Smooth performance

One of the best products of the past few years has to be the iPod and the smart piece of design has spawned numerous equally innovative products.


One of the best products of the past few years has to be the iPod and the smart piece of design has spawned numerous equally innovative products.


Gear4 has made a business out of providing products that can extend the capability of the iPod, several of which have been reviewed on the pages of Tech Trader in the past.


With its latest product the vendor is entering new territory. The Blackbox is a portable speaker system, but unlike many similar products, the user does not have to slide their iPod into a cradle on the top.


The system instead operates wirelessly through Bluetooth technology, with a dongle that is attached to the iPod, making the Blackbox easy to carry around.


There are several design features that will make this product look perfectly at home in the living room of bright young things. The deep gloss surface conceals an LED display that comes alive once the music start playing, while the sleek control buttons are stylishly finished in blue.


One advantage of the Blackbox is that it does not require a great deal of time and space to set it up. There is even the option to use batteries and skip the need for a power cable — something that would appeal for use outside in the summer or on the beach, for example.


However, what really impresses is the sound quality. Previously reviewed products in Gear4’s HouseParty range have attracted compliments about the strength of the audio experience. The Blackbox is no exception.


Build quality is also excellent. Gear4’s products are not simply pushed through the factory gates in a bid to cash in on the popularity of Apple’s MP3 player, but are well designed and considered products in their own right.


There is something rather satisfying in selling a product that takes advantage of technology to create something out of the ordinary. Bluetooth is starting to find its place in the market and is being targeted as a ‘fun’ feature.


Walk through London’s Victoria Station and you will see a Bluetooth zone that encourages people to download a taster for the fourth series of Lost. This is becoming one of those generational things that you either get or you don’t.

Gear4 has a complete range of products, with new ones being added all the time, and from a reseller perspective it makes a great deal of sense to become a stockist. If you are selling to anyone with an iPod — and that is likely to include almost all of your customer base — then there is an obvious upsell with the Blackbox.

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