An increasing number of premium compact Bluetooth speakers are proliferating at the $200 price point, which is where the Klipsch Gig, currently the smallest model in Klipsch's line of wireless Bluetooth speakers, finds itself.
I'll tell you what I like about it. For starters, it's got a nice sturdy feel to it -- and by that I mean it feels substantial, even though it's compact.
It also has a removable wrap-around band that Klipsch says is both protective and serves as a style statement. It also allows you to prop the speaker up in a vertical position. That band is easy to swap out and comes in a variety of colors (the speaker comes in black or white), though only one band ships with the speaker along with a simple cloth carrying case that offers minimal protection.
As far as extra features go, the Gig has speakerphone capabilities, as well as AptX support and NFC tap-to-pair for smartphones that offer those features. AptX is supposed to allow for improved sound quality, but it doesn't really make a significant difference with a speaker this small. And I personally don't think NFC adds much -- or anything at all. But the speakerphone is useful, and it worked well in my tests.
I also like the way Klipsch has designed controls. The power button is on the top or side, depending on how you orient the speaker. And that's where you'll find the audio input for non-Bluetooth devices and the Micro-USB charging port to juice this thing up. Battery life is rated at 12 hours, which is better than what you get from a lot of these speakers, and basically takes you through a full day of music listening.
The battery life indicator is on top of the volume control knob, which also doubles as a one-button remote, allowing you to pause and play tracks, as well skip tracks forward and back. Of course, you can control playback from your smartphone or tablet, but a lot of people like to have controls on the speaker itself.
In all, I thought this was a really well-designed speaker. If you want to see the full specs, they're here, but the key things worth noting are that the Gig weighs 1.4 pounds, has two 1-inch drivers along with two passive bass radiators, with the power rated at 2x5W and a 20W peak.
It can play pretty loudly, though like a lot of these small speakers, you don't want to push it too hard (it can start to distort at higher volumes). I thought it sounded decent for its size, with its bass response its biggest strength. It goes deeper than many of the very compact portable speakers in its $200 price class, including the
Aside from that shortcoming, I liked the Gig, and think it will appeal to folks who listen to more bass-heavy music, whether it be techno or hip-hop. Overall, it's an appealing little speaker with good features and a strong design. It just has a lot of competition in this price range, and some of that competition sounds better, despite not having as much bass.