Both Samsung and Klipsch are producers of high quality audio devices and there has always been great competition among the two. In this review, we will be looking at two of the most liked soundbars- the Samsung HW Q950t and the Klipsch Cinema 1200. Which one should you pick? Keep reading to find out.
Differences between Samsung HW Q950T vs Klipsch Cinema 1200
The table below shows the specifications of the two soundbars so that they can be quickly compared. We will be comparing these 5.0.2 channels soundbars from different perspectives such as design, build quality, audio performance, connectivity, control and features.
Whilst design is a matter of perspective, I personally think that Samsung HW Q950t has a cleaner and better outlook when compared to Klipsch Cinema 1200. I am not a very big of the display of the tweeter horns even though they are a much functional part of the design in the klipsch soundbar. However, the angular edges in Q950t really catches the eye and feels refreshing.
Definitely wood would be a better option when compared to plastic. For the very same reason, Klipsch wins this round. In terms of build quality, the wooden composition in the Klipsch cinema 1200 feels very premium when compared to the HW Q950t soundbar.
Connectivity and Control
Klipsch Cinema 1200 offers more versatile connectivity options compared to Samsung HW Q950t. Whilst both soundbars provide 2 HDMI inputs and 1 HDMI output, Cinema 1200 offers 3.5 mm jack and RCA subwoofer output. When it comes to Bluetooth connectivity, both soundbars offer wireless streaming with the Klipsch Cinema 1200 supporting Bluetooth 5.0 and the Samsung HW Q950t offering Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity. Lastly, the Samsung soundbar also offers Spotify Connect and Wi-Fi.
Both the soundbars are compatible with Dolby Atmos and Dobly Digital Plus. However, Samsung HW 950T allows compatibility for other audio formats such as DTS:X and Dobly TrueHD.
In terms of audio sound, the most visible difference is the channel configuration. Whilst Samsung has a channel configuration of 9.1.4, cinema 1200 has a configuration of 5.1.4 channels. Indeed, the extra channels that come with Samsung HW Q950t would provide a more impactful Dolby Atmos performance. The more speakers included, the better the surround sound experience. However, when it comes to subwoofer size, Cinema 1200 incorporates a larger subwoofer than Hw Q950t, meaning that the Klipsch soundbar would provide a more impactful bass response.
Both soundbars have additional features which are useful for the user experience. One notable difference in feaures is that Samsung HW Q950t supports Alexa voice assistant but Klipsch Cinema 1200 does not. Moreover, Samsung offers more flexibility in audio customization but for the Klipsch soundbar, the customization is very limited.
Samsung HW Q950t
The elegant and sophisticated Samsung HW Q950t are high technology active soundbars with a wide array of features for convenient and enjoyable listening. The soundbars main selling point is certainly its ability to immerse the audiophiles into a three dimensional audio space. Although a little expense, these 9.1.4 channel soundbars allow listeners to enjoy voice assistants, four different sound modes, built-in Bluetooth and audio compatible with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. These wonderful soundbars should differently be at the top of your list when you are looking for fully immersive, cinema-like movie nights at home.
What’s inside the box?
When you unpack the box, you will find the active soundbar speaker itself, which comes with a wireless powered subwoofer and also two wireless rear speakers. To power the soundbar, it will require an AC power adapter which is included in the box. With the power adapter are four 5-inch AC power cords. There also includes a 59 inch HDMI cable. To control the soundbar, there is a remote control included in the box. This remote control can be powered using two AA batteries. A convenient factor about the Samsung HW Q950t soundbar is that it can be wall mounted. Hence, the packaging includes two wall mount brackets, two screw holders, two screws and four self- adhesive pads. If the user is unsure about setting up the soundbar in the wall, he can make use of the wall mount guide that comes with the packaging. Lastly, no soundbar is ever complete without a user manual.
Design and build quality
At first glance, the exterior of Samsung HW Q950t is not that different from that of its predecessor, HW-Q90R. However, when looked closely, it is seen that the soundbar has some different touches that is lacking in its predecessor.
Personally, I think that the design of HW Q950t is a breath of fresh air. Looking at the same old boxy design was getting boring, and these soundbars definitely caught my eye. The angular sides of the soundbar give it a very geometric vibe that is appealing. And that is not all, as much as the angular design looks aesthetic, it also allows the inclusion of two new left and right surround speakers. The design Samsung HW Q950t is quite wide but it will not fit between a 55-inch TV for sure. It is also very heavy, weighing at about 15.7 lbs. It is composed of mostly plastic, whilst the front and sides of the bar are covered with a tight mesh fabric. This stylish Kvadrat fbric fabric, although it protects all of the speakers, can easily collect dust.
