PodGear, maker of all accessory-type things for the iPod has created yet another supposed must-have. This time it's the PodGear Pocket Party, a small speaker system that attaches to your iPod via the headphone jack and allows you to share the music with friends.
Powered by an AA battery, it's simple in design. The white-barrelled unit has an on/off switch on the back and a speaker at either end of the barrel. The unit connects to the iPod via the headphones jack.
In reality however, while the efforts are well made, the end result just won't live up to the billing. The first complaint is that the device doesn't actually sit comfortably on the iPod. So keen has PodGear been to make the barrelled shape speaker have smooth lines, it fails to realise that the hold button adjacent to the headphone socket protrudes slightly out from the iPod. This, while a small detail, means that for us the marriage isn't true in a design sense.
The second and more important factor is that unless you're in the library (about to kill Mrs Plum with the lead pipe of course) you are unlikely to be able to hear the tunes coming out of the speakers, even at full blast. Of course the trouble is, is that if you're in a library you won't be able to listen to the PocketParty anyway.
Sadly, that leads us to the sound quality itself: The sound produced from the PocketParty is quiet and disappointingly is also rather tinny. It's no surprise really given the size of the unit (its width is the same as the iPod itself) but it would have been nice if it had bettered our expectations. We're demanding like that at pocket-lint.co.uk, given that it's meant to enhance a killer must-have gadget.
The Party Pocket is an interesting idea, but one that on the day just isn’t executed very well. A poor design (both for the annoyance of it sitting proud of the hold button) and that the speakers face sideways rather than directly at you means that you can never find anywhere quiet enough to listen and go about your daily chores.
Should you bother - probably not. We say keep those headphones on and enjoy the music all to yourself just like some silent clubbers’ night at Glastonbury.