If less soundbar is suddenly more: Klipsch RSB-8 vs. Klipsch SB-14

Two sisters in spirit, but... Always nice in turn. Actually, we only wanted to test one model, but suddenly UPS and two huge boxes were at the door. Double effort, double luck? Although the two specimens are based on ... Soundbar and Connectivity The nearly 1.02 meter long soundbar Klipsch RSB-8 consists of a multi-shell, matt black plastic housing, while the front is covered with black painted perforated metal. Behind this are the be... Soundbar and Connectivity Let's put another two kilos of weight on it and extend the boliden by another 10 cm at the same time. The now almost 1.12 meter long soundbar Klipsch RSB-14 consists, like the similar looking RSB-8, from a m... Default: Out-of-The-Box The lower and upper limits of the transmitted frequency range is convincing in the default setting, because the RSB-8 is at least measured from approx. 30 Hz up to 16 to 17 KHz in the tolerance range of j... Technical data in reality One thing must be left to Klipsch: the information on achievable sound levels and the respective frequency-lower or frequency-lower-and-lower-frequency levels that can be reached in the tolerance range of -3dB. caps are correct. However, a factory specification of...

Two sisters in spirit, but… Always nice in turn. Actually, we only wanted to test one model, but suddenly UPS and two huge boxes were at the door. Double effort, double luck? Although the two specimens are not so different at first glance, the slightly larger sister is a smooth 200 euros more expensive.

The smaller RSB-8 costs 600 euros and the larger one with a proud 800 euros. These soundbars, which are also mainly available online, are pure ODM products that Klipsch has produced from a Chinese contract manufacturer. In principle, this does not have to be a bad thing, as long as you can ensure that in the end you also get what you pay for.

In addition to the usual hearing tests, we have of course also screwed up the bars and subwoofers to look at the manufacturing quality and components. Of course, if you take a closer look, you will always find what you are looking for, but we are not spoiling that yet. More on that later.

Packaging monstersPackaging monsters

Klipsch Reference RSB-8 Soundbar

The RSB-8 is the smaller of the two soundbars and with an HDMI input and output is more suitable for smaller TV setups or the desktop. HDMI 2.0 is supported, HDCP 2.2 too. 4K and 60 Hz are no problem. This also means that UHD players such as suitable player or the home PC thanks to the 4K-Pass-Trough fully in the race.

The proprietary Klipsch Stream Wireless Multi-Room System is also supported thanks to the WiFi connection, so that in addition to normal streams of the usual providers, you can also access your own media collections on the network and even simultaneously access them on several suitable devices. In the test this worked quite neatly with the two soundbars and it is quite suitable in the sum of both bars to instigate nice night-time wars by the resulting levels.

Klipsch RSB-8 SoundbarKlipsch RSB-8 Soundbar

In addition to the HDMI cable, the accessories include two plug-in power supplies, each intended for subwoofer and soundbar, which differ in plug size and voltages. A confusing is therefore excluded. However, two such plug-in power supplies are rather impractical when it comes to operating the devices together at a distributor. Here, at least with the subwoofer, one would have better bet on a solution in the cable, as any laptop power supply has offered for ages.

RSB-8 Soundbar AccessoriesRSB-8 Soundbar Accessories

The cheque card remote is functional, but unfortunately somewhat out of place in this price range. For 600 euros you can expect a real work tool, especially since the buttons are not really durable forever. Without this remote control, however, you can't even turn on the soundbar. But there's more to it.

For testing the RSB-8, we choose a desktop setup with a large 21:9 monitor that is well suited for gaming as well as for playing media content.

Klipsch Reference RSB-14 Soundbar

Yes, it's also a little bit bigger, louder – and more expensive. The RSB-14 is at least approx. 10 cm wider and the subwoofer slightly more powerful and larger. Otherwise, the same features apply as for the RSB-8. Since the internal board assembly completely deviates and the only, identical component consists of the Bluetooth module, we have of course taken both bars and their subwoofer sands apart at least partially.

Klipsch RSB-8 SoundbarKlipsch RSB-8 Soundbar

In the case of accessories, the subwoofer is thankfully based on a power supply already integrated in the housing and on a laptop power supply at the bar, so that the tiresome plug-in power supply problem of the RSB-8 fails first. Good so. There is even a real remote control on the house, but unfortunately this is unspeakably sluggish. But we will also come to that.

Klipsch RSB-14 Soundbar - AccessoriesKlipsch RSB-14 Soundbar – Accessories

Klipsch advertises with the suitability for TV sets from 50 inches, we place the bar under a 2017 Philips with Ambilight and 65 inch diagonal. Fits just like that, at least in height. As one-players we use our own media databases via the stream (Ethernet), as well as Entertain/Sky in HD or Ultra HD.

But before we unpack everything and test it intensively, here again the technical data in tabular comparison:

Technical data
Clipsch RSB-8
Clipsch RSB-14
Type of system:
2.1 Setup with bar and subwoofer
Max. Noise level:
103 dB (1 m distance) 110 dB (1 m distance)
2 x 3/4" (19 mm) silk calottes in 90° x 90° Tractrix horns
2 x 2.5" (63.5 mm) Chassis with Composite Fiber Membrane
16, 51 cm diameter
Composite fiber membrane
Resonance opening, rear
Wireless (Bluetooth)
20, 32 mm diameter
Composite fiber membrane
Resonance pipe, rear
Wireless (Bluetooth)
Frequency range:
30Hz x 15kHz x +/- 3dB
(measured, correct)
28Hz x 20kHz x +/- 3dB
(measured, correct)
Switches and sound changes using DSP
Separate Class-D power amplifiers for basses (subwoofers), mids and treble
Dolby decoder and downmix for stereo playback
Output: 100 watts continuous tone<0.5% THD
150 watts pulse power
135 watts continuous tone<0.5% THD
200 Watts pulse power
1x HDMI 2.0, HDCP 2.2 compatible
Optical (TOSlink), USB
3.5mm jack (analogue)
Bluetooth 2.0
WIFI (for DTS Play-Fi™)
3x HDMI 2.0, HDCP 2.2 compatible
Optical (TOSlink), USB
3.5mm jack (analogue)
Bluetooth 2.0
WIFI (for DTS Play-Fi™)
1x HDMI 2.0, HDCP 2.2 compatible
(for DTS Play-Fi™)
1x HDMI 2.0, HDCP 2.2 compatible
WIFI, Ethernet
(for DTS Play-Fi™)
Dimensions Bar:
101.6 cm x 9.53 cm x 9.53 cm
(W x H x T)
111.75 cm x 8.26 cm x 8.26 cm
(W x H x T)
Dimensions Sub:
18.74 cm x 26.67 cm x 34.29 cm
(W x H x T)
17.78 cm x 40.64 cm x 33.34 cm
(W x H x T)
2.95 kg (bar) + 4.35 kg (Sub) 4.54 kg (bar) + 10.89 kg (Sub)
110 to 240 volts (full range)
Power supplies:
2x Plug-in power supplies for
Soundbar and subwoofer
Cable power supply for soundbar,
Subwoofer with internal power supply
1.5 m HDMI cable
Rubber feet
Drilling template for wall mounting
Remote control
Street price:
from approx. 600 Euros from approx. 800 Euros

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About the author

Igor Wallossek

Editor-in-chief and name-giver of igor'sLAB as the content successor of Tom's Hardware Germany, whose license was returned in June 2019 in order to better meet the qualitative demands of web content and challenges of new media such as YouTube with its own channel.

Computer nerd since 1983, audio freak since 1979 and pretty much open to anything with a plug or battery for over 50 years.

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