Walkman speaker battle gets noisier

You know a gadget's a blockbuster hit when other outfits start making extra gadgets to improve it - we refer you to the iPod and PSP as evidence.So th

You know a gadget's a blockbuster hit when other outfits start making extra gadgets to improve it - we refer you to the iPod and PSP as evidence.

So the arrival of 3G Technologies' Walkman phone speaker dock, the Symfony Classic, surely shows Sony Ericsson's music phones have made it into the tech-lover's hall of fame.

Although the Symfony is unlikely to start any revolutions, it's a decent-looking bit of kit. When not folded up for transport, it's capable of pumping out 10 watts of The Prodigy's singles collection via its stereo speakers and can even double as a giant loudspeaker hands-free thanks to a built-in mic. The whole caboodle benefits from neat Walkman touches such as muting music for calls and resuming when you hang up.

The only fault we can see is that there's no USB output to have your phone hooked up to your computer while playing tunes. Everything else, however, is present and correct, including volume controls, battery and mains power plus a 3.5mm audio input so you can connect other PCs, MP3 players and any other source. Just remember - it looks a damn sight nicer with the Walkman on it.

Whether the Symfony will be able to match last month's Sony Eric MDS-70 speaker dock remains to be seen. We were blown away by the audio quality of Sony Eric's speaker, which is designed by Sony boffs and goes on sale in January next year.

In the meantime, the Symfony Classic's on sale now for £50 via www.3gt.org.uk.

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