In a world full of a bazillion iPod and iPhone docks I was sad to find that there was not a decent Android dock. Can we blame Android? Sure! At first all these different Android phones had different adapter connections. When Android finally uniformed and started using the Micro USB port for connection, it became better. Battery packs and portable chargers were made for Android and so far, the Micro USB hasn’t been replaced.
I see how it was easy for Apple to get so many docks, cases and speakers done because the frame of the phone and the 30-pin adapter didn’t change for quite a while. I admit that back when I had the HTC Evo 4G, I was jealous at the mass selection of accessories iPhoners got to enjoy.
Anyway, moving on, I was happy when I ran into Phorus. A speaker dock for Android? After so many years I was willing to try anything to try to expand my Android ecosystem.
Looks and Design
So Phorus was nice enough to send a Phorus PS1 speaker my way. I was scared when I saw the box because it was huge. I didn’t want a speaker that took up too much space. I was pleased to find out it was just good packaging and the speaker is actually a nice size. The precise dimensions are 5.5 inches x 8.3 inches x 6.2 inches.
The Phorus PS1 Play has a weird shape. The base is flat, but that’s about it. The backside is rounded outwards and it has a pointy cone shape. It was the contemporary feel to it. Not squared or cylindrical like many other speakers I’ve seen. The shape of the speaker is supposed to give out 360 degree sound.
In the front of the speaker you have the control buttons. You also find the WiFi button on the bottom right (it has a white light). Next to it is the Bluetooth button with the indicator light (blue).
The rear bottom side has all the ports. From left to right it has the auxiliary 3.5mm jack, USB port, micro USB port, adapter port, and the reset button. I am not sure what the microUSB is for, but I am assuming it’s for the company to troubleshoot the speaker. But for the most part the speaker doesn’t look intimidating.
The speaker can be used by both iPhone and Android through the Bluetooth connection. However you can’t use the Android only app to control your music. To get the most out of the sound is through the WiFi connection. The setup was pretty painless. All you need is to download the app, know your WiFi router password (you won’t believe how many people forget their password).
Start by connecting your Android device to the WiFi before opening up the Phorus app. When the app detects the PS1 speaker, you can press setup (enter the WiFi router password) and continue. The app and speaker will connect on their own WiFi signal and then back to your WiFi router. Once they both connect, you have the option of naming the location (that’s for those who are connecting more than one speaker). And that’s it!
Once you’re in you have a few options. For most it’s Pandora, media server or physical tracks on your device. Yup, no Spotify or Google All Access Music streaming. Nooo! Once I got over that, I was blown away.
The Play-Fi technology that the Phorus PS1 offers is crisp and profound. There were no glitches when streaming content.
Pandora addicts will benefit greatly from this speaker. You can rate music (thumbs up and thumbs down) and control all your radio stations. If you have most of your music on cloud playlists, you will have to opt for Bluetooth connectivity and auxiliary connection.
The sound is so loud. That 360 degree design helps tons. When playing hard rock and bass heavy rap it gets a bit distorted at max volume. It’s rare to encounter that problem since you should never put your speakers at max volume for a long period of time anyway. With the app and multiple speakers you would be able to stream different songs to different speakers (I wasn’t able to verify that since I had only one speaker).
It sounds a bit better through the WiFi connection but it’s always good to have options. What most people won’t like about the Phorus PS1 speaker is the price tag. This won’t be a speaker that you can just go and buy 2 or 3 of at $199.99 a pop. Another con is the lack of support for music streaming apps such as Spotify and Google Play All Access. I didn’t realize how heavily I relied on these apps until now. Hopefully an app update can fix that.
What’s in the box?
USB-A to micro USB cable
USB-A to mini USB cable
Warranty and Quick Start Guide