Klipsch’s iGroove HG has no Dock connector, so it won’t sync your iPod to iTunes. It has no video output, so it won’t connect your iPod to your TV. It has no LCD, so you’ll have to rely on your iPod to see which track is playing. But this powered speaker has one redeeming virtue: It rocks!
Klipsch remembered what so many other media-player speaker-system manufacturers have forgotten: A powered speaker’s most crucial mission is to amplify and project high-quality audio. Every other feature—be it data transfer, iTunes synching, video output, portability, or a fancy display—pales in significance.
The iGroove passed our punishing bass test (Paul Thorn’s “Fabio and Liberace”) with aplomb, delivering punchy lows without distortion, rattles, or other unpleasant side effects. It sounded damn fine with a variety of other sonic material, too, offering exceptional frequency response and superb stereo separation. And the amp has plenty of power on tap—this puppy gets loud.
Power and volume are the iGroove’s only front-panel controls; and the remote offers only power, volume, play/pause, and track forward/back buttons—you must rely on the iPod for everything else. But unlike all too many other docking stations, which leave the iPod flopping around like a dying flounder whenever you push its scroll wheel, the iGroove hugs the player in a tight embrace. Don’t have an iPod? Plug in Klipsch’s brilliant J-Dock and you can enjoy the iGroove with nearly any media player (although the fit won’t be as secure). Sorry, Klipsch. You won’t be getting your iGroove back for a while—it’s just become our new reference platform.