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Gear4 HouseParty Blu review: Gear4 HouseParty Blu

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The Good Loud; attractive front; easy setup; price.

The Bad Lack of bass; no battery-operated option; touch-sensitive buttons a little unfriendly.

The Bottom Line A good enough system for a bedroom if you've got an iPod and a Bluetooth-enabled phone, but the lack of a battery-operated option makes it redundant on camping trips. It's well priced though, and if you need your morning blast of music, it'll suit you just fine

6.5 Overall

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iPod speaker systems are all the rage. But what about the people who don't just use an iPod? Mobile phones are fast becoming as capacious as some MP3 players, so why not cater to their users too? Gear4 has struck the nail on the head with a sexy-looking 30W speaker setup that includes an iPod dock and stereo Bluetooth.

We were immediately taken with the HouseParty Blu's speckled silver front. It's a solid finish that's complemented by a glossy control panel, the buttons on which glow a neon blue. The corners of the system curve round on to a less inspiring back. We don't feel as much attention was paid to the back, but this is probably an area most people won't feel too cheated over.

The iPod sits mounted in a dock on the top, and a variety of adaptors are included to make sure that it sits as snugly as possible. The supplied remote control is pretty small, but it serves its purpose. It operates over infrared and allows you to navigate the various iPod menus as well as skip forward and back between tracks.

Any iPod with a dock connector will slide into the system, and can be browsed as normal, or by using the fiddly remote control mentioned above.

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