Axiim Q UHD WISA review (using Klipsch WISA speakers) - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 13 Old 06-07-2018, 05:57 PM - Thread Starter
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2018 Axiim Q UHD (4K) WISA review (using Klipsch WISA speakers)

Products in This Review
1x Klipsch Wireless Hub
4x Klipsch RP-140WM Bookshelf speakers
1x Klipsch RP-440WC Center Channel speaker
1x Klipsch RP-110WSW Subwoofer
...and the star of the show
1x Axiim Q UHD Media Center

The Backstory
A few months ago I bought the Klipsch Wireless Premiere system. I bought the hub, four bookshelf speakers, a center channel, and a sub. After the setup, the speakers sounded fantastic. I'm no audiophile, but I didn't hear any wireless artifacts, latency, or sync issues. They easily fill my apartment living room with great music and watching movies is delightful. After a few days, I started getting frustrated with the system. Speakers would drop out for a moment, or would disconnect completely. The hub interface was terrible: No EQ, laggy interface that looks like it came out of the 80s, ARC was flakey, and it would occasionally power on at 100% volume, waking up everyone in the house. I started looking for an alternative WISA compatible receiver and found the recently released Axiim Q UHD. This is my review/impression of using the Axiim Q UHD with the Klipsch speakers.

Bottom Line Up Front
If you have the Klipsch speakers already, are frustrated with the hub, and can spend the $1,000, you should buy the Axiim right now. It's what the Klipsch system should have been.
If you're putting together a new wireless system, I can recommend the Klipsch/Axiim combination. I would not recommend the Klipsch hub knowing that the Axiim exists. Axiim also has their own 5.1 and 7.1 speaker system that you can buy packaged with the hub, but I haven't heard those so don't have an opinion.

Unpacking the Axiim (and First Impressions)
Packaging is simple cardboard. No Apple-esque luxury packaging here. Everything is securely wrapped for protection and securely encased in cardboard sections. It comes with some standard fare: External power supply, remote, and batteries for the remote. It also comes with an HDMI cable, which is a nice addition. I wish it would have come with an IR receiver cable - the receiver remote is bluetooth and doesn't have a built-in IR receiver. The hub is larger than the Klipsch hub, feels heavy, and appears to be built well. It's MUCH smaller than a typical receiver because the amps are in the speakers rather than in the AVR. The bottom is rubbery which causes it to stay put in the media cabinet.

The Remote
When I took the remote out of the bag, I was delighted because it's made out of that soft, velvety plastic/rubber that you see occasionally. It feels great in your hand. It's substantial, but small. At the bottom there are four colored buttons that you can assign to whatever functions you want. I customized two of mine to map to Cinema/Music profiles. I mapped the other two to HDMI1/HDMI2. The directional control feels very "tight". The stiffness requires that you push pretty hard on the buttons, which is a bit of a shame. The other buttons feel fine, but the directional control is the thing you're most likely to be using on the remote. I'm hoping it loosens up a bit with use. I control my media systems with a Harmony hub, so it's not a huge deal for me. Speaking of the Harmony, the Q UHD codes are in the Harmony database and everything works great. One thing to note is that the remote is Bluetooth instead of IR. This means that you can use it even when the Q UHD is hidden away behind a closed door in your media center. On the flipside, the Q UHD doesn't have a built-in IR port. To use it with the Harmony or any other IR Universal Remote, you'll need to buy an inexpensive IR receiver cable. It cost me $15 on Amazon, but would have been nice if it was included.

The Hub
The hub is a huge improvement over the Klipsch. The Klipsch has 4 HDMI ports and only one supports 4K video. None of them support HDR. The Q UHD has 6 HDMI ports, all of which support 4K and HDR. The hub also has connections for the power brick, an eSata and 2x USB connections you can play music from, an ethernet port, an HDMI out with ARC, and an IR Receiver port. Inside it has 802.11 ac and Bluetooth. There's not much to it because speaker connections are wireless. One thing I would have liked is an analog/phono in. Also nice to have would be an optical in. It looks like an RCA to HDMI converter can be had on Amazon for about $15. Not sure what kind of quality to expect from a $15 box when hooking up a turntable. Optical to HDMI converters are around $40 and are probably better because they are digital->digital.

