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Gear4 StreetParty 5 Portable Speakers / iPod/iPhone Dock Review

Sound quality of Gear4’s StreetParty 5 is good, especially given the fact that the product is a portable speaker dock. Sound distortion wasn’t an issue until the volume was increased to a high level, and quality was perfectly adequate for a portable system.

After using the speakers for a few days, I was particularly impressed by the unit’s bass levels. The low frequency response wasn’t the best that I had heard but they were better than I had expected from a portable speaker dock.

I was happy with the StreetParty 5 dock’s maximum volume levels for indoor usage scenarios; it was capable of filling a medium-sized living room or bedroom. For outdoor usage, the maximum volume level may be a lower than some users would have liked however.

People wanting the dock to function in an area such as a park, sports pitch or garden are likely to be forced to make use of the maximum volume level to make their music clearly audible over the increased background noise.

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We used a set of 2300 mAh Energizer Recharge batteries to test the StreetParty 5 speaker dock’s playback time using batteries. The amount of music playback time one gets will be heavily swayed by the choice of batteries and their capacity.

We managed to get around 22 hours of playback time before the dock started to show signs that the battery levels were diminishing. Those signs included regular drop-outs which lasted for a split-second, hence making the listening experience unpleasant.

The ability to charge a Lightning-equipped Apple device from the StreetParty 5 is a strong point. We managed to prove that the dock could charge Apple’s 4th generation iPad using mains power, but a full top-up is likely to take a long time. Charging isn’t the intended function of the StreetParty 5 dock, but it is good to know that your music playback device won’t run out of battery while the device is powered.

As far as ease-of-use goes, Gear4’s StreetParty 5 portable speaker dock is about as simple as it gets. Gear4 doesn’t force any odd functions or hidden button protocols onto users, but instead keeps the layout and operation simple with nothing more than power and audio connectors, an on-off switch, and a +/- volume strip. We like the simplistic design and think that users will also be fond of the ease-of-use that it brings with it.

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