Klipsch The Sevens assessment: skip the AVR and subwoofer; that is all you want
“For many who love massive, highly effective stereo sound, Klipsch’s The Sevens are merely superior.”
- Unimaginable sound
- High-quality design/supplies
- Beneficiant inputs
- Adjustable EQ
- No Wi-Fi connection
- Cannot see indicators when seated
House audio, like life itself, is filled with trade-offs. Comfort and ease usually come on the expense of management, affordability comes on the expense of high quality, and merchandise that do many issues usually fail to excel at anyone activity. There’s no getting round all of those compromises, however relating to making a easy, highly effective hi-fi sound system for each TV and music, Klipsch’s The Sevens ($1,299) are nearly good.
Welcome to the household
First issues first: The Sevens belong to a household of audio merchandise from Klipsch collectively generally known as Heritage Wi-fi Room Audio system. All of them have two issues in widespread: they will stream music wirelessly through Bluetooth and so they’ve acquired a midcentury fashionable vibe that instantly brings forth photographs of the Mad Males period and the Rat Pack vocal stylings of Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., and Dean Martin.
As a set of powered stereo audio system, The Sevens are the center youngster of a trio of almost an identical fashions, with The Fives ($969) occupying the entry-level and The Nines ($1,499) sitting on the high. Not like the remainder of the Heritage Wi-fi household, these three fashions are meant as full soundbar alternate options.
Whereas studying this assessment, maintain these different fashions in thoughts — relying in your area and your finances, they may be a more sensible choice than The Sevens due to their differing energy ranges, but function for function, they’re nearly an identical.
Don’t name them bookshelf audio system
I don’t learn about your property, however in my home, there isn’t a single bookshelf that’s deeper than 10.5 inches. That just about disqualifies The Sevens from the “bookshelf” speaker class so far as I’m involved. Technically, these beasts are simply 10.8 inches deep, which seems like I’m splitting hairs — 0.3 inches doesn’t sound like a lot actually However that’s not the entire story.
The Sevens use a delightfully overengineered, braided, nylon-wrapped four-conductor audio cable to connect the powered major speaker with the passive secondary unit. If you keep in mind the industrial-strength, threaded-collar connectors at every finish, you’re going to wish a minimal of 13 inches of area. Provided that the cupboards function rear-facing bass ports, you would possibly wish to give them much more respiratory room. Questioning why the cable is so beefy? The audio system are bi-amped, which suggests every driver has its personal discrete energy feed, for extra exact tuning.
The Sevens are additionally surprisingly tall at 16.3 inches and broad at 8.1 inches. Stand them subsequent to a mean 65-inch TV and so they’ll attain the display screen’s midway level. Except you may have a strong media middle with plenty of further area, you would possibly wish to look into shopping for Klipsch’s elective speaker stands (there are 4 threaded mounting holes on the underside of the audio system to mount them).
The Sevens include an influence wire, a distant, an HDMI cable, a USB cable, a 13-foot speaker cable, and a 6.5-foot speaker extension cable — providing you with a most distance of 19.5 toes between the audio system.
I’m on file as saying that audio system — particularly soundbars — needs to be heard, not seen. Nonetheless, in the event you’re going to get a set of audio system which can be this massive, they’d higher look unbelievable — and The Sevens do. Our assessment mannequin got here in black. It’s an actual wooden veneer on high of medium-density fibreboard, which provides them a real furniture-grade look. They’re additionally out there in a walnut end.
With the included magnetically latched material grilles put in, they change into a part of the decor. Or you may go bare and let the 2 large drive enclosures converse for themselves.
Klipsch has additionally someway managed to make The Sevens’ top-mounted controls seem like they belong. As an alternative of attempting to cover them, maybe as a collection of small plastic buttons, Klipsch’s designers determined to have a good time them through the use of outsized, diagonally knurled steel thumbwheels — one for quantity and the opposite for supply choice. The remaining controls, which you’ll use far much less usually, are hidden on the again panel of the first speaker.
Talking of the first speaker, I’ve to offer props to Klipsch for together with a selector swap that allows you to determine if the first can be your left or proper channel.
