EXCLUSIVE REVIEW: Klipsch iGroove SXT

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However, we'll be bringing you some sneak peeks over the next week or so – starting with our previously unpublished test verdict on Klipsch's cut-price iPod speaker system.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

Even before you park your 'Pod, there's a lot to like about the latest desktop dock from speaker giant, Klipsch (opens in new tab). 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).

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