Initial Setup
Physical setup is a piece of cake. Plug the TV into HDMI Out. Plug the Chromecase into HDMI1. Plug the Xbox One into HDMI2. Hook up the power and turn it on.
Software setup is a bit more complex. When you turn on the unit it shows onscreen instructions. The interface is LIGHTYEARS ahead of the Klipsch Hub. Colors are bright and appropriately rich. Fonts are legible and modern. Graphics are informative and crisp. Step one is setting up the speakers. My initial Search For Speakers resulted in zero of the speakers being found. I'm guessing that this would have "Just Worked" if I had purchased the matching Axiim speakers. It may have even worked if I had virgin Klipsch speakers. Because I had existing Klipsch speakers that had previously been connect to the Klipsch hub, I had to unplug each speaker, plug it back in, and hold the button on the back for a few seconds until the LED on the speaker started flashing. After some trial and error, I got all 6 of my speakers connected. Each speaker popped up in a list with a progress bar showing the firmware being updated as it joined the WISA network. I was a bit surprised that the firmware updated because they had already been updated to the latest on the Klipsch hub. I'm guessing that Axiim developed their own firmware and pushed their own version to the speakers. That made me a bit nervous, but everything seems to be working great. One blip here. I got all of the speakers successfully connected and mapped to their respective positions and pushed "Continue". The Q UHD took me back to the beginning of the setup procedure and started searching for speakers again. This time it only took a second because everything was updated and positioned. I clicked "Continue" again and was again taken back to the initial setup. This time I tried pushing the Menu button on the remote instead of "Continue". I was taken to the full settings screen and did some configuration. I turned the Q UHD off, then back on. Initial Setup started again but this time after pushing "Continue" it took me to a Time Zone selection and then to a congratulatory "Setup Complete". This was a small bug, but it confused me for a bit.

Configuration
The Settings interface is really good. It's your typical Tree menu with configuration options at the leaf nodes. You have all the typical configuration options: Speaker volume and distances, ARC, CEC, Inputs, etc. Some of the notable options are:
- EQ for adjusting the speaker performance. There are multiple templates, as well as the ability to set a 10 point EQ setting PER SPEAKER! One delighter is that the default setting after my setup was "Klipsch Optimized". It's clear they considered the Klipsch speakers as they built the Q UHD.
- Default Volume at Startup. The Klipsch would often turn on at 100% volume and wake up everyone in the house, so this setting is especially appreciated.
- Multiple latency modes for Gaming, etc.
- Speaker Zones.
- UI Personalization, including icons and labels for each input (including unique icons for Xbox, Xbox One, Chromecast, PS4, etc). You can also change the accent color of the UI, which is a nice touch. To show the attention to detail, the accent color in the mobile application also reflects your choice here.
- There's a solid firmware upgrade experience. You can force downgrades, or join a beta program for the latest firmware.
- There's a way to send diagnostic reports and reach support right from the device.

Functionality and Quality
This seems like an odd topic. It's weird to write a section on whether everything works, but in a wireless world and coming from a very buggy Klipsch receiver, I think it's important. I've been using the Q UHD for two days now and have watched maybe 6 hours of content. In that time, I haven't had any drops in audio on any channel. I haven't had any disconnects or speakers that went missing. Everything is snappy on the menu system. Input switching is fast. ARC worked instantly and automatically and hasn't dropped out. CEC power communication works every time. The sound output seems to be exactly the same as it was when the Klipsch hub was installed - when it was working properly. One concern I have is the heat of the Q UHD. It runs really hot, even when in standby mode. I've read similar concerns on their older model but never found any posts that indicated heat-related failure. I wish it were cooler, but it's not a deal breaker.
In terms of format support, Axiim claims it supports "up to" Dolby True HD and DTS-HD Master Audio. Specifically, it does not have Atmos support. I believe Atmos is now supported in the WISA standard. The Q UHD supports up to 7.1 channels. Time will tell whether they release a firmware upgrade to allow those extra to channels to be used as height channels resulting in an Atmos-compatible 5.1.2 setup.

Support
I've been basically pestering the support team and they've been great. I emailed them the first time at 9pm Pacific (our shared time zone). I was asking whether the hub supported the Klipsch speakers before I bought it. They responded after hours and within 30 minutes to let me know they tested them extensively and they worked great. After buying the hub I've emailed them almost a dozen times with a combination of questions about initial setup, bug reports, and requests for new features. Nothing major, but for completeness, the list I gave them was:
Bug: Typo in menu - "Minimuze"
Bug: The repetitive first-run setup issue I had.
Feature request: Allow the LEDs on the speakers to be turned off (which they've said they've added to the backlog)
Feature request: On-screen keyboards should be QWERTY instead of A-Z
Feature request: Ability to choose my own background images. This isn't a big deal since they only show up when an HDMI input isn't selected or it's in screen-saver mode.

