CNET First Look
Klipsch Gallery G-17While it packs an impressive punch in terms of sound performance and feature set, the G-17 is more expensive than an iPad and doesn't seem worth its $550 price tag.
Hey. What's up everybody? I'm Jeff Bakalar for cnet.com. Today were checking out the Klipsch G-17 Air Play Speaker. Now this had become such a trend in the single speaker docks we're seeing lately with the new iPad and that new sort of airplay technology which is of course the ability to wireless stream audio from iTunes and iPad and iPod touch and now even at your iPhone. So, what we have here is basically what looks like the center channel speaker to a very high end 5.1 surround sound system, but in fact it's actually a pretty powerful speaker in its own rate. It's really loud and what's cool about how loud it gets, it never gets distorted. The way you set this up is the G-17 sort of becomes a wireless hot spot , you then connect your computer to this artificial hot spot and configure the device. When you're inside the system settings for this device, you can then assign this to pay attention to your home network. You type in the SSID, the Klipsch knows what your home network looks like and then it can allow for air play using, like I said, your iPad, iPod touch, whatever you have. Now the way that works is sort of easy. It's about a 10 to 15 minute process. Once you're done with that, you'll never have to run that initial configuration unless you switch networks for whatever reason. Now, I found that sound quality is actually really good, considering I've only seen about 3 or 4 of these devices, the Klipsch is probably the best one I've seen so far. Like I said, I've only seen a couple. I also found that when you hard wire device, you can use an auxiliary in , like a head phone jack or you can use a wired USB connection to a number of Apple only products to get a direct feed. When you're using the wired connection, the sound quality is noticeably better. Things just have more (oomph?). When it's over air play , the quality suffers a little bit, but unless you're one of those audio folks, you're probably not gonna notice much of a difference. This is pretty heavy. It's about 8 pounds . It also comes with a optional stand. So, here's the part of the first look where I complain a little bit. This thing is $550, that's more than the price on an iPad. So, if you're buying an accessory for your iPad and... and I bet itself, you're looking at over a thousand dollars just to have the iPad and the ability to wirelessly stream audio. Also, you can... if you're ready, willing and able to spend $550 on something like this. You could probably also spend $500 on a receiver that works with air play, were seeing a lot of these now from pioneer, from then on. So, the products are out there. Over all, sounds great, can get loud without distorting which for me is very important. Come's with a remote that's a little flimsy . Feels a little cheap. So, you're gonna wanna stir away from that and then there's also an iPad app, or an iPhone app that will actually let you set this up much more easily than maybe manually doing it through the (fake?) access point which I talked about earlier. That's gonna do it for the Klipsch G-17 air play speaker. I'm Jeff Bakalat for cnet.com. Thanks for watching.