Gear4 invited us to play with their extensive range of app-powered speakers and accessories.


I took another sneak peak at the Renew SleepClock. I first saw this at IFA but didn’t get extended hands-on time. I’ve seen quite a few innovative alarm clocks – either in terms of docking technology, or how they wake you up (my favourite being the Philips sunrise alarm) but the Renew SleepClock is different.


The SleepClock Packs a lot of interesting technology in – it monitors your breathing rate and movement whilst you sleep and measures both when you wake and the amount of time you are spending in deep and light sleep cycles. Whilst there are similar alarm clocks out there most do this by strapping things to you whilst you slee, Renew cleverly has a built-in sensor that means this can all be done wirelessly. The sensor allows for great touches – rather than a sleep timer, Renew can play music as you get into be and then turn it off after you actually go to sleep. And best of all, through tracking your sleep cycles, Renew knows the ideal to wake you during your sleep cycles.

PocketLoops is a light-weight musical keyboard interface that you dock your iOS device into. The accompanying app has 13 built-in instruments and lets you build up various loops and then remix them on the fly – which is great for live performances. The app has 3 built-in effects echo chorus and a cool X-Y filter pad. The keyboard can be yours for £49.99.

With more households hoping to reduce the tangled mess of wires in their household (I have no evidence to support this claim), Airplay could be a growing trend with speakers in the run up to Christmas. Gear4’s AirZone series enables stylish playback of wireless audio. The AirZone Series 1S and Series 3 both have an incredibly simple one-touch set up that puts rival AirPlay speakers to shame. On top of that, the range brings AirPlay to the masses with an entry-level price point of £179.99.

With all the talk of AirPlay it’s easy to forget Bluetooth, but the stalwart of wireless connectivity (and I remember when it was the new kid in town, ousting IR) is still alive and kicking, evidenced by a range of Bluetooth enabled docks and speakers.

Bringing wireless audio to street dance crews everywhere is the StreetParty Wireless. Promising up to 8 hours of rump-shaking good times via its rechargeable lithium-ion battery, the StreetParty Wireless has everything you’d expect from a Bluetooth speaker. It’s easy to connect any tablet, phone or mp3 player and get your disco on the go. As you’d expect, there’s also a speakerphone so you can make and receive calls using the StreetParty’s built-in microphone. Out now for £69.99

Playing around with traditional speaker design is the Xorb Wireless, which has a cool bowling ball shape. The 30W bluetooth enable speaker can stream music from any modern phone or tablet and can also be paired with another Xorb Wireless for stereo bluetooth fun.

For the full range and more head to