Wed, 24 Sep 2008 HouseParty 4 review
It’ll be a very modest house party if you use one of these…
- Manufacturer: Gear4
- Pros: Swish design, sturdy build, good radio functions
- Cons: Disappointing sound, retro digital display looks a bit out of place
- Price: £70
- Star rating:
When we go to house parties, our experience generally consists of talking to people we’re not sure if we know, drinking other peoples’ beer, and shaking next door’s walls with the music. Given the name of this iPod-docking speaker and radio, you’d expect something a little bit raucous. But if this is HouseParty 4, HouseParty 1 must have been a real buzz-kill.
The HouseParty 4 is small and pretty quiet – fine for a small bedroom, but it won’t cut it as your primary music outlet if you care about your tunes.
Aside from the misleading name, the HouseParty 4 is a well-built speaker – a sturdy block with a speaker grille about the size of a large book. The iPod docks in the middle at the front – dock adaptors are included for all types of iPod – and the wires are helpfully tidied into a little compartment at the back. Buttons for operation
run across the top, and are out of view from the front.
There’s a basic display hidden behind the speaker grille – when you turn it on an old-school digital display appears from behind the grille telling you whether you’re in iPod, FM, or Aux mode. It also flashes up when you change the volume. It’s a nice touch, but the old-school digital letters make for a slightly odd look when compared to the modern design of the rest of the unit.
The sound isn’t going to win any awards either. It’s a bit muddy, and noise reproduction from the two 3in drivers is underwhelming. There are seven EQ settings which help slightly when you’re listening to particular types of music. It’s fine for background music, but you wouldn’t want to, well, base a house party around it.
The radio is its saving grace. It’s easy to scan for stations and set your 10 presets, and it sounds passable – within the confines of the weak and flaky speakers.