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Loewe Klang Bar3 mr review: Compact and classy but a touch too polite

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £999
inc VAT

Loewe makes an unusually concerted bid for mainstream living rooms with the well-connected and powerful Klang Bar3 mr, but it’s rather dear


  • Excellent connectivity
  • Well-built and attractively designed
  • Powerful but distortion-free sound


  • Sound lacks height and forward impact
  • No 4K/120Hz passthrough
  • Expensive for what it offers

Often when we think of Loewe audio products, we think of them in terms of Loewe’s wider AV product ecosystem. After all, one of Loewe’s most consistent claims to fame is the way it designs its typically highly engineered, largely hand-built products to look and sound great together, as part of multi-product Loewe systems. 

The marvellously named Loewe Klang Bar3 mr soundbar, though, while still capable of being a classy addition to a Loewe TV, feels like it has designs on a much wider range of living rooms and partner TV brands. Could it be the product that finally makes Loewe a household name in the UK?

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Loewe Klang Bar3 mr review: What you need to know

While special options are available for adding the Klang Bar3 to a Loewe TV, I should reiterate that you do not need to have any other Loewe equipment in your home to benefit from pretty much the full range of the Klang Bar3 mr’s functionality. Its 3.1 channels of sound, Dolby Atmos and DTS:X playback, strong connectivity and impressively wide-ranging support for streaming services can be used alongside literally any TV. 

In fact, the Klang Bar3 mr even goes further than most soundbars to push its ‘works with anything’ credentials by including phono ports for 5.1 channels you can use to wire in any active speakers, should you decide you want to expand on the out-of-the-box configuration. 

If you’ve noticed from our photographs that there appear to be speakers built into the soundbar’s top edge, you should note that these are actually two subwoofer drivers. They’re not the up-firing height-channel drivers you might have expected them to be given that the Klang Bar3 mr is an Atmos-capable soundbar.

Loewe Klang Bar3 mr review: Price and competition

At £999, Loewe’s latest single-unit, 3.1-channel soundbar slots in between the busy mid-range price point of £700 to £800, and premium surround sound options that typically ship with rear speakers.

It provides a more affordable alternative to Loewe’s current flagship (£1,759) soundbar system, the much larger Klang Bar5 mr. That model offers more power (440W) than the Klang Bar3 mr, though, and ships with a potent external subwoofer rather than being a single-bar solution.

Slightly cheaper key single-bar competitors would be the Sonos Arc (£899), and Harman Kardon Citation Multibeam 1100, while Samsung’s HW-Q800C adds a large subwoofer to its bar for £799. Probably the most relevant more expensive single-bar rival would be the £1,099 Sony HT-A7000.

Loewe Klang Bar3 review: Design and features

The Klang Bar3 mr is unusually attractive by soundbar standards despite not breaking any moulds with its basic sculpting. It’s basically another long, low rectangle designed to sit flat underneath your TV screen and measures 950 x 160 x 65mm (WDH). 

Its use of a very attractive grey felt covering that wraps around its front, left and right sides, though, combines handsomely with a heavy-duty perforated black top edge and a simple but elegantly integrated row of touch-sensitive buttons along its furthest edge.

Loewe fans will be pleased, too, to see one of the brand’s famous clothing-style brand labels protruding from one side of the top edge. Also, while the Klang Bar3 mr certainly is not only useful as part of a wider Loewe system, Loewe still offers optional design accessories for it – including a wall mount, two ‘spacer’ stands, and a pole-based floor mount for Loewe TVs to which the soundbar can be attached a few inches below the screen. 

The soundbar is promisingly heavy, hinting at the use of lots of quality componentry and reflecting the presence of no less than seven forward-facing drivers and two built-in 4in subwoofers which, unusually, fire up through that perforated top edge. 

While this driver arrangement could bode well for the amount of bass the Klang Bar3 mr can produce, Dolby Atmos fans may be disappointed that the grilled top edge doesn’t indicate the presence of up-firing speakers for delivering Dolby Atmos’s overhead channel effects.

