass level of the Klipsch SB 120 can however be adjusted very comfortably with the small remote control from the listening position. With the 160 Watt amplifier it is possible to fill even larger rooms with sufficient volume.
SB 120 offers one analog stereo RCA and one optical digital input. Bluetooth-enabled devices can be connected to the SB 120 and thanks to apt-X coding you´ll get the best possible sound quality.
Unpacking and Setup
Unpack, set up and be happy is the motto of the Klipsch SB 120 it seems. The TV should ideally be connected to the optical digital input, but if the TV you´re using has no optical output the analog audio output with RCA connectors can be used instead. Bluetooth devices are paired within a few seconds with the Klipsch. Unfortunately, you can only be connected via Bluetooth with the Klipsch on only one device at one time. If you own more than one Bluetooth devices, you´ll need to un-pair the active device before another can be paired with the Klipsch. However, this is not a big deal, because the "pairing" is usually completed in less than 15 seconds. The Bluetooth range is about 3-4 feet indoors. The Klipsch SB 120 can be operated directly on the front of the unit or controlled by the small infrared remote control. Alternatively, the sound bar can be programmed so that existing remote controls, such as the one for your TV, can be used as remote control.
Thanks to the forward-facing bass reflex ports, the sound bar can be placed directly against a wall without it affecting the sound character too much. We first fed the SB 120 with music from a smartphone to test the sound. With a stable and trouble-free connection we could move freely in our house without affecting the music playback.
The Klipsch system provides a very powerful bass that reaches amazingly deep. Depending on the level position (sub +/- on the remote) the bass can sound either fat and juicy or anorectic and anemic. In our listening room, a more modest subwoofer level proved to be ideal. Somewhat ambiguous, we can see the benefits of the "3D switch" that will enhance the perceived sound stage. For pure music playback though, enabling this feature is rather counterproductive, since the sound is unnatural with very distorted voices. In contrast, this was not evident when playing movies on Blu-ray, as special effects were now easier to hear and the room significantly expanded without being diffuse. Nevertheless, we liked the Normal mode best, because with it the sound is the most balanced.
The bass performance is very impressive on the SB 120. Many of my friends and fellow editors were surprised that no external subwoofer was used.
I had a lot of fun watching various action scenes from the latest Blu-ray releases and the SB 120 reproduced them them all with poise and conviction, but even more calmer and subtle soundtracks benefited from the enormously dynamic play style.
The American speaker specialist proves with this sound bar that they know their craft and their sound philosophy remains true. With the SB 120, Klipsch conjures up the typical punchy, lively and dynamic sound that ensures plenty of enjoyment when watching movies and listening to music.
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- IN THe bOX
- Single cabinet, 3-way speaker system with built-in dual subwoofers, provides a new aesthetic solution for vastly improved flat-panel television sound
- Rests under most flat-panel TV’s with placement flexibility on stands, cabinets, countertops, etc.
- Exclusive Klipsch horn-loaded technology combined with dual, built-in subwoofers for dynamic, room-filling sound
- Bluetooth® wireless technology for music streaming from smartphones, portable music players and computers
- Dolby® Digital decoding for quick, one-connection setup with most TV’s
- Remote learning capability controls the system from your existing remote
- Switchable, 3D surround mode simulates a multiple speaker surround system
|SYSTEM TYPE:||3-way system; built-in subwoofers|
|FREQUENCY RESPONSE:||50Hz - 20kHz +-3db|
|POWER HANDLING:||160 watts peak|
|TWEETER:||Two .75" (19mm) Aluminum tweeters mated to 90° x 90° Tractrix® Horns|
|MIDRANGE:||Two 3" (7.6cm) poly drivers|
|WOOFER:||Two 3” (7.6cm) x 5” (12.7cm) oval, long-throw woofers / ported enclosure|
|INPUTS:||Bluetooth, 1 Optical input, 1 Dual RCA input|
|DIMENSIONS:||3.9" (9.9cm) H x 32.7" (83.1cm) W x 13.2" (33.6cm) D|
|WEIGHT:||23 lbs / 10.4 kg|
|FINISH:||Brushed black cabinet with painted steel mesh grille|
|INCLUDED ACCESSORIES:||One 5.25 ft. (1.6m) digital optical cable, one 5.25 ft. (1.6m) 3.5mm to dual RCA cable, one remote control|
|TV PLACEMENT REQUIREMENTS :||TV's <100 lbs (45kg), TV base <31” (78cm) W x 11” (28cm) D|
Klipsch SB 120
AC Power Cord
Digital Optical Cable
3.5mm to Dual RCA Cable