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S-Master Home Audio System: MP3 phone hi-fi

A Walkman phone accessory for stressed-out office workers. "And the music keeps on playing on and on..."

It happens to Crave all the time. You're on the train enduring the over-crowded commute, you finally escape into the sunshine and your spirit lifts. Suddenly your favourite track kicks in on your Walkman phone and you're in heaven. There's a smile on your face, a sparkle in your eye, a wiggle in your walk.

But alas, all too soon you're outside the office, staring at the Gates of Hell, knowing your musical moment must come to an end. Why? Does the music have to end? Sony Ericsson's nifty new speaker system for your Walkman phone answers with an emphatic 'No'.

The concept of the S-Master Home Audio System MDS-70 didn't initially impress us. We saw it as another technological innovation that was possible but not valuable -- along with solar-powered torches and inflatable dartboards. How wrong we were. The MDS-70 rocked our world.

After unpacking it and seeing how small the unit is -- it's about the size and shape of a short, fat Toblerone -- we were sceptical about its sound performance. But like a good featherweight boxer, it packs a mean punch for its size, and its sound quality and volume were perfect for the small office we tried it in.

Like a typical podcessory, you simply slot your Sony Ericsson phone in the speaker system (we used a W800i) adjust the volume control, and you're away. The system also comes with a handy remote control -- useful if your limbs have atrophied through over-reliance on technology and you find it hard to raise your arm above the desk to adjust the controls.

The slender device is silver, elegant and solidly built, with the feel of an executive desktop toy. The MDS-70 would grace any desk, be it of a tech writer in Soho or a banker in the City. In fact, its sleek silver display wouldn't look out of place in the cockpit of an F-15.

What's the catch? The catch is that this slightly random bit of desktop bling costs a cool £150. But if your phone is your only MP3 player, then it could be money well spent. -YH