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Klipsch’s flagship soundbar supports Alexa, AirPlay 2 and Dolby Atmos

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Klipsch is joining the growing ranks of audio giants with connected soundbars. It’s refreshing its TV-friendly audio lineup at CES, and the headliner is the tech-savvy Bar 54 (above). It includes WiFi that supports Alexa, Google Assistant and AirPlay 2 — it’s not a smart speaker in the conventional sense (there’s no mention of a mic), but you can send streaming media directly to the soundbar. It’s also a 5.1.4 unit (7.1.4 if you tack on a Surround 3) with a 12-inch wireless subwoofer and support for Dolby Atmos, including through eARC for built-in apps. Unfortunately, it’s both expensive and a long ways off — it’ll cost $1,499 when it ships in the fall.

The remaining lineup isn’t quite so advanced, but it’s also easier to justify. A refreshed Bar 48 doesn’t include WiFi but is more compact than its predecessor, delivering 3.1-channel sound with Atmos, eARC and a 10-inch subwoofer. It too can pair up with Surround 3 (here for 5.1-channel surround) and will arrive in the fall for $699. If you have a smaller TV or just don’t need any frills, the Bar 44 provides 3.1-channel sound with an 8-inch subwoofer and ‘just’ Dolby Digital/Digital Plus support, although you do get Bluetooth for streaming audio from your phone. The Surround 3-capable soundbar appears in the summer for $499.

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