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Klipsch KMC 3 review

Andrew Williams

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Reviewed:

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Klipsch KMC 3 4
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Summary

Our Score:

6

Pros

  • Deep bass
  • Semi-portable

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Fairly feature-poor
  • Too bassy to sound high-end

Key Features

  • Bluetooth
  • 5.25-inch subwoofer
  • 2 x 2-inch drivers
  • Battery compartment
  • Manufacturer: Klipsch
  • Review Price: £349.99

What is the Klipsch KMC 3?

The Klipsch KMC 3 is a portable Bluetooth speaker with larger-than-average driver units designed to give it a much more powerful sound than your average wireless speaker.

It knows how to slam, but at £350, we're not convinced the KMC 3 gets you good enough sound for the price.

Klipsch KMC 3 not for you? Check out our round up of the best portable Bluetooth speakers

Klipsch KMC 3 – Design and Features

The Klipsch KMC 3 is a wireless Bluetooth speaker that is large enough to be considered an 'at-home' unit, but has a few nods to portability to make it easy to lug around.

There's a carry handle in its top, its plastic body is heavy at 3kg and there's a battery compartment on its bottom. You'll need to raid your local electronics shop to power the thing, however, as it needs eight D batteries. We'd much rather have seen a rechargeable battery used in the KMC 3 – as seen in rivals like the Arcam rCube.

Klipsch KMC 3

The downside of Klipsch's half-hearted dedication to portability is that the KMC 3 doesn't really feel like a speaker you'd be proud to have as a centrepiece in the living room. At £349, we think something like the Philips Fidelio DS9000/DS9010 looks and feels classier.

There are some nice design tweaks to the KMC 3, though. There's a rubberised panel by the carry handle that's intended to act as a place to stash your phone or iPod while streaming from it, the back has a USB port to let you charge your mobile device at the same time, and the front is covered by a fairly tough metal grille.

Klipsch KMC 3 1

The rear of the Klipsch KMC 3 also features a 3.5mm jack socket, to let you plug in non-wireless sources. As a Bluetooth speaker, you'll mostly control the KMC 3 from your phone or tablet, but there are a few buttons on its top – touch-sensitive panels to let you switch the speaker on and off, and control the volume.

Klipsch KMC 3 – Sound Quality

The Klipsch KMC 3 is a little adolescent in its approach to a wireless speaker. Its shape and handle make it the modern day equivalent of a ghetto blaster, and it has the driver array to match.

It has an unusually large 5.25-inch subwoofer and two 2-inch drivers that handle the mid-range and treble. The Klipsch KMC 3 sound is typical of a setup that prioritises bass – the low-end is a little inflated and isn't entirely well-controlled.

The bass is immensely big, deep and beefy when you crank the volume up, and we don't doubt that people like big bass. Sub-bass performance too beats most of the competition.

Klipsch KMC 3 2

However, it is unbalancing and does seem at odds with the relatively high price. The bass would come in handy for outdoors listening – open spaces tends to make bass dissipate – but that just makes us wish the KMC 3 had a battery built-in. Again, this is something that feels like it could have been included at the price.

Treble clarity and the rest of the sound's balance is decent, but there's not quite the level of fine detail you'd hear in a speaker of this grade with a decent dedicated tweeter or two. However, it does offer apt-X support – a higher-quality Bluetooth audio codec that more-or-less fixes the quality degradation of Bluetooth streaming.

To distil the situation to a sentence, the Klipsch KMC 3 is a great party speaker, but not one we'd necessarily pick at the price for everyday listening.

Klipsch KMC 3 3

The Klipsch KMC 3 also comes in black

Should I buy the Klipsch KMC 3?

The Klipsch KMC 3 is one of the more powerful-sounding wireless speakers at the price. A 5.25-inch subwoofer ensures it can pounds out beats more authoritatively than much of the competition. However, we're not convinced its sound and feature array is worth the £350 asking price. Shave £100-150 off and we'd be much more convinced.

Without Wi-Fi, an integrated battery or particularly impressive audio fidelity, it's clear that Klipsch is happy to charge what it thinks people will pay for a speaker like this. Cynicisim aside, though, if big, deep bass if just what you're after, the Klipsch KMC 3 has it.

Verdict

The Klipsch KMC 3 offers more pounding, deeper bass than the vast majority of its wireless rivals. It's simply a much more expensive option.

Next, read our round-up of the best headphones to buy

Overall Score

6

skyline0511

October 13, 2013, 9:54 pm

Can you review the Bose Soundlink mini bluetooth portable speaker please?

Prasanth Karan

October 15, 2013, 5:46 am

Wow! these luks really cool however the price doesn't when there are other cheaper & better alternates in the market. I recently bought the Bitmore e-Wave STEREO Bluetooth Wireless Water-Resistant Portable Speaker for just £90 ($145) from their website. It has a really cool design, amazing features, awesome sound quality, ultra portable and water-resistant too. Another cool feature which i havent seen in any other portable speakers is microSD card support....so the speakers itself wud act as a MP3 player. Needless to say.....design wise its has won a reddot design award too....Just luv it!

YBT

November 16, 2013, 4:20 am

After tonnes of research I bought this speaker due to all the people flipping out online (even though it was far more than I was looking to spend). All that I can say is, what a great decision, believe the hype!! Truly incredible in terms of power, clarity, authority, dynamics, bass response, pure audio bliss!! This unit has way too much bass, which is a great thing, because it allows you to EQ out however much you desire instead of trying to use EQ to add bass into the sound, which is far less effective. The power on offer is simply unbelievable... the crisp, rich output will leave you breathless. Pictures also do the aesthetics of the unit no justice, in real life it is sleek and clearly very high quality in terms of it's solidity and lovely soft touch plastics. The packaging it comes in also doubles as a carrying case - nice! Stop searching, get this speaker, there is nothing that TOUCHES it in terms of value for money or sonic brilliance. Invite some friends around, open up your iTunes and watch the jaws hit the floor!

Buddy Mink

February 28, 2014, 10:05 pm

I wholeheartedly agree!! This speaker has no match anywhere. Even at the price, the KMC-3 is a good deal. I have wireless speakers from Jawbone and Bose that cost a little less than the Klipsch but don't come close to the soundstage, bass or extension. Coldn't recommend it any higher.

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