GEAR4 BassStation speakers
GEAR4 specialises in gadgets and add-ons for your favourite devices, with an increasing number for the iPod. Take the BassStation for instance, GEAR4 is pitching this device as a 2.1 stereo speaker system for the home but with support for seven different types of iPod, which you slot into the top, you can clearly see who it's aimed at.
The design is impressive to look at, measuring 430 x 170 x 175mm and clearly makes a statement. The look is bold but when you actually look closer, GEAR4 has been quite subtle with the details. On the top along with iPod slot are just three buttons, for controlling volume and switching the device On/Off.
The speakers offer 35 watts of power, which really pumps out the volume. This is supplemented by a 15-watt subwoofer that we found really added to the overall warmth of the sound quality.
The remote control is quite small and offers the standard array of controls and works surprisingly well, scrolling through our test iPod to find the tracks we wanted. The remote also handles bass and treble, which is another neat touch, as it makes setting the levels for the room easier to manage.
The rear of the unit allows you to hook in other audio devices, typically non-iPod MP3 players, using the 3.5mm jack through a dual-adapter to left and right-channel ports. There is also a headphone socket, which seems a little redundant.
In use, we found the speakers great at a reasonable level and can handle a fair degree of volume, only starting to distort and sound compressed at louder volumes. The subwoofer really helps round the sound out, making these among the best iPod external speakers we've tested.