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Klipsch Gig portable Bluetooth speaker review: A small wireless speaker with big bass

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MSRP: $199.99

The Good The Klipsch Gig is a well-designed, compact Bluetooth speaker with strong bass and good battery life (12 hours). It has a built-in speakerphone and offers AptX and NFC support for devices that include those features

The Bad While the bass is strong, the sound could be more detailed. It's somewhat pricey.

The Bottom Line While it doesn't beat the sound of some competing speakers in its $200 price class, the Klipsch Gig gets a lot of things right, offering a strong design and feature set along with comparatively deep bass for a speaker its size.

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7.4 Overall
  • Design 8
  • Features 8
  • Sound 7
  • Value 7

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.

The Klipsch Gig is available in black or white (click image to enlarge). Sarah Tew/CNET

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.

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