GEAR4 HouseParty 4 Speaker Dock for iPod
Review: GEAR4 HouseParty 4 Dock Review
Excellent Value for Money.
Very Compact, Easy on the Eye and Easy to Set Up.
FM Radio Great Quality.
Lack of DAB Radio.
Included Adaptors do Not Support Ipod Nano 5th Gen.
Our team of self-appointed experts has taken it upon themselves to locate and review the best iPod Docks on the market right now! Since their inception, iPod/MP3 docks have become one of the dominant forms of music playback in the world, so its only right that we play guardian to your wallet and give you the low down on which ones sound great and, conversely, which ones will have you reaching for the earplugs.
I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, Didn’t this guy already review the GEAR4 HouseParty a while back?”
If you actually were thinking that, you’d be absolutely right. I have already reviewed this product, however, there is a reason I’m reviewing it twice. There are two distinct versions of the GEAR4 HouseParty dock; the first one is app ready and comes complete with a number of app-based extra features (if you’re curious as to what they are, head on over to my previous review and find out), the second one is app-less and consequently a good £20 cheaper. But is that a saving worth making? Read on and find out.
As with the app-ready HouseParty, you get a whopping 30W of total speaker output, OK, its not that whopping, but its still pretty good by iPod dock standards.
A major problem with this model is that for some reason an iPod classic adapter is not included. I suppose you could provide your own, but to be perfectly honest with you guys, I’d have to look up where to get one. I thought that iPod classic was a required device for pretty much any docking station and, frankly, I find this a tad disappointing.
On the plus side, however, the lack of apps isn’t actually something you miss that much. They’re nice to have and they’re useful in their own way, but they aren’t a £20 note’s worth of useful, if you catch my drift. What seems to be the case here is that, barring one or two minor changes, GEAR4 have released a budget version of one of their best selling docks, a dock that was already quite reasonably priced in the first place. That they have done this without any loss of quality to the main function of the product is commendable indeed.
The HouseParty is a splendid device, as we discussed in the review of the app-ready version, the speakers are of relatively high quality and the device is solid and reliable without being especially flashy. At around £40 - £45, this is a dock that is well worth the money.
There are still extras, of course, but they aren’t quite as numerous and far reaching as those on the app-ready version. This version still has the FM radio option; it also has all the customizable EQ options and the exact same speaker system, which we’ve praised to the hilt as not only being very good, but also offering very high value for money. On top of all this, you also get nifty (Oh yeah! I’m going for the high score) backlit buttons, which are very useful for finding in the dark, but unobtrusive when it comes to sleeping.
It’s not as good as the app-ready version, but the difference isn’t actually that damning. What we’ve got here is a high quality product with £20 taken off of the RRP, never a bad thing. Basically, if you liked the HouseParty, but didn’t have £60 to spend on an iPod dock, you’ll be going home happy.
I know I review mid-range products fairly generously, but that’s because they are the ones that most of us use. Of course the top range products are good. We know this, that’s why they’re top of the range, but it’s also why they sit at the top of the price range.
GEAR4 have once again delivered a very decent product at a more than reasonable price. This isn’t, by any means, the best dock on the market today, but it’s a long, long way from being the worst. It looks smart, it sounds good and it doesn’t cost a lot; what more could you want?
I have to conclude that this is an impressive all rounder indeed.
NB! Confirm the retailer's price and product information prior to making your purchase.
GEAR4 HouseParty 4 Speaker Dock for iPod
Battery and Mains Adapter
Charges Ipod When Docked
Number of Speakers
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Honest reviews of the GEAR4 HouseParty 4 Speaker Dock for iPod from previous customers
"As a longime audiophile and stickler for quality and value, I generally have high demands and expectations. Especially if I am going to rate a product highly, as is the case with this wondrous little unit."
Review by Joseph Wells
"I use this dock at home with two iPhone 3G's and an iPod Classic 80GB. They all work very well and the sound is better and much louder than I expected at this price point. You'll want to use Airplane mode on the iPhone so the speakers don't blast you with interference."
Review by Jay Brennan
"Everything plugs in fine so far, charges, and I haven't had any issues at all. The iPod Classic was just collecting dust until I got this. Now I have a great little stereo with 60GB of music and it's super portable. Couldn't ask for much more."
Review by Riley Newman
"These speakers are awesome! For the money they sound great, it is light and easy to transport (just took them on a trip to Jamaica and Bob Marley sounded great through them!) Would highly recommend to anyone not wanting to spend big bucks on speaker"
Review by Erin Singh
We encourage you to read them prior to making your final purchasing decision.