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Gear4 BlackBox review

Stream your music via Bluetooth with the Blackbox

If you can tolerate a lack of proper bass then the BlackBox is a well-designed piece of kit

Our Verdict

Attractive and easy to use, but lacking in bass


  • Simple to set-up
  • Distinctive design
  • Convenient


  • Sound lacks punchiness
  • Not great for bass

Bluetooth is an unlikely method of wirelessly playing your PC's tunes.

This is because it was never designed as a carrier for music.

Having said this, Gear4's BlackBox makes a decent stab at utilising this short-range wireless technology.

Play iTunes wirelessly

The BlackBox is a stylish-looking device and, unlike the plethora of iPod stereos out there, it isn't white! It features a hidden red LED display/graphic equalizer combo that comes to life when you play your music.

Sadly, in operation the equalizer was a little flat for our liking - it didn't move up and down as much as the box images would have us believe.

Yet with its distinctive deep gloss finish and touchscreen buttons the BlackBox certainly looks tidy. Furthermore, it's one of the first iPod-focused stereos we've seen that doesn't look like a speaker, so it fits into any room decor.

It's also extremely compact and comes with a close-fitting carry case and remote control.

Not big on bass

Bluetooth setup was reasonably straightforward, even on A2DP-enabled mobile phones, but audio quality wasn't as good as we had hoped.

The BlackBox lacks the sonic punch that's found in its biggest rival, the Parrot Boombox, and if you're a hi-fi aficionado then you'll no doubt question the lack of distinction in more subtle instruments.

That said, the unconventional stereo effect of mounting both speakers to the sides of the device actually works well and delivers crisp notes, but crank up the volume and you'll realise that bass isn't a big feature of the BlackBox.

Simple music streaming

Sounds from our laptop were clearly better than the mobile phone MP3 files, yet the pairing process was oddly faster with mobiles.

The BlackBox isn't the saviour of Bluetooth as a music delivery format, but for convenience and travel options it provides a useful solution to streaming tunes from your PC.