Seemingly modelled on Darth Vader's TIE fighter, it's immediately obvious that Philips has not designed these two satellites and a subwoofer specifically for MP3 players, but instead has gone for the games systems market; we detect a strong X Box inspiration.

Despite a shiny black sci-fi look, they can, however, easily be used to beef-up the sound from almost anything.

Good, clear stereo sound and enough bass to really annoy the neighbours are on offer to everything from a PC, portable DAB radio or DVD player, MP3 player, mini hi-fi or even a DVD player. Simply attach the two 10W outputting satellites to the back of the subwoofer and hook-up to an audio device via the 2m phono lead included.

The 200 x 200 x 275mm subwoofer can be tucked out of sight because the power-on and volume controls are on the right-hand satellite, although bass controls are on the subwoofer's rear.

Sonically, we would recommend the MMS 430 for use with an MP3 player at a party or gathering, where a relatively high volume is required - it's then that the treble/bass balance sounds at its most integrated.

We tested it with MP3s via both an iAudio portable audio player and a PC, and it delivered detailed, lively, if slightly tinny, stereo through the satellites with no trace of distortion.

The MMS430 will look best as part of an MP3 player's bedroom base, as a PC's desktop speakers, or carted around friends' homes with a games system. Similarly versatile speakers are around that look better, but not at this low price.