Here’s an accessory which neither makes nor modifies sound, yet we reckon a great number of audiophiles will want to know about it. The IDPAT i4 is quite simply a battery charger, but it has an important difference from most of its ilk in that it can charge a wide variety of kit, up to four items at a time.

It’s a highly ingenious design which has interchangeable ‘tips’ suited to various battery-powered devices in common use: six are supplied with the unit and a couple of dozen more are available at add-ons for around £6 each.

Obviously there’s one for Apple iPod/iPhone devices and the other standard types are mini- and micro-USB and versions for common phones from Nokia, Sony Ericsson and Samsung. There’s an A-style USB socket on the side of the unit as well.

Among the optional tips is one for AA/AAA batteries, which we could definitely find use for. The tips are slightly spring-loaded to give some protection against knocks when devices are being charged.

What we really like about this is its all-round practicality. It’s a single unit that sits neatly on a shelf or table and plugs into the mains (no wall-wart!) and you can’t easily lose it like a small dedicated charger.

The tips are clearly labelled so you know what’s what, and when each device is fully charged the LED in front of it changes from red to green.

It may not change the sound of your hi-fi , but it’ll put you in a much better frame of mind to appreciate it!

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