The channel count accompanying all these speakers is officially classed as 3.1 (front centre, front left, front right and a dedicated bass channel). You can though, increase this to 5.1 channels either by connecting the soundbar wirelessly to Loewe’s range of multiroom speakers using Loewe’s own 2ms latency Wireless Digital Audio Link technology, or – very unusually for a soundbar – hooking up a pair of active wired speakers from any brand. 

You can also beef up the Klang Bar3 mr’s bass if you feel the need by adding as many of Loewe’s Klang Sub5 external subwoofers as you like.

A total of 360W of power feeds into the Klang Bar3 mr’s speakers, which are claimed to cover a frequency range of 60-20,000Hz. It’s pleasing, too, to find Loewe going further than some hi-fi brand rivals by adding support for the DTS:X object-based sound format alongside Dolby Atmos, and there’s also multi-room support via Apple Airplay 2, Chromecast, DTS Play-Fi and Loewe’s own previously mentioned Wireless Digital Audio Link system.

Music streaming services supported include Spotify, Deezer, Amazon Music, Napster, Pandora, Qobuz, Tidal and iHeart Radio, while supported audio file formats run to MP3, AAC, AAC+, M4A, WAV, FLAC and PCM.

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Loewe Klang Bar3 mr Review: Connections and control

Impressively, the Bar3 is equipped with three HDMI ports: Two inputs and one output. Even better, these HDMIs support both the eARC system for receiving audio – including lossless Dolby Atmos and DTS:X tracks – from the TV you’ve got the soundbar hooked up to, and pass through of both the premium Dolby Atmos and HDR10+ HDR formats. This ticks off a number of desirable soundbar features that we’ve seen many rival soundbars from relatively esoteric AV brands fail to provide.

There’s also an optical audio Toslink input, a 3.5mm analogue audio input, and a USB port, as well, of course, as well as ports for connecting a 5.1 system of wired active speakers if you decide to go that route. There’s even a 12v trigger port you can use to wake up a connected AVR/amp or active speaker system. 

The only limitation of the Klang Bar3’s connections, really, is the HDMI loopthrough’s lack of support for the 4K/120Hz HDR signals available now from the PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X and some premium PC graphics cards. You can, however, take advantage of HDMI’s eARC function to pass lossless Dolby Atmos soundtracks onto the Bar3 mr having connected your console or PC directly to your TV. Your TV will have to support eARC too, of course – but pretty much all TVs now that support 4K/120Hz video will also support eARC.

The Bar3 mr ships with a very attractive remote control, and if you can’t find that for some reason, you can control its basic functions using the row of buttons on the soundbar’s top edge. There’s also a My Loewe app for iOS and Android, but I couldn’t get this to do more than provide me with an onscreen instruction manual for the soundbar. It’s nice to find the soundbar providing a large, easy-to-read LED display on its front edge that makes it easy to track which input you’ve selected, volume levels and so on.

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Loewe Klang Bar3 mr review: Sound quality

For the most part, the Klang Bar3 mr outperforms its compact dimensions – as you would hope of a single-unit soundbar that sets you back a grand. 

For starters, the soundstage spreads an impressively wide distance to left and right, instantly creating a cinematic sense of scale that not only belies the size of the soundbar that’s making it but actually tends to makes you forget the speaker is actually there under your TV. Exactly as we like to hear, especially with Dolby Atmos mixes.

There’s nothing forced, brittle or incoherent about this soundstage either. It sounds full-blooded and well-rounded even at its furthest edges, and it manages to paint in sound mix details right across its splay with positional accuracy, consistently good balance and enough sensitivity to ensure that not even the smallest detail goes unheard. 

Also great to hear and a clear indication of how much effort Loewe has put into the quality and design of the soundbar’s drivers is how loud the Bar3 mr can get without succumbing to so much as a hint of distortion or fragility. Trebles remain clean under the heaviest of pressure, while the bass from those two top-mounted subwoofers remains free of crackling and dirge. 

The bass also attaches very tightly to the bottom of the midrange produced by the other drivers – a situation helped, no doubt, by the fact that those other drivers have an impressively expansive dynamic range by compact soundbar standards.

