- Compact and easy to use
- Sound quality, Only two volume settings, Doesn’t stand up by itself
Don't expect great sound quality, but the convenience factor and price are advantages.
Price$ 49.95 (AUD)
"Free your Tunes"; this is the marketing motto for the hugely successful European based iPod accessories manufacturer, GEAR4.
The GEAR4 PocketParty is a micro speaker system for all iPods with a dock connector. Operation and design is extremely simple; you just plug the PocketParty into your iPod, switch it on and that's it. There are two speakers at either end of the unit, concealed by grey mesh speaker covers. The unit has to be seen to be believed; it's incredibly small and compact and on first glance it looks like a receiver of some sort, rather than a speaker system.
Perhaps the biggest flaw with the PocketParty, besides the sound quality, is the fact that it isn't capable of standing up on a desk or table. It needs to be laid down flat and when you're using an iPod nano like we were during testing, this isn't ideal. Granted, this unit isn't designed for the nano (it still works though), but the fact that there was no stand to position it upright was quite strange indeed.
In addition to this, there are only two volume settings,which are adjustable via a small switch just behind the connector. Adjusting the volume on your iPod doesn't affect the sound settings, so we thought it was quite limited in this regard. This does depend on the firmware version of your iPod however, so be sure to have the latest update.
We guessed just by looking at this unit that it wouldn't sound good, and we weren't wrong. A speaker system this tiny is never going to be the greatest sounding accessory and the specifications seem to signify this. However, it did perform as expected for a unit this size. In a small room and at lower volumes the PocketParty is useful and the fact that you can throw it in a pocket or bag is convenient. At the higher volume setting though, sound is a little distorted and this was dissapointing.
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PCW Evaluation Team
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