Klipsch RoomGroove (iPod speaker system) review:

Klipsch RoomGroove (iPod speaker system)

As noted, the RoomGroove is equipped with Klipsch's own wireless audio system, dubbed "KlipschCast." That means that a RoomGroove can transmit to one or more RoomGrooves located elsewhere in the house (Klipsch claims the system has a maximum transmitting/receiving distance of 75 feet). Doing so is really straightforward: You simply press the "Transmit" button on the RoomGroove to send music to other RoomGrooves and press the "Listen" button to hear what's playing on any RoomGrooves in other rooms (the Listen button glows red when receiving signals from a remote RoomGroove, and blue when you are listening to the iPod in its dock). You can skip tracks on the iPod from the remote location, but there's no way to access the menu on the iPod in the other room.

Sending music to or receiving it from other KlipschCast-compatible audio systems is as easy as hitting the "Transmit" or "Listen" buttons, respectively.

To eliminate possible interference with other 2.4 GHz wireless devices such as cordless phones or wireless routers, the RoomGroove features a user selectable Home Code, with "0" as the factory default setting. If problems arise--or if your neighbor buys the same product--you simply set your RoomGrooves to one of the other nine codes.

It's also worth noting that Klipsch will be releasing a KlipschCast-compatible home-theater-in-a-box system, the CS-700, in the spring of 2008 (nearly a year after it was originally scheduled). That system will be able to send audio from its any of its audio sources (built-in CD/DVD player, AM/FM radio, AV inputs) to other RoomGroove systems in a home. The RoomGroove remote will even let you toggle between them--but to do anything more elaborate (change a station), you'll need to return to the main system and do so manually.

At the end of the day, the Klipsch RoomGroove is a good-sounding iPod speaker, but you're paying a premium price--around $300--for the wireless feature. So, is it worth it? As with all of these proprietary systems, it comes down to whether or not you're going to invest in--and stick with--the whole Klipsch "ecosystem." And with at least two RoomGrooves costing $600 total, that's a pretty big investment. If that suits your needs, feel free to jump in. Otherwise, opt for one of the many other more full-featured iPod speaker systems available for less, or consider investing in a more effective multiroom digital audio solution such as the Sonos or the Logitech Squeezebox Duet.

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