The Gear4 BassStation is an iPod soundsystem that offers a nod to the Apple Hi-Fi.
Apple’s old iPod Hi-Fi was a fine example of classic minimalist design, and Gear4’s BassStation seems to be taking a leaf out of that book. It’s a black and white block with a top-mounted iPod dock, very basic controls - on/off and volume - and moulded handles at each end.
The Gear4 BassStation’s chunky black and white style is friendly and unobtrusive, and the rubber ‘tyre’ across the bottom of the unit keeps it sturdily in place. The external power supply is a bit of a pain, and there’s no way of powering the BassStation with batteries.
The Gear4 BassStation boasts 35W of sound, and has a 15W, 5in subwoofer. The BassStation should be compatible with any dock-enabled iPod. The iPhone isn’t officially supported, but it should work okay. The BassStation doesn’t offer any video output, which is a real shame now that the entire iPod range, apart from the shuffle, supports video playback. However, it’s not devoid of sockets - round the back you’ll find stereo phonos in, and headphone/line out. It’s got a left/right ‘Y’ cable for connecting audio sources, too.
The remote features buttons all the usual buttons, plus controls for browsing playlists and selecting menu options and tunes, as well as bass and treble adjustment. However, only the volume functions work on the iPod touch, despite it being listed as a compatible device. Gear4 are apparently working on a fix, so check before you buy.
Given the name, you’d expect a massive low-frequency onslaught, but that’s not the case - the Gear4 BassStation’s more of a ‘MidStation’. Having said that, the BassStation sounds pretty reasonable for a £100 unit.
A neat looking, basic iPod speaker system, the Gear4 BassStation is a good value option if you’re looking to take your housebound music listening digital. It sounds decent, and isn’t so large it takes over a room. It’s not the most versatile, but for no-frills music it’ll do you proud.