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When I get sent a product to review, I normally like to test it for a really good length of time, but when Gear4 sent me their HouseParty 24/7 to check out, I had to break that rule, read on to find out why.
The HouseParty 24/7 is available in black or white and is a compact speaker dock system, with lots of added functionality. When I say compact, it is by no means tiny, but the design has really been well thought out. About the size of a double height regular clock radio, the 24/7 boasts two nice speakers in the front and a downwards firing bass unit. The front on the unit also has a nice blue LED display for the time, mode you are in, alarms, and frequency of the radio station you are listening to. The top of the unit houses the well laid out buttons and the dock for your iPod. I guess that brief description really gives the game away about what the 24/7 actually offers. To recap, you get an iPod speaker system, clock, alarm clock and an AM/FM radio.
Supplied with the unit are six different size dock adapters. These allow the unit to accommodate every iPod that sports a dock connector, including the 4th, 5th & 6th generation full size iPod, the Mini, Photo, and Nano. Gear4 also supply a slimline remote to control the unit, the iPod and alarms etc. The remote is nothing to shout about, but it does get the job done. You also get external FM and AM aerials, which improve the radio reception a great deal. Whilst on the subject of the radio, reception is really good and easy to tune and store presets.
Sound quality is not of great importance for an alarm clock, but is if you plan to use the 24/7 for regular listening too. I am happy to say that this little unit really does deliver nice quality sound. The 2.1 speaker system creates a nice warm sound, with some real oomph in the bass department. Well done Gear4, this unit really does sound good for both radio and iPod playback.
Unlike some other speaker units, I really like the way this one interacts with my iPod. Whilst testing with my 5th Gen, it charges the unit whilst in use (or switched on). When the 24/7 is turned off, the power is not sent to the dock connector, so the iPod (and its screen) switches off. Other speaker units I have tested keep charging the iPod even whilst switched off, so the iPod screen remains on (not ideal). Thankfully, the 24/7 addresses this matter.
In summary, the HouseParty 24/7 offers great music reproduction. It allows you to wake up to the radio or your iPod, all from the one unit. Both the build and sound quality are brilliant, and well worth the £100 asking price.
Note: I am the original author of this review on www.geekanoids.co.uk