You want a premium speaker for your iPhone, you want it from a premium brand and you want AirPlay? Step forward Klipsch with nearly 70 years of acclaimed audio history and its £429 Gallery G-17 Air speakers with integrated AirPlay. If only it were that simple…
The Gallery G-17 is Klipsch's first dalliance into the expensive world of Apple AirPlay systems and it is immediately out to make an impression. How it achieves this is by daring to be different. The G-17 breaks from the usual rounded rugby ball/shell-like designs that swamp the market, with a retro 80s-esque rectangular design atop a detachable stand.
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Build materials are an interesting contrast. The speaker itself walks the well worn path of piano black plastics and dares to expose its speakers, a raw look we think more manufacturers should choose. Klipsch does supply a simple material grill, which cleverly attaches with magnets, but one look at Klipsch's marketing materials will tell you leaving them exposed is its preferred look. In contrast the G-17's stand is metal, surprisingly heavy and dares to step back into a time when you connected things using screws.
Together speaker and stand weigh just 3.5Kg, and the stand accounts for 800g of that. The Klipsch Gallery G-17 doesn't have an internal battery so isn't portable in the strictest sense, but it is light enough to carry from room to room and measures just 43.2cm long, 14.4cm tall and 10.1cm deep (17.78cm tall with the stand) so it is relatively small even if the actual footprint isn't quite so petite.
In terms of connectivity the G-17 ticks the right boxes. In addition to AirPlay, there's a 3.5mm auxiliary input should you dare to own a device outside the Apple clan, and USB for digital input from an iPod or iPhone (firmware updates come via Wi-Fi). Despite this the headliner remains AirPlay.
Setting up AirPlay has been complex and problematic in the past, but recent devices have made it a doddle. The G-17 falls somewhere in the middle. Setting it up on a computer still requires web browsers and the entering of IP addresses, but any iOS device can download the 'Klipsch Air' app and be done in five relatively painless steps.
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