Overall
Overall, this is the AVR that Klipsch should have delivered. If they read this, I would suggest partnering with Axiim to license the Q UHD and perhaps rebrand it as the Klipsch hub v2.
If you're buying a WISA system, you should definitely buy the Axiim Q UHD. You should definitely not buy the Klipsch hub. As for speakers, the Klipsch are fantastic and I don't have any experience with the Axiims.

Let me know if you have questions and I'll try to answer them.
Ryan

Last edited by cryptyk; 06-07-2018 at 07:26 PM.
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post #2 of 13 Old 06-07-2018, 09:11 PM
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Awesome! We have almost the same setup. Can't stand the Volume control lag and that it currently take 30 secs for the TV to turn on.

I'll be looking to purchase when ready.
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post #3 of 13 Old 08-19-2018, 01:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cryptyk View Post
Overall
Overall, this is the AVR that Klipsch should have delivered. If they read this, I would suggest partnering with Axiim to license the Q UHD and perhaps rebrand it as the Klipsch hub v2.
If you're buying a WISA system, you should definitely buy the Axiim Q UHD. You should definitely not buy the Klipsch hub. As for speakers, the Klipsch are fantastic and I don't have any experience with the Axiims.

Let me know if you have questions and I'll try to answer them.
Ryan
Any word on whether the Q UHD’s inputs/outputs support the HDMI 2.0b spec? I’ve got the Sony 940e TV, and am wondering if the Q UHD will support passing through Dolby Vision metadata from an Apple 4KTV or the Oppo 203. I really enjoy the Klipsch HD Wireless system, but the hub is a bit of a pain at times.

Sony XBR-75X940E | Sony PS4 Pro
Oppo UDP-203 | Apple TV 4K
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post #4 of 13 Old 08-21-2018, 01:15 AM
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Thank you for this great review. Just reading this made me feel better... because the Klipsch hub is hopeless. I read 2 posts across the internet that Klipsch reps said updates are coming, but that doesn't seem to be the case.


My only fear right now is that I cannot connect my Yamaha CD-NT 6700 (rear picture). I have this as a network player to play FLAC files of my local PC network, play Spotify, listen to radio and CDs. It doesn't require a video screen and that's actually why I love it. No need to turn on my TV when listening to music.


Would you have any idea how to make this work?
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post #5 of 13 Old 10-06-2018, 11:58 AM
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Great review. I just wish the hub alone wasn’t so expensive. Seems crazy over priced.
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post #6 of 13 Old 12-11-2018, 05:43 PM
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I was agonizing over this for some time. I'd had great luck with Klipsch in the past and really wanted their wireless speakers but I had heard such terrible things about the HD control center. Pretty much based on this thread alone, I took the plunge and dropped a bunch (on sale) for the full 5.1 setup + Axiim Q UHD. And then I created this account just to tell you guys, it is fantastic. Thank you so much cryptyk.

All the components arrived on the same day. Speakers came out of the box and powered up right away. Hub came online and synced with them immediately. Axiim pushed two firmware updates to each speaker seamlessly. Oddly, 4k video support was disabled by default, but a simple toggle switch later and I was ready to rock in under an hour from unboxing time. As an AV newbie I could not be happier with the intuitiveness and ease of set-up. The only hiccup I had was that my Harmony remote could would not sync with the Axiim Q UHD (being Bluetooth based and not IR). I had an old IR blaster but I guess it wasn't compatible. I emailed Axiim support, got a response later that day with a link to an Amazon product I could same-day deliver for a measly twelve bucks. Plugged the new blaster in and it sync'd immediately. A+ service.

Sound quality is top-notch in a big, echo-y living room. I haven't once had an issue with speakers disconnecting or dropping out (though it's only been a few days). Best of all, the wife doesn't want to murder me for cluttering up her entertaining room with ugly speakers and piles of wire. The Klipsch are quite pleasant to look at for whatever that's worth.

