By Mike Wheeler
We’ve seen a few portable speakers hit retails shelves over the past few years trying to muscle in on the ever developing MP3 market by allowing you to have sounds in any environs – whether it be at the park, or a beach, or at a friend’s house having a barbie.
Some come with varying degrees of sound quality, and also with different methods of connecting – the first models entailed having a cord connecting your MP3 player to the speaker. Lately, manufacturers have been championing the idea of Bluetooth or wireless connection. This brings us to the aptly named Street Party Wireless Speaker. Now, we’re assuming that manufacturer Gear 4 has given this unit the name because, well, it believes you can have your own little party on the street. So, can you? Well it depends how you like your sound.
So, what do we have? Out of the box it’s not the biggest or heaviest of devices, so that is good for a start. It has a battery indicator light, on/off switch, auxiliary-in jack, plus a charging port. There is also a pairing button at the top so you can Bluetooth to your MP3 player if it has this function (be aware your MP3 has to have the Bluetooth 3.0 standard to work).
Already, we’re liking its simplicity of set up – whether it be Bluetooth or via cable – but what about the nitty gritty – its sound.
Like any mini speaker, you can only compare it to similar products. We recently reviewed the companies Angry Bird’s speaker, which comes in at a similar price. While this doesn’t seem to have the same kind of omphh, it does a pretty decent job. If you’re hoping to have a mini street party like the name suggests, then you will be sorely disappointed. However, that doesn’t mean that this device won’t have its place in the kitchen, or bathroom, or any place where you want to hear your sounds, but it won’t blow your socks off.
There are a couple of annoying features such as no bass button, so if you like it a little heavy, you’ll just have to trust the internal mechanics of the device to get it right. Also, note that if you Bluetooth the volume button works, but if you use the supplied cable you have to use the volume control on your MP3 player.
Overall, nothing to get too excited about but not a waste of space either. This device’s main problem is not having a special feature that will get its head above the parapet and stand out from the plethora of other portable speakers that offer up a similar experience.
Pros: Portable, reasonable sound, easy to set up and use
Cons: No volume control when using cable, no special features
3.5 Shacks Out of 5