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Bowers & Wilkins vs Klipsch Soundbars: Which Is Better?

Best Klipsch Soundbars Today

Bowers & Wilkins vs Klipsch Soundbars: Which Is Better?

Soundbars come in a variety of different configurations. Some, like the Bowers & Wilkins Panorama 3, make up for the lack of surround capability by boasting stellar audio quality over its three channels. Others, like the Klipsch Cinema 800, bring massive amounts of power to drive its three channels.

Purchasing a soundbar can be a costly endeavor and, as such, it pays to know what you’re getting. If you’re in the market for a soundbar, it only makes sense to take a closer look at some of the options on the market today.

So, how does the Panorama 3 stack up against the Cinema 800? Both of these soundbars have some similarities for certain, but which one is better? Let’s take a closer look at how these two soundbars perform, what they’re best at, and, ultimately, which one is worth your purchase.

Bowers & Wilkins vs Klipsch Soundbars: Side-by-Side Comparison

Bowers & Wilkins Panorama 3Klipsch Cinema 800
Channel Configuration3.1.23.1.2
Low-Frequency Speakers24
Midrange Speakers6Not Applicable
High-Frequency Speakers33
Power Output400 watts800 watts
Frequency Response43Hz to 48kHz28Hz to 20kHz
SubwooferNot applicableYes
Subwoofer TypeNot applicableBass Reflex
InputsHDMI, optical, USB, Ethernet, BluetoothHDMI, optical, 3.5mm audio, USB, Ethernet, Bluetooth
OutputsNoneHDMI, RCA
Audio CodecsDolby Atmos, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, LPCMDolby Atmos, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus
Wall MountableYesYes
Weight13.9 pounds22 pounds

Despite having similar channel configurations, there are some distinct differences on display with both soundbars.

Bowers & Wilkins vs Klipsch Soundbars: What’s the Difference?

Both the Panorama 3 and Cinema 800 are three-channel soundbars, but that’s about where the similarities end. They have very different sound profiles, as well as some additional features that will get covered.

Sound Quality

It is honestly shocking how good the Bowers & Wilkins Panorama 3 sounds. It has a deep and wide soundstage, which greatly benefits from the Dolby Atmos mixes you can get.

Bass response is a little on the lower side of the equation, but is still quite deep and rich. The midrange and high-end content shine, however.

If there are any criticisms to be made regarding the sound quality, it is simply the lack of a dedicated subwoofer. If you aren’t huge on massive bass response, this might be less of a consideration to keep in mind. The Panorama 3 handles music, films, games, and shows with equal success.

Effortless Connectivity
Bowers & Wilkins Panorama 3
$949.00
  • Dolby Atmos and Dolby TrueHD
  • HDMI eARC input
  • 24-bit hi-res quality
  • Built-in Amazon Alexa, AirPlay 2, Bluetooth aptX Adaptive, and Spotify Connect
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/11/2024 04:52 pm GMT

The Cinema 800 is a stark comparison to the Panorama 3. It has a wide soundstage for certain, which you can feel and respond to when listening to Dolby Atmos content.

Despite the massive difference in the power output, the Cinema 800 comes across as far quieter. The extended frequency response for the bass also leads to the Cinema 800 having less high-frequency responsiveness.

You can see this in frequency graphs for the two devices, with the Panorama 3 reaching well beyond 20kHz in frequencies. For the average ear, this might not be a huge consideration, but it can lead to music sounding boxy and less open.

Connectivity

The Panorama 3 comes with a full complement of input ports. You’ll find options for HDMI eARC, optical, and USB connections directly on the device itself. You also get the option of connecting via Ethernet or Bluetooth for streaming media.

Where the Panorama 3 falls short is in lacking any sort of outputs for HDMI or optical passthrough. If you’re not looking at building a massive home theater setup, this might be less of a consideration. For those who might be, it is something to keep in mind. What it does have works well, the addition of eARC support should be a standard at this point.

The Cinema 800 has a similar variety of input ports. HDMI eARC, optical, and USB connections are all present, along with the standard 3.5mm auxiliary cable used for a stereo output from most home devices.

There are outputs on this device, however, with optical and HDMI passthrough. Naturally, it does have eARC support for uncompressed audio direct from the HDMI source. There is an additional output for RCA connections to provide a connection to a wired subwoofer.

Audio Codecs

The Panorama 3 supports standard audio codecs. You’ll find that the usual suspects, like Dolby Atmos, are supported by the device. It isn’t true surround but you do at least get some spatial depth on playback.

