We have recently matched our ears up to the new SB 120 TV Sound System by Klipsch. It is a soundbar-like solution for TV environments that either don’t support a large speaker setup (i.e., smaller rooms) or for those who simply prefer to have a smaller foot print regardless of the room’s size. Unlike the other soundbar alternatives, this one is best described as a TV base or booster seat as the TV sits on top of the speaker vs the speaker sitting in front of it or on another shelf (given, you could still place this on another shelf if needed).
The SB 120 exists by itself with no accompanying sub (woofer) to attach. It weighs about 23lbs and can support TVs up to 100lbs on top of it. It is a 2.1 system that supports a virtual 3d surround mode that mimics a multiple speaker system, and stands its ground well as a stereo solution.
Inside you will find a full-range of sound consisting of two Tractrix® Horn tweeters (which Klipsch are insanely famous for) as well as two separate 3″ mid range poly drivers and two 3″ subs (woofers). The SB 120 supports Bluetooth allowing you to connect smartphones, portable music players and computers for music streaming. This last feature also allows the speaker to function by itself as a stand-alone music playback device as well (atop a dresser, on a shelf or cabinet) without the need of a TV.
The SB 120 offers Dolby® Digital decoding, quick one-connection setup with most TV’s, and offers a remote learning capability that allows you to control the system using an existing remote.
The speaker is very minimal when it comes to wires as you only have to worry about power to the wall (or strip) and an optical cable to the TV (unless you are just using it for Bluetooth music playback). It also supports RCA (analog).
The sound quality is very good given it’s size. We weren’t that surprised as most of us are long-time Klipsch fans as they have almost always delivered exceptional quality in their speakers throughout the years (not including some of the re-branding they have done of course).
Music: Using the speaker for music playback, we found the sound to be rich and fulfilling. There was a very large range of sound, the bass was impressive, the highs were clean and the throw of the speaker was amazing. It really seemed to light up the room. Did it qualify as the perfect audiophile solution?…not exactly, but it came very close for it’s size which isn’t too shabby for the price (this speaker gets LOUD, and without distortion). We would obviously rather sit down with a nice B&W (Bowers & Wilkins) speaker but…then we would talking about a different purpose (not made for movies/TV)…and 2x+ the price (B&W can quickly add up to 10-20x+ the price when building out a full system).
Movies: It took us awhile to come to a solid agreement on what we thought about it’s performance during movies. Either that or we were having fun with our superhero movie marathon. Regardless, the end result was good. The speaker is very loud, completely filled the room and beat out any of the soundbar solutions we have experienced thus far.
It is a simple to setup, should work perfectly with the remote(s) you already have, made for TV/movies but can be used separately as a music device, and sounds amazing. Our final score for the SB 120 is 8.5/10 as in the end as we were quite impressed with it. We still prefer large speaker setups for movies but for it’s niche, this nails the target.
Are you a manufacturer or vendor that would like us to test something out for review? Contact us and we can let you know where to send the product and we will try it out.