First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
Gecko Gear Soundbase
An attractive iPod dock.
The Gecko Soundbase is a simple iPod dock that combines good mid and upper-range audio definition with a reasonable price and a nice design. Unfortunately, it is let down by a lack of functions and a tedious programming process.
- Looks good, iPod menu control via remote, good mid-range and treble
- Delicate iPod tray, no alarm clock function, radio is tedious to tune
The Gecko SoundBase is a stylish product with decent mid-range and treble, but its price is hard to justify given it lacks an alarm clock and isn't as easy to use as some other docks.
Price$ 179.00 (AUD)
It looks attractive, with a simple soft black mesh front that covers the two speakers, two tweeters and LED display. Despite the mesh, most users won't have any trouble reading the display.
At the bottom of the fascia is a retractable iPod tray that can click into a locked position. This hidden style of dock helps make the Soundbase look sleek, but the tray feels flimsy when opened.
The Soundbase's remote control gives users partial control over an iPod's menu. We found that the system worked well; many other iPod docks don't offer this utility.
An auxiliary 3.5mm input can be found to the rear, between the built-in radio antenna and power jack. This means that other brands of MP3 players can be plugged in.
The Soundbase can be used to listen to both AM and FM radio. There are eight preset slots available (four AM and four FM), but the process of selecting them using the tiny buttons on the remote control is tedious. Users can hold down the up or down keys on the remote to toggle between stations, but it's faster and easier to manually tune the radio. Another negative point is the SoundBase's lack of an alarm clock. The LED display acts as a clock and has a timer mode, so the lack of an alarm seems odd.
The Gecko SoundBase is a mixed bag in terms of sound quality. At high volumes there is surprisingly little distortion and the mid-range and treble are detailed, albeit occasionally tinny. A lack of bass means that audio is hollow, but in this respect the SoundBase is on par with similarly priced docks such as the Logitech LS-LT1507V. The lack of equaliser options on the SoundBase is more disappointing (the Memorex Mi2013 Travel speaker is cheaper and includes an equaliser).
If you're willing to fork out a modest sum of cash for a stylish iPod dock with decent audio quality, very limited functionality and a flimsy dock tray, then check out the Gecko Soundbase. But at this price point you should strongly consider the alternatives.
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