At the front of the soundbar are LED lights for power and volume. There is also a screen which shows input source and audio format. On the top of the HW Q950t are physical controls. The soundbar houses buttons for power on/standby, input selection, and controls for Alexa. On either side of the display screen are volume buttons and mic on or off button for enabling/ disabling the voice assistant.
In the back of the Samsung HQ Q950t is one opening for an input port and another power cable on the right side. It includes two HDMI 2.1 inputs which allows the user to connect Ultra-HD Blu-ray player and satellite box directly to the soundbar. There is also one one HDMI 2.1 output which is eARC compatible. The inputs and outputs are compatible with 4K Pass-Through, HDR, 3D video, and eARC. Lastly, there is an optical (toslink) digital input that can be used to connect television, Blu-ray or DVD player, and cable or satellite box.
There are some additional features that the Samsung HW Q950t soundbar has which makes it special. Let’s discuss a few of them.
Firstly, this soundbar is a 9.1.4 channel soundbar, meaning that it has quite an impressive number of drivers and speakers. It has nine discrete front-wide center, surround, and height channels which allows the Q950t to deliver a three dimensional audio experience, creating an illusion of the sound moving virtually around the atmosphere. This is done using a fifteen driver array. The center channel consists of two woofers and one tweeter for enhanced dialogue clarity. The side channels also make use of angled side firing woofer for better stereo imaging. That’s not the end, there are two up firing channels for overhead effects.
Samsung HW Q950t also comes with wireless rear speakers, which include front firing and top firing full range drivers powered by 70-watt amplifier, receiving audio information from the soundbar wirelessly with ease. Along with the wireless speakers, there is also an inclusion of the subwoofer which incorporates side-firing 6.5″ woofer for bigger and better bass response.
The Samsung soundbar is capable of producing audio in four different sound modes. The Adaptive sound mode can be enabled for voice clarity since it allows the lowest of sounds to be heard. For an immersive and three dimensional audio experience, the user can enable the 3D surround mode which helps add depth and spaciousness to the audio. Game Pro mode, as the name suggests, is specifically for the gamers to enjoy their gaming experience with friends. Lastly, Stereo mode can be selected to enjoy two channel stereo playback.
Samsung HW Q950t also enables users to enjoy voice assistant. It includes a built-in Amazon Alexa with integrated microphone which offers hands free access to online music streaming platforms such as Amazon Music, Apple Music, Pandora, TuneIn, iHeartRadio, Tidal, Spotify Connect, First, the user needs to download the Amazon Alexa app onto the smartphone or the tablet. Wi-Fi setup is done using the SmartThings app. All the user needs to do is simply ask for their favorite song to be played and Alexa will do the rest!
Apart from built-in voice assistant, Samsung HW Q950t also features built-in Bluetooth 4.2 for wireless connectivity. This feature allows the user to seamlessly connect the soundbar to the TV and enable Bluetooth Audio Streaming. There also includes an auto power on or power off feature- previously paired Bluetooth device will be automatically connected without any hassle.
The HW Q950t soundbar includes an IR remote to make adjustments. However, the SmartThings app can be used to turn a compatible smartphone or tablet into a remote control for the soundbar.
The Samsung HW Q950t active soundbar has a 15 driver array which is powered by a built-in 246-watt amplifier. This delivers 18 watts to each of the twelve woofer and 10 watts to each of the three tweeters for a room filling and dynamic audio experience.
Each of the drivers work together to deliver audio that is very loud and satisfactory to the ear, without really causing much distortion. The low end sounds heavy and boomy and is perfect for loud action packed movies which involve shootings and explosions. The midrange and treble sound sweet with a natural timbre. What is best about the soundbar is its neutral profile which makes it suitable for all kinds of music.
Apart for the variety of sound modes that the Samsung HW Q950t offers, it also gives the users the scope to customize the audio using six different audio adjustments. The Q Symphony feature synchronizes select 2020 Samsung QLED TV speakers with the soundbar for a more immersive audio experience. AV sync is used to seamlessly sync audio to video when its connected to a television. Ofcourse, you can use the equalizer to make adjustments to the bass and treble and make adjustments to the subwoofer and rear volume using remote control.
Samsung HW Q950t exhibits quite a great stereo soundstage. The soundstage seems accurate in the sense that it is very focused and objects seem to appear from locate-able areas. The two discrete side channels help to accurately localize objects like voices in the sound image. The bar is capable of delivering up to 9.1.4-channel surround for Dolby Atmos & DTS:X. With Dolby, the sound is alive- it comes from different directions creating a new sensation of height. Similarly, DTS:X a multi-dimensional audio technology, delivers realistic, rich and room-filling audio enabling a wide soundstage.
