iGroove SXT full review
The Klipsch iGroove SXT is perfect if all your music is on your iPod and you need an affordable means to play it at home. Priced at £99.99, it’s considerably cheaper than a lot of iPod HiFis, yet offers much of the same appeal: full, rich sound in an attractive desktop design.
It’s just a foot across, so could easily be taken out and about. It has also had a drastic makeover compared to the pricier, original iGroove – instead of the original’s clamshell design, the SXT uses a more traditional shape.
The dock uses Apple’s Universal design and seven dock inserts are included to accommodate older iPods (newer iPods each include their own adaptor and it works with the iPhone, although unofficially). Behind the system’s black-cloth grilles are left and right 2.5in woofers and 0.75in tweeters; the latter use Klipsch’s horn-loaded technology.
On the top edge of the SXT are three buttons: power, volume up and volume down. The power button glows blue when the system is on and red when it’s off. On the back is the power jack for connecting the included AC adaptor, as well as a 1/8in auxiliary-input jack and an S-Video output for connecting the SXT to your TV when using a video-capable iPod.
Given the SXT’s compact size, the system produces surprisingly rich and full sound. Although you don’t get true bass with such small drivers, upper bass is strong enough to give the system punch and warmth. Midrange is also impressive and, for such a small system, the SXT goes loud without distortion.
However, there was a noticeable lack of treble detail compared to some of the other desktop speakers at this price and, like most one-piece desktop speaker systems, stereo separation is lacking.
Two areas where the SXT’s audio quality improves on the original iGroove relates to noise. The full-size iGroove’s metal speaker grilles tended to rattle a bit at high volumes; this isn’t an issue with the SXT’s fabric grilles or the plastic behind them. The previous iGroove also exhibited background hiss at low volume levels or when no music was playing – the SXT fixes that irritation too.
Klipsch uses horn technology in its iGroove SXT, which is relatively unusual in a speaker system of this size. It’s meant to produce a rich, more life-like sound, as well as producing more output and using less energy. So, Klipsch claims the iGroove SXT is greener than its rivals, as well as louder.
The horn technology certainly pays off in terms of the richness of the sound from the iGroove’s speakers. However, it can’t cover up the fact that the drivers are small – so detail and bass does suffer.