To commence the important process of evaluating the sound quality I whisked out Muse’s first album Showbiz, playing through such classic tracks as Sunburn and Unintended. Here the BassStation makes a good show for itself producing the graceful piano, searing guitar riffs and, importantly, Matt Bellamy’s voice with equal panache.
Transitioning across to Pretty. Odd. by Panic At The Disco it struck me that the Gear4 BassStation definitely performs best with mellower, less complicated music – words such as ‘warm’ and ‘smooth’ immediately sprang to mind. This makes it ideal for most pop and rock music, however there is a limit to this otherwise decent performance
Turning the volume up too high definitely introduces a degree of muffling and pretty conclusively destroyed the soundstage being produced. As long as I kept to a reasonable level there were no major problems, and as I was getting close to neighbour-upsetting volume levels before that distortion creeps in I doubt it’s likely to be a problem for anyone actually buying the set unless you’re intent on using it for parties.
Unlike the B&W Zeppelin, though, which seemed somehow capable of producing a breathtaking sound from even a 128k MP3, you’ll definitely want to be playing decent quality (192k minimum) tracks at the least with the BassStation, as you can definitely pick up on the loss of detail with lower quality encodes. Of course with the current raft of iPods packing large storage capacities for very reasonable prices we’d recommend ripping your CDs in a lossless format, ensuring you’re getting the best from your music.
It looks good, it sounds good and it isn’t going to require a re-mortgage, unlike some iPod speaker docks. All in all the Gear4 BassStation would make a great addition to any study or bedroom provided you’re not planning a rave.
Score in detail