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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.