What we liked about the soundbar
- Samsung HW Q950t is a dynamic soundbar that offers really powerful and immersive audio response.
- The sounbar has a versatile design with its angled corners, which not only feels aesthetic and premium, but also serves a major audio functionality.
- Overall, it offers a well-balanced and neutral sound profile with wide stereo soundstage.
- Samsung HW Q950t is equipped with numerous features that are very useful, one of which is the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity.
- The soundbar offers Dolby Vision and HDR10+ passthrough.
What we disliked about the soundbar
- The sounbar lacks room correction or auto calibration feature even though it has many other advanced features.
- Samsung HW Q950t is a wonderful soundbar, but it can be a bit pricey for audiophile with a tight budget.
- The display placement on the surface of the bar could have been positioned differently for better functionality.
- It doesn’t support Chromecast or Airplay and the SmartThings app has limitations.
Klipsch Cinema 1200
The Klipsch Cinema 1200 is a beastly 5.1.4 channel soundbar which delivers surround sound with great power and immersion. The dynamic soundbar allows users to connect with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa for voice control and make use of apps such as Spotify Connect and Klipsch Connect for an convenient listening. It has a premium build with a standard design for maximum audio output. An audiophile should definitely consider this soundbar if they want an immersive audio experience.
What’s inside the box?
When you open the box, you will find the active soundbar speaker itself along with a wireless powered subwoofer and two wireless surround speakers. In order to power up the devices, the packaging also includes four 6.5-inch AC power cords. The Klipsch cinema 1200 active soundbar can be controlled using a remote control which is included in the box. In order for this remote control to function, it requires batteries and the box includes two AA batteries. There is also a 58 inch HDMI cable to connect the soundbar to the television. Since the cinema 1200 has been designed in a way that it can be mounted on the wall, it also requires the equipment to set it up on the wall. For this, the packaging includes two wall mount brackets which can be put up using two screws. It also includes two self-adhesive cork pads along with eight self-adhesive rubber feet to protect the soundbar. There are two pre-installed black endcaps and two wood endcaps. Lastly, if the user needs any help in mounting the soundbar, he or she can just use the wall-mount template and instruction booklet.
Design and build quality
The Klipsch Cinema 1200 soundbar looks quite similar to other Klipsch soundbars but has a few tweaks in its design. The best part of the black oak-lined block is that it is composed of wood, which not only gives it a classy and premium outlook but also allows smoother and better resonance, thus causing enhanced audio response.
The soundbar has dimensions of 54 x 2.9 x 6.2 inches and it is quite heavy, weighing about 17 pounds. Klipsch Cinema 1200 is built mostly from wood unlike other bars which are built using mostly plastic. It has both ends displaying the alien-looking horn loaded tweeter, giving the entire design of the soundbar a futuristic vibe. The rectangular bar has a basic design and most of it is wrapped in a black grille cloth.
At the top panel, there are stylish brushed metal plates as controls for Power On/Off, Source Selection, and Volume Up/Down. The front panel of the soundbar includes a display which indicates source selection, volume level, and audio settings. The front panel also displays three brightness levels. This display is really large and can light up the room pretty easily.
At the back of Klispch cinema 1200 are all the connection ports. The soundbar is equipped with both digital and analogue audio inputs. The optical (toslink) digital input supports Dolby Digital whilst the 3.5 mm analogue aux input is used to connect other source devices. Apart from the basic connectivity options, the cinema 1200 also includes two HDMI inputs and one HDMI eARC output which supports up to 8K video with HDR. Both these connections are compatible with HDMI 2.1 specification and HDCP 2.3 support. Apart from standard ARC, the active soundbar supports eARC via its HDMI output. This allows full-bandwidth audio transference and removes any sync issues since the soundbar does all the decoding rather than the television itself.
The sound system has both wired and wireless connectivity options and it also supports Bluetooth for easy and transportable listening.
There are multiple noteworthy features of the Klipsch Cinema 1200. We are going to discuss some of the more important ones.
Klipsch Cinema 1200 is a 5 channel soundbar, meaning that it has dedicated front left or right, center, and height left or right channels which work together to deliver true Dolby Atmos sound. The dedicated center channel has been designed to ensure vocal clarity whilst the front left and right channels are focused on delivering accurate stereo imaging. These channels incorporate two 3″ oval fiber composite woofers and one 1″ LTS soft-dome tweeter paired with 90° x 90° Tractrix horn. The use of Linear Travel Suspension Technology ensures that the soft dome tweeters keep distortion at minimum and offer detailed audio response. The 90° x 90° Tractrix horn technology helps to control dispersion and sound direction. Six of the oval fiber composite woofers ensure a detailed midrange response, with enhanced dialogue clarity. Lastly, the Cerametallic material is used in the up-firing drivers so as to ensure robustness for powerful and loud sound.
