Name: iGroove SXT (Klipsch)
Type: iPod speaker dock
Specs: (Click here for full specs)
Price: £129.95 from Klipsch
Though they may be best known for their excellent home cinema speaker set-ups, Klipsch also dip their toes now and then into more compact areas of the home audio market, including iPod docks, computer speakers and earphones. Their latest iPod dock, the iGroove SXT reaches us with expectations set high then, but sadly never quite manages to meet them.
The iGroove SXT is a compact bit of kit at around the 30cm mark, and weighing just 3.2lbs it’s fairly portable too, easily slotting into most shelves and light enough to be carried without much effort throughout the house. It’s a pity then that the iGroove SXT will nearly solely be restricted to indoor use, as it will only work when running off of a mains power supply. While the design is pretty bog standard for a speaker dock, with your iPod or iPhone sitting inset front and centre of the speakers, Klipsch show off a bit of flair with flashes of silver trim here and there.
It does manage some pretty decent audio quality however. Any all-in-one speakers of this size will struggle to match a more comprehensive stereo unit, but the iGroove SXT dock performs fairly well. While bass levels are a little lacking, there is a good balance across the mix between lows and trebles overall. Vocals come out particularly crisply, but can sound a little harsh due to the weak bass elsewhere. You will be able to crank it up quite loud though before the sound becomes distorted thanks to the dock’s bi-amplification, which gives each driver its own dedicated amplifier.
In terms of features and connections, the iGroove SXT ticks all the right boxes, but doesn’t push the boat out. The dock acts a charging unit for your iPhone (filling it with juice in just under two hours) and you’ll get a handful of adaptors so that most Apple devices will fit the dock snugly, as well as a 3.5mm aux port for connecting other audio sources. There’s also an S-Video output for sending videos from the docked device to a separate display, and while it’s a generous addition, we’d wager few people will actually make use of it. The lack of a radio tuner in a device that’s priced around £130 seems a little bit of an oversight too.
Finally, Klipsch have also included a small remote control for the unit. Like the iGroove SXT speaker dock itself, it’s well built and looks sturdy enough to withstand a week lost down the side of the sofa. Controls are simple, and probably all the better for it, with easily defined power, volume, mute and track skip buttons.
While not quite the audiophile’s dream we’d have liked Klipsch to deliver, the iGroove SXT iPod dock will still brighten up a party with it’s loud volume and respectable sound quality. A portable battery option would make this easier to recommend, but as it stands, you could do a lot worse for your money.
Click here to buy the iGroove SXT iPod dock for £129.95 direct from Klipsch