I'll answer any questions I can but again I'm pretty novice. Mostly just wanted to say thanks again, Klipsch + Axiim WiSA works beautifully and I'm very glad this post came up on Google for me.
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post #7 of 13 Old 12-11-2018, 09:18 PM
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Originally Posted by thirdorbital View Post
I was agonizing over this for some time. I'd had great luck with Klipsch in the past and really wanted their wireless speakers but I had heard such terrible things about the HD control center. Pretty much based on this thread alone, I took the plunge and dropped a bunch (on sale) for the full 5.1 setup + Axiim Q UHD. And then I created this account just to tell you guys, it is fantastic. Thank you so much cryptyk.

All the components arrived on the same day. Speakers came out of the box and powered up right away. Hub came online and synced with them immediately. Axiim pushed two firmware updates to each speaker seamlessly. Oddly, 4k video support was disabled by default, but a simple toggle switch later and I was ready to rock in under an hour from unboxing time. As an AV newbie I could not be happier with the intuitiveness and ease of set-up. The only hiccup I had was that my Harmony remote could would not sync with the Axiim Q UHD (being Bluetooth based and not IR). I had an old IR blaster but I guess it wasn't compatible. I emailed Axiim support, got a response later that day with a link to an Amazon product I could same-day deliver for a measly twelve bucks. Plugged the new blaster in and it sync'd immediately. A+ service.

Sound quality is top-notch in a big, echo-y living room. I haven't once had an issue with speakers disconnecting or dropping out (though it's only been a few days). Best of all, the wife doesn't want to murder me for cluttering up her entertaining room with ugly speakers and piles of wire. The Klipsch are quite pleasant to look at for whatever that's worth.

I'll answer any questions I can but again I'm pretty novice. Mostly just wanted to say thanks again, Klipsch + Axiim WiSA works beautifully and I'm very glad this post came up on Google for me.
Great to hear! I currently have the Klipsch and am thinking of picking up the Axiim as well for full 4K HDR. Also use the Harmony remote.

What was the adapter you’re using to get the IR Blaster work with Harmony and Axiim?
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post #8 of 13 Old 12-12-2018, 06:17 AM
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Great to hear! I currently have the Klipsch and am thinking of picking up the Axiim as well for full 4K HDR. Also use the Harmony remote.

What was the adapter you’re using to get the IR Blaster work with Harmony and Axiim?
I'm not allowed to post links but search Amazon for "Inteset 38 kHz Infrared Receiver Extender Cable for HD DVR's & STB's". Plug into IR-in, add Axiim Q UHD to Harmony and you're good to go.
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post #9 of 13 Old 01-03-2019, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by milesdavisii View Post
Any word on whether the Q UHD’s inputs/outputs support the HDMI 2.0b spec? I’ve got the Sony 940e TV, and am wondering if the Q UHD will support passing through Dolby Vision metadata from an Apple 4KTV or the Oppo 203. I really enjoy the Klipsch HD Wireless system, but the hub is a bit of a pain at times.
Hi
Does anybody know if Q UHD supports passthrough of Dolby vision metadata ?
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post #10 of 13 Old 01-04-2019, 08:41 AM
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Hi
Does anybody know if Q UHD supports passthrough of Dolby vision metadata ?
I contacted Axiim directly, and they said it does.

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post #11 of 13 Old 01-08-2019, 08:38 AM
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Anything new from Axiim, WISA at CES 2019? I read there is a new Klipsch 5.1 set that’s much cheaper.
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post #12 of 13 Old 03-23-2019, 03:57 AM
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Thumbs up Good on you!

Ryan -- thank you so much for this review. I believe I'm in a similar boat as you, and knowing a product like the Axiim Q UHD exists is such a relief. I'm more than satisfied with the speakers, but the overall experience is not so great due to the RP-HUB1.

A few questions:
  1. Have you experienced any surprises with ARC? ...I've never had luck with my Sony displays.
  2. Did you ever figure out if the Axiim was pushing Klipsch firmware to the speakers or a custom developed firmware?
  3. I see the Q suports up to 7.1. Do you think it would be a problem to add a 2nd subwoofer where each play the .1 channel? (EDIT -- Yes it can. Their FAQ answers this question.)
  4. Are you still happy with the product & product support?

Thanks!

I drink my whiskey clear.

Sony VPL-HW40ES | Sony KDL-65W850A | Panasonic TC-P50S60
Klipsch Reference Premiere HD Wireless 5.2 | VIZIO SB3821-D6

Last edited by ciosad; 03-23-2019 at 06:08 AM.
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post #13 of 13 Old 09-14-2019, 11:20 PM
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Is there any to have the Axiim show volume on screen when using Harmony Remote/Xbox One? The remote works, just doesnt show volume on screen.
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