Klipsch says that with The Sevens, you may ditch your AV receiver (AVR) — and that’s not removed from the reality. The again panel has three digital inputs (HDMI ARC, optical, and USB) a 3.5mm analog enter, and a set of RCA analog inputs that may be toggled for phono use — no want for a separate preamp if you wish to hook up a turntable. Remember that as a result of The Sevens don’t assist superior encompass codecs like Dolby Atmos, there’s no distinction by way of sound high quality if you wish to join your TV through optical as an alternative of HDMI ARC.
Not like so many soundbars I’ve examined with a number of inputs, every enter is discrete and selectable with The Sevens. You’ll be able to theoretically have 5 audio sources related concurrently — six in the event you embrace the audio system’ Bluetooth connection. There’s additionally a subwoofer output, which I’ll talk about later.
Switching sources and adjusting the amount is a breeze with these massive thumbwheels, and Klipsch contains an infrared distant so you may handle The Sevens out of your sofa, however that is one space the place the audio system don’t fairly minimize it as an AVR alternative.
As a result of all the indicators for supply and quantity are on the highest of the first speaker’s cupboard, there’s zero likelihood you’ll have the ability to see them from a seated place except you set them on the ground. Even then, good luck studying them from a distance of greater than 4 toes.
For some, the shortage of visible suggestions will not be an issue, however I favor it when devices can let you know what’s occurring.
The distant itself is effectively laid out, nevertheless it appears to have a really slim efficient angle. In the event you’re sitting straight in entrance of the first speaker — which has the IR receiver on the entrance — it’s advantageous. Sit off to the aspect (which one tends to do with a stereo pair) and it may be hit-or-miss. In the event you’re utilizing the HDMI ARC connection, your TV’s distant shouldn’t have any drawback sending fundamental instructions.
A technique across the invisible indicators and the quirky distant is to make use of the Klipsch Join app for iOS or Android. It does all the similar issues because the distant — plus firmware updates — nevertheless it helps you to see the results of these modifications. It’s not unhealthy as apps go. There aren’t many screens and menus, so it’s straightforward to navigate.
Sadly, it connects through Bluetooth and has a behavior of going right into a refresh cycle regularly (presumably to ensure it’s nonetheless synced with the audio system), which is a bit irritating at instances.
I like that Klipsch has built-in a digital-to-analog converter (DAC) that’s appropriate with lossless hi-res audio sources, all the best way as much as 24-bit/192kHz. However I’m extremely perplexed by the choice to restrict The Sevens to simply Bluetooth for his or her wi-fi connectivity.
Bluetooth on these audio system, even with the supported aptX HD codec, isn’t lossless and it tops out at 24-bit/48kHz. That’s assuming you may have an Android telephone. In the event you’re on an Apple gadget, you’ll be getting lossy 16-bit/44.1kHz at finest.
The way in which most wi-fi audio system cope with this limitation is by providing Wi-Fi connectivity. Sonos, Denon HEOS, Bluesound, Bose, Sony, Yamaha … all of those manufacturers have built-in Wi-Fi into their flagship merchandise as a result of it has (basically) no limits on bandwidth, and allows you to stream on the highest potential lossless high quality from each your individual assortment and from streaming companies.
When Digital Traits requested Klipsch why it had omitted Wi-Fi, we had been informed that the corporate believes that the overwhelming majority of the supply units related to the Fives, Sevens, and Nines already assist your streaming taste of selection. I suppose in the event you embrace good TVs with built-in streaming music apps, then perhaps that’s true, however you shouldn’t have to show in your TV to hearken to music.
Even when Klipsch didn’t wish to go to the difficulty of making an app with streaming companies built-in, it may have enabled Wi-Fi for the aim of supporting Apple’s AirPlay 2 and Google’s Chromecast for audio, each of which might provide higher high quality (and larger flexibility) than Bluetooth.
Outrageously good sound
I’m not going to mince phrases. I like the best way these audio system sound. I’ve by no means auditioned powered screens that come wherever near The Sevens by way of readability, precision, soundstage, and bass response. These 1-inch titanium tweeters, recessed of their Tractrix horn cavities, do such a formidable job at directing sound across the room that there have been moments whereas watching films once I was satisfied I used to be listening to encompass sound — not simply two-channel stereo.