Onscreen dialogue, meanwhile, remains locked to the centre of the soundstage and stays clean and clear even against the densest sound mix backdrops – without sounding too bright or dominant. In fact, the level of control and care over the way the Bar3 mr delivers its sound goes a long way to explaining its fairly hefty price. Especially compared with similarly compact and attractive soundbar options.

At the same time, though, I couldn’t help but feel that maybe the Bar3 mr could do with actually letting its hair down a bit more. For all the width, volume, clarity and composure of its sound there’s also something a touch polite about it. In particular, hard impact sounds such as gunfire, punches, explosions, crashes and all those other action movie staples don’t hit with the sort of wince-inducing impact I’d ideally have liked them to have.

It probably doesn’t help that the sound doesn’t push forward into the room as effectively and potently as it spreads across it – a fact that limits the extent to which you feel truly immersed in the action. Even with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X mixes, the action seems to be taking place in front of you rather than all around you.

Obviously, no soundbar that only carries front speakers will be able to deliver the same sort of full surround immersion as a (usually more expensive) soundbar that ships with included rear speakers. But a bit more frontal aggression from the Bar3 mr would likely have helped to make the sound appear more three-dimensional, at least – and perhaps made me feel the absence of rear channel speakers less. You can add rears, as discussed earlier, but there’s an extra cost implication associated with this.

Continuing the slightly polite theme, while the Bar3 mr’s bass is smooth, reasonably dynamic and fairly consistently involved in good movie soundtracks, it doesn’t get quite as deep and grunty during big moments as I’d have liked. At the same time, at least Loewe hasn’t fallen into the trap of trying to push low frequencies to the point where they start to cause the subwoofers to break down into distortions or dominate the rest of the soundstage. 

One last limitation of the Bar3 mr is that it doesn’t generate much of a sense of height when playing Dolby Atmos tracks. There’s a sense, to be fair, of high objects moving around slightly above the level of the soundbar, but the effect is far more limited than the soundstage’s left and right expansion and doesn’t go far enough to create that full wall of sound effect we really like to hear with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X mixes. It also means that voices can sound as if they’re coming from slightly below the onscreen action – especially if you’re using the soundbar with a very large TV.

Obviously using the upfiring speakers for height channels rather than bass might have helped this, but we’ve also heard other single-bar soundbars that manage to deliver a more vertical soundstage without the help of dedicated up-firing drivers.

Turning to music, the Bar3 mr pretty much tracks its movie performance. So again, there’s an impressively wide stereo splay with two-channel tracks that manages to remain coherent and balanced despite how far it stretches. The stereo extremities are bound together by a confident and strong core, too, which again copes with even very dense, layered music without sounding muddy or overwhelmed.

Subtle mix effects can be clearly heard without taking on undue weight, and bass appears consistent rather than popping in and out or showing any uncertainty about how much or how little it should be contributing at any given moment. 

At the same time, the bass feels a little light against the impressive (and harshness-free) treble extensions delivered at the other end of the spectrum, and vocal tracks, while always clean and clear, don’t benefit from that slightly vertically raised presentation that I’ve come to associate with the very best music bars, leaving them sometimes sounding more like just another instrument layer than a distinct vocal track.

I should finish by saying that while I’ve gone into more detail on the Bar3 mr’s limitations than I might have if it was a couple of hundred pounds cheaper, it still sounds very good overall – especially when you consider how small it is.

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Loewe Klang Bar3 mr review: Verdict

Loewe’s considerable experience of getting excellent sound from tight spaces with the speakers built into its TVs seems to have fed into its first compact soundbar, too. The Klang Bar3 mr takes up relatively little of your precious living room space but still manages to deliver a large soundstage and cinematic volume levels without any part of the sound appearing to be under any strain whatsoever.

It’s not quite the complete package, however. A more defined sense of verticality and a bit more forward impact would have been very welcome, as would support for 4K/120Hz passthrough. There’s also the price to consider. The Klang Bar3 mr is pretty darn pricey for a 3.1-channel soundbar and this may well hamper its chances of cracking the mainstream market.

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