What Hi Fi Sound and Vision Sun, 1 Feb 2009, 5:00pm

Kicker iK500

Tested at £199

Fun with a very large ‘F’, this could be just the thing for some buyers

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  • Goes very loud and can shift air even in a large room


  • Can get ragged around the top-end with bright recordings

This hefty slab of American iPoddery looks set to eat you from the moment you heave it from its box, and in action it delivers almost entirely on its visual promise.

The Kicker i500 is loud. Very, loud – so much so that even the mighty Zeppelin might have its work cut out to compete.

It has two hefty 12.7cm forward-firing midrange drivers, a pair of 20mm silk-dome tweeters and a square subwoofer for deep, well-extended bass that genuinely can shift air, even in a large room.

Kicker's heritage is as a car-audio specialist, and in action that's entirely the character this system shows. It's gutsy and exciting, able to charge through deep bass lows and driving rock with equal verve.

Full-on fun
True, things can get a little ragged around the top-end with brighter recordings, but not disturbingly so, and overall the impression is of full-on fun.

The styling we'll leave up to you: all we'll add is that the very upright angle of your iPod in its dock can be a little awkward to get to. It wouldn't be an issue (probably) were it not for the occasionally vague action of the remote.

That apart, though, we've no real complaints. Yes, there's much to admire here.

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