There are further issues with the Klipsch Gallery G-17 Air. The remote control is an afterthought with just the most basic functionality and cheap construction that could have come from a £50 speaker and there is no visual feedback from the G-17 when it is used – just a brief blink from an LED as functions are used. As such, switching outputs feels hit and miss and you don’t know if the speaker has received your instructions until you’ve often adjusted the volume too much or too little.
In addition the Gallery G-17 Air doesn’t remember which input you used last when it is switched off. This means should you be using the auxiliary input on a non-Apple device you have to cycle through the hit and miss inputs every time it is switched on. Lastly, and this is a feature of almost all iOS speakers, there is no dock to charge your iPod or iPhone. There is a powered USB port on the back for charging, but it lacks the convenience of a dock socket.
Then we come to price, something we have been hinting at throughout the review. In all fairness the G-17 Air would be a good product were it under £200, but a £429 RRP means it is judged to a far higher standard. As such this becomes faintly ridiculous because the G-17 is £179 more than the Monitor Audio i-deck 200, £79 more expensive than the genuinely portable battery powered Arcam rCube and only £70 less than the B&W Zeppelin Air none of which it can get anywhere near sonically and all of which offer dock functionality. Of these only the Zeppelin Air offers AirPlay functionality, which could prove a genuine consideration for G-17 buyers. But AirPlay is overshadowed by the compromises.
The Klipsch G-17 Air is a product condemned by its price tag. It is well built, reasonably portable (despite being mains powered) and its output belies its size. Unfortunately this counts for little when a £429 RRP places it against (and even above) competition of indisputably superior audio quality. When combined with other flaws like its laboured AirPlay connection, a bargain bucket remote control and near mono sound reproduction it means Klipsch must go back to the drawing board… or at the very least slash the price dramatically.
Score in detail
Sound Quality 6