When we bought our first Bush speaker dock, this was really a state of the art item. I believe we paid in the neighbourhood of £55 for this and an MP3 player as Argos had a special going on the speakers if bought the MP3 player at the same time. This was about 6 years ago, and MP3 were fairly new. We ended up with a small stick device like the one in the picture, and for awhile my husband thought it was the greatest thing ever. But newer gadgets came out and his stick MP3 player was soon passed on to the children. Somehow, he failed to notice that this also works for more modern MP3 players as well as phones, so I ended up with this as a set of computer speakers.
Last year, my husband discovered that this does work for his new MP3 player, as well as his phone, but what he really loves is the fact that you can just plug a Sandisk memory stick into this and crank out the music. His Bush speaker dock is currently being used with a SanDisk Cruzer Blade 16GB USB, and he finds this a great solution for listening to music in the house. I say his, because I ended up buying a second set, brand new from ebay recently for only £7. I had grown tired of him disconnecting my set from my computer when he wanted music and I really did not want to go back to computer speakers after having used these. You see, I listen to most of my music directly from the computer, and the sound from these things is brilliant. It is actually better than the massive stereo system we had before moving to mp3's. The music is clear, crisp, and without any distortion. My husband assures me the bass is excellent as well - as he has more of an ear for music than I have. In fact he can listen to an instrument, fiddle with it a few minutes and then play songs by ear - even if he has never played that instrument before in his life. All I know is this is the best music system I have ever owned, and the music is brilliant. The only device we have ever owned that could beat this was our dolby surround sound for the TV. ( Dolby is now in the attic - we can not take hours of Mario bros in surround sound without going mad). But as far a music only system, my husband and I both rank this as the best we have owned.
The Bush MP002 speaker set is very compact, measuring only about 9" across, and extremely lightweight as well. Both of our sets are powered by a mains adapter cord ( included with speakers), but you can use this with 2 AA batteries as well. However, as we have not tried this, I can not really comment on battery life. I have this connected to my computer through an auxiliary jack to the back. My husband connects all of his devices to this through the usb port at the front. This will work with any number of MP3 players, phones, or usb sticks. It does charge phones and MP3 players as well. The advantage to using a usb stick is you can have a huge library of music at a very reasonable price. The downside is that unless the device you connect to this has a way to search through files for play lists, you are pretty much stuck listening to them in order. There is not even a shuffle function, although there are a couple of skip options.
The picture above shows this speaker set with the large middle speaker folded back, to reveal the usb port and usb functions, play, fast forward, rewind, reset, and fast forward or rewind 10 which would pretty much skip an entire album at a time. These buttons are very small. I have the speaker in this position as well, simply for convenience. I could fold the big speaker up, and have all three speakers facing outwards, but this does not have a separate stand, nor is there a bracket or hole to hang this on the wall. Still it will stand up easily enough if you place anything behind it.
This device has only a limited number of buttons and functions. In addition to the usb function buttons, there are two rectangular buttons on the front of the unit. Power and a dimmer. Power is self explanatory. The dimmer switch dims the small blue lights on this device, but only slightly. There is a raised circle with buttons to the side for volume. I have never turned this up as loud as it goes. I can only say that at a sound level which I find painful, the music is still crystal clear. Obviously though, you wouldn't expect to hook this up to a set of decks and blast the house with loud tunes. It would be fine for a party for us, but we are older and like to still be able to hear people speak at parties, and do not like our neighbours to be bombarded with our choice of music. Two of the speakers are 3 watts each and the middle speaker is 6 watts.
The only real limitation to this device is the fact that all three speakers are very close together. While I really love this device, it is not as nice as the dolby system we used to have on the TV. Of course you can't really expect this to match £200 worth of sound equipment, and dolby is a bit special. There is just something about having the sound coming from all around the room instead of directly in front of you as well though. I have checked about and can not find a set of these under £10 at the moment - from ebay. Even at that, a person could easily buy two sets of these to achieve some separation between the speakers and still end spending less than a good stereo system or music quality computer speakers. I was prepared to pay up to £30 to buy a single set of these, as neither my husband nor myself wanted anything else. Of coursing finding them for £7 left me well pleased. I only wish I had bought a few extras as they would be grand for my sons now as well. Another negative is that folded back, the larger speaker will collect dust, but a very slightly damp cloth sorts this quite easily.
*** And because I couldn't resist throwing in my odd trivia - this is great fun to show children how sound waves work too. You just flatten the unit down to reveal the MP3 port. Then pour small styrofoam chips or lightweight plastic beads into the 6 watt speaker. Turn your music up a bit loud and watch all the beads jumping about. This shows how sound waves are actually vibrations that pass through the air. You can then have the children place there hands over the speakers and feel vibrations, feel the beat of the music, notice how they feel more with a loud drum beat etc...