Review: iGroove SXT Dock Speaker

Small, light, portable speaker system. (September 24th, 2009)

Electronista Rating:

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Product Manufacturer: Klipsch Group, Inc.

Price: $149.99

The Good

  • Very good sound, especially for speakers this small.
    Will play video out from your iPod.
    Charges your iPod/iPhone while playing.
    Simple, small remote.

The Bad

  • A/C power only - no battery.
    Power cable has a brick in the middle.
    The AUX port in the back is audio-only.
    Cables for hooking the iGroove up to a TV or audio device not included.

Klipsch recently updated its iGroove SXT Dock Speaker, a small, portable iPod speaker system. The iGroove looks like a curved boom box, and its light 3.2-pound weight makes it easy to move from location to location.

iGrove SXT


The iGroove provides quite nice sound quality, and doesn't stint on the bass notes. Listening to pure tones, my daughter, whose ears are much younger than mine, was able to hear tones from 55 Hz up to 14000 Hz. While the small speakers are not going to blow out your windows, they are quite capable of filling up a room with sound - even when the room is full of people. The iGroove SXT is small, less than a foot across, and about four inches deep. The speakers are close together, which means there's not a lot of stereo effect.

Included Remote

The iGroove comes with a small, simple IR remote. The remote is about the size of an iPod nano, so it fits easily in a pocket. It has buttons for power on/off, next track/previous track, volume up/volume down, and play/pause, and mute. For choosing albums, playlists or other tasks, you have to use the controls on your iPod, which remain accessible and active while the iPod is docked in the iGroove.

REMOTE

Connections

For those of you that are familiar the previous iGroove SXT model, introduced in 2007, you will be happy to know that this updated model charges any 30-pin connector iPod and iPhone. Other feature upgrades include bi-amplification, which eliminates distortion in the speaker drivers, plus the re-tuned bass ports remove port noise.

The iGroove's iPod connector is on the front, right between the speakers. It also comes with several "well inserts," which fit over the connector and provide a snug fit for several different kinds of iPods or iPhones. Once you've found the right one for your iPod, you can toss the other five that they put in the box. Three connectors are recessed on the back of the iGroove: A power plug, an S-Video connector, and an Auxiliary (AUX) connector.

Back of iGroove


The power plug highlights the largest failing of the iGroove; it only runs on A/C power - there is no provision for batteries. This makes the iGroove much less portable. The power cable for the iGroove includes a large power brick in the middle of the cord, which increases the awkwardness of moving the iGroove from place to place.

The other two connectors provide video out (S-video) so that you can hook your iPod up to a TV, and audio-out in case you need to pump the sound from your iPod into another, presumably larger, stereo system. Klipsch does not include either an S-video or a 3.5mm stereo cable with the iGroove; you have to provide those yourself. The fact that the AUX port is yellow, but provides audio confused me for a bit; all the analog video outlets I have are colored yellow, and I thought I could plug that into my TV. Unsurprisingly, this did not work, but when I connected via an S-video cable, I could watch Firefly off my iPod on my TV. When you start the video, an alert pops up on the iPod asking, "Do you want to watch the video on the TV?" You can choose to put the video on the TV or on the iPod's screen.

Klipsch opted to keep the same price as the original iGroove SXT, which makes this a good value. This is worthy of consideration for the upcoming holiday season, as long as portability isn't high on your list.

Specifications:

  • Frequency Response: 60 Hz - 20 Khz
  • Crossover Frequency: 4 Khz
  • Maximum Acoustic Output: 100 Db Spl @ 3m Anechoic
  • Tweeter: Inch Tweeter
  • High Frequency Horn: Microtractrixtm Horn
  • Midrange: 2.5" Woofer
  • Amplifier: Class D, Bi-Amplified
  • Enclosure Material
  • Inputs: 30-Pin Ipod Docking Connector, 3.5mm Mini Auxiliary Input
  • Outputs: S-Video
  • Dimensions: 4.75" X 12" X 4.625"
  • Weight: 3.2 Lbs


Edited by Ilene Hoffman, MacNN Reviews Editor

by Marshall Clow


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