Along with the active soundbar, there are wireless powered subwoofers included with the system for a room-filling bass response. Wireless 2.4 GHz technology helps to automatically connect the subwoofer without much of a hassle. The system further incorporates two wireless surround speakers with integrated front and up-firing height drivers.
Klipsch Cinema 1200 offers wireless and wired network connectivity. The audio system includes 2.4GHz WiFi for smooth wireless network connectivity. An Ethernet jack is included for wired connectivity. The soundbar features a built-in Bluetooth with support for A2DP and AVRCP. This means that the user can stream audio wirelessly with his or her tablet, phone or any compatible smart device.
The soundbar works quite well with Amazon Alexa. It allows listeners to stream audio using compatible music apps with Amazon Echo device or other Alexa-enabled devices. However, in order to perform activies such as stream music, listen to radio or weather forecasts, the audiophile needs to have the Alexa App installed in his or her device.
One of the most useful and unique features that the 5 channel active soundbar has is the Chromecast built-in feature. This feature enables the user to cast their favorite music apps from Apple iOS or Android device to the soundbar. That is not all, this feature allows the user to carry out a number of activities. For instance, with the use of Chromecast built-in the Klipsch cinema 1200 delivers an immersive audio experience with multiroom audio capability. There’s also an optional voice control feature which allows the listener to control playback of compatible Chromecast built-in music apps.
The HDR and Dolby vision delivers excellent visual quality, producing image that is realistic and colorful.
The Klipsch Connect App is a useful addition that allows users to control certain parts of the soundbar using a smartphone or tablet. There also includes a backlit IR remote which lets users to control the soundbar.
The Klipsch cinema 1200 soundbar employs a 5-channel speaker configuration that has a frequency response of 22 to 20000 hertz and a maximum acoustic output of 109 dB.
The center channel speaker ensures that everything is clear and the audio is directed towards the user, so dialogue clarity shouldn’t be a much of a problem. The soundbar is really loud and noisy, but at the same time it can portray the details with delicacy. The tractrix horn tweeters ensure higher frequencies to be more energetic and colorful whilst the woofer does a great job at keeping the thunderous movie scenes alive. The subwoofer can provide impressive low end power however if you do not enjoy excessive bass output, unfortunately the volume control cannot fix this problem.
Klipsch Cinema 1200 offers the users a wide variety of playback sound modes to select from. Whilst the standard mode is set for everyday listening, a direct mode can be selected for an artistic music and movie playback. The listener can be entertained through the use of music and movie modes which each focus specially on the specific reason for streaming. There’s further a game mode for gamers to enjoy a more fantastic audio experience and lastly, the party mode is a must if you are hosting loud parties for a great musical time.
The audio modes are not only limited to the ones mentioned here. There is also a dialogue mode which as its name suggests, allows detailed, intelligible and clear dialogue when enabled. The night mode can be activated when the user is listening in a quieter environment.
The soundbar provides four Dolby Atmos channel and this brings the audio to new heights, literally. The result is an immersive surround sound experience with three dimensional audio response. The entire audio system successfully mimics the atmosphere in that of a movie theater, leaving the listener wanting more every time.
What we liked about the soundbar
- Klipsch Cinema 1200 offers amazing Dolby Atmos immersive audio experience.
- The soundbar, unlike most soundbars, is built with wood which makes its quality much better.
- It has a powerful and loud bass response with lots of punch.
- The active 5.1.4 channel soundbar has a wide range of connectivity options for easy setup and use.
What we disliked about the soundbar
- Klipsch Cinema 1200 does not allow room calibration and it has limited sound customization.
- The soundbar does not include DTS decoding.
- Even though the bass is really powerful, sometimes it can get boom-y and overpowering.
- It does not include DTS or DTS:X support.
The Final Verdict
Comparing a 5.1.4 channel soundbar to a 9.1.4 channel soundbar is a difficult task. No audio device will ever be perfect- there will always be some gaps that need to be filled. Before selecting the perfect soundbar for your audio system, it is required to research and test them- but that is not always possible given limitations in time and resources. Hence from our review, we came to some following conclusions.
The Samsung HW Q950t is a great choice for audiophiles looking to upgrade their sound system to enjoy fantastic movie sound with dynamic range and immersive Dolby Atmos Audio. If you want compact speakers in your room and be able to use your soundbar with a wide range of sources wirelessly, these soundbars would be great choice. This soundbar is also less pricey than its competitor and it has a wide range of useful features. Lastly, if audio performance is your main focus and you are not in a tight budget, the Klipsch Cinema 1200 would do wonders to your system.