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Klipsch iGroove SXT review: Klipsch iGroove SXT

Performance
We've not be let down in terms of performance, with the SXT substantiating its audiophile tag with a class D amplifier and sonically impressive sound quality, even if separation between channels isn't all that great. In a small room it sounds terrific, with a generally warm tone and strengths in the upper bass. It's no replacement for a hi-fi and a capable subwoofer, but it proved itself an ideal choice of students or bedroom listeners.

Feist's poppy track 1234 was the first to impress us, with the SXT delivering the pop-country number with splendid warmth and detail. Believable bass was audible underneath bright vocals and we heard an array of subtleties in the background. It can really drive as well, with mellow and soft rock -- including Miss Feist, of course -- and is not unimpressive at very high volumes.

Dream Theater's Metallica-esque track Constant Motion, with its booming twin bass drums, thick guitars and those layers of keyboards and vocals, sounded impressive through the SXT, though John Myung's deep bass lines were somewhat lost in the darkness of Petrucci's complex guitars, and Portnoy's array of cymbals lacked that crystalline finesse in the high end. Not bad at all though, and certainly very decent for a system of its size and price.

Heavy electronic dance is less impressive, as a result of the small drivers' inability to move that much air. If you're looking for the be-all and end-all of iPod systems for use with your favourite drum 'n' bass tracks, you'll need a sub, and this won't support one. Consider Scandyna's awesome -- if expensive -- Podspeaker iPod solution.

Conclusion
We like this speaker system very much. It can be snagged for under a hundred quid and apart from your glow stick-friendly dance music at higher volumes, it sounds very nice indeed. We see this as a terrific model for students whose parents aren't loaded, as price, performance and design are all perfectly balanced. Just don't expect to be able to hear the difference between MP3 and CD-quality all that much.

We've compared the iGroove SXT to the Tannoy i30 on occasion and we believe Tannoy's offering to gives better performance. Although at the time of writing it can be had for little more than the SXT, its RRP is around the £230 mark, and the difference isn't inaudible. If you want extra power, more separation between left and right channels and USB connectivity, consider the i30 over the SXT.

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