I can not converse extremely sufficient concerning the 6.5-inch woofers. I’m so used to needing a subwoofer when listening to soundbars, I had already busted out my subwoofer’s cable in preparation for utilizing it with The Sevens. And but the mixture of these woofers together with Klipsch’s Dynamic Bass EQ (which adapts low frequencies as you enhance/lower the amount) proved greater than highly effective sufficient to ship cinematic jolts — I extremely suggest HBO’s The Final of Us as a take a look at.
Sure, I did join my sub to listen to the distinction, and sure, it improved that scrumptious low-end even additional. Then I disconnected my sub and found I didn’t miss it. That claims all of it.
As we famous in our assessment of The Fives, relating to TV sound, The Sevens are very adept at delivering a phantom middle channel from simply two audio system. As soon as once more, I believe these tweeters get the credit score. Nonetheless, they don’t fairly stay as much as the dialogue readability of the perfect soundbars just like the Bose Good Soundbar 900 or the Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar Plus. That’s probably not a shock — it’s fairly exhausting to beat a central, dialogue-tuned tweeter that’s aimed straight at you. Do you have to be involved about it? No. Except you might be very choosy about dialogue readability, The Sevens received’t disappoint.
I’ll shortly level out that, as a set of stereo audio system, The Sevens don’t do Dolby Atmos. That’s not a criticism as a lot because it’s a truth; if you need the complete 3D immersion of Dolby Atmos, don’t purchase these screens.
Nonetheless, I may even level out that Dolby Atmos doesn’t have a monopoly on nice sound. A well-executed stereo pair like The Sevens, with their very good dynamic vary and bass response, will ship a a lot greater emotional punch to your films and reveals than a poorly executed Dolby Atmos sound system.
As for music? That’s the actual candy spot for The Sevens. It’s exhausting to think about a speaker/amp combo that may ship this a lot energy and precision for a similar degree of funding. For medium-to-large rooms, the audio system’ 200 complete watts of energy (400 peak) may have no drawback producing as a lot loudness as you could possibly need, and and not using a trace of distortion.
When listening to music, I are likely to favor decrease quantity ranges as a result of I discover that almost all methods begin to sound harsh when you push them past 60% of their quantity scale. And but, I saved turning The Sevens up larger and better — and so they simply sounded higher and higher. I’m unsure my neighbors felt the identical method.
I put them via their paces utilizing a Wiim Professional wi-fi adapter and a large assortment of hi-res and CD-quality lossless tracks from Amazon Music, and I used to be handled to hours of really fulfilling listening. From the droning thump of Billie Eilish’s Unhealthy Man to the hovering orchestration of John Williams’ most well-known film themes, The Sevens jogged my memory at each flip that every one you really want is a good set of stereo audio system.
Out of the field, the tuning delivers an admirably flat frequency response, but when it’s not precisely to your liking, the Klipsch Join app provides you a three-band equalizer for customized settings, together with 4 presets: flat, voice, bass, and rock. After some taking part in round, I discovered that my favourite is the rock preset, which sounds prefer it provides a slight increase to lows.
Digital Traits Editor-at-large, Caleb Denison — who has been auditioning The Nines — prefers to run these audio system with out the Dynamic Bass function enabled, however I discovered it helped The Sevens to maintain their stability at decrease volumes.
The Sevens or a soundbar?
There’s no query that Klipsch is asking a premium worth for The Sevens, as $1,299 should purchase you an excellent Dolby Atmos-capable soundbar-based house theater system, a lot of which include their very own wi-fi subwoofers. Past their spatial audio compatibility, additionally they have a tendency to supply full Wi-Fi connectivity and an HDMI enter, so that you don’t must sacrifice your TV’s HDMI ARC port only for sound.
And but, there’s additionally no query that these merchandise are designed as TV-first methods. If what you need is a real music-first all-in-one setup that may additionally do double responsibility as a strong TV enhancer, The Sevens tick (nearly) all the containers.
The perfect stay TV streaming companies: Hulu, Sling TV, YouTube TV, and extra
Finest AV receivers 2023: high sound to your house theater
What’s Sonos? The audio system, app, and the whole lot you must learn about wi-fi music
The perfect speaker manufacturers of 2023: JBL, Sonos, KEF, and extra
11 Sonos ideas, tips, and little-known options