At last years IFA trade show in Germany one of the most exciting things I personally saw, was the announcement from Philips of Android compatible speaker docks. We’ve seen just about every manufacturer release an iPhone dock but this is the first I’ve seen of a mainstream dock compatible with all Android phones.

This has been a long time coming and for a good reason, there is no standardised position and orientation for the microUSB port on Android phones and the 5-pin micro USB port on Android phone is for charging only and doesn’t support any audio output. To get around these limitations, Philips have devised the FlexiDock which allows pretty much any Android phone to be connected be it in portrait or landscape mode to allow for charging via microsUSB and streaming of music via Bluetooth :

Once the phone is docked and charging, the phone will then need to load the free Philips Fidelio App from the Google Play store which will then pair your phone to the speaker dock and stream music across the Bluetooth connection. The app also includes access to over 7,000 internet radio stations, a weather forecasting service, various alarms and also the Songbird music player, which lets you sync, browse, playback and manage music playlists from your PC on your Android phone.

Philips will be releasing 2 models into Australia starting from early next month, the AS111 which will have a RRP of $129.95 and the higher end AS851 with a RRP of $249.00. You’ll be able to source them from Harvey Norman, Bing Lee and online from Volume 11. Specs on the units are pretty decent :

AS111 AS851
Output power (RMS): 4 W Output power (RMS): 2 x 15 W
Volume Control: Volume Control up/down Volume Control: Volume Control up/down
Product dimensions (WxDxH): 171 x 67 x 171 mm Product dimensions (W x H x D): 421 x 157 x 140 mm
Remote control and extra USB port for charging a second mobile device
Loudspeaker types: Bass Reflex Speaker System

The minimum system requirements for the setup is Android 2.1, Bluetooth capability -Which is pretty standard on most phones but check your phone to make sure And of course a microUSB connection for charging. Apart from that you should be good to go. I’ve spoken with the distributor who will be letting us try out both of these speaker systems as they come up closer to release and I guarantee you I’ll be purchasing one of them just not sure which at this stage.

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  • Greg

    Disappointed with the range they’re importing – the AS111 is a joke.  It _looks_ like a clock-radio, but there’s no radio in the unit, the Fidelio app includes a built-in skin of “Tune-in Radio” so you get the radio off the ‘net.

    The AS140 which is not listed works as a clock-radio with real radio even if your phone is elsewhere.  6 months ago I bought the AS140 from Amazon it for around $120 so $129 for the AS111 is a bit of a rip-off.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jakeshredz Jake Mormile

      For those who imported the AS140 – any power requirements?

  • JeniSkunk

    Just had a look at the Philips site for these speakers. We’re only getting 2 of the 4 speakers Philips are doing for Android. http://www.philips.com/flexidock

  • Benjamin Dobell

    “on Android phones and the 5-pin micro USB port on Android phone is for charging only and doesn’t support any audio output”

    This statement is somewhat incorrect.

    Android 3.1 introduced support for the Android Open Accessory[1] which allows basically any information you want to be sent over USB. However, as most phones are still running 2.x and not 4.x we’re still a while off seeing less convoluted audio docks.

    [1] Android Open Accessory Development Kit – http://developer.android.com/guide/topics/usb/adk.html

  • Sagi_jm

    I never understood these. My 2.1 speakers have an aux cable that will produce far superior sound. This is too much for me

  • techieideas

    Available in Middle East since 2 months now…

  • JeniSkunk

    Far too long overdue to see gear like this available for Android.

  • Pugzor

    I’ve been looking forward to these for a while. Having said that, my Arc is going to look a bit strange mounted on these! 

  • Myk

    It is possible to get audio through the USB port. My Galaxy S II desktop dock does it. Not sure if that’s a Samsung addition, though.

    • Daniel

      Not a practical solution when you’re targeting all Android phones not just the Galaxy S II, the standard microUSB port doesn’t support it so perhaps the Galaxy S II has a slightly different port? As far as I can tell streaming via Bluetooth offers the most elegant solution to this problem.

      • Hikari0307

         I’m thinking it’s because the SII’s micro usb port is an MHL port which can output video and audio. I think a number of high end phones micro usb ports doubles as an MHL port nowadays but that’s still not a large enough market compared to all android phones.

  • http://www.twitter.com/andrewpalozzo Andrew Palozzo

    So it wont play music via my Google Music account?

    • Daniel Tyson

      Not sure and won’t be able to find out till I can get access to the setup. You don`t store your MP3s on your home PC only in Google Music?

      • http://www.twitter.com/andrewpalozzo Andrew Palozzo

        I do have em on my home PC… but ideally I want one true source in the end..

    • Hudlqs

      All audio output will be via the dock, you dont actually need the app from Philips..

    • Greg

      It’s just bluetooth audio – it will play anything.  I imported the A140 (not listed here) and it has a little headphone cable too as last resort.  The software isn’t mandatory – all it does is:

      1. Allow you to update the firmware on the unit 2. Allow phone to respond to the clock-radio alarm to turn on Songbird or the integrated version of Tune-in Radio 3. Sync the time from your phone to the unit 4. Randomly spring up when you plug into any other charger (you can turn this off except 1-in-100 plugs it will forget and ask you if you want to connect to the phillips device again) 5. Suck a little