Gear4 SonicBoom

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Gear4 SonicBoom
  • Gear4 SonicBoom
  • Gear4 SonicBoom
  • Gear4 SonicBoom
  • Expert Rating

    3.50 / 5

Pros

  • Above average audio quality, Excellent bass, Charges your PSP, Auxiliary input

Cons

  • Chunky design, Large power supply, Doesn't run on batteries

Bottom Line

A versatile PSP sound system that also works with regular MP3 players thanks to an auxiliary input. The SonicBoom isn't portable, but it does pack quite a punch for its size so it's good value.

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The GEAR4 SonicBoom is a speaker system designed for the Sony PlayStation Portable (PSP), but it is conveniently compatible with iPods and other MP3 players as well. This 2.1 system includes a subwoofer on its base and offers surprisingly good sound quality. In addition to playing audio, the SonicBoom also charges your PSP.

GEAR4 claims the use of unique ActiveBass sub-woofer technology allows for a rich bass experience and they are pretty close to the mark. The SonicBoom packs quite a punch for such a small unit and at the highest volume it is loud enough for even a moderately sized lounge room or bedroom. We were impressed with bass levels, and the sub's positioning at the bottom of the unit means you get plenty of vibration if the unit is placed on a desk or table. The subwoofer manages to pump out 9.6 watts of power, which is impressive for a device this size.

The SonicBoom also includes two 2.4 watt stereo speakers, which are positioned on the front of the unit. However take note, they aren't covered, so you'll have to be careful you don't accidentally bump the speaker cones. Squeezed in between the speakers are an auxiliary input and DC output as well as a rather large power/volume knob. The sound quality of the unit impressed us, especially considering the small size of the speakers. For music, tunes were clear and crisp with good detail levels, while for games, the speakers combine well with the subwoofer for an excellent gaming experience.

The unit is extremely easy to operate - simply dock your PlayStation Portable (PSP) and use the volume knob to adjust sound levels. Alternatively, if you want to play your PlayStation Portable (PSP) while it is docked, GEAR4 includes a two metre long auxiliary cable which connects to the jack at the front of the unit. This means you can sit back and play remotely, with the SonicBoom used for the PSP's sound.

In addition to its PlayStation Portable (PSP) capabilities, the SonicBoom can also be used as a sound system for any unit with a standard 3.5mm headphone jack. Simply plug in the cable from your music player's headphone jack into the auxiliary input on the SonicBoom. We tested this with an Apple iPod nano and the sound was on par with many iPod docks currently available on the market.

Unfortunately, the design and aesthetics of the unit aren't great and the SonicBoom is quite chunky and heavy. Its rear forms the shape of a large circle and this was designed to house the built-in subwoofer. The unit doesn't run on batteries: it is powered via an AC adaptor, which is also quite large, further adding to the package's overall size.

The SonicBoom comes in both black and white, to match the colours of the PlayStation Portable (PSP). Overall, it offers the flexibility to use with a range of devices, such as iPods and MP3 players and packs quite a punch in terms of bass and sound quality. This is a good value purchase, especially when taking into account the support for other devices.

Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.

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