Gear4 StreetParty 5 review - Modest sound quality but a good choice for a portable compact speaker
Most speaker manufacturers seem to have simply ignored the Lightning connector on the latest iOS devices, with many of them deciding to ditch the dock altogether and go with Bluetooth wireless connections instead.
Bluetooth is fine for streaming music, but there are down sides to the wireless approach: for one thing, you can’t charge your iOS devices without a dock. Gear4 has therefore bitten the bullet and become one of the first manufacturers to produce a speaker dock with a Lightning connector.
Other than this innovation, the StreetParty 5 is very similar to other models in Gear4’s StreetParty range, consisting of a flat-panel speaker that measures 241mm wide, 140mm high and just 30mm thick. The dock with the Lightning connector folds back into the speaker when not in use, and the entire unit only weighs about 580g, so you can easily carry it from room to room at home, or slip it into a backpack when you’re travelling.
Sound quality is also similar to that of the other StreetParty models. Higher frequencies are clear and detailed, and work well with the multi-layered harmonies on some old Queen tracks. However, the thin speaker panel doesn’t produce very strong bass, and the sound lacks weight.
To be fair, you can’t expect audiophile sound quality from a speaker that costs just £50, and the StreetParty will do the trick if you just want to listen to some music over a barbecue or in a holiday apartment. You can also run it off the mains, or insert four AA batteries, which should last for six to eight hours.
The sound quality of the StreetParty 5 is relatively modest, and you’re paying a little extra for that Lightning connector. However, it’s still a good choice if you’re looking for a compact speaker that you can quickly pick up and carry around with you.