With iconic, high-end docks like the B&W Zeppelin on the scene, iPod speakers are being forced to explore terrain beyond sound quality. Griffin’s Evolve is an ultra-convenient wireless system, and now Klipsch’s RoomGroove is now promising to deliver true multi-room music – and all for £400.
Rather than daisy-chaining a network of ZonePlayers like the Sonos, the RoomGroove simply wirelessly transmits the music playing on your iPod to another RoomGroove elsewhere in your home. What’s more, you can add as many new docks to the system as you fancy.
Let’s get the wireless aspect out of the way first before we get stuck into the sound quality. RoomGroove has a button marked ‘Transmit’. When playing an iPod (or an auxiliary piece of equipment through its 3.5mm input), press the button and it’ll transmit the audio to your other RoomGroove.
There’s no need to worry about accidentally streaming The Communards on next door’s Wi-Fi network either – there’s a dial on the back of each dock to select a transmission frequency and avoid interference from other wireless systems, including your own.
Aside from this snazzy wireless trick, the RoomGroove is properly, if unremarkably, finished and bears more than a passing resemblance to Bose’s SoundDock, right down to the way the dock is recessed into the machine – just a touch of the Klipsch logo is enough to bring it sliding quietly out. In terms of extras there’s the aforementioned 3.5mm input, a cheap-feeling remote control and, well, that’s it.
Feed it some digital tunes and the RoomGroove gives a good account of itself. It’s a little short of outright scale and can become flustered at higher volumes, but in every other respect it sounds well worth the money.
Low frequencies are sensibly judged, with none of the histrionics other systems employ. At the other end, a little less sparkle wouldn’t go amiss at time, but treble sounds are similarly well integrated. Timing is good, tempos roll by authentically and voices are natural.
If you’re trying to decide between this and the Griffin Evolve, there is one more factor to bear in mind – the RoomGroove is mains-only, so can’t really be used outside unless you have a long extension cable. This may be a factor for those who envisioned garden listening, but otherwise the RoomGroove is one of the better wireless music systems available and among the least frenzied sounding at the price.