Native Union Moshi Moshi 04i review

£134
Price when reviewed

Native Union’s Moshi Moshi 04i is an unusual beast. Not only is it a Bluetooth speakerphone, but it also doubles as a stereo desktop speaker dock and charger for your iPhone or iPod. If you detach the speaker unit from the base when a call comes in, you can also use it to answer calls like a traditional telephone handset.

Physically, it looks fantastic. The handset-cum-speaker unit sports a fashionable honeycomb pattern finished in glittery, anodised aluminium, and the rest of the chassis is coated in high-quality plastics that feel lovely to the touch. Native Union’s aim with this product is to colonise the desks of high-flying executives, and it’s certainly got the design chutzpah to do that.

The big question is, does it work as well as its looks suggest? It’s certainly easy to use. Push in at the front of the device, and a docking tray springs out. Plonk your iPhone or iPod into the bay, pair it over Bluetooth and you’re ready to go. It’s flexible too. While in the dock, the Moshi Moshi 04i will charge your iPod or iPhone and, if you use the USB socket at the rear to hook it up to your PC, allow you to synchronise its contents.

Native Union Moshi Moshi 04

A 3.5mm input, meanwhile, lets you connect auxiliary sources such as a non-Apple MP3 player. Finally, Bluetooth 2.1 multipoint technology allows you to keep two devices paired and connected simultaneously. You could, potentially, use it to make cellular calls via your iPhone (or other smartphone) and receive Skype calls on your computer.

As far as audio quality is concerned, it does half of its job well. Voice calls boast impressive clarity and volume, whether you’re using it hands free, or holding the handset to your ear. Alas, when it comes to the other half – music playback – the Moshi Moshi 04 disappoints. Vocals are clearly audible, as you might expect, but there’s a serious lack of balance, with no clear treble and non-existent bass. We wouldn’t use this on any more than a casual basis to listen to music.

It looks fabulous, and its voice facilities work well, which may be enough to sway those for whom image means everything. With such a high price tag, however, we’d expect better music playback, and this seriously undermines its attraction.

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