Klipsch KMC 3 Portable Bluetooth Speaker Review
Pros:- Great accurate sound, long battery life, quality soft touch plastics.
Cons:- Needs 8 D-Cell batteries for portable play.
A hugely impressive portable speaker with strong bass, backed up by accurate mid to high range reproduction.
The Klipsch KMC 3 (or Klipsch Media Centre) is the bigger brother of the Klipsch portable wireless range. Packing 130 Watts of peak power, the KMC 3 is designed to keep you grooving to high quality music on the go. Designed in collaboration with Live Nation Entertainment, the world’s leading live entertainment company, the KMC 3 is perfect for trips to the beach, picnics, or even just that summer BBQ. Alternatively, leave it plugged in at home for a great small form factor music solution.
Klipsch has packed two 15 Watt 2-inch mid/high range aluminum diaphragm drivers into the KMC 3, with bass handled by a 5.25-inch, 35 Watt long throw subwoofer. Klipsch claims a maximum 105 dB output with the KMC 3 which is useful for those outdoor picnics and days out to drown out anything you want.
Physically, Klipsch have made the KMC 3 as portable as possible with a nice integrated handle hidden underneath the top of the speaker. Measuring 18.3 x 43.2 x 14 centimetres (7.2 x 17. x 5.5 inches) which won’t fit in many pockets unless you’re wearing clown pants, but it is easily compact enough to be carted around. The whole thing feels solid, thanks no doubt to the 3.5 kg (7.8 pound) weight, and that’s not including the 8 D-cell batteries required to run it without AC power. Klipsch are claiming around 26 hours of battery life at a normal volume, or 8 hours at full bore which should be more than enough for most days out. Interestingly the smaller KMC 1 actually sports a rechargeable internal lithium-ion battery which would have been a lot more convenient here – though again the size and weight of that might have been a bit too much.
Capacitive at the top of the handle for power, volume and Bluetooth pairing light up with a nice glowing red or blue, and a remote is also provided for extra usability.
Real World Testing
Physically A+ then, but as always it must deliver on the aural front. Which I’m pleased to say it does. The Klipsch KMC 3, like a lot of modern audio equipment seems to have a very good strong low end. That said, the KMC 3 does seem to do bass particularly well, with a powerful rich, and importantly clear notes. Firing up bass heavy tracks like Seven Nation Army showed the system was capable of keeping up, and at times even a bit too strong – though probably great for use outdoors. Switching to a more jazzy style with St. Germain, the KMC 3 was able to clearly distinguish each instrument and cleanly blast out the whole spectrum. Even the saxophone reproduction was crisp and distortion free at the more extreme high notes which was honestly pretty impressive for what is a small system.
As expected, Klipsch have developed another awesome system. Unlike the ProMedia 2.1′s we checked out a few weeks ago, the KMC 3 definitely looks the part as well as delivering awesome sound. The KMC 3 will definitely be at home for a casual system in a smaller room, with that added flexibility to cart it around for impromptu outdoor fun times.
Now onto the price. The Klipsch KMC 3 retails for an eye-watering $499 in Australia (or about $399 elsewhere in the world). As always perspective helps. An extra 95 cents will get you the LibraTone Zipp which is a more compact option but less powerful option. Bose’s Soundlink II comes in around $400, but again doesn’t offer the same power. On the other end, the Bang & Olufsen Beolit 12 looks absolutely amazing, but still doesn’t offer the same power and is almost double the price.
With the range of portable speakers out nowadays, its really down to what the user needs. Undoubtedly there are cheaper systems out there, but I can’t find one that will match the audio quality, power or portability of the Klipsch KMC 3 at any price point. With Australia marching into spring and summer, this is definitely a system I don’t want to give back.