There is a consistent direction in which technology takes us. We want things smaller, faster, and with fewer wires, and in the case of music, we want louder. This explains the continued expansion of the bluetooth external speaker market, which is reaching a point where the sound quality and clarity is becoming secondary to the novelty of the speaker design and usage. Pretty soon we will have speakers that look like dinner plates so we can easily listen to our favorite techno track while eating our spaghetti alfredo. Yet before we reach that ridiculous reality, there are a few interesting offerings left to check out.
The PowerSound by Powerstick is a wireless speaker that manages to remove even another component from the equation, the bluetooth connection. The speaker works purely on physical connection to your phone. Just slide the phone’s speakers over the correct spot on top of the PowerSound and let the magic happen. Impressive and a pretty slick party trick.
This speaker has a few really nice things going for it. First off, it’s compact, solid and quite durable. It’s a single block, no weird design making it harder to pack in your picnic basket, or whatever outdoor basket you choose, maybe you’re a brunch kind of person, no judgments here. It also works with any phone, so no worries if you’re not an iPhone junkie (like me), you can rock the Android or Windows phone just as well.
I also tested receiving a phone call while connected and that worked like a charm. You can tap your phone to answer, switch over to speaker mode, and your caller will stream right through the speaker just like the music. According to my wife, who was on the other end of the call, she could hear me really clearly. It was a better phone call experience than I usually have with my Bluetooth connection in the car.
One of my other routine tests with any type of speaker is to push it to the limit and see where the sound starts to crack or fray. The PowerSound kept up nicely. In a small room you can easily get the music into the obnoxiously loud range, while outside it can cover your music needs without requiring you to sit right next to it.
In terms of downside, the technology used to amplify the sound is cool, but requires the phone to be positioned just right on the SoundDock for the best results. A slight shift of your phone in either direction and you will either lose volume and power or get a tinny, more hollow sound. There is also no design or notification on the top to tell you which way the phone is supposed to be placed, though that is rectified by very quick trial and error.
Last, let’s not leave out the other function, which is one of the main branding pieces for the Powerstick company: The speaker is also a charger. One small USB connection from your phone to the speaker and you can get your musical juice while the phone gets its power juice too.
The PowerSound by Powerstick defies its plain appearance with impressive sound and a seemingly magical audio connection. To see more, see the teaser video below.