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Gear4 HouseParty 4-Evo speaker dock [review]

Gear4 HouseParty 4-Evo app enhanced speaker dock

When it comes to budget friendly iPod speaker docks few have more options and are more popular than Gear4, and the HouseParty 4-Evo falls nicely into that same category.

Gear4 HouseParty 4-Evo app enhanced speaker dockApple gadget owners come in all ages these days, and the accessory industry has products catering to all of them. With the HouseParty 4-Evo Gear4 has delivered another compact speaker dock system for home use that probably caters more to the mass market and younger generation than to those that are looking for high-end HiFi sound. The system is compact, the docking station is sitting at the front, it has some nifty app-enhanced features, and a design that is familiar to those that primarily shop for budget friendly iPod speaker docks on the high street.

Unlike some other models, the docking station does not slide in and out on the HouseParty 4-Evo, but it does support docking of pretty much any 30-pin device, including iPhone with GSM shielding. Although it does not state iPad compatibility and i have not had a chance to test if it supports iPad docking, there is no dock adapters so in theory it should work. At the top of the device you find a few controls, including on/off button, volume controls, and skip tracks back and forwards. At the back is also the FM antenna and support for aux-in, in case your player does not support docking. It comes with a small standard remote control that allows you to control standard features, including EQ settings (7 settings) and switching between docked device, aux-in and FM radio.

The HouseParty 4-Evo is also app enhanced, so by downloading the free Smartlink app you can add additional features to the speaker dock, including auto tuning FM stations, alarm clocks with different displays, weather information etc. If you have two Apple devices, such as an iPod and an iPhone, you can also dock one and use the other one as a remote control over Wi-Fi. I’m all for app-enhancement for speaker docks, but personally i find it works a lot better if you can stream audio to the speakers and don’t have to rely on a second iPod or iPhone.

Boasting 30W of output power the Gear4 HouseParty 4-Evo has a decent power for its price class, and you can crank the volume fairly high up, although the audio does tend to crack at high volumes depending on track. The overall audio performance is on par with other systems in the same price class, and the preset EQ settings does allow you to customize the sound to some degree. However, the audio does feel a bit flat, lacking the dynamic sound of of more mid-range systems. Turn off the EQ and you have very little bass, turn it on for pop or rock setting and you get a bass that lacks ‘oomph’.

Overall the Gear4 HouseParty 4-Evo is a decent speaker dock at an affordable price, but not for the discerning audio enthusiast. This is a entry level speaker dock for more general use, and not for a house party. If you are looking to get a decent solution for a teenager to dock their iPod then its a decent option, but double the spend and you can get more interesting and better sounding solutions.

Strenghts

  • Decent power for its size
  • Affordable price
  • Solid quality build

Weaknesses

  • Overall the sound feels a bit flat
  • Does not operate on battery power

Price & availability


[ratings]

Filed in: Gear 4, Gear4 speakers, iPod Speaker Docks, Reviews

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