Home Reviews Entertainmnent Hands on with the Klipsch KMC 1 – portable Bluetooth speaker: Review

Klipsh is a name muso’s know and trust – its new KMC 1 portable Bluetooth speaker reflects its attractive industrial retro chic style and is a class leader for sound clarity and quality.

KMC 1 is the bigger brother to the excellent 10W RMS, personal speaker called Gig (reviewed here). It is a Bluetooth, portable speaker (if a tad heavy at 3Kg), with a 16 hour rechargeable battery that seems to work for much longer due to some aggressive power management.

Frequency response is 65HZ to 18KHz and maximum acoustic power is 102dB. It has two 2.5” full range drivers, two 3” bass radiators and 20W RMS output.

I tested it in a bedroom (20m2) and was completely enveloped – saturated – in sound. In a larger 50m2 lounge, the sound was ‘party’ loud and clear, but more directional. The bass response was bold yet it was a balanced, smooth and steady sound across the spectrum- it’s the Klipsh signature sound that sets this apart from all others.

It comes in a range of colours (black, blue, magenta, orange, purple, red, white, and yellow) with a soft-feel silicone exterior, metal front grill, and high-gloss metallic accents. The top panel has a black, non-slip rubber mat to rest your smart phone on and to pair using near filed communications (NFC).

It has a USB Port – used for recharging your smartphone device – and that became more relevant as we spent the day streaming music – great idea. It also has a 3.5mm analogue audio port.

But wait – there is more - if your device supports it will act as a hand free speaker/microphone able to answer telephone calls.

All the controls are on the top in backlit glowing red. Bluetooth paring – not via NFC – required a few second push on a button to initiate discovery. I tested it with Android, iOS, Windows and Windows Phone – all paired flawlessly. What better is that it found all eight devices again during the day without further pairing. It uses an aptX codec and digital signal processor for CD quality sound.

Conclusion

Klipsch is a little more expensive than its competitors are – but what is $50 here or there for the Klipsh signature sound?

Yet remember this is a portable – take it to parties or on holidays – yet I see great scope for apartment dwellers who want to stream music from their tablets, notebooks, smartphones, or improve TV sound.

Appliances Online have it for $377 including free delivery- its RRP is around $400.

Note there is a bigger brother as well – the KMC 3 at under $500.

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Ray Shaw

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Ray Shaw ray@im.com.au  has a passion for IT ever since building his first computer in 1980. He is a qualified journalist, hosted a consumer IT based radio program on ABC radio for 10 years, has developed world leading software for the events industry and is smart enough to no longer own a retail computer store!

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