A good two weeks ago the manufacturer once again reminded us of its compact and damn stylish Bluetooth speaker Heritage Groove, which was already launched on the market a year ago. Now the small speaker in the look of a guitar amplifier reached our test lab. How good it sounds and what it has up its sleeve, clarifies our Klipsch Heritage Groove test.
|1 x 3″ aluminum tweeter
2 x passive bass radiators
|65 – 22,000 Hz
|7.2 V 2,200 mAh lithium-ion
|Up to 8 hours
|Battery charging time
|About 3 hours
|152 x 127 x 67 mm
|€ 171.89 *
Klipsch Heritage Groove review: the package contents
Secure in a Styrofoam sleeve, the Klipsch Heritage Groove rests in a simply designed white cardboard box. The manufacturer does not include too much in the box. It is joined by a charger including three different international plug attachments, a rather beastly smelling USB-A to Micro-USB charging cable with a length of 82 centimeters, as well as instructions and safety notes.
Design and finish
The Klipsch Heritage Groove already looks pretty classy. Our test device comes in the matte black color variant, but alternatively, the speaker is also available in walnut look with fabric surround. The Bluetooth speaker is surrounded by a generous and high-quality metal grille that alternates with gold, white and black stripes for a high-end look.
The front is emblazoned with the manufacturer’s logo in the upper right corner. Otherwise, there is little to see here. At the back, the case is interrupted by a silver metal strip near the left edge, which bears the Heritage Groove product lettering and houses the 3.5 mm jack and micro-USB charging port underneath.
Two wide rubberized feet provide a secure grip on the bottom. However, things get really interesting at the top, where the speaker’s controls are found. Silver, pleasantly grooved round buttons await you. Six in total. They are surrounded by a status LED on the left and a microphone output on the right.
You can use them to turn on the speaker, switch between Bluetooth or AUX mode, start or pause playback and adjust the volume. However, I miss a battery status display. At best, you can only guess how much energy you have left. Or you can feel it when the speaker switches itself off.
Strangely, the user manual promises a permanent red LED when the battery level is between 11 and 99 percent, but it simply doesn’t exist. The LED is always blue. It doesn’t matter if the speaker has just been fully charged or if it dies at one percent in a few seconds. Huh?
Workmanship of the Klipsch Heritage Groove
The build quality is simply outstanding. All of the selected materials feel high-quality, while the buttons and the entire speaker offer a pleasant feel. The case is also so sturdy that it does not give in at any point, even under the impact of force.
With a weight of 1,058 grams, the Klipsch Heritage Groove is also a real heavyweight. Quite a weight for such a compact speaker. After all, we’re talking dimensions of 152 mm in width, 127 mm in height, and 67 mm in depth.
However, neither the Bluetooth speaker nor the power adapter offer IP certification, making them completely unsuitable for outdoor use.
Operation, battery life and range
The Klipsch Heritage Groove is operated via the buttons on the top of the speakers. Thanks to printed symbols, the operation is self-explanatory and works out excellently, thanks to haptically flawless buttons with pleasant feedback.
You initiate Bluetooth pairing by pressing the corresponding button for three seconds, after which the LED starts flashing blue. Pairing is then done directly via the smartphone or the preferred source, on which the speaker is immediately recognized and connected. Only a possibility to switch to the previous or next song is unfortunately sorely missed by me.
The play and pause button is also used to answer calls. Yes, the Heritage Groove is able to accept calls and also make them completely detached from the smartphone thanks to the built-in microphone. I find it rather poorly solved that the previously connected Bluetooth source is automatically disconnected when you connect the speaker via AUX cable.
Inside, the manufacturer Klipsch installs a 2,200 mAh battery that is supposed to last for eight hours according to the manufacturer. This is an average value, which we could not quite reach in the practical test. At 50% volume, the Bluetooth speaker ran out of breath after 7 hours and 34 minutes. If you turn up the volume, the battery runs down correspondingly faster. Especially since the charging speed is comparatively low due to the old micro-USB standard.
Bluetooth range, within the home, is within the expected range. You can move around 10 meters away from the source before the connection struggles with dropouts or breaks completely.
