Finally, the main buttons on the G-17 are located on its right side; they include power, volume, input selection, and wireless connection configuration.
Setup, features, and performance
The G-17 certainly packs in a healthy feature set, but its highlight has to be its compatibility with the Apple wireless standard, AirPlay. Any device that has iTunes, including, iPads, and iPod Touches can stream music wirelessly to the G-17 with ease.
Setting up the G-17 for wireless playback involves a one-time configuration (though if you switch networks you'll need to reset and perform setup again). First, I had to connect to the G-17 like it was a wireless router through my laptop. Once connected to the G-17's "access point," I could then configure the device to learn the SSID of my home network and voila, my G-17 was ready to stream music via AirPlay. A simple tick of a few iTunes preferences then allowed me to control the G-17 within iTunes, and I was all set.
In my testing with actual music playback, of all the connection options available I found that direct connections trumped wireless play in terms of quality. This falls in line with my experience with other AirPlay and wireless devices in the past as well, so it really was not a shocking revelation. That said, the Klipsch's overall sound quality packs a heavy punch.
I was blown away with the way the G-17 handled the sludgy composition of Mastodon's "The Hunter" album. It's a muddy record with every imaginable chance for distortion, but the G-17 played it all the way through with precision. Next up was Fitz and the Tantrums' "Pickin' Up the Pieces," which orchestrates a more jazz-influenced sound, allowing the ears to isolate instruments more easily. Again, I was really impressed here with the G-17's performance. I love how the volume can really be turned almost all the way up and the Klipsch will continue to hold its composure all the way through.
It's no secret, I'm very much in love with the G-17's fantastic sound and ability to stay sharp and crystal-clear at high volumes. The fact that I was able to get it up and running in under 15 minutes adds more bonus points as well. That said, Klipsch's G-17 price tag is asking way too much. Its retail of $550 is enough for anyone of any income level to balk at.
If you're a lucky-enough soul where cost is of no importance and your only concern is whether or not a device works and sounds great, go buy the G-17. If you're among the masses and consider price to be a major factor in purchasing an AirPlay accessory, I'm afraid the G-17 is not worth it.
AirPlay devices aren't cheap as we've seen in our AirPlay accessory roundup, but for the money, there are other alternatives. And besides, if you're spending upward of $500, why not opt for something like a new AV receiver that can handle AirPlay, too? CNET really likes the Pioneer VSX-1021.