There are lots and lots of speaker docks. Some are huge and offer big sound. Some have tons of bells an whistles. And some, like the StreetParty 4 I have been using for the last two weeks, make their mark by being small, easy to use and easy to carry. Sure, with such a small dock you give up something by way of full, rich sound but you more than make up for it in convenience. So if you are looking for a system that will replace your huge, expensive home system you can stop reading this review right now. If, however, you want something that you can keep with you, set up and use in seconds and offers fine sound… read on.
From Gear 4-
StreetParty 4’s great sound quality makes it perfect for home or portable use. At home, use the included power supply to power the speaker, safe in the knowledge that your iPod or iPhone battery is being charged up as you listen to your tunes. On your travels, the StreetParty 4’s slim design, protective grill and folding iPod / iPhone dock make for easy transportation. Plus with the option to power speaker from batteries, it can be with you wherever you go.
- Powered by 4 x AA batteries (not included) or AC charger (included)
- Optimized frequency response
- Charges your iPod while playing
- Retractable iPod dock
- On / off light indicator
- Line in port for use with other portable music players
- Metal grill for protection
- Slim design, folds flat for storage
As you can see in above pictures, one of the key features of the StreetParty 4 is the sleek, collapsible design. It folds up into a slim “blade” of black plastic but, within seconds, the dock flips out while another piece of plastic that surrounds it flips to the back to create a stable base for it.
Yet, as you can see, it retains that slim profile.
The dock comes forward from the speaker but only enough to make room for the iPod.
And speaking of iPods, the StreetParty 4 works with all three generations of iPod touch, the nano 3,4 and 5, as well the iPod video and classic. And yes, unlike its predecessor the StreetParty 3, the StreetPart 4 works with the iPhone.
As you can see, when an iPod is in the StreetParty 4 it is held securely with the unit’s four speakers surrounding it.
So the big question is… how does it sound? How does a unit this small and portable sound? The answer is… it sounds surprisingly good. No, you won’t get that huge, wall shaking, teeth chattering sound that comes from a large expensive system but then again that’s not what this unit is designed for. Instead, it lets you take your music on the go, gets loud enough to share your music with others and sounds good enough that they may well be surprised such a decent sound is coming from such a small unit. Then, when the time comes, you can fold up the StreetParty 4, throw it in you bag and take it with you.
The StreetParty 4 is a clever design that is definitely worth considering if you are looking for a new speaker system for your iPhone or iPod. I’ve used it for the last few days while I was up in the mountains writing and have really enjoyed it. When it was time to come home I folded it up and threw it in my bag. It was then that I was struck by how clever the foldable design is. Certainly in terms of design and sound it beats the other “grab and go” speakers I have used.
And that leaves one final question… where can you get it? Well if you live in the US the answer is… you can’t… yet.
Turns out that Gear4 is a UK-based company that doesn’t have a presence in the US but will be here starting in October. When they do arrive the StreetParty 4 will have an MSRP of $69. We’ll let you know when it is released here since it is worth your considering… especially if you are on the go a lot.
You can see all of Gear4′s offerings on their website.
What I Like: Clever design makes it easy to take with you; works on AC and DC; sounds surprisingly good for a unit this small; Basic remote is easy to use
What Needs Improvement: This is a basic dock that doesn’t offer much in the way of bells and whistles; won’t be available in the US for at least another month