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Klipsch R-20B Soundbar Review
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Review

Klipsch R-20B Soundbar Review

by 2015/11/01
Overview
Price

$650

Product Name

Klipsch R-20B Soundbar

Positives

• Easy Setup
• Can be wall mounted
• Wireless
• Powerful

Negatives

• No HDMI
• Highs are too bright at loud volumes
• 3D Mode is lackluster
• The Remote doesn’t have many functions

Rating
Our Rating
User Rating
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Sound Quality
85%
78%
Appearance
85%
76%
Worth it?
65%
66%
Ease of Use
90%
82%
Hardware
75%
88%
Features
70%
30%
Bottom Line

It's a solid and powerful soundbar, but it doesn't quite offer enough for it's price.

78%
Our Rating
70%
User Rating
7 ratings
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If you’re not an expert on home theater equipment, it can be hard to pick out a quality sound system that best suits your needs. When it comes to the R-20B Soundbar, Klipsch has really simplified matters for the average user. If you don’t want to waste much of your time researching, and you’re not a total audiophile, the R-20B will totally get the job done. It’s also pretty straightforward to use.

The Setup

Perhaps the greatest aspect of the R-20B is its quick setup. It scarcely gets any easier to setup home theater equipment. Essentially, you plug the soundbar and subwoofers into their respective power outlets, plug the soundbar into your TV with an Optical or RCA cable and then turn everything on and you’re good to go.

R-20B Klipsch soundbar TV front

Another benefit of the R-20B is its massive 15-meter wireless range that allows you a lot of flexibility with the subwoofer’s placement while setting up. Plus, it’s a nice bonus that you don’t need to worry about hiding unsightly wires all over the room. To save even more space, while keeping your viewing room sleek and elegant, you can easily mount the R-20B to your wall.

Design and Features

The R-20B’s main block comes with four 3-inch midrange drivers and two ¾ inch tweeters. This is a definite upgrade from the R-10B’s two midrange drivers. Additionally, it fills out the bass with a 10-inch bass driver inside its side-firing subwoofer enclosure. This improves the R-20B’s sub from R-10B’s sub by two inches.

R-20B Klipsch subwoofer

Since the main speaker block is just over a meter wide, the R-20B is probably best paired with TVs that are at least 40 inches wide. Keeping this in mind, you’ll want to make sure your entertainment center is at least that wide if you don’t plan on mounting it to the wall. TV’s much larger than 50 inches might be better suited with a larger sound system.

R-20B Klipsch Soundbar slant

One of its handiest features is its Bluetooth compatibility with aptX compression. This makes it possible to stream CD quality music to the R-20B from any of your Bluetooth compatible devices. Bare in mind, this is of course only worthwhile if your files are actually of CD quality. In other words, using Bluetooth to play an MP3 file is not going to yield CD quality with or without aptX compression. So, be sure your file formats are not compressed below CD quality to maximize this feature.

Though the R-20B comes with its own Optical cable, it does not support HDMI inputs. While this is okay for many users, it really sucks if you want to get the most out of your Blu-Rays and 4k quality streams. So if you’ve completely made the switch to Blu-Ray, you probably want to avoid the R-20B altogether since you’d actually be decreasing your audio quality when using an Optical cable.

Performance

First and foremost, the R-20B really is pretty powerful. It’s also extremely clear and articulate. Whether you’re watching a film or listening to some music, it’s going to have all the power you need and it’s going to sound pretty good. However, some audiophiles might be a little disappointed, as it’s a sound is somewhat unbalanced at higher volumes. In such scenarios, its highs can be a tad on the bright or overly sharp side. That being said, that’s exactly why it sounds so crisp and clear at more moderate volumes—the highs really cut through. Fortunately, these soften up and become less harsh after a few weeks of use. Like most speakers, you’ve got to break them in a little before they sound their best.

R-20B Klipsch soundbar and subwoofer

Since the R-20B lacks an interface, it is without an equalizer for users to hone in the system’s performance to their liking. For some, this might be a deal breaker. However, it does have source, mute, and volume selectors with an LED light to indicate when the system is on. Likewise, the remote carries these same features as well as Bluetooth and 3D mode selector buttons. Again, for some, the minimalist features and simplistic remote might be a little too bare bones for the R-30B’s price tag. For others, the system’s performance might be just be perfect off the bat. After all, not everyone wants to spend an eternity just trying to dial in his or her system before use.

R-20B Klipsch Remote

Though the R-20B has a 3D mode, it’s really a bit sub par as its stereo field is too narrow. This is one of the inherent downsides of using a theater sound system that only has one block of speakers to fill out the mids and treble. No matter how well it’s engineered, it won’t be able to fully replicate the sense of immersion that comes from multiple sources surrounding you. Ultimately, you’re better off using it in its standard mode— which is certainly nothing to scoff at.

Unfortunately, some users have reported difficulties with the R-20 occasionally turning itself on automatically. However, it doesn’t appear that this fault is widespread, and several users were able to resolve the issue after contacting Klipsch’s help line.

Conclusion

R-20B Klipsch soundbar with TV

While its performance is pretty good, I personally feel it might be a little expensive for its minimal features. Though it’s sonically an improvement over it’s predecessor, it should at least have more features considering the dramatic difference in price. That being said, it appears its price has at least gone down from $800 to $650 at some retailers. So if you want a powerful and decent quality soundbar that will just plug-in and go, the Klipsch R-20B might be right for you.

United States

Amazon , Newegg

International

Ebay, BHphotovideo

“Solid Performance, Simple Setup, Decent Sound”


“Outstanding sound, but falls short with the remote.”


“Excellent sound system if you don't have room for full-size speakers”


Automatically turns itself on. Big annoyance!”


  • System Type: 2-way soundbar with 10” wireless subwoofer
  • System Frequency Response: 27.5Hz-20kHz +/- 3dB
  • Subwoofer Frequency Response: 27.5Hz-129Hz +/- 3dB
  • Max Acoustic Output: 113 dB
  • Amplifier Power: 250 Watts peak system power
  • Tweeter: Two .75” (19mm) textile dome tweeters mated to dual 90° x 90° Tractrix® Horns
  • Midrange: Four 3” (76mm) polypropylene drivers
  • Subwoofer: One 10” (254mm) side-firing fiber composite cone/ported enclosure. MDF cabinet
  • Inputs: 1 Optical digital, 1 Stereo RCA, Bluetooth® with aptX® audio coding technology
  • Dimensions: Soundbar: 40” (1015.8mm) W x 2.8” (71mm) D x 4.1” (105.1mm) H / Subwoofer: 9.1” (230mm) W x 18” (457mm) D x 13.7” (349mm) H
  • Weight: Soundbar: 8.5 lbs (3.9 kg) Subwoofer: 26 lbs (11.8 kg)
  • Packaged Weight: 49.4 lbs (22.4 kg)
  • Mounting Options: Two built-in keyhole mounts for wall mounting, also includes removable rubber feet for tabletop positioning
  • Finish: Soundbar: Satin black. Subwoofer: Brushed Black Vinyl. Grille: Perforated Metal
  • Included Accessories: One 1.5m optical cable, one pair of rubber feet, one wall mounting template, one ergonomic remote control, power supply.
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About The Author
Dlukacs

Daniel Lukacs is a musician, a sound technician, and freelance writer with a passion for music, film, and philosophy. While he currently specializes in product reviews, album reviews, film reviews, and guitar blogs, he is eager to expand his creative talents to other writing styles and areas of interest.

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Sound Quality
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Features