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Multiroom, iPod-friendly KlipschCast audio system covers all bases

Klipsch's new KlipschCast products--the CS-700 HTIB and the RoomGroove iPod speaker system--deliver multiroom, virtual surround, and wireless home audio options.

The CS-700: KlipschCast HTIB

Klipsch has long been known for its excellent speakers, and now the company is branching out in a big way. Its new KlipschCast family of products promises to deliver a whole-house audio system that's wireless, expandable, iPod-friendly and easy to set up. One hopes they pull this off while retaining the top-notch audio quality we've come to expect from the Klipsch name.

The system is anchored by the CS-700, a 2.1-channel home-theater-in-a-box system, and the company's first HTIB. The CS-700 utilizes Dolby Virtual Speaker technology to deliver a surroundlike effect from its two speakers, which feature shielded 3-inch woofers and a 0.75-inch tweeter enhanced by Klipsch's trademark Tractrix Horn. It also boasts a wireless, 8-inch, downfiring, 200-watt subwoofer. The main head unit houses the CD/DVD player, the AM/FM tuner, and three auxiliary inputs, and the entire system is cloaked in a stylish black. But the subwoofer isn't the only thing that's wireless: the CS-700 can also stream audio to one of several RoomGroove systems located elsewhere in the house.

Sold separately, the RoomGroove is essentially an iPod speaker system (not unlike Klipsch's iGroove) that can wirelessly communicate with the CS-700, as well as with other RoomGroove units around the home. It features a retractable iPod dock (with the ubiquitous 30-pin iPod connector) plus an auxiliary input for any non-iPod audio sources. Even better, the RoomGrooves can access the CS-700's audio sources independently--so a RoomGroove listener could tap into a ball game on the CS-700's AM radio while a family member continues to watch a DVD undisturbed. Another possible multiroom scenario: with an iPod in the kitchen, RoomGroove can stream its playlist to a second RoomGroove in the bedroom.

Klipsch is pledging that these first two KlipschCast components can be installed in "as little as 10 minutes," and the dearth of wires (the RoomGroove requires only a power cord) will be welcomed by many a design-conscious music and movie lover. Pricing wasn't available at press time, but the company said both units are expected to ship in April 2007.