During the test, I also experienced a Bluetooth disconnection once. Although the connection was actually still established according to the smartphone, no sound came out of the speaker. The problem could only be solved by quickly re-pairing the speaker. However, the error did not occur again afterwards and could not be reproduced.
Sound and microphone quality
Sonically, the Klipsch Heritage Groove stirs up great expectations. The “legendary Klipsch sound” one wants to offer. This is usually characterized by clear, somewhat in the foreground treble and restrained bass, which makes the “official speaker of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame” especially in the rock and metal, but also in the pop and jazz area to a strong companion.
Make this possible should a 3-inch aluminum tweeter including advanced DSP and two passive, lateral bass membranes. A total output of 20 watts is on the books. It should also be mentioned that there is no companion app or possibility to make adjustments to the sound image.
The maximum volume of 97 dB at a distance of 0.5 meters promises enough boom for the next party. A frequency band of 65 Hz to 22,000 Hz is covered. However, only AAC and SBC are available as Bluetooth audio codecs.
So, it sounds quite appealing. So, we took the smartphone with the Deezer HiFi subscription and let the Flow do its work. The first sounds that come out of the small speaker sound quite promising.
However, the promised Klipsch sound also reveals itself very quickly. The bass is, even for a Bluetooth speaker of this size, comparatively strong in the background. The Heritage Groove cannot hold a candle to the Aiwa Exos-3 (our review) or the comparably priced Sonos Roam, JBL Charge 5 in the bass department. They simply offer that little bit more punch, especially with deep bass in the pit of the stomach.
However, this does not mean that low frequencies are poorly reproduced by the Klipsch. I really like the precision, it just lacks a bit of thump. So if you’re mainly into the electro or pop genre, you probably won’t be happy with the Bluetooth speaker.
Clear mids and highs
On the other hand, the Klipsch Heritage Groove scores with clear mids and highs that you rarely hear in this price range. Especially the midrange frequencies know how to please and ensure that the small speaker also marks a strong companion during podcasts or audio books.
Especially with voices and lead instrumentation, the speaker tickles details out of the recordings that you would miss with comparable models. The trebles are similarly good, although they are somewhat exaggerated at a volume of more than 90%.
However, the impressive volume comes into play here again, because values of 50% are easily enough to fill a large room with sound. If you turn the sliders to maximum, it’s probably enough for a complete family home including the neighboring properties.
We’re not talking about a Soundboks Go level with 121 decibels, but the part is also ten times as big and heavy. For its size, the maximum volume is absolutely impressive. Especially since it is realized without any distortions in the sound image.
However, it should be mentioned that the Klipsch Heritage Groove sounds best when you point it frontally at your ears. At an oblique angle, the clarity of the mids and treble decreases comparatively sharply. So, the listening angle is not quite as stable as some competitors.
As a nice gimmick, the Heritage Groove has a built-in microphone to make phone calls directly through the speaker via Bluetooth. The manufacturer doesn’t provide details about the technology, but in the practical test the microphone at least delivered a quite decent quality to make the one or other short phone call.
At least after the initially completely overdriven voice recognition has leveled out. Nothing earth-shattering, but nice-to-have.
Klipsch Heritage Groove review: conclusion
With the Klipsch Heritage Groove, the manufacturer has created a beautiful, high-quality processed and very good sounding Bluetooth speaker. Especially the retro amplifier design really did it to me during the test. It is pleasing that the Bluetooth speaker not only looks pretty, but also delivers technically.
However, you should not expect an all-round solution, as is the case with JBL or Sony, for example. The bass is simply too much in the background for that. How good the speaker sounds for you depends on your taste in music. I really like the mix. On the other hand, you have to be careful not to place the speaker at an unfavorable angle, since the clarity of the individual frequencies would otherwise decrease significantly.
The average battery life and the long charging time are also negative, while the lack of an IP certification largely disqualifies the speaker for outdoor use. I also find it annoying that there is no battery status display. Thus, it happens that the speaker switches off abruptly.
What you’re left with in the end is a beautiful, high-quality and really good-sounding indoor Bluetooth speaker that you can have a lot of fun with if you want more than just booming bass.