The Panorama 3 has support for Apple AirPlay 2, as well, meaning you can stream media from your smart device anywhere in your home.

You can also use Spotify Connect or Bluetooth audio streaming if you have an Android device. This soundbar is fairly well-featured when it comes to providing audio codec support for its three channels of output.

Amazing Value
Klipsch Cinema 800
$379.00
  • 48” 3.1 Sound Bar
  • 10” Wireless Subwoofer included
  • HDMI-eARC
  • Dolby Atmos Decoding
  • 8K Video Pass-Through
  • 800W Peak Power
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/10/2024 03:26 pm GMT

The Cinema 800 has support for Dolby Digital Audio, as well as Dolby Atmos. Where it falters is in a lack of supported wireless audio protocols. While it has rough feature parity with the Panorama 3 for broadcast media, it only has support for Bluetooth wireless audio.

This isn’t inherently a bad thing, but more overt support for wireless protocols would be appreciated. It is an especially curious omission considering the price point of the device itself.

Additional Features

The Panorama 3 is readily wall mounted and comes with the needed hardware to place it anywhere in your viewing room. Also included is a graphical equalizer with presets for adjusting your sound, depending on your chosen preferences.

It isn’t filled with additional features by any means, but the few additions it does make for a tidy package. The Panorama 3 is ready to be listened to and wants the experience to be a great one in the process.

The Cinema 800 has a wireless subwoofer included in the package. Users also get access to full wireless smart assistant integration. Supported devices like the Amazon Echo can fully integrate the Cinema 800 as a part of your smart home experience.

It is wall mountable, as well, but does not come with the needed hardware out of the box. As previously mentioned, you can opt for an additional subwoofer of higher quality compared to the packaged one, if desired, thanks to the included RCA output.

Bowers & Wilkins vs Klipsch Soundbars: 6 Must-Know Facts

  1. The Panorama 3 has 13 individual speakers packed into a tidy package.
  2. The Panorama 3’s setup is quick and simple thanks to the Bowers & Wilkins smartphone app.
  3. The Panorama 3 does have two smaller subwoofers acting as bass speakers within the soundbar.
  4. The Cinema 800 uses a staggering 800 watts of power on the output stage.
  5. The Cinema 800 can be controlled with the Klipsch Connect App for equalizing and controlling playback.
  6. The Cinema 800 is capable of true HDMI 8K passthrough.

Bowers & Wilkins vs Klipsch Soundbars: Which One is Better? Which Should You Choose?

When it comes to picking a soundbar, it can be quite a tough choice. The clear winner of today’s shootout is the Bowers & Wilkins Panorama 3 for a few discerning reasons. First and foremost is the sound quality, as the Panorama 3 has no issue filling the room with clear sound with minimal distortion.

This is especially true at higher volume levels. Additional points considered are the wireless audio codecs and ease of setup. While the Panorama 3 may lack an external subwoofer for better response in the low-frequencies, the sound quality was never deficient.

The Cinema 800 is an average soundbar with a premium price tag. While it does package niceties like a subwoofer directly in the box, it lacks other key features. The volume being far lower than expected, even at 800 watts of output, is a disappointment in and of itself.

As such, it is especially tough to recommend the Cinema 800 for any use case. This is further muddied by the fact that both devices cost roughly the same. If you’re in the market for a three-channel soundbar, go with the Panorama 3.

  1. Bowers & Wilkins Panorama 3
    $949.00
    • Dolby Atmos and Dolby TrueHD
    • HDMI eARC input
    • 24-bit hi-res quality
    • Built-in Amazon Alexa, AirPlay 2, Bluetooth aptX Adaptive, and Spotify Connect
    Buy on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    03/11/2024 04:52 pm GMT
  2. Klipsch Cinema 800
    $379.00
    • 48” 3.1 Sound Bar
    • 10” Wireless Subwoofer included
    • HDMI-eARC
    • Dolby Atmos Decoding
    • 8K Video Pass-Through
    • 800W Peak Power
    Buy Now on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    03/10/2024 03:26 pm GMT

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Cinema 800 true surround?

It is not, although it does have Dolby Atmos support.

Can I use the Panorama 3 for gaming?

Yes, you certainly can. It doesn’t have a low latency mode, however.

Can I play MP3s on the Cinema 800?

You can through Bluetooth audio if you have any files on your smart device.

Can I play Pandora through the Panorama 3?

Yes, you should be able to do it with Apple AirPlay or the other Bluetooth functionalities.

Does the Panorama 3 have HDMI passthrough?

It does not have HDMI passthrough.

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