It's still 10 days until our bumper April issue goes on sale - complete with a free 36-page guide to everything HD, plus hosts of other exclusives (fancy winning £20,000 of kit?)

However, we'll be bringing you some sneak peeks over the next week or so – starting with our previously unpublished test verdict on Klipsch's cut-price iPod speaker system.

Read on for more on this rocking dock...

Klipsch iGroove SXT

£90

Five stars

For Powerful, entertaining sound; solidly built and well-finished

Against Bass could be better integrated; mains-only

Verdict

For meaty music fun on a budget, this Klipsch is a rocking dock

Even before you park your 'Pod, there's a lot to like about the latest desktop dock from speaker giant, Klipsch. It's sturdier of build and smarter of finish than most of its iPod ilk (certainly in the sub-£100 sector), and is a true two-way system, featuring two long-throw woofers and a pair of horn-loaded tweeters.

There's even a (slim) eco-angle: those tweeters are less power-hungry than traditional designs.

Otherwise it's pretty standard for a dock of this size and price: a line-in socket, S-video output and a tiny remote that handles the basic iPod controls.

It charges any iPod with a 30-pin connector, comes with insert docks to fit the various sizes of player, and is compatible with all the latest-generation Apples - including the 3rd-gen nano, iPod Touch, Classic and iPhone (though sadly - as with several docks - the latter will only work when in aviation mode, so don't get musical if you're expecting an urgent call).

More after the break

In action, the Klipsch is a bass beast, but with enough pace to avoid boom - this system thrives on, say, McCartney's Beatles basslines as much as dance music anthems.

The only sonic sour-note is the slight lack of integration between the unit's drivers - that bass can over-dominate proceedings, leaving the mid- and upper-frequencies sounding somewhat recessed.

However, that low-end heft makes the iGroove SXT a more powerful, room-filling listen than its same-price rival, the Award-winning Logitech Pure-Fi Anywhere - though the latter has the edge on refinement, and is more portable (being battery or mains-powered compared to the plug-only Klipsch).

Larger, pricier iPod systems, such as the B&W Zeppelin, will offer more power and sophistication still, but for a blast on a budget, the Klipsch is king.

Tech specs

  • Frequency response: 60 Hz - 20 kHz
  • Maximum acoustic output: 90 dB SPL @ 1m
  • Crossover frequency 6 kHz
  • Tweeter: 0.75in tweeter high frequency
  • Horn: MicroTractrix Horn
  • Midrange: 2.5in woofer
  • Amplifier: Class D
  • Enclosure material: ABS plastic enclosure/dock and remote
  • Enclosure type: Tuned port
  • Inputs: 30-pin iPod docking connector, 3.5mm mini auxiliary input
  • Dimensions: 4.75 x 12 x 4.625in
  • Weight 4lbs
  • Remote control - Yes
  • Finishes Black with silver accent and black cloth grill

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