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MP3 Players

Gear4 HouseParty 4: No hi-fi, but worth a high five

Gear4's line of HouseParty iPod speakers have earned Crave's hard-won respect before now, so we're looking forward to checking out this brand-new contender, the HouseParty 4

You iPod speaker fans out there may well remember Gear4's HouseParty 3 from last year. Like Lily 'I'm so wacky, you never know what I'll do next' Allen's new pink hair, it's not without its flaws, but on the whole it's definitely something you'd want to see in your bedroom. The speakers, not Miss Allen.

Now Gear4 has launched its HouseParty 4 -- the 3's successor -- with a much more refined finish in brushed aluminium. Inside are two 76mm (3-inch) 30W speaker drivers, an FM radio, some equaliser controls and an LED display that once again sits behind the fabric.

Now we're not overly fond of run-of-the-mill iPod speaker systems, but Gear4's have generally been pretty good, particularly for teens and bedroom listeners. For the £70 asking price it's by no means trying to be a hi-fi solution or a pretentious alternative -- it just looks smart and should sound pretty decent.

We've got one on its way, so expect a hands-on report and full review soon. It'll be on sale next month. -Nate Lanxon