Review: Gear4 CruiseControl

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Gear 4 have a plethora of iPod accessories, turning your humble MP3 player into a pimped up, all-singing, all dancing music system that will play practically anywhere.

With their CruiseControl, you can control your iPod from up to 50 metres, including through walls, using the remote control. By attaching a receiver to the dock, the remote will use RF to communicate, enabling you to play, skip, shuffle and repeat, as well as control the volume. In theory.

However, in practice there are immediate issues with their claims that you can stray 50 metres from the iPod. Within 10 metres the review device stopped working, and putting a wall between the remote and the player decreased this still further.

On the plus side, it couldn’t be simpler to use. The dock is powered by the iPod and is immediately recognised, shown by a green LED on the front. It also comes with a lanyard, so you can hang the remote round your neck, and a strap to attach it to bike handlebars or a steering wheel.

Which leads nicely to exactly where you’d use this product. The problem with iPods now is that all the products available make use of the dock connector, limiting what you can do with it at one time. For instance, a remote for when your iPod is docked in a speaker unit? Very useful, but unfortunately you’ve already used your dock connecting it to the speaker. The same with Bluetooth wireless headphones.

In providing equipment to strap the remote to bike handlebars they’ve probably hit on the application – you’re iPod is in a bag and you don’t have the hands to search for it. The chances are, you’re still going to be using your earphones, so it won’t be more than a metre away from you.

For £24.99 here it’ll be useful for cyclists, but has limited application for the rest